Please Clean Your Makeup Brushes

This is a PSA to all my fellow makeup lovers and beauty gurus: please, clean your brushes. Most of us skip that part of our makeup routine because it can be time consuming and inconvenient to scrub every single brush and sponge we use. As much as I wish our dirty brushes can be cleaned at the snap of our fingers, the reality is, we need to do it ourselves.

You should be washing your brushes at least once a week, especially if you wear makeup everyday. Foundation and concealer brushes are probably the most used ones with the most bacteria build-up. If you’re not regularly washing them, you can expect your pores to get clogged with oil, dirt, and germs building up on the surface of your skin. Once this happens, your skin can severely break out, and no one wants to deal with waking up to a new pimple on the tip of their nose.

Your favorite makeup brands probably have their own brush cleansers, and honestly, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. You can even use baby shampoo or gentle face cleansers to make sure the bristles don’t dry out. Believe it or not, some people even use dish soap to clean their brushes. As long as you stay away from vinegar soaks and alcohol-based cleansers, your brushes will be just fine. Most makeup users fear the bristles of their brushes will get damaged or weak after washing them repeatedly, but that’s rarely the case.

To clean your tools, simply wet them with warm water, pump your cleanser of choice onto the bristles, and swirl the brush gently into the palm of your hand. Once you think you’ve gotten the bulk of the dirt out of the brush, rinse it again with warm water. You can even swirl the bristles onto your hand a second time to double-check that all the makeup has been washed away.

Next, gently squeeze the brush with a clean towel and make sure all the excess water and soap has been removed. If the shape of the brush got a little messed up during the cleansing process, you can quickly reshape the bristles while they’re wet, so they’re smooth and upright when they dry. You can let your brushes air dry by laying them on a surface and having the head of the brush, the part with all the soft bristles, hang off the edge. This maintains the shape of the brush and prevents mildew from building up. There’s also a ton of makeup cleansing tools you can buy, if you don’t want to use the palm of your hand, such as textured rubber mats used to rub the soapy bristles onto. Using your hand does the trick, though, if you don’t want to spend money on extra tools.

Let’s be real. It’s possible that your makeup brushes will start to shed their bristles. If you notice your favorite makeup brush has frayed, dry bristles, toss it. I know, it can be difficult to let go of the brush you’ve had for three years, but I promise, it needs to be done. Most makeup sponges can be used for about four months, so try to be mindful of how long you’ve been using them.

Once you rid your brushes and sponges of all the built-up foundation and concealer, your makeup will feel fresher on your skin. It’ll look smoother, and it’ll even be easier to blend!

If you’re still unsure how to correctly clean your brushes, there are plenty of beauty guru YouTubers who post video tutorials.