The best way to clean makeup brushes

Learn how to clean and condition your makeup brushes with these expert tips.

“Dirt, oil, and bacteria can transfer to your makeup brushes from your skin, causing acne breakouts, skin irritation or even spread infections,”


Let's be honest: Can you remember the last time you washed your makeup brushes? Still, thinking? Don’t feel bad because you’re definitely not alone.

Besides the obvious eek factor, there are some important reasons why you should break this sloppy beauty habit ASAP. Product buildup and residue shorten a brush’s life span — not to mention, it sabotages your ability to apply makeup

with precision, which is the whole point of using a brush in the first place.


We end up throwing brushes away because it’s too late to salvage them by the time we get to them. Neglect that R250 brush and it will quickly end up looking like a stack of mottled hay.

Messy tools can also harm your complexion. Dirt, oil, and bacteria can transfer to your makeup brushes from your skin, causing acne breakouts, skin irritation, or even spread infections.

More specifically, your bad brush hygiene can trigger a distinct type of breakout called “pomade acne."


It’s traditionally found along the hairline in people who use pomade. All the pimples look the same as if they all popped up at once.

So, how often do you really need to wash your brushes to keep them — and your complexion — in great shape?


How often should you clean your makeup brushes?


You should wash your brushes at least once a month. I usually, shoot for the first of the month because it’s easy to remember that way. So set a calendar date on your phone, and stick with it!


How to clean makeup brushes

Option 1: Use a special brush cleanser.


There are lots of makeup-brush cleaners out there, from brands like Trendest Quick Drying Make up Brush Cleanser, which come in a spray form that can help you freshen up your makeup brushes when you’re in a bind, or the more expensive brands like Mac Brush Cleanser.

It disinfects and gets the makeup out quickly, and it dries down pretty fast. My brushes don’t smell like chemicals, and they feel soft and ready to use again afterward.”


Option 2: Clean your makeup brushes with shampoo.


For a makeup brush cleaner DIY, simply fill a glass or your sink about a quarter of the way up with warm water and add a tablespoon of mild baby shampoo. Submerge half of the brush head into the water without getting the base wet, and swish away for a few minutes before rinsing.


Option 3: Clean your synthetic makeup brushes with dish soap.


Ever notice how hard it is to clean your concealer, foundation, or lipstick brushes? Creamy, emollient-based makeup is very stubborn and difficult to remove. Some suggestions would be Dove cleansing bar or simply our good old and faith-full friend, the all-natural Sunlight Soap bar to get those synthetic brushes squeaky clean. Regular dish-washing detergent is great at breaking down oils and removing all of the makeup and bacteria.


Lay your makeup brushes flat to dry


No matter which method you use, always remember to lay your makeup brushes flat to dry. Put a towel on the counter and arrange your brushes with the bristles hanging over the edge so they air-dry faster. If you dry them with the bristles upright in a cup, the water will eventually dissolve the glue and the brush head will separate from the handle.


How to condition your natural makeup brushes


Would you ever shampoo your hair and skip the conditioner? Never.

So why leave your natural (aka, non-synthetic) brushes high and dry? They're more similar in texture to your hair than anything else

Plus, when natural bristles become brittle and dry, it can affect how makeup adheres to the skin. So, along with regular cleaning for hygiene, don't forget to condition them.


What you'll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

  • 1 lemon

  • Knife

  • Towel

  • Small bowl

What you'll do:

  1. Slice a lemon and squeeze it into a bowl.

  2. Add in 4-5 drops of coconut oil.

  3. Give each brush a swirl!

  4. Rinse brushes under warm water until you remove all residue. If you overdid it with the oil, swish brushes in a bowl filled with only lemon juice to remove any excess oiliness.

  5. Lay brushes flat to dry.

You don't need to do this every single time you wash them; once every 2-3 washes is plenty.


How to keep makeup brushes fresh in between washes


Think of a disposable cleansing wipe as a light dusting for your brushes. It’s no substitute for a real cleanse, but it keeps the tips in decent shape between washes.


How to clean tweezers


Your brow game has never been better, but your trusty tweezers may be telling a different story. “People assume that tweezers dull over time, but it’s actually the residue that makes them less effective. I recommend cleaning them with an alcohol swab or simple Rubbing alcohol.


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