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How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes (and Why You Should)

By Emily Chiang | Jan 22, 2020
How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes (and Why You Should)

If you’re like me, you probably can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes and beauty sponges. Caring for your tools is tough - you’re already time-starved, so why add one more thing to your to-do list?

But, building good beauty habits is something I’m working harder on - and cleaning your beauty brushes and sponges on a weekly basis is key to avoid bacteria and product build-up that will break you out. Read on to find out how to clean your makeup brushes and sponges. Your face will thank you later!

Why Should I Clean My Brushes?

Product buildup and bacteria can cause skin irritation

Neglecting brush hygiene will result in product buildup and bacteria overgrowth which may result in breakouts. If you allow bacteria to hang out on your face, you’re increasing your chances of skin irritation and acne. This can also result in congested pores.

Your makeup won’t apply smoothly

Does your makeup look streaky? One of the possible reasons your makeup application isn’t as flawless as you like could be due to built-up product in your makeup brushes. For example, if you have been using the same foundation brush for multiple foundation applications (and even mixing formulas), the built-up foundation in your brush can result in a streaky application because your brushes are clogged.

Your makeup brushes won’t last as long

A great way to extend the lifespan of your makeup brushes is to make sure you keep them clean. Your makeup brushes are an investment, so when you clean your brushes, it ensures that they will maintain their quality and won't be bent or damaged by makeup buildup.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges

Let’s end the cycle of bacteria that travels back-and-forth from your face to your brushes. To get started, grab all the brushes that need a cleanse. Next, follow these steps to wash away bacteria and product buildup:

  1. Wet the bristles or sponge with warm water.

  2. Place a drop of makeup brush cleanser, gentle soap, liquid dish soap or Drift Away Cleanser into the palm of your hand, cup or plate.

  3. Gently rub the tips of the bristles and work the soap into the brush or sponge to set product buildup and any impurities adrift.

  4. After cleansing, squeeze out any excess moisture and reshape the brush head.

  5. Remember to let your brushes dry! Lay them flat on a paper towel or hang them upside down to allow them to dry in the correct shape and will also keep water from dripping down the handle (which can cause any adhesive holding your brush together to break down). It’s also important to prevent water from dripping down the handle to prevent your makeup brushes from shedding bristles.

How Often Should I Clean My Makeup Brushes?

You already know how important it is to use beauty products that are packed with skin-loving ingredients. But it’s equally as important to ensure that the applicators you are using to apply that makeup and skincare are clean and free of bacteria.

You should be cleaning your brushes and beauty sponges on a weekly basis. For beauty sponges, you may find that it's easier to clean them with every use (since they're already wet!).

Not only is it important to clean your brushes on a weekly basis, remember to replace your beauty sponges every 3 to 4 months. It’s easy for your beauty sponges to become filled with skin cells and have an overgrowth of bacteria.

Do you have tips on how you keep your brushes clean? Let us know at @Wander_Beauty!

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