I’ve been a bad, bad girl … I have not cleaned my makeup brushes in a very long time. Well ever really. So it’s no wonder why my skin has been a little temperamental lately now that I’m starting to wear more makeup again!
A dirty makeup brush can mean more acne because every time you use it you’re potentially picking up toxins, dead skin cells, oils and bacteria that are sitting on your skin, so next time you use it you’re putting all of that yucky stuff right back on again. Especially if you’ve been using your brush when you’ve got active acne. Anything you touch your face with or apply to your face should be clean, clean clean, so keeping your makeup brush toxin-free is essential.
Washing your brushes will also extend the life of the brush. Which makes sense if you think about it. Anything you look after, take care of and regularly wash is naturally just going to last longer. So if you’re like me and made a big investment when you purchased your top quality brush, then you want to make sure you get as much use out of it as you can.
And this goes for all sponges and tools that you use to apply your makeup. Everything needs to be regularly cleaned!
How to wash your makeup brush
I like everything the natural way so natural methods for cleaning my brush are the best for me. But there are a couple of options, so choose the one that fits best with you.
1. The vinegar and water method
This is natural, cheap and easy because you’ve probably already got some vinegar lying around at home. Vinegar is also a natural disinfectant so while you are cleaning, you’re disinfecting too!
Use twice as much cold or luke-water as vinegar. Simply mix in a bucket or bowl and dip your brushes in, give a bit of a scrub, then rinse off with running water.
You can also use Tea Tree Oil instead of vinegar.
2. The shampoo method
Run your brushes under cold or luke-warm water, then apply a tiny amount of shampoo. Give the bristles a scrub then rinse thoroughly with running water until there are no traces of soap left and the water runs clear. Repeat until no makeup at all comes out of the brush or into the water when you lather it up.
I use a natural shampoo so this is my preferred method (and yes, I did go and clean my brushes half way though writing this article!!). I also feel as though the shampoo is getting off a lot more of the makeup gunk than the vinegar method would. Although I might start dipping my brushes into a little vinegar or Tea Tree Oil and water after they’ve had the shampoo scrub because I like the idea of the disinfecting action of the vinegar.
How to dry your brushes
You’ll need to first get the excess water out of the brush by gently squeezing the bristles from base to tip. Then leave the brushes to air dry on a towel.
Make sure you always leave your brushes to lie flat while drying, or even better – hang them up with the bristles facing the ground. If you stand them up to dry with the bristles facing the ceiling, then water will run down to the base which can mess with the glue that fastens the bristles into place. So it’s best if you lie your brushes flat on a towel or air dry.
Washing your brushes at night just before you go to bed is a great idea because while they’re drying you won’t be able to use them!
In case of emergencies you may want to keep a spare brush around (hey, a cheap brush is okay as a spare). And whatever you do, never ever use a hair dryer to dry your brushes because the excessive heat can damage the glue and bristles.
Also don’t boil your brushes, microwave them, use conditioner to clean them or pull and scrub at the bristles too much. I guess just be gentle and use your common sense :)
How often should you wash your brushes?
Apparently weekly is the best but fortnightly is okay too if you forget. After seeing what came out of my brush when I washed it I’m definitely going to get into the habit of washing mine once a week. Regular brush washing will also be great for my skin’s health, and it will make my beautiful brush last a lot longer.