Why You Should Clean Your Makeup Brushes More Often

Guest post by Tiffany Brenning

It’s a well-known fact that the right brushes can completely change the application process for the better. Regardless of whether you’re getting into the art of makeup for the very first time or you’re a tried and tested beauty lover, you surely know this by now. But using them isn’t your only responsibility. You should also clean them regularly to maintain healthy skin and hygiene.

What Can Poor Brush Hygiene Cause?

To better understand and assimilate the importance of cleaning your brushes regularly and by the book, let’s have a look at what happens when you don’t respect this recommendation. First of all, your beauty tools will become a playground for bacteria. These attach themselves to the bristles and multiply, which can trigger breakouts and other more serious skin infections.

However, hygiene isn’t the only aspect that will be compromised when your routine isn’t focused on disinfecting these items. Brushes and sponges that are covered in a thick layer of residual product won’t apply your foundation, concealer, or eyeshadow as seamlessly as they would when clean.

Therefore, if you want your contour to be snatched and your eyeshadow to be blended to perfection, you will have to whip out the soap every once in a while. As for the worst-case scenario, improper sanitation of makeup tools creates conditions such as pink eye or even staph infections. Of course, this seldom happens when you are the only person using them.

However, if your friends have recently borrowed them, or if you are a makeup artist working on several clients, this is the grim and unfortunate reality that you are faced with. Why not be safe instead of sorry, and wash the bristles as instructed? You have nothing to lose other than a few hours of your time. When you look at the bigger picture, that isn’t a lot.

Finally, it’s also important to note that constantly exposing your complexion to bacteria and irritants will stress it out, thus leading to premature wrinkles and other aging-related issues. These signs of wear originate in accelerated collagen and elastin breakdown, costing the skin its glowing and plump appearance. To keep it youthful simply clean your brushes.

Washing Makeup Brushes: How Often?

Cleaning your makeup brushes at home is simple enough, and it can be done with the help of a few standard household products and ingredients. Mixing one part soap with two parts coconut oil breaks down the residual grime and dirt and washes it away gently, moisturizing the bristles in the process.

What is more, this formula also disinfects the tool and ensures it remains hygienic.  The entire thing is a matter of lathering, rinsing, and repeating, which is a formula we are all familiar with from washing our hair and whatnot. Using soap and coconut oil for cleaning your makeup brushes is just one technique. Check out this article on BeautyEssential for more ways to clean your brushes.

Moving on, a proper makeup brushes cleaning tutorial wouldn’t be complete with a few pieces of advice on how often you should perform this uncomplicated and hassle-free process.

So, how much time can pass in between washing sessions? Well, there is no black or white response here. When it comes to the frequency at which you clean your brushes, there is no universal answer. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how often you do your makeup in the first place, as well as what types of products you prefer to use.

The general rule is to soak your application tools at least once a week. This is a preferable amount of time for most average cosmetics users. Of course, some brushes need it more than others.

The brushes you use for your eyeliner and eyeshadow can be cleaned twice a month, and any other tool will do just fine with a monthly soaking ritual. Many beauty lovers are wary of doing this so often out of fear that the water and soap will ruin the brushes. However, as long as you don’t leave them in too much, this method will actually enhance their quality.

If you are a professional makeup artist, the situation will be entirely different. As explained by celebrity makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, every single item in your kit needs to be soaked and deeply cleansed after working on a client. It would be unethical to not respect this unwritten rule of cosmetic application when you are getting paid good money for it.

The Bottom Line

How often you clean your makeup brushes depends on how you use them. For the average user of cosmetics, the only tools that require frequent soaking and lathering are those intended for foundation and concealer. The rest will do just fine with a bi-monthly or even monthly wash, and your complexion will remain clear.

As for professional artists, it goes without saying that every client should be treated with respect and offered a sterilized set. Otherwise, the bristles will collect bacteria and cause breakouts, as well as a patchy application.