How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Why Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

If you’ve never cleaned your brushes or don’t know how to, you’re not alone. So many people say the same thing during makeup lessons.

Good hygiene is the main reason to clean your brushes regularly, especially when it comes to those you use to apply liquid products like foundation and concealer. Bacteria loves to grow in damp environments, and you don’t want to transfer any nasty germs to your skin.

Clean brushes also work better and last longer if you look after them. There’s no point in adding quality makeup brushes to your kit if you’re not going to take care of them.

How Often Should They Be Cleaned?

In an ideal world, you’d clean your brushes every time you use them, but that’s not always feasible. If you’re reaching for them every day, then washing them weekly should be your goal. It’s not the most exciting job, but I like to listen to a podcast while I do mine which is a nice way of stacking habits together.

If you experience any skin issues like congested skin, breakouts, acne etc. then washing your brushes more regularly is a must. If your brushes feel stiff or are no longer blending products as well as they used to, they’re probably well overdue a clean.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If I’m giving my brushes a deep clean using water, then I usually wash them at the sink. As I clean my brushes a lot, I have a dedicated pair of rubber gloves to prevent my hands from drying out and help my manicures last longer. I also find the textured areas on the palms of rubber gloves helpful for removing makeup from between bristles.

cleaning makeup brush at sink

Let me walk you through the process, step by step…

1. Start by running your brushes under lukewarm water. You only want to get the bristles wet. Don’t soak the ferrule of the brush (the metal part) or the handle.

2. Dispense a small amount of brush cleanser into the palm of your hand.

3. Swirl the brush into the product to form a rich lather.

4. Rinse the brush head under lukewarm water.

5.  Squeeze out the excess water by pulling the brush head between your thumb and the side of your index finger.

6. Use a cloth/paper towel to dry off the bristles, reshaping as you go.

7. Lay brushes flat to dry overnight. Whatever you do, don’t stand brushes up to dry as the water can drip down and, over time, loosen the glue that holds the bristles together.

What Products Should I Be Using?

Baby shampoo is a popular choice to clean makeup brushes. On the plus side, it’s very affordable. However, while it will clean your brushes, it doesn’t have any anti-bacterial properties. This is something to think about if you struggle with breakouts.

Isoclean has antibacterial benefits and easily strips makeup from your brushes. There are two variations available – one comes with a tray to clean your brushes in and the other is a spray that dries instantly, making it ideal for spot cleaning. MAC Brush Cleanser works in a similar way, and for a deeper clean, you can also mix it with water.

Personally, I don’t feel the need for a makeup brush cleaning ‘tool’, but there are lots of options available from textured mats you can swipe your brushes along to devices that spin to clean and dry them.

Find Out More

I fill my Bespoke Makeup Lessons with practical hints, tips and product recommendations just like this. Learn more and book your lesson here. I also share plenty of beauty inspiration and advice on Instagram.

The post includes affiliate links which means I’ll earn a small amount if you use them to make a purchase. This does not affect the price you pay. Many of the products listed are available from Look Fantastic. Use the code LFTFLAURENELLE to receive a discount on your purchase. When you do, I’ll earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting my small business.