Your makeup brushes are supposed to help you cover up skin’s imperfections–not create them. Sorry to sound like the 5 o’clock news, but makeup brushes collect bacteria, dead skin and natural oils; so every time you use them, there is the potential to spread that bacteria across your entire face, causing clogged pores and acne. Washing your brushes regularly is the first commandment of clear skin, and the only way to keep your face free of bacteria.
This commonly overlooked step should be a part of your weekly beauty routine–like doing a face masque or tweezing your eyebrows (shoot, I gotta do that!). Not only is washing your brushes good for your skin, but it helps extend the life of your makeup. We recommend washing your face brushes (like your blush, bronzer and powder brushes) at least once every 1-2 week, while eye brushes (shadow and liner brushes) should be washed after every use to prevent colors from muddling together. Not only is the eye area more prone to bacterial infection, but unwashed brushes can cause streaky application on the skin (this is due leftover facial oils and/or product residue in the hairs).
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive brush cleaners and sprays. Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo ($9) is a safe and cheap alternative (avoid using handsoap – the detergents in them will strip your brushes). To quickly and efficiently wash your makeup brushes, follow these simple steps:
1. Add a quarter sized amount of baby shampoo to a cup of lukewarm water. Swirl your brush around in the water for a few seconds. Make sure you do not completely sumerge the metal part of the brush into the water. This can loosen the glue and cause the metal to separate from the brush handle.
2. Holding the brush facing downward, rinse your brush under lukewarm water
3. Squeeze out the excess water. Smooth out the bristles are reshape them into their original form.
4. Lay the brushes flat on a towel and let them dry overnight. Do NOT let them dry standing up.
Cleaning your makeup brushes is easy and inexpensive so there’s no excuse to not do it. Combine these brush cleaning tips with our makeup expiration date rules (check out that article here) and you’ll never have to worry about your makeup working against you again.
For more beauty posts, check out the matte nail trend, our guide to all your lipstick problems and 5 beauty products you should never splurge on (and 5 that you should).