Why and how you should clean your makeup brushes
Author: Danielle Cauchi Date Posted: 19 July 2022
It’s annoying enough having to clean our houses and wash our clothes, do we have to wash our makeup brushes too? The unfortunate answer is yes – no if’s, and’s or but’s.
We’ve made the process a little easier for you by explaining exactly why you should be cleaning your makeup applicators, how often you should be doing it, what to use and how to do it.
You’ll be surprised just how easy it is!
Why you should clean your makeup brushes
Cleaning your makeup brushes is good for your brushes, your Makeup, your makeup application and your health.
Product build-up itself causes makeup brushes to lose their specially designed shape which impacts product pick up, placement, colour accuracy and blending.
Unclean brushes accumulate dirt, sebum, dead skin cells and harmful bacteria that can not only damage our brushes in the long run, but can cause acne, dullness, skin irritations, clogged pores, rashes and serious infections like streptococcus, staphylococcus and E. Coli.
Using dirty brushes can also contaminate perfectly good makeup so it’s important to keep your brushes clean so that you can make the most out of your makeup products.
You should clean your makeup brushes after every use, but who are we kidding? We don’t even do that! Aim to clean your makeup brushes, especially those used for cream and liquid products, once a week at the very least. Make it part of a weekly ritual where you set 5-10 minutes aside each week to clean your brushes and listen to some music or a podcast.
What to clean makeup brushes with
You can use special makeup cleaners to clean your makeup brushes but if you’re looking to save some money, you can easily clean your makeup brushes with some lukewarm water and a gentle soap. Regular soap can dry out your makeup brush bristles especially if they have been created with natural hair fibres.
Baby shampoo is a great option as it does the job and it is extremely gentle.
You can clean your brushes with your hands or you can invest in a makeup brush cleaning tool that has grooves crafted into it for a thorough clean.
How to clean makeup brushes
Wash your makeup brushes individually for a focused, thorough clean.
Taking your first brush, wet the bristles with lukewarm water. Be sure not to wet the edge where the bristles meet the ferrule as this is where the bristles are adhered to the brush handle and water exposure could cause the glue to break down and make the bristles fall out.
Place your cleanser of choice onto the palm of your hand or your cleaning tool and massage the bristles into the solution.
Rinse the bristles thoroughly and if the water does not run clear, repeat the process until it does.
Squeeze out the excess water with a clean towel and manipulate the brush head back to its original shape before setting it down horizontally on a clean counter in a well-circulated room to dry. It is important not to dry your brushes vertically as water can seep through the bristles, disintegrate the glue and damage your brushes.
Do not place your wet brushes down on a towel or inside an enclosed room as this can cause mildew.
How to clean makeup sponges
There are several ways you can clean your makeup sponges. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you’re cleaning them just as often as your brushes because numerous YouTubers have cut their makeup sponges in half revealing gross build-up and mould. Yuck!
You can wash your makeup sponges in a similar fashion to your makeup brushes by wetting your sponge under lukewarm water, adding cleansing liquid or soap, scrubbing away the stains and rinsing until the water runs dry, refraining from any wringing or pulling so that you don’t damage your sponge.
If you’re looking for an easier method, you can pop your sponges in a net lingerie bag and toss it into an empty washing machine along with a liquid cleanser or laundry detergent and wash them with a gentle cycle and extra rinse.
If that’s not easy enough, you can also try the microwave method. Wet your sponge with water and pop it inside a microwave-safe cup with a mixture of water and soap, ensuring the sponge is fully submerged. Microwave it for one minute and once the cup has cooled down, remove it and give the sponge a final rinse under clean running water, squeezing out any residue before setting it down to dry. The added heat of the microwave method is excellent for combatting bacteria.
Make sure you are letting your makeup sponges dry in a well-circulated room to avoid mildew.
How to clean makeup tools
You should be cleaning all of your makeup tools. That includes items like your eyelash curler and even your makeup bag.
You can clean your makeup tools with regular soap and water and disinfect them with rubbing alcohol.
As for your makeup bag, you should be able to run it through a gentle wash cycle in your washing machine, but check the label first. If you can’t use your washing machine, just wipe down the inside and outside of the makeup bag with an antibacterial wipe. Be sure to wipe down your makeup products as well before putting them back inside the makeup bag.
Hopefully now you understand the importance of cleaning your makeup applicators and how to do it properly. Brush care is self-care!
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