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How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Let’s be honest, cleaning makeup brushes is not usually very high on our to-do list, but we all know it’s one of those things that needs to be done no matter how much we put it off.

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes (or haven’t done it at all), or you just need some tips on how to get started, we’ve got all the info you need on how often you should clean them, when it’s time to replace your brushes and a step by step guide to get them squeaky clean.

Why do you need to clean your makeup brushes?

When you are putting on makeup, you want it to look the best it can be which is why you need your brushes to be performing at their best. If they are dirty or fraying, your application will be of lower quality and blending will be difficult.

It is important to regularly clean your brushes to get rid of product build-up, dirt, oils and bacteria which are all harmful to your skin. If are not washing your brushes they can cause breakouts and skin blemishes from this build-up of nasties.

How often should you actually be cleaning your makeup brushes

As a general rule, you should be washing them as often as you can, even every day, but we know that’s not realistic, so every week should be a good baseline and at the most once a month.

How often you wash your brushes can also depend on what you are using them for. For your foundation and concealer brushes, they can hold a lot of built up product that you want to clean out every week. But the brushes you use for setting powder or highlighter can be washed less frequently, but still often. For brushes that apply products around your eyes such as eyeshadow and liner, you should aim to clean twice a month. Because of their proximity to the sensitive area of your eyes, it’s important you keep them very clean.

For those who use makeup sponges, don’t think you’re let off the hook of cleaning! You should be washing your sponges even more frequently than your brushes. Due to the nature of a makeup sponge, it soaks up the product and retains all the dirt and impurities that is harmful to your skin and are more prone to holding bacteria.

How to clean your makeup brushes

Step 1: Wet the bristles of the brushes in lukewarm water.

Step 2: Either fill a cup of water with a drop of your chosen brush cleanser/shampoo or use your palm and massage the bristles.

Step 3: Rinse out the cleanser and assess how clean the bristles are. If need be, repeat step 2 until the bristles look clean and the water turns clear.

Step 4: Squeeze out excess water and let them air-dry overnight.

When to replace your makeup brushes

Whilst getting in the habit of regularly cleaning your makeup brushes is important you also need to know when it’s time to let them go. Although some people believe if you wash them enough, brushes can last a lifetime, this isn’t true, especially as the effectiveness of the brushes can decline over time.

If the bristles start to shed, lose their shape or fray, it might be time to invest in a new set. Also, if you begin to notice that your brushes still don’t look clean after a wash then it’s definitely time to replace them.

As for makeup sponges, they should be regularly replaced as they become unhygienic and retain bacteria and impurities which are too difficult to fully clean out.


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