A 2016 study found that all skin and eye products in salons used by multiple people were contaminated with bacteria. Nineteen percent of the makeup brushes were also found to contain fungus or yeast. So ultimately, what’s the lesson? First, it’s essential to know how to clean makeup brushes, how often to do so, and when to get rid of them altogether.
Every day, we use makeup brushes to paint, contour, and highlight our faces, but we may not always be able to say the same about how often we clean our most frequently used brushes. It’s not enough to give them a good wash about once a month. Keeping our tools clean can help prevent breakouts, say dermatologists and makeup artists. They say we should suds them up more often.
“If a patient’s old makeup is the cause of a new breakout, I’m able to pinpoint it at least once per year. However, there is always the possibility that the makeup brush played a role “Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, Florida, says this. “It’s possible that makeup brushes without antibacterial or antifungal protection will become contaminated with bacteria as they age. As it turns out, makeup brushes do harbor bacteria and fungus, but we don’t know how common this is in our own homes unless we keep an eye on our brushes on a regular basis.”
You may need a step-by-step guide from makeup artists and dermatologists on cleaning makeup brushes if that doesn’t persuade you to do so.
Here are some brush-cleaning tips from the pros, ideas for brush cleaners, tools, and all the information you need to keep your face fungus and yeast free.
How frequently should you wash your makeup brushes?
Makeup artists and dermatologists generally agree that it’s best to clean your makeup brushes regularly. According to Dr. Ciraldo, “I recommend washing makeup brushes once every two weeks or more if you notice any visible makeup on the brush.”
Bobbi Brown prefers to do it once per week for brushing and cleaning. She argues that since these brushes will be applied to your face, it’s essential to keep them clean. However, she’s more forgiving regarding eye shadow and liner brushes. She advises that you should clean it twice a month to keep your eye makeup fresh.
Kat Sketch, a Houston-based makeup artist with over 200 brushes at her disposal, cleans them every two weeks. You should wash more frequently if you do not have access to a complete makeup artist kit. She recommends that most people clean their brushes once a week. If you’re using makeup brushes near your eyes, they’ll quickly become infested with bacteria.
Even if you don’t have acne, regular cleansings will help keep your skin clear. According to Ashleigh Ciucci, a makeup artist, making your makeup brushes last longer and allowing for better product application are two benefits of soaping them up. Because of their porous nature, brush hairs and sponges can hold on to oil, dirt, and bacteria, she explains. Spotty application and complex blending are both symptoms of dirty brushes.
What should you use to clean your makeup brushes?
Water and gentle soap (regular soaps can dry out the bristles, especially if they are made of natural hair) or brush cleanser is the best and most thorough way to clean your tools. After that, it’s as simple as pie.
The Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner is one of Benjamin Puckey’s favorite brush cleaners because it’s made with food-grade solvents to remove the powder, liquid, and wax-based makeup without causing any damage to the brush. However, your favorite face wash may suffice if you don’t want to spend money on a brush-cleansing product. Known for using Philosophy Purity Made Simple facial cleanser, Mario Dedivanovic, the go-to makeup artist for Kim Kardashian, claims that it will do the same for his brushes as it does for his clients’ faces.
Sketch prefers Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleanser for her heaviest brushes, which are dense and filthy. However, she says that one to two minutes is all it takes to get your brush clean, disinfected, and dry.
Cleaning can also be accomplished with some dishwashing liquid. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dish Soap is a favorite of makeup artists like Camara A unique, Allan Avendano, and Dominique Lerma. The latter all use gentle soaps to clean their dishes and silverware. Sulfate-free shampoo is preferred by Dr. Ciraldo, who says, “I like it.” There should be no residue left on the brush from sulfates, which could cause irritation or pore-clogging.
How do you properly clean your makeup brushes?
- You’ll have clean makeup brushes and sponges in just seven simple steps.
First, make use of lukewarm water to wet the bristles before cleaning.
- Cleanse your hand by squeezing a drop of your preferred cleanser into the palm.
- Using your palm, gently massage the tips of the bristles.
- Ensure that the bristles have been thoroughly cleaned.
- Using a clean towel, wring out any remaining moisture.
- Re-shape the brush head to its original form.
- If you let the brush air dry, the bristles will maintain their proper shape because they are hanging over the edge of the counter. However, the bristles of your brushes can become mildewy if they are left to dry on a towel.
During the washing process, make sure the brush’s base (the part that connects to the handle) does not contact any soap or water. Water and detergent can dissolve the glue holding the bristles to the base, causing the bristles to come loose and shed. In addition, the ferrule (the part that connects the bristles to the handle) can be damaged if water seeps into the ferrule, loosening glue and causing the loss of bristles.
What about brush-cleaning tools?
Is there a way to clean brushes without using chemicals?
Even though the method described above is sufficient, some professionals prefer to use specialized beauty tools to ensure the most thorough cleaning possible.
It uses a sponge that looks like a stipple sponge but cleans makeup brushes without soap or water with the Sephora Collection Vera Mona Color Switch Brush Cleaner (Magic!) To clean your brushes, swirl them around the sponge to loosen any powder makeup that has adhered to them. Cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller believes that the sponge’s coarse, porous structure is the key to achieving the desired effect. When the bristles scrape the sponge, “the product’s cleaning power comes from the friction of those bristles against the sponge,” he says. There’s nothing more to it. (Schueller recommends washing it regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.)
The Sigma Spa 2X Brush Cleaning Glove has two sides (one for eye brushes and one for face brushes), eight different textures, and a “double thumb feature,” which is another effective tool for removing both powder and liquid makeup from brushes. When cleaning your makeup brushes, the brand recommends using a glove instead of your bare hands.
How often do you need to clean and replace makeup sponges?
Makeup sponges in bulk are not meant to be reused, so toss them after the first use. In contrast, microbial-resistant sponges such as Beautyblenders can be safely used for four months.
Beverly Hills dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., recommends cleaning Beautyblenders weekly because the sponges can become clogged with dead skin cells, and bacteria can grow unchecked.
When should a makeup brush be thrown out?
Although frequent cleansing can help extend the life of your brushes, there are signs you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to determining that they’re no longer capable of being the best makeup brush possible.
“It’s time to toss your makeup brush when the bristles start to fray, shed, or lose their shape,” says Brown. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to use the right tools in order to achieve the look you desire. If your brushes are too compressed or squashed, they won’t be able to do their job properly.”