Have you ever thought about your make-up brushes and how dirty they can get if you’re using them regularly?

Every time you use your make-up brushes, not only do they retain some of the make-up that you’re applying, they also collect dead skin cells, natural oils and sweat from your face, as well as bacteria living on your skin or transferred from your fingertips. As they become more clogged with make-up and debris, your brushes become less effective at applying make-up and will start spreading bacteria around your face too – which can lead to spots and break-outs on your skin.

run your makeup brush gently under running rater

Regular cleaning will keep your brushes soft and remove old make-up, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells. It seems like a bit of a chore, but it only takes a couple of minutes to clean your brushes with this quick washing technique – and it’s worth it to know that you’re keeping your skin clean and healthy at the same time!

You will need:

  • Your make-up brushes
  • Bathroom or kitchen sink
  • Gentle shampoo – baby shampoo is perfect because it’s gentle and soft on the bristles (and won’t break the bank!)
  • A clean sponge or washcloth (don’t worry if you don’t have any nearby, you can use the palm of your hand instead)
  • A flat surface and clean towel to dry your brushes afterwards

remove as much makeup as possible before cleaning by rubbing brush on kitchen towel or tissue

Before you start washing your brushes, make sure you remove as much debris as possible onto a dry tissue or cloth. This will get rid of any build-up of product and make them easier to clean.

Working up a lather

Once you’ve removed any excess make-up from your brush, dampen the bristles with clean water.

Swirl your brush in baby shampoo to clean

Pour a small amount of baby shampoo into the palm of your hand or onto a clean sponge or washcloth. Swirl the damp make-up brush into the pool of shampoo, gently working it into a lather (adding extra water if necessary). Once you’ve cleaned all the bristles and loosened any debris, rinse the brush in clean water and clean your hand or washcloth. Repeat this process with some more shampoo until all of the dirt and make-up has been removed (it should only take a couple of rinses).

Top tip: Take care not to get much water on the metal part, where the bristles join the handle (known as the ferrule). If too much water gets into this section, not only can the metal start to rust, but it also loosens the glue holding the bristles in place. You don’t want your make up brushes to start falling apart!

Leaving to dry

When your brush is clean, gently squeeze out any remaining water and smooth the bristles into shape with your fingers. If it’s a round brush, try forming a circle with your thumb and forefinger, and pass your brush through the gap. A flatter foundation or eyeliner brush can be shaped between two straight fingers or a finger and thumb.

leave your brushes to air dry on a towel

Wash your brushes one-by-one and lay them down to air-dry on a towel. If you can, try to place them so the brush head is hanging off the edge of a surface (such as a desk, coffee table or chest of drawers). That way, the air can circulate around the whole brush and it will dry faster.

Top tip: Don’t stand your brushes up to dry, as the water will gather at the bottom of the bristles and loosen the glue holding them together.

Keep it clean

Wash your brushes as often as you feel necessary – perhaps every month or so, depending on how frequently you use them. Foundation and concealer brushes come into more contact with your face (and the creamy products tend to build up more on the brush), so they’ll probably need cleaning more often than your powder and eyeshadow brushes.

Top tip: If your brushes feel dirty or sticky when you use them, or you don’t feel like they’re blending your make-up very well, it could be time to give them a little TLC and freshen them up with a wash.

Watch out for tons more beauty hints & tips coming soon!

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