When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? If it’s been a while, you’re risking bacteria-caused breakouts, infection and streaky makeup by not washing your brushes.
Makeup brushes should be washed at least once a month, but once a week is even better.
You don’t have to run out and buy expensive brush cleaner. The items you need are probably already in your house. You can use simple ingredients to clean your brushes, such as dish soap and vinegar.
The oil and old makeup on your brushes can build up on your pores and cause clogged pores. Clogged pores are the main cause of acne. Even more serious, the dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria.
Cleaning your brushes might seem like a hassle, but you will greatly prefer this chore than an acne outbreak or skin infection.
If you’re super OCD, you can even clean the makeup itself by running a cotton ball soaked with water and vinegar over the top layer of the makeup particles.
Benefits of Cleaning Makeup Brushes
If you have rashes or skin irritations, look at your brushes as a possible culprit. If your makeup looks clumpy and uneven, it’s time to wash your makeup brushes, including the beauty blender.
Dirty makeup brushes can stress the skin and make it prematurely age. Sharing makeup brushes is another no-no. Makeup artists clean their brushes after every use and you should follow suit, though you can get away with a weekly cleaning.
Other benefits of clean makeup brushes include:
Kills creepy-crawly bugs. Most people have microscopic mites that live in our eyebrows, eyelashes and nose hairs. Gross, right? They are generally harmless, but their remains can stay on your makeup brushes unless you evict them by routinely disinfecting your brushes.
In addition to tiny bugs, bacteria and dead skin cells can accumulate on your brushes and cause acne breakouts. The oil transferred from your skin to your brush can transfer back to your skin, clogging your pores.
Dirty brushes cause makeup to go on streaky and patchy. Clean, soft bristles are less irritating to the skin and ensures a smoother makeup application. Clean brushes also last longer, which saves you money from needing to replace pricey makeup tools.
How can I disinfect makeup brushes?
Makeup brushes can be disinfected with a special store-bought makeup cleaner. Or you can use a number of regular household items to clean your brushes.
Anything that contains vinegar or alcohol can be used, though it can cause the bristles to dry out.
Antibacterial soap does a great job disinfecting the brushes while preventing the bristles from drying out. You can add a drop of olive oil to any mixture containing vinegar to keep the bristles nourished.
Simple Dish Soap and Vinegar cleanser:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon antibacterial dish soap
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 drops olive oil
- Mix ingredients in a tall cup
- Swirl (do not soak) makeup brushes in a figure 8 motion in cup
- Rinse brushes in warm water
- Lay brushes flat on a paper towel to dry overnight
How do you clean makeup brushes overnight?
Letting brushes soak overnight in a soapy concoction is NOT recommended, as the bristles and handle will weaken. However, you can wash your brushes and leave them on a towel overnight to dry.
If you don’t want to clean your brushes daily, you can mix up a disinfecting spray to use at night. Combine 4 ounces of witch hazel with 12 drops of your favorite antimicrobial essential oil in a glass spray bottle. Spray onto your brush and wipe clean with a paper towel.
Witch hazel extract contains alcohol that helps keep bacteria away from your makeup brushes. Make sure not to use pungent essential oils, such as peppermint, because the strong smell might irritate your eyes.
Household products to clean your makeup brushes
Instead of spending money on fancy makeup brush cleaners, look around your house for these convenient ingredients:
Castile soap is a great natural cleaner for your home and your makeup brushes. Olive oil can be added to the mixture remove stubborn excess oil. Simply a few drops of castile soap with water to create a soapy mixture. Swirl the brushes through the mixture and rinse in warm water. Let the brushes dry flat on a paper towel. Letting brushes soak in water can cause damage to the glue on the brush, causing the brush to shred.
If you’re a mom, you probably have in stock baby shampoo. Baby shampoo washes your child’s hair without hurting their eyes and it can also be used to clean makeup residue from your makeup brushes. Apply a small amount of baby shampoo to your palm. Run each brush through warm water and then swirl it in the soapy mixture on your palm. This gently cleans and disinfects all of the bristles. Rinse under warm water and set on a towel to dry.
Rubbing alcohol is used to disinfect wounds, why not use it to disinfect your brushes, too? Pour a small amount of alcohol into a jar. Dip the tip of each brush in the alcohol. Swill the brush in a figure eight motion. Rub the bristles of the brush back and forth on a paper towel until nothing comes off the brushes. Rinse in warm water and squeeze the excess alcohol from the brush. Set aside and let air dry.
A mixture of dish soap and olive oil works wonders on cleaning bristles. Stir your brush through the mixture in circular motions. Wipe the brush back and forth on a paper towel to remove makeup build-up. Rinse the brush in warm (not hot) water and set on a paper towel to dry.
Vinegar can clean just about anything, including your makeup brushes. Combine two parts water to one part vinegar. Run your brushes through the cleanser for thirty seconds. Rinse with warm water until the water runs clear. Lay the brushes flat on a paper towel and let dry overnight. If the scent of vinegar is too strong, you can add a drop of dish soap to mask the smell.
DIY makeup brushes cleaner
You can use any of the above recipes to make a DIY brush cleaner. However, alcohol and vinegar can cause bristles to dry out. Olive oil can be used as a replacement for alcohol and vinegar or as a main ingredient in your brush cleaner.
Ingredients for a DIY brush cleaner:
- 2 tablespoons Antibacterial soap
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil (or hair conditioner)
- Small bowl
- Paper towels
- Mix the antibacterial dish soap and olive oil in a small bowl
- Swirl each makeup brush in circular motions in the mixture
- Wipe makeup brushes back and forth on paper towels until clean
- Rinse brush under warm water while flicking the bristles until water runs clean
- Set brushes aside until all brushes are clean
- Squeeze out excess water from the brush
- Let brushes sit on paper towel overnight to dry
- Or you can wrap the tops of brushes in a rubber band and hang upside down from a hook to dry to keep the water soaking into the handles and bristles
Use these DIY tricks and household product to clean your brushes weekly. It helps keep your skin clear of bacteria and makeup build up. Professional makeup artists wash their brushes after each use. You should follow their lead and disinfect your brushes often. Your skin will thank you.