7 Reasons To Clean Your Makeup Brushes More Often

Being a girl is hard sometimes. We have to deal with hair, makeup, nails, and high heels which requires a lot of work and time commitment. In case you were wondering, no, I did not wake up like this. My mornings are crazy enough trying to juggle getting ready with remembering to eat breakfast, drink enough coffee, and plan out my day, and more than likely a few of these things will get forgotten in all the madness. The one thing I always struggle to remember is cleaning my makeup brushes.

I will go weeks, sometimes even months (gross, I know) with out cleaning them because time slips away from me and honestly, it’s the last thing on my mind. Eventually my skin breaks out, looks oily, and shows streaks of foundation under my eyes, at which point I wonder, “When was the last time I cleaned my  brushes?”

This is such an essential part of skin care that can easily slip away from me. It always seems like such a hassle to mix together a cleaning solution, soak and scrub my brushes, and wait for them to dry. I’ve always got something to do or somewhere to be that requires a full face of makeup and I just can’t be bothered to take the time to actually do it. But the truth is, cleaning your brushes is essential for skin care, brush care, and even good health. Here are seven reasons to clean your makeup brushes more often, followed by a step by step guide on how to clean them and how often you should.




1. Acne

This one’s a no-brainer. If your brushes, beauty blenders, and applicators are filled with dirt and old makeup, all of that is going directly back into your pores. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blamed breakouts on a new foundation or concealer only to realize I haven’t washed my brushes in forever. You wash your face everyday, why are your brushes any different?


2. Bacteria

No matter how clean your skin is, bacteria is bound to stick to your brushes. Think about the drawer or makeup bag you store them in- when was the last time that was wiped down? And how much residue hairspray is floating around in the air, clinging to your brushes and skin as it falls? This is all in addition to the left over makeup, so needless to say, a lot of bacteria collects on brushes, no matter how careful we are.


3. Oils

Each time we use a brush it absorbs oil from our skin, and each time we reuse the brush that oil seeps back into our pores. Over time the oil on brushes builds and builds making skin appear greasy. The “natural glow” look is great and all, but eventually it will cause you to break out, which is not so great.


4. Uneven Application

When all that makeup sits on your brushes it hardens and creates an uneven surface. Well, an uneven surface means uneven application.  Not only that, but all the old foundation mixes in with the new so you’re applying makeup with an uneven consistency to begin with. This causes streaks and bubbles in foundation which makes it nearly impossible to get an even layer on your skin (also it looks terrible).


5. Skin Irritation

With all that gunk on makeup brushes, skin irritation is a given. Whether dried out brushes are too harsh for your skin, bacteria creates redness, or the oils throw off your natural body chemistry, if you don’t clean your brushes your skin will become irritated in one way or another.


6. Infections

How many times have you put on makeup when you’re sick to cover up your red nose, puffy eyes, and green complexion? Every time, right? It’s nearly impossible to contain all the sneezes and snot during these times, and more than likely a good portion of it ends up on your makeup brushes. Ew. Not only do brushes collect infections, but they can also cause them which is why it’s important to keep them clean.


7. Brush Care

Buying quality makeup brushes can be a serious investment so it’s important to take care of them. A good set can last a lifetime, but only if you clean them regularly! All that dirt, oil, and bacteria drys out the bristles causing them to bend and fan out which can irritate your skin and make applying makeup difficult. The secret to keeping them looking brand new for years is keeping them clean and storing them properly by laying them in a flat, dry area. It’s also a good idea to store them separate from other makeup so no pencil shavings, powder, or dirt/oil gets on them.




How To Clean Makeup Brushes

By now you’re probably convinced that cleaning your brushes often is a must, but what’s the best way to clean them?

For starters, you can simply rinse them in lukewarm water and gently scrub them with an anti-bacterial soap (I just use whatever hand-soap is in my bathroom). You’ll want to run the water in the direction of the bristles so the shape of the brush doesn’t fan out. Once they’re nice and clean, lay them on a towel so they can air dry.

This is a simple way to clean brushes but it can be time consuming to wait for them to dry and often it’s not enough to get them completely clean. I can never seem to remove the color from all the eye shadows, bronzers, blushes, and foundations that pile onto my brushes, and if I wait too long to clean them it can also be difficult to remove oil.

Daily Brush Cleaner $8.50

Two products to help with these dilemmas are the Daily Brush Cleaner and the Solid Blender Cleanser both available at Sephora.

The Daily Brush Cleaner is a liquid made from natural ingredients including tea tree oil, lemon, lime, and grapefruit that you spray onto brushes immediately after use, then dab dry with a tissue. Depending on how much product I use with the brushes, I will spray each brush a few times, wiping off makeup with a tissue between sprays.

All the product comes right off and the best part about it is that you don’t even have to get your brushes wet! The spray dries instantly so your brushes are ready for use immediately after. I love using the Daily Brush Cleaner between applying eye shadows to avoid mixing colors, and I always spray my brushes after each use to avoid any color, dirt, and oil getting stuck in the bristles.

Another great product for occasional use is the Solid Blender Cleanser, which is honestly a miracle worker. I use this product at least once a week on all my brushes and beauty blenders to get rid of all pigment, makeup, oil, and bacteria.

Blender Cleanser $16

It comes with a circular soap-like bar and a drying tray, and using it is so easy! Simply wet the brush or beauty blender and gently scrub with the bar of soap then rinse under warm water and set on drying rack to air dry. I usually repeat these steps 2-3 times for the best results.

Finding these products were life changing and now I actually get excited about cleaning my brushes because of how easy it is!  All three of these methods (soap and water, the Daily Brush Cleaner, and the Solid Blender Cleanser) are great options to get rid of dirt and oil on makeup brushes. I will often alternate between all three, using the Daily Brush Cleaner most often, the Solid Blender Cleanser a little less often, and soap and water the least often.



How Often Makeup Brushes Should Be Cleaned


The general rule for cleaning makeup brushes is at least once a month, but I recommend cleaning them more often than that. I find that the more often I clean my brushes the better my skin and makeup looks. With that being said, I use the Daily Brush Cleaner 2-3 times per week, the Solid Blender Cleanser 2-3 times per month, and soap and water about 1 time per month. It seems like a lot, and at times it feels like a lot, but to avoid the negative effects of all that dirt, oil, old makeup, and bacteria it’s worth it.

So, take the time to clean your brushes more often- your skin will thank you!


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5 Comments on "7 Reasons To Clean Your Makeup Brushes More Often"

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#4 Uneven application is a fact, and it can clearly be seen… I try to keep my brushes clean by cleaning them once a week!

Matea Galeana

LOL I feel so guilty now. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post and now I’m going to go and clean my brushes ASAP!


I had no idea it could cause uneven application!


I truly enjoy this post, because I too love to wash my brushes as soon as I use them.

taylor Reese

ohhhhhh how i need to clean mine!!! I’m so lazy when it comes to it and i hate the task but now im motivated!