e.l.f. Discovery

How to Correctly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

By Jeanette Crutchfield

Be honest... when was the last time you washed your brushes? If it wasn’t in the last week, your makeup brushes could compromise your complexion. It’s super important to always use clean face brushes when doing your makeup.

Why it’s Important to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

The number one reason to keep your makeup brushes clean is to protect your skin from any harmful bacteria that may be in your brushes after using them on your skin. This is especially true for brushes that are used for cream or liquid makeup products.

Typically, these products have water in them which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Brushes can also collect residue from your products as well as dirt and oil from your skin. Keeping your brushes clean not only helps prevent bacteria growth, but also helps your brushes stay in better shape for longer.

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Any brushes you use with a powder should be washed once a week. In between washings, simply brush any excess product off the bristles with a soft, clean cloth. However, if you're using different product colors in between uses, you may want to wash your face brushes more often.

If you are using a cream or liquid product with a brush, you will want to wash it after every use. These products typically have water in them which can breed bacteria. While we all try to get away with not washing our brushes that often, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, you might want to consider a quick daily wash to keep your brushes clean and in pristine condition.

What to Use to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

There are many types of brush cleansers out there to care for your brushes. There are sprays that are designed for a quick daily cleaning of your brushes. These work best with brushes that were used with powder makeup products. You simply spritz it onto your dry brush, swirl into a soft cloth, and let dry.

For heavier-duty cleaning, there are brush shampoos and brush soaps that are designed for a deeper clean than just a daily cleanser and can help get cream and liquid makeup out of your brushes.

How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes

We recommend wetting the bristles of the brush with warm water. Get a little bit of the cleanser onto the bristles and then begin to gently massage the bristles into your hand.

Pro Tip: Always run water down your brush, not up. You want to minimize the amount of water that gets into the handle of the brush. Water in the handle can erode the glue that is holding the bristles in the handle.

Once the brush rinses clean, gently shake the brush to get any excess water off and then reshape the bristles with your fingers. Lie the brush flat on a soft absorbent towel and let completely dry.

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