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Steps to Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes: Yes, it is Necessary

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

There was definitely (an unfortunate) period of my life, primarily my middle and early high school years, where the need for cleaning my makeup brushes was thrown onto the back burner. This basic hygienic task was simply not part of my routine.

Throughout the years, I developed this realization that this was very problematic. My skin has never been perfect. In middle school and high school, it was far from perfect.

Was it the fact that I was not cleaning my makeup brushes? This is a strong possibility.

Although, it could have been caused by other problems. Either way, my dirty makeup brushes definitely were not solving any existing problems.

As I got older, (and retained more logic) I started taking action after those passing thoughts of, “Man, I wonder if I should be cleaning these.”

I came to the realization that it is a very simple task and is also incredibly satisfying. Here are the steps I now follow once or twice a month to clean my makeup brushes. As you will notice it is quite short, yet it makes all the difference in your makeup application and your skin.

Pick Out those dirty brushes

I try not to overclean any brushes, just to avoid harming them. It probably is not the best to clean your brushes too often.

My ideal range of washing would be once every three weeks. That is what I have found necessary for my brushes. I also use some more than others, just as a result of my routine.

To begin, pick out the brushes that have not been cleaned for a while, and your go to brushes that are used pretty often.

ulta beauty brush and sponge cleanser

I have found a lot of success with this cleanser, and it is not overpriced. There are a bunch of cleansing options out there, some requiring extra (possibly expensive) tools. This might be better for you based on the amount of brushes you use and how intense your product is. For my situation, this product does not break the bank as it is only $10, and does a great job. I spray the cleanser on the bristles and work the product out of the brush. It should foam and the cleanser will begin to break up the product on the brush. I gently swirl the brush in circle motions in the palm of my hand for about 15 seconds and then rinse. I do this a couple times depending on the brush.

wet your brushes

This is the next step to cleaning your brushes. If using the Ulta Beauty Brush and Sponge Cleanser, start by soaking your brush and get it thoroughly damp throughout.


After the makeup is thoroughly cleaned out, I rinse the brush until no bubbles are remaining. Try to get the soap out as much as you can so none is stuck in the bristles.

Pat and Dry

You are practically done! Just pat off the brush gently with a towel and set the to dry. I try to work the brush into the shape it is supposed to be so that it does not try in an odd way.

Now you are done!

When I do this with 10 brushes, it takes about 15 minutes. Sometimes, it takes even less time. It is so easy to underestimate the product build up in your brushes. So, try to give your brushes some love the next opportunity you have to clean them!

A second-year student studying Marketing with a minor in Graphic Design, from the suburbs outside of Philly. She is passionate about art and fashion, and loves spending time on campus drinking coffee, listening to music, and making memories with friends.
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