If not cleaned properly, makeup brushes harbor bacteria that can clog your pores and, in some cases, lead to infection. Just as you clean your skin regularly, you should also clean the tools that come in contact with your skin. However, it’s a little more complicated than using any old soap and water. You should treat makeup brushes like your hair, and keep in mind that they can get dirty and damaged if not cared for properly. No worries. Your quick guide to cleaning makeup brushes with product recommendations from celebrity makeup artists awaits you…
How to Clean Makeup Brushes
The first step to properly cleaning your makeup brushes is to find the right cleanser. The key is to use a gentle soap that won’t damage or dry out your bristles. There are many brush cleansers on the market, but you can get away with using sulfate-free shampoo, a face cleanser, or even dish soap (as long as the alcohol content is low and there are no harsh solvents).
A popular cleanser that pro makeup artist, Robert Sesnek (who has worked on stars like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner) swears by is Sephora Collection’s Deep-Cleaning Brush and Sponge Shampoo. Its gel-like formula gently, but effectively removes bacteria and oil build-up from any makeup tool, including beauty blenders. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic and cruelty-free, which we love at SCB.
Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, famously uses Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple face cleanser. He claims it’s not only good at removing makeup from your skin, but on brushes too because of its gentle, yet powerful formula.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone by using dish soap or shampoo on your brushes, be mindful of the formula. A mild dish soap like Mrs. Meyer’s or a sulfate-free shampoo like Aveda’s can get the job done just fine. However, some skin types can be sensitive to fragrance in certain soaps…so beware.
Cleaning Tools for Makeup Brushes
In my opinion, hands just don’t do the trick. Investing in a brush cleaner made my brushes go from clean to squeaky clean. Brush cleaners are specifically designed to separate the bristles and get in those hard-to-reach places. Norate’s silicone Brush Cleaning Mat is a great, budget-friendly option. It has four different patterns suitable for any kind of brush and a suction cup for easy handling. The Sigma Beauty Brush Cleaning Glove is another great option because you can fit your hand inside comfortably.
Step 1: Wet your brush with lukewarm water and add your cleanser of choice to a cleaning mat or glove.
Step 2: Gently rub the bristles of your brush around your cleaning mat in circular motions until they resemble their original color.
Step 3: Thoroughly rinse bristles while holding your brush upside down to avoid water getting into the ferrule (where the bristles meet the handle). Water in this area removes the glue, loosens the bristles, and can make them fall out.
Step 4: Squeeze out excess water and reform your brush to its original shape.
Step 5: Leave your brushes to dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of a surface so they continue to dry in the right shape and no water seeps into the ferrule.
How often should you clean makeup brushes?
There is no set frequency to washing brushes, but you should do it quite often. Some makeup artists suggest monthly cleanings, while others like Bobbi Brown do it weekly. Because these brushes are touching your face constantly, you must clean them regularly to avoid acne and other unwanted skin conditions.
Click here for a guide to help navigate the many different types of makeup brushes and their intended uses. Until the next brush up…stay clean, Sacred Beauties!