Good makeup brushes can be pricy, but they will last you years if you care for them properly.

spilled powder and liquid makeup with brushes

Thinking of buying new makeup brushes? Think again! Quality makeup brushes can be pricy, but they will last you years if you care for them properly. Cleaning your brushes regularly will make them last longer, and you will notice fewer breakouts and better results from your makeup.

Oils and pigment, from both your makeup and your skin, build up in the bristles of your brushes over time. When you reuse your brushes over and over without cleaning them, the oils get transferred back onto your skin and can make you more prone to breakouts.

It is also important to remember that you should refrain from sharing your makeup and your makeup brushes with others. If you do share brushes, you should clean them thoroughly before using them on your own skin. Makeup is trickier, as you can’t clean a blush or eyeshadow palette, and there is no way to remove the oils that were transferred from the borrower’s brushes.

Here are the dos and don’ts of how to clean your makeup brushes!

  • DO invest in a brush shampoo. Sephora makes a great antibacterial, gentle and conditioning Purifying Brush Shampoo. Simply rinse the hair of the makeup brush with lukewarm water, swirl the brush in the shampoo and then rinse once more with lukewarm water. If there’s a lot of pigment, you may need to repeat the shampoo and rinse cycle. Reshape the brush hairs and lay the brush flat to dry. Some great alternatives to a brush shampoo include baby shampoo (try Johnson’s Baby Shampoo) or gentle facial cleansers (Cetaphil works great). If you use one of these methods, be sure to dilute the shampoo or facial cleanser with warm water before cleaning your brushes.
  • DON’T use hand soap to clean your makeup brushes. Even more generally, don’t use ANY product that you wouldn’t use on your hair or face. Hand soap, as an example, is too harsh for the brushes and can cause them to dry and shed bristles.
  • DO be gentle when cleaning your brushes. Treat the hair on your brush the same way that you treat the hair on your head — you don’t want any of those bristles falling out!
  • DON’T soak your brushes in the sink. When cleaning your makeup brushes, it is important to think RINSE, not SOAK, and focus on the hair of the brush. If you immerse the entire brush in lukewarm water, the adhesive will dissolve over time, and your brush won’t last.

For the best results, clean your brushes weekly or, at the very least, bi-weekly. Your makeup brushes are an investment and cleaning them is so inexpensive, so there’s no reason to put it off! Don’t let bacteria ruin your brushes and your skin.