Why is brush care important? As makeup artists we are trained to not only clean, but to sanitise our brushes for each client. But why is it important for you?
It’s time to face facts! Cleaning your makeup brushes eliminates makeup, oil, dirt, and bacteria that can get trapped in the bristles; all of which can block your pores causing pesky pimples, blackheads, milia, and even contaminate your makeup.
Another great reason to clean your brushes is to extend their lifespan. Brushes can be expensive. Regular and thorough cleaning maintains their quality, keeping them soft and in shape.
It may seem like basic hygiene but it can often go overlooked. As more and more cosmetic companies and pharmacy brands are marketing specific brushes to everyday women, good brush care is just as important for your skin and your investment.
In general, I recommend cleaning personal brushes once every week to 10 days. Here are a few options I recommend for cleaning brushes:
It's all in the name. This is a quick way to switch colours, reuse a brush for another purpose or to keep things clean between applications.
- Spray the brush with a daily brush cleaner (Sephora, Australis, MAC and Napoleon all have great ones).
- Swipe the brush back and forth on paper towel until the brush wipes clear. Try to move in the direction you would normally use the brush to maintain the shape of the bristles.
- Then, lay flat to dry. Using this method the brush will be fully dry within roughly 60 seconds.
As most of these cleaners contain alcohol this will remove most of the product and bacteria so you can quickly use the brush again.
Unfortunately, only cleaning your brushes this way is quite harsh on the bristles and can cause them to get dry and scratchy over time, so its best to try to give them a regular deep clean too.
The aim here is to truly disinfect your brushes and remove any built up bacteria that could cause infection or spread disease. All you need is an antibacterial brush cleaner from a makeup supply store or an antibacterial hand soap.
I like to use Palmolive Antibacterial Hand Soap. Once a month, I also like to add a teaspoon of olive oil to the hand soap to help condition my natural hair brushes.
- Rinse out most of the residual makeup by running your brushes under lukewarm water. Make sure to point the brush on a downward angle and only get the actual bristles wet. Where the bristles are glued into the handle of the brush is called the ferrule and getting water trapped in the ferrule can loosen the glue over time.
- Once moist, dip you brush into your cleaning solution and work up a lather by swirling the brush in the palm of your hand.
- Then, rinse the bristles under running water. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the water runs clear.
- Wipe your brush on a clean towel to soak up as much moisture as possible, and reform the brush back into shape if needed.
- Lay your brushes to dry on a slightly rolled towel as shown. This helps to draw moisture out of the brushes so that it doesn’t get trapped in the ferrule.
Aim to wash your brushes at night or right after your apply your makeup as they can take a few hours to dry.
Occasionally, I like to do what I call a “cosmetic clean”. Follow the same steps as a deep clean, but switch your antibacterial product for a clarifying or baby shampoo. This helps remove stained colour from brushes and makes them look and feel like new.
Just remember that these products are not often antibacterial so it is still important to sanitise your brushes by giving them a deep clean.
PRO TIP: Stubborn synthetic brushes? Try an eye makeup remover. We mostly use synthetic brushes for cream and liquid products like gel liner, which can often be oil or wax based. Eye makeup remover breaks down oils and disintegrates the remaining product quickly. Then follow up with either a quick or deep clean to get rid of any residue from the remover and sanitise the brush.
I really love sharing these tips and tricks with you. If you have any thoughts to share, I'd love to hear from you - especially if you have any more great brush care tips!