Makeup 101: Good Hygiene Starts with Clean Makeup Brushes

Updated: Mar 17



If you’re like the majority of my clients, you may not clean your makeup brushes as often as recommended…that is, if you’ve ever cleaned them at all. Yikes! As a professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician, here’s my take on how we can embrace good hygiene and self-care during the current the global health crisis and in the future.


Why is cleaning my makeup brushes so important?


I advise spot cleaning your brushes after every use. Yes, really! However, how frequently you deep clean your brushes depends on how often you wear makeup. For daily wearers, I suggest a weekly deep clean. Clean makeup brushes can help you:


Stay Healthy

Over time, makeup brushes collect oil, debris, and bacteria. To avoid spreading germs (and getting sick), you should clean your makeup brushes regularly. Simply put, it’s good hygiene.

This is particularly important if you are sharing your brushes. All professional makeup artists are trained to disinfect(not just clean) brushes after each person. However, for non-professionals, I never suggest sharing brushes—even though you love your friends and family, you do not love their germs. Pink eye anyone?


Maintain Clear Skin

Acne is a common side effect of using makeup brushes that aren’t properly maintained. Although acne is a deal breaker by itself, more serous skin problems may also occur.


Increase the Life of Your Brushes

Properly cleaning your brushes will make them last longer, saving you money in the longterm.


What supplies do I need:



Properly cleaning your brushes will make them last longer, saving you money in the long term. Simply mix one part shampoo with four parts warm (not hot) water.

• Shampoo- Living Proof.® Perfect hair Day™ - Triple Detox Shampoo is one of my favorites. Simply mix one part shampoo with four parts warm (not hot) water.

• Conditioner - Use any kind of oil you would also use on your face e.g. hemp oil.

• OR forgo the above in favor of an all-in-one cleaning product. Sonia Roselli Tiger's Eye Brush Soap is ideal because it uses natural disinfectants such as honey and tea tree oil to cleanse. Follow the directions on the label for the best results.


How do I clean my makeup brushes?


1. Hold the brush with the bristles pointing downward.

2. Wet only the bristles with the water/shampoo mixture. Avoid getting the ferrule wet. This is the metal part that connects the bristles to the handle. When it gets wet, the glue can come undone and ruin the brush.

3. Swirl the bristles in the mixture.

4. Rinse the bristles in running water.

5. Repeat until the water runs clear.

6. Reshape the bristles.

7. Dry the brushes by placing them on a towel with the bristles hanging off the edge of your counter or sink. This method helps brushes air dry faster and prevents water from leaking into the handle (which can lead to mold and/or mildew).

8. Condition the brushes. Rub a small amount of oil between your hands, massage it into the bristles, and avoid over-saturation. In this case, less is more.

Conditioning is helpful when cleaning brushes using only shampoo, but imperative if you’re using dish soap—which I would steer clear of because it’s too harsh.


What if I’m in a rush?


No problem—just try a liquid cleaner! BeautySoClean® Wipeout Brush Cleaner is an antibacterial formula that is also eco-friendly. Win-win! Cleaners like this one are good for spot cleaning, but will not remove all debris from the brush. Simply spray the product onto the bristles, wipe on a paper towel or a dish towel until the brush no longer leaves color on the towel. No drying necessary. That’s it!

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