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How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

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March 27, 2014 · 1.7k Views

If you can’t remember the last time you gave your makeup brushes a good cleaning, it’s past time for you to do so! Makeup brushes collect dirt and oil, which can negatively affect your skin’s health and appearance. Keep acne-prone or sensitive skin glowing by giving those makeup brushes a good cleanse on a regular basis. Below are a few simple steps to follow when cleaning makeup utilities, plus some products you can use to help.

How do I clean makeup brushes?

  1. Run your brushes under lukewarm water.
  2. Find a gentle shampoo or soap and start lathering the bristles without too much force. Be sure to keep the head of the brush (the metal part that holds everything together) away from the water and soap – you don’t want that part too rust, or the glue inside to loosen.
  3. Rinse the brush again to get any soap residue off.
  4. Lightly dry the items on a lint-free towel, fixing any stray bristles that may have gone awry.
  5. Leave the damp brush on a towel, or hang by clothespins or paper clips, to dry.

How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

Makeup maven Bobbi Brown notes for Allure, “For concealer and foundation brushes, at least once a week to prevent a buildup of product. And because these brushes are used on your face, the cleaner, the better. Brushes that are used around the eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month, while all others can be washed once a month.”

What soap should I use to clean makeup brushes?

There are many different options you can use when crafting your cleaning concoction. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is a popular and affordable ($4) item to use, as is the Dove Beauty Bar ($3). Both are already made to be gentle on skin so you don’t have to worry about breakouts.  Another popular cleanser is olive oil, which is great for keeping those mascara brushes nice and soft.

Daily cleansing of brushes is also important after each use, and just a spritz of cleanser is necessary to keep them fresh. Sephora sells cleanser for $7-$15 that has received top reviews from makeup users.

If you’re worried about those pimples that are popping up along your cheeks or on your chin, your makeup applicators may be to blame. If they haven’t been washed in a long while, you’ll want to rinse and clean them and start a regular cleaning schedule to keep your skin as healthy as possible.

eberhartexaminer profile picture
Jennifer Eberhart is a freelance writer currently living in New York City. She is a regular contributor to the Arts column on Examiner.com. Jennifer enjoys traveling, reading, art, religion and video. She has a master's in art history and is attempting to make it to all the museums in New York City - a much harder task than it sounds!

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