Beauty Tips
BY: LBL Team

Everything You Need to Know About Cleaning Cosmetic Brushes

How to clean your makeup brushes

Most of us use our cosmetic brushes every day to apply makeup, but how often do those brushes get cleaned? Certainly not as often as they should. According to the majority of dermatologists, you should clean your cosmetic brushes at least once a week. Why? Because cosmetic brushes harbor bacteria that contribute to nasty breakouts and other skin issues. Not only that but cleaning your cosmetic brushes on a regular basis helps to extend the life of bristles and ensures makeup goes on smoother. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning cosmetic brushes.

First off, which soap should I use?

Some makeup artists prefer dish soap, while others prefer baby shampoo. Dish soap removes everything from cosmetic brushes, including tough oils. All you need to do is add a few small drops of dish soap to a cup of warm water and then whisk together. It also works on makeup sponges  simply allow makeup sponges to sit in a glass containing warm water and dish soap for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water, dab on a paper towel, and then microwave for a few seconds to kill bacteria.

You can also purchase specific cosmetic brush cleansers, such as Sigma Beauty Sigmagic Brushampoo, e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner, and Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner.

What’s the right way to clean cosmetic brushes?

Believe it or not, there’s a right way and a wrong way to clean cosmetic brushes. Follow these steps to get your brushes squeaky-clean:

  1. Wet the bristles of the brush with lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze some dish soap, gentle soap, or brush cleaner into a mug and fill with warm water.
  3. Gently massage the bristles of the brush, and swirl your brush around in water to remove all the oil, makeup, and other grime.
  4. Rinse the bristles with water and then squeeze the water out with a clean towel.
  5. Reshape the brush.
  6. Allow the cosmetic brush to dry naturally with its bristles hanging off the edge of a counter.
  7. Whatever you do, don’t dry brushes vertically since it will loosen the glue, leading to bristle loss.

What about brush cleaning tools?

You’ve likely seen brush mats, brush sponges or special cleansing towels at your local beauty shop. While the right cleanser will get the job done, these tools can help expedite the process and assist in breaking down makeup particles and getting a deeper clean throughout your bristles.

What about makeup sponges?

We’re in a time where the beauty blender reigns supreme, so it’s important to keep this tool clean, too! Unlike one-use sponges, these microbial-resistant can be safely reused for three to four months, with regular cleaning once a week.

When should I replace my cosmetic brushes?

Essentially, once you start to notice your brushes aren’t getting as clean as they once did, it’s probably time to replace them. You should purchase new brushes when you realize your brushes are shedding and not working as smoothly as they once did. They can last a very long time with proper care, but nothing lasts forever!

Squeaky clean

Caring for your cosmetic brushes doesn’t have to be difficult. All it requires is the right kind of soap and techniques, and a little weekly maintenance. Keep your cosmetic brushes clean regularly, and both your skin and brushes will remain in tip-top shape!

  1. “How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes (and How Often You Should Do It),” Allure, July 14, 2017.
  2. “How to Clean Makeup Brushes the Right Way,” Elle, February 8, 2018.
  3. “How to Properly Clean Your Makeup Brushes,” Good Housekeeping, August 31, 2017.


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