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Makeup Brush Care 101

You need to clean your makeup brushes for the same reasons you clean your skin – to get rid of makeup build-up and prevent break-outs! In this article we break down how and when to clean your makeup brushes, as well as when to throw them away.

When to Clean

High quality makeup brushes will last years if you give them proper care. Dermatologists recommend that you thoroughly wash your brushes, sponges and beauty blenders weekly to minimize breakouts. Makeup experts also recommend spritzing your makeup brushes and sponges with a light cleanser if you wear makeup daily. If you own expensive brushes, consider conditioning the bristles with coconut or olive oil once a month. This will keep them from becoming brittle and breaking, just like conditioning your hair does!

How to Clean

Clean your makeup brushes once a week using the following steps:

  1. Squeeze a dollop of your chosen makeup brush cleaner into a glass and fill with warm water. You can use a gentle dish soap or buy a drugstore makeup brush cleanser if you have sensitive skin. For a natural alternative, try a squeeze of lemon juice and a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Stir your brushes in the mixture and massage the bristles to remove any gunk – you can buy a makeup brush cleaning mat or glove if you want to massage them against a textured surface.
  3. Rinse the brushes clean and carefully squeeze out any excess water.
  4. To dry your brushes, you can lay them flat on a paper towel. However, you can hang them upside down to extend their life to the fullest!

For daily cleaning, use a drugstore daily brush cleaner or some mineral water with alcohol. Air dry them using your preferred method. Clean makeup sponges by dampening your sponge with water, massaging it with a cleaner, squeezing it to remove excess liquid and letting it air dry.

When to Replace

It's time to replace your makeup brushes when they start to shed, lose their shape or smell after cleaning. However, most brushes can last up to 5 years with frequent cleanings and conditioning. Makeup sponges have much shorter lives – with frequent cleaning, they can last up to a month. However, many are meant to be thrown away after every use. It's definitely time to toss them if they start to make your makeup look muddy or blotchy.


Ashley Yamamoto
Ashley Yamamoto

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