How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

written by MEGAN STOKES

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Source: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl
Source: Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl

We’re some of the first to say how important quality makeup brushes can be, but what’s equally important is keeping them clean and sanitized so that they will last for years and keep your skin in tip-top shape. But a quick search on how to clean your makeup brushes will make you think it’s a complicated, tedious process—and we’re here to show you otherwise.

We get it: cleaning makeup brushes may not seem like the most glamorous of tasks, but it’s something that should always be a part of your regular beauty routine. Just think about all the dirt and oil that accumulates on those bristles and how terrible it can be on your skin; especially if you continue using them in that condition. Skipping good, regular cleansing can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Not only will cleaning your tools help keep bacteria off your face, but it will also condition those expensive brushes—they should last a very long time, given the investment to purchase the best brushes (which we recommend).

All you need to grab is some baby shampoo and your brush stash. Shall we begin?


1. Run your brush bristles under lukewarm water

Make sure to keep the bristles pointing downwards, avoiding the area where the handle meets the head. If water gets in there, it can loosen the glue that holds the bristles together!


2. Dispense a small amount of baby shampoo into the palm of your hand

About a nickel-sized amount should do the trick. Putting it in your hand will make it so that you have a surface to clean the brushes on. 


3. Swirl the brush bristles into the baby shampoo until it creates a rich lather

In order to get the product out, especially from the inside of the bristles where product and bacteria likes to build up, you have to swirl the brush around in circles in the soap.


4. Rinse the brush head under lukewarm water again

Once all of the dirt, oil, and makeup is out of the brush, run it under warm water. You might have to swirl it around on your hand a bit to get the last bits of product, like foundation or eye shadows that can stain.


5. Squeeze the excess water out of the brush by pulling it in between your thumb and the side of your index finger

If the water that is released is dirty, go ahead and repeat the cleansing process again. Once the water runs clear, you know you’ve done a good job and can move on to the next step.


6. Use a cloth or a paper towel to dry off the bristles, reshaping them as you go

Make sure to lay out your brushes on a flat surface afterward. Many high-end brushes will come with holders that you can keep and use to help reshape them after washing.


7. Don’t forget to clean your other makeup tools

Many people forget their other beauty tools, like eyelash curlers and beauty sponges. Just take a little baby shampoo in between your fingers, massage it in, and then give a quick rinse. To clean your beauty sponge, you can place it in a mason jar with warm water and a little soap and shake it up (basically creating a beauty sponge washing machine). Let it sit about 20 minutes and rinse the sponge clean with water, letting it sit on a towel to dry.


8. Lay your brushes flat to dry overnight

Make sure to keep them in a dry place out of your bathroom where they could collect even more bacteria. 


That’s it! Pretty painless, right? Next time you think your brush has seen better days, think twice before running out to buy a new one. Try giving this method a go first!


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