Are you washing your makeup brushes regularly? I’m not. I probably wash mine three or four times a year. After one of my tri-annual washes, I decided to find out how often I SHOULD be washing my brushes and the best methods to do so.
I know, I know, most of us hardly have time to apply makeup properly let alone wash our brushes. But did you know that if they aren’t cleaned regularly, dirty brushes get full of dead skin cells and can harbor bacteria, which can cause inflammation, breakouts and other skin conditions. Yikes!
Makeup artist Bobbi Brown says: “For concealer and foundation brushes [and BeautyBlenders], wash 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.”
CLEANSERS FOR MAKEUP BRUSHES
I washed my brushes with brush cleanser. I find it quick and easy. Natural, cruelty-free makeup brand LulaFox’s Brush Cleanser (R170) is on my shopping list. For BeautyBlenders you can use BlenderCleanser (R627). But many makeup artists use even simpler alternatives like a very plain, unscented bar of white soap or baby shampoo. The simpler the better. You can try Pure Simple Castile Soap Bar (R43) or Beautiful Earth Baby Hair and Body Wash (R84).
Mario Dedivanovic, a.k.a. Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist, uses two products to clean his brushes: baby shampoo and tea-tree oil. The addition of tea-tree oil makes perfect sense. Tea-tree is antimicrobial and helps kill acne-causing bacteria. You can try this locally made tea-tree oil from Faithful to Nature.
1. Lula Fox Ecolux Make-up Brush Cleanser, R170 BUY
2. Lula Fox Ecolux Make-Up Brush Set, Perfect Eyes, R570 BUY
3. Beautiful Earth Baby Hair & Body Wash, R92 BUY
4. Lula Fox Ecolux Make-Up, Magic Wand and Brush Shampoo Set, R440 BUY
5. Treemendus Organic Tea Tree Oil, R46 BUY
HOW TO WASH YOUR BRUSHES
Follow these steps for cleaner, good-as-new make-up brushes and blenders.
1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water.
2. Place a drop of makeup brush cleanser or soap into the palm of your hand, and gently massage the tips of the bristles in your palm.
3. Rinse the bristles.
4. Squeeze out the excess moisture with your fingers or a clean towel.
5. Reshape the brush head and let it dry with its bristles hanging off the edge of a counter, thereby allowing it to dry in the correct shape.
Notes: Don’t get the wooden handles wet and don’t soak your brushes, as this will warp handles and dissolve the glue keeping the bristles in place.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO THROW A MAKEUP BRUSH AWAY?
“It’s time to toss your makeup brush when the bristles start to fray, shed, or lose their shape,” says Bobbi Brown. “I can’t emphasize enough that the right tools are as important in getting the look you want as the actual makeup itself. If your brushes become too pinched or squashed, then they simply will not be up to the job.”
HOW OFTEN DOES ONE NEED TO REPLACE BEAUTYBLENDERS OR SPONGES?
Regular makeup sponges (the inexpensive kind that come in bulk bag) aren’t meant to be reused, toss these away after only a few uses. Microbial-resistant sponges, such as BeautyBlenders, can however be safely used for three to four months.
I think it’s time to change my brush washing habits. The process is quick, helps keep my skin cleaner and will ensure my brushes last longer.
This article was first written in September 2017 and was updated on 12September 2018.