How to Clean Makeup Brushes

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I hear a lot of jokes about how people “never” clean their makeup brushes. While that does make a me a little sad, I’m here not to shame you into cleaning them (really, who does that help?!), but to let you know how awesome cleaning your brushes can be! This little chore is usually seen as kind of a pain, but once you commit to it, it can be a very soothing, satisfying, and intentional part of your beauty routine.

How often should you clean your makeup brushes?

Dermatologists recommend cleaning your brushes out at least once every 7-10 days, especially for your most-used brushes like foundation and concealer.

Why should you clean your makeup brushes?

Over time, brushes accumulate product, dead skin cells, and oils which can lead to bacteria in your brushes. This bacteria and debris can clog your pores and result in breakouts. Once bristles are clean, they can more smoothly apply product—and who doesn’t love a flawless application?! Of course, one great benefit of keeping those bristles clean is it will prolong the life of your brushes.

How do I clean my brushes?

Step 1: Gather all your brushes together.

Step 2: Grab your favorite brush cleaner. This DIY for a solid cleaner is one of my favorites, but any gentle soap or shampoo will work. I especially love this Puracy soap.

Step 3: Dip your brush in water, being careful not to submerge the “ferule,” or the metal part that connects the bristles to the brush. Getting this wet can dilute the glue that holds the bristles to the brush and it can also breed bacteria.

Step 4: If using a solid cleaner, swirl your brush around the solid several times. If using a liquid cleaner, pump a very small drop into your hand and swirl in your hand. You’ll probably see product start to appear in your suds.

Step 5: Rinse in water, and maybe repeat if you see that there’s still some dirty water.

Step 6: Reshape your brush by squeezing it gently and shaping with your fingers, and lay it flat to dry.

That’s it! These steps literally take MINUTES and make such a big difference.

Bonus tips:

I learned this tip at Sephora for when you need to disinfect brushes quickly. Spray a little bit of alcohol onto a towel and brush back and forth until you don’t see product coming off anymore.

You can find these clever little brush mats to swirl your soapy brushes on. The texture helps draw out product!

Hope this has been helpful. Happy cleaning! 🙂 xo Keely

Credits // Author: Keely Rust. Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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