How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

When do you clean your brushes?

You don’t have to clean your brushes every day. As long as your skin is clear and you aren’t dealing with any allergies or infections, we recommend lightly wiping the bristles on a towel in between uses, which will extend the amount of time you can go between washes. Wet washing once a week isn’t realistic for most people, but once or twice a month is ideal. If you are oily and prone to breakouts, wash more consistently. For concealer and foundation brushes, at least once a week to prevent a buildup of product is best. 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 are your brush-cleaning options?

Just like different hair textures have different needs, so do brushes. Fine-haired ones need to be treated with the utmost care as they’re cleaned to avoid breakage, while coarse-bristled tools need to be conditioned so they don’t get rough. And take some extra time washing your synthetic styles, especially if you use them for applying cream products like foundation – because they aren’t porous and don’t absorb any oils, you have to be careful not to let them get coated and weighed down.
When you’re actually washing your tool, let its shape guide you. Domed or round brushes can be swirled, while flatter shapes should be dragged from side to side. If you work against the shape of the brush, you can end up distorting the hair pattern or damaging the hairs. While you might think that isn’t such a big deal — mussed or broken bristles means a messy application. And, when you’re creating highly precise looks like a cat eye, you don’t want your tool working against you.

How do you clean your brushes?

For a deeper clean, we recommend a good quality professional salon shampoo OR our Beauty Blender Sponge Cleanser (excellent!). They’re both very gentle on bristles. For synthetic brushes – a tiny drop of dish detergent in warm water will break up any oil that’s accumulated. To clean your brushes use a towel…a textured surface grips into the brush hairs which helps to pull out the oils and pigments. For super delicate or stained brushes, just softly swirl them in the palm of your hand until they’re clean. Always remember to keep the base of the brush head away from soap and water. The bristles are glued to the base, and water and detergent can cause the glue to disintegrate and the bristles to come loose and shed.

How do you dry your brushes?

When it comes to preserving the shape of your brushes, it’s all about how you let it dry post wash. Even if it gets bent or splayed during washing, you can wet it down again to reset the hair pattern. Gently squeezing wet brushes in a paper towel to soak up extra moisture then reshaping the head with your hand. Above all, don’t be rough with it. If you spin, shake, or flick your brush, you’ll get the hairs out of place and they’ll dry frizzy, the same way your own hair would if you shook it out instead of combing or brushing it. Additionally, being harsh while cleaning a brush can loosen the glue in the ferrule (the metal between the handle and the bristles), damaging it irreparably.
Rinse the bristles, squeeze out the excess moisture with a clean towel, reshape the brush head, and let the brush dry with its bristles hanging off the edge of a counter to get 360 degree air circulation. This allows the brush head to dry into a perfect shape so you won’t get a matted shape on one side like you would if you set it down on a flat surface. Never let your brushes dry on a towel—the bristles can become mildewed.