How to clean your makeup brushes

Even though we know that dirty makeup brushes can cause breakouts and other skin problems, very few can say they regularly clean their facial beauty tools. This is not a surprising factoid, overall cleaning our brushes is boring, repetitive and nobody wants to wait 12 hours for them to dry. As women we have all shared the fear of cleaning our brushes and praying nobody calls last minute to invite you somewhere fancy – could you even imagine?

However, brushes are key to flawless makeup application and we need to give them the love and respect they deserve. In order to do so, our brushes should be cleaned at least once a week as they are a breeding ground for bacteria. Without proper care makeup brushes don’t last as long as they should. Here are a few tips for how to clean your brushes and keep them germ-free.

How to clean your makeup brushes

1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water — Spread out the bristles using your fingers. Avoid getting water on the part of the brush where the bristles meet the handle, known as the ferrule because water will dissolve the glue and cause the bristles to shed.

2. Apply cleanser — There are a few cleaners you can use from anti-bacterial soap, baby shampoo or a cleaner designed for makeup brushes.

3. Gently massage bristles — Swirl the brush in the palm of your hand to lather up the soap before rinsing, You can also use a cleansing mat or glove designed for makeup brushes, rather than the palm of your hand.

Sigma 2X Sigma Spa® Brush Cleaning Glove / £39.50
Where to buy: lookfantastic.com

4. Rinse thoroughly — If there is still residue on the brush, repeat the process.

5. Squeeze and re-form — Squeeze the water out of the brush and re-form the brush head back into its original shape.

6. Let the brush dry — Leave the brush to dry with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter, which will allow it to keep its shape. Avoid leaving them to dry on a towel as the bristles can turn mildewy.

When should I throw away my makeup brushes?

While regularly cleaning your brushes can pro-long their life, there does come a time when they should be retired. Once your makeup brushes begin to fray, shed or lose their shape. So, if your brushes are becoming pinched or squashed it’s time to say goodbye.

How often do I need to replace my makeup sponges?

Regular makeup sponges, the inexpensive ones you can buy in bulk are not meant to be reused — these should be thrown away after a single use.

Sponges, such as BeautyBlenders are meant to be reused and can be used safely for three or four months. As with your makeup brushes, these should be cleaned at least once a week as they can become clogged with skin cells and bacteria.

Candice Farrow

Fashion and lifestyle blogger from North East, England.

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