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How to Clean your makeup brushes PROPERLY and why it is important to clean them EVERY WEEK!

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Ok, so I gotta be straight with you. It scares me how many people don’t clean their makeup brushes, and even worse… the percent of people who didn’t know they had to! EEKK. So after posting this blog post, I am hoping to bring down that percentage by A LOT!! So please… for my sake and for your skins sake, GO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES.

Let's start with the simple few steps on HOW to clean your makeup brushes. Don’t get discouraged; this shouldn’t take you to long to do. Of course, the duration of this habit/task/chore (whatever you are doing to deem this NECISSARY lifestyle hack) is dependent on how many makeup brushes you have.

First things first, pick a day! If you are like me, ROUTINE is your best friend. I clean my makeup brushes every Sunday. This is because Sunday is my day to get things done. This also means, my makeup brushes are ready for my week, so that’s a big bonus.

Now, get out some towels (preferable old clean ones) and get ready. Turn the tap on to a lukewarm temperature (not to cold and never to hot, it's time to play Goldie locks). Once you have found the perfect temperature, angle your makeup brushes downwards and spin the brushes from side to side. This is so all the bristles get wet. You do not want to hold the makeup brush upwards for a few reasons, one being the pressure from the water can be too harsh and two it can water log the bristles and loosen the adhesive that is holding all the hairs together. Once you have made all your makeup brushes damp, you can then start with cleansing your brushes.

Now, take baby shampoo (I recommend ABC Baby hair and body wash from Arbonne- I will explain why later) put a dollop in the palm of your hand and or the thing you are using to clean your makeup brushes. When I say “thing” I am referring to the multiple options on the market. I am sure you have seen the little finger or hand pads with a lifted, bumpy surface from QUO, Stigma and or Danielle (to name a few brands). I have also seen a spinner device for cleaning makeup brushes, there seems to be so many options on the market! If just using your hand put a little cleanser in your hand and go in circular motions with the damp brush, the cleanser will start to suds up. After doing this you can place the makeup brush down and pick up another and do this for the rest of your makeup brushes. You may find the cleanser gets dirty from the residue from the brushes, if this happens… simply rinse the cleanser off of your hands and give yourself a new drop!

Once you have dampened and cleansed all the makeup brushes it is now time to rinse the cleanser off. Again, using lukewarm water. Make sure you are doing a good cleanse to rinse off all the suds. This is when I also do a gentle pinch and squeeze to push out the extra makeup and soapy suds (I usually do this after I cleanse out the suds and still have the water running along the brushes). You should see through all these steps the makeup seeping out and off of the bristles.

Once the final rinse is completed, gently take the makeup brushes and go in circular motions on a clean dry towel to buff dry the brushes, now lay the brushes out to dry on a flat surface (preferably with the bristles hanging off the edge of a counter. This is so the brush doesn’t dry flat) and voila! Your makeup brushes should be ready for the next morning’s makeup application.

So, now that I have taken you through the step-by-step process on HOW to clean your makeup brushes, I NEED to go over the most important part. WHY.

Why wash your makeup brushes?

First thing to note unrelated to skin, is that cleaning your makeup brushes regularly will prolong the life of your makeup brushes and keep the bristles nice and smooth. Now, in regards to skin, cleaning your makeup brushes helps keep bacteria away from your face, which simply means, less breakouts! Who doesn’t want that? We are all looking for a simple way to control your blemishes, right? I know everyone is nodding their heads right now!

Makeup brushes are used to apply makeup to the face, the makeup sits in the bristles and bacteria is constantly fed if never cleaned. Think about it. You use your makeup brushes one morning, then the next, and the next and so fourth, if you never clean them… the buildup of makeup, oil, bacteria and dead skin is OUT OF THIS WORLD! Bactria lives and multiplies in warm, damp and dirty places. Which means, your makeup brushes is the PERFECT home for bacteria to live and grow. So, logically, if the bacteria is living and growing in your makeup brushes, once you use them on your face... guess where the layers of bacteria and mites are now… yes living and multiplying on your face! Mites? YES. Is this grossing you out? Good...Lovingly, that’s exactly my intention, sorry not sorry (blowing you a kiss to soften the tough love) Get the point? It is important to wash your makeup brushes! Cleaning your makeup brushes not only minimizes the potential of NEW breakouts, but it avoids feeding the existing breakouts.

I said I would go into more detail on why I recommend Arbonne’s ABC Baby Hair and body wash. I suggest this as a makeup brush cleanser for a few reasons. It is gentle enough for the makeup hairs so that the hairs stay hydrated and cared for, and so the adhesive that is holding the brush together is not compromised. I also like it because I know the product is free of many nasty ingredients. All Arbonne products are vegan, gluten free and botanically based. It is also free from using parabenes, synthetics, fragrances and dies! These are important to make note of because then I know if by any chance there is any residue from the cleanser left on the makeup brushes it is not harmful to the skins surface. I am sure you are wondering… but why the baby line? Couldn’t I just use a facial cleanser then? This is because this product is extra gentle; it is designed for babies. So, if it is designed for baby’s gentle skin, I know it is safe enough and gentle enough to be used for makeup brushes! It also is in a bigger size bottle then your facial cleanser, therefore more cost effective! This product is much cheaper then the cleanser options, so its my fav option for my makeup brushes!

I hope this helps, and clears a few things up. I also hope that you have jumped up off your seat and followed the step-by-step process and that you makeup brushes are air drying now, as you finish reading this blog. Please let me know if you found this helpful and like always… I am always up to do more research / submit another blog post!

Cheers, and good luck with your new routine!

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