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Why Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes is So Important

by Ané Auret 4 min read

Why Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes is So Important and 3 Reasons To Clean Your Makeup Brushes At Least Weekly Plus Mistakes to Avoid when cleaning makeup brushes How to clean makeup brushes Makeup brush cleaning tips

5 Reasons To Clean Your Makeup Brushes At Least Weekly


I’ll admit it’s not the most fun or exciting thing in the world… cleaning your makeup brushes and beauty sponge blenders can feel a little boring! But it’s a bit like going to the gym - you feel so glad once you’ve done it and you sit down with your sparkly clean set of brushes to do your makeup the next day. 


It does feel good, and you know you’re doing a really great thing for your skin, your makeup application and your brushes.


Using clean makeup brushes and blenders is one of my top skincare tips.


Putting time, energy and money into a skincare routine and then top it off with dirty makeup brushes is just plain counterproductive.


According to one Huffington Post survey,only 61% of women clean their makeup brushes once a month, if at all.  Almost two-fifths (39%) of women cleaned their brushes less than once a month, with 22% admitting to never cleaning them at all.


My top tip is to find a way to make it fun - and multi-task so you can really make it count. It usually takes me anything between 5-10 minutes to wash my set of makeup brushes.  

In that time I apply a face mask and make sure I have a podcast or some music to listen to, call a friend or just take a bit of quiet time out. 

That way, the time flies and seeing your brushes come out clean is really very satisfying.


5 Key Reasons Why Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes Is So Important 


1. Dirty makeup brushes can wreak havoc with your skin and can cause much more damage than just a simple breakout or skin irritation.

Daily use accumulates sebum, impurities, pollution, dust, product buildup and dead skin cells, including harmful bacteria like staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. Coli. 

I find that brushes for powder products clean easier than those used for cream products, ie. foundation. 

I usually wash my foundation brush every 2-3 days as it's so much quicker and easier to keep it clean - and I don't get all the product buildup in the process. 


2. Not cleaning your makeup kit regularly affects the quality of your makeup application and blending products.

You can have the best makeup brushes in the world, but if they're dirty and full of product buildup, you will not get that flawless look and application you want. 

Product buildup can affect the shape of the brush as well as its ability to pick up and lay down pigment, and of course, being able to blend properly.

Regular cleaning can help restore the shape of the brush head, making it easier for you to apply your favourite products with precision and accuracy.


3. Extend the lifetime of your brushes and the investment you've made 

An investment in makeup brushes is like investing in a really good set of kitchen knives for cooking or paintbrushes if you’re an artist. 

Taking care of your tools will help to make them last longer and protect your investment while you keep getting good results.  

Removing old makeup from the bristles and cleaning off any dirt or oil buildup can keep the bristles from becoming hard, brittle, losing their shape or otherwise damaged and discoloured over time.


4.  Avoid cross-contamination 

Dirty makeup brushes can easily contaminate your various makeup products and can transfer bacteria, pathogens and other impurities we discussed above.  

By regularly cleaning your brushes you also take care of the products you use every day. 


5.  A good cleaning habit is good for overall skin hygiene and health 

Remember to clean your makeup brushes, tools and applicators as part of your weekly beauty/skincare routine.  

Look through everything you use on a daily basis, including eyelash curlers, hair bands, tweezers - and don’t forget the inside of your makeup bag! 


Mistakes To Avoid When Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

1. Submerging and / or soaking in water. Soaking the handles will damage and dissolve the glue used between the bristles and the brush handle and lead to brush shedding.


2. Using very hot or boiling water. This could also affect the bonding between bristles and the handle and cause shedding. Lukewarm water is best.


3. Drying incorrectly. Lay your brushes flat over the sink, or at a downward angle - or if you can hand them up with the brush heads pointing downwards. Avoid hot hair dryers and give yourself enough time for your brushes to be dry the next day. The bigger brushes especially don’t always dry overnight when the temperatures are cooler. 


4. Not having a regular routine to clean your makeup brushes.  Cleaning your brushes should happen at least weekly, with your main face brushes ideally every 3-4 days.  When you're cleaning regularly your brushes will be much easier and quicker to clean too. 


How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

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