Want to know how to clean your makeup brushes at home? Today I’m sharing the most simple way to clean your makeup brushes using only gentle shampoo or dish soap and warm water. I’m also sharing how often you should clean your brushes and how to best care for your makeup brushes to make them last longer.
How to Best Clean Makeup Brushes
Be honest: When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? It’s probably the most used tool in your makeup collection, yet too often makeup brushes aren’t being cleaned regularly, and as a result aren’t performing as they should.
Over time, excess makeup within the bristles can cause makeup brushes to lose their original shape and glory. Daily dirt and oil buildup in your makeup brushes can also cause breakouts, and house bacteria and germs that none of us want on our skin.
Read Next: Makeup Expiration Guide : When to Toss
That’s why it’s super important to establish a good makeup brush cleaning routine, which is why today I’m sharing my best tips on how to clean your makeup brushes and my best practices on how to care for your makeup brushes in order for them to last longer.
How to Clean Makeup Brushes
How Often To Clean Makeup Brushes
A lot of people ask how often you should clean your makeup brushes and whether or not you need to clean your brushes after every use. The answer really depends on how much you regularly use your brushes, but as a general rule of thumb you should be doing a thorough deep cleaning of your makeup brushes once a month, and using a brush cleanser a minimum of weekly.
Makeup brushes and sponges that are used to apply foundation and concealer should be washed even more frequently, as these are going to house pore-clogging oils that aren’t good for the skin.
As I wear makeup on a regular basis, I try to clean my makeup brushes every week and I clean my eye makeup brushes after every use with these makeup wipes and this $3 spray from e.l.f. I just lightly spray my brushes and gently dab them on these wipes to get off any excess product. The wipes are especially handy when traveling.
Establishing a routine will be the most difficult part, but to get started try setting reminders on your phone once a week. Trust me, your brushes, skin, and makeup application will thank you for it.
Looking for affordable makeup brushes? Check out my Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide
What to Use Best Products to Clean Makeup Brushes
There are a lot of different options when it comes to cleaning your makeup brushes, but I’ve personally found the best method is using warm water and a gentle dish soap or shampoo.
When looking for a product to clean your makeup brushes there are two main important qualities.
- You want something that is going to actually remove the makeup, plus all the germs and bacteria
- You want something that isn’t going to be harmful or irritating to your skin
It’s all about preference here, but I recommend steering clear of products that have fragrance or ingredients that might cause adverse skin reactions. You also want to ensure you’re not using products that might be potentially harmful to your makeup brushes, as certain types of bristles require special care.
I’ve been cleaning my makeup brushes with this dish soap for years and it’s always did a fabulous job, but just recently I started using this all natural makeup brush shampoo and I absolutely love it! The older I get the more mindful I’m becoming of what I’m putting on my skin, and the same holds true for what I’m cleaning my makeup brushes with. This shampoo is 100% natural, antimicrobial, and fragrance + paraben free!
Shop Products Mentioned Below:
A Step-by-Step Brush Cleaning Method
1. Squeeze a small amount (about a tablespoon) of gentle soap or shampoo into a bowl or mug filled with warm water.
2. Dip your brushes one at a time in the water, swirling and gently massaging the bristles in the palm of your hand to remove the makeup. If your brushes are extra dirty, you may need to apply a small amount of shampoo or soap in your palm and move your brush in circular motions. I also recommend this awesome makeup brush cleaning mat when cleaning larger foundation brushes.
Update: I’ve been using this makeup brush cleaning mat for over a year now and it makes the process go by so much faster! It has little suction cups that stick right on the bottom of your sink, making it super easy and mess-free. It’s truly worth every penny and even better you can save 10% off over here with my code KINDLY. 🙂
3. Rinse the brushes with clean water, and lightly squeeze out excess water.
4. Lay brushes out flat on a towel to dry (overnight is best)
5. The next day (or once dry) gently fluff the brushes to get them back to their original shape.
Cleaning makeup sponges is also super easy. Simply dampen your makeup sponge and apply a small amount of shampoo in your hand.
Gently rub the sponge in between your hands and work up a lather until it rinses clear.
Extra Tips For Caring For Makeup Brushes
- When cleaning your makeup brushes, avoid submerging the brush handles in water. This can cause damage and eventually will cause your brush handle to fall off.
- Always point your makeup brushes down when cleaning/drying, so that the water falls off the end of the bristles and again doesn’t cause damage to the handles.
- Store clean makeup brushes and dirty makeup brushes separately, until you have time to clean the dirty ones. This will help stop the potential spreading of bacteria.
- Store makeup brushes in an upright makeup holder or makeup pouch to keep them in their best condition. I actually love storing mine in cute mugs like this “Hello Gorgeous” one.
- Last but not least, be gentle on your makeup brushes and use them lightly when applying makeup. Avoid pressing down hard with them and they will last so much longer.
Read Next: The Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide
I hope you enjoyed today’s post on How to Best Clean Makeup Brushes and I hope this post will inspire you to start cleaning your brushes more regularly, if you aren’t already. The more you clean them, the easier and less time-consuming it will be and your skin will 110% thank you for it.
I’d love to know- how often do you currently clean your makeup brushes? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!- Cara
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