Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes: The Why And The How

source: flickr user o0o0lulu0o0o

You wash your face every day. You wash your hair every day (or if you’re like me, every once in a while, at least). So why do you NEVER wash your makeup brushes? (Come on. We know a good portion of you lovely readers out there are guilty of this classic beauty faux pas.) Your foundation brush, your blush brush, your eyeshadow brushes … they all collect dirt, oil and bacteria and gunky cosmetic buildup over time. If you don’t commit to cleaning them on a regular basis, you’re merely transferring all this grit and grime over to your complexion (not to mention your makeup), and even into your eyes and mouth. Gross, huh? (Oh, and do you use a facial brush, like the Clarisonic ? Yeah, you need to clean those bristles, too.)  Don’t know how to clean makeup brushes? Read on!

A clean set of brushes will make for easier makeup application (when there’s no oil on the brush for product to stick to, the product you’re using will go on much more evenly), if the cleanliness factor isn’t enough incentive for you. Plus … you may save some money in the long run, as taking care of your makeup brush set will make it last. Finally, clean brushes mean clean pigment—if you notice your cosmetics are changing colors on you, chances are, they’ve been tainted by dirty implements.

The good news is that cleaning your makeup brushes is a simple process. While this simple process will take place once a week in a perfect world, it will take just a few minutes of your time. The how-to:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Using an antibacterial soap (doesn’t matter which one, honestly) and warm water in a small bowl, gently “shampoo” your brushes. Don’t get crazy, now—if you’re overzealous you’ll compromise the shape of the brush, and you obviously don’t want that.
  3. Rinse the brushes with warm water. (I like to let mine soak in clean water for 5 minutes or so, just to make sure all the soap’s really gone.)
  4. Lay the brushes out to dry on a clean towel, and you’re done.
  5. You’re done! The last step in our brush-cleaning guide is really just a piece of advice: if the brush seems old and ratty and cleaning doesn’t fix it, toss it out and get a new one. You’re doing yourself no favors by contaminating your skin and makeup with tools that are past their prime.

I clean all my makeup brushes every Sunday after I put on my makeup, if I opted to wear makeup that day (hey, sometimes Sunday’s couch and movie day). I enjoy starting the workweek on Monday without bacteria-laden beauty tools and I think you will as well.

Do you have any beauty cleanliness tips of your own? Do share!

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