How To Clean Makeup Brushes For Flawless Makeup

We conceal, contour and highlight our face with makeup brushes every day. But can we talk about how frequently we’re cleaning our makeup brushes? And the answer is no! Often we forget to clean our makeup brushes and end up using the dirty ones. Giving them a thorough washing once or twice a month is not enough. According to dermatologists, we should clean our tools regularly. This prevents dirt buildup which can lead to breakouts. Let’s dig in to find out more about how to clean our makeup brushes, the right way.

Why Clean Makeup Brushes?

Makeup brushes are a makeup artist’s best friend. 

They help apply and blend makeup like a dream, but only if they’re clean. 

Dirty brushes can transfer bacteria, cause breakouts and make your makeup look muddy. 

There are several reasons why regularly cleaning your brushes is essential:

  • Hygiene – Dirty brushes can harbor bacteria and other germs that can cause skin issues like acne and irritation when used.
  • Longevity – Dirty brushes can lose bristles and shape faster. Cleaning helps maintain their form and extend their life.
  • Application – Dirty brushes don’t apply makeup as smoothly and evenly as clean brushes. They can leave streaks and patches.
  • Color payoff – Dirty brushes absorb more product and don’t pick up as much pigment as clean brushes.

How Often Should You Clean Brushes?

Frequent makeup brushes cleansing helps to keep your skin cleaner. 

Most dermatologists advise to soak your brushes, once a week to prevent product buildup. 

Because these brushes are used on your face and the cleaner they are, the better your skin will be. 

On a personal level, I have tried washing my brushes every weekend and the results are great. 

First, I soak them in soapy water for at least 60 minutes and then begin cleaning the bristles. 

According to makeup artists, using soapy water to clean makeup brushes regularly can extend the life of the bristles and make them softer for better product application. 

The brush hairs and beauty blenders are porous and they hold onto oils, debris and dirt. 

So, if you are going to continue using dirty brushes, your makeup base will be spotty and blending will also be difficult.

But if you have sensitive skin or use brushes for different makeup products, you may want to clean them after each use. Here’s a guide:

  • Foundation brushes – Clean after every 2-3 uses.
  • Eyeshadow brushes – Clean every 3-4 uses or when switching between shades.
  • Concealer brushes – Clean after every use.
  • Blush brushes – Clean every 2-3 uses.
  • Highlighter brushes – Clean every 2-3 uses.

Deep Cleanse vs. Quick Cleanse

You have two options for cleaning your makeup brushes:

  • Deep cleanse – This is a thorough cleansing using a brush cleanser and/or shampoo. It’s recommended once a month or when brushes start to feel gritty.
  • Quick cleanse – This is a daily cleanse using only makeup remover or a wipe. It’s good for keeping brushes fresh between deep cleanses.

You may also read – Flaxseed Face Pack For Skin Whitening

What Should We Use to Clean Our Makeup Brushes?

The best and most used method for cleaning your makeup tools requires water and either a gentle soap or a brush cleanser. 

If the bristles are made up of natural hair, regular soap may end up drying them.

There are dozens of cleansers available specifically for cleaning brushes, such as Harrods Makeup Cleaner Shampoo

If you prefer not to buy a makeup brush cleanser, you may use your favorite face wash to clean makeup brushes. 

How to Deep Cleanse Makeup Brushes

For a thorough cleanse, you’ll need:

  • Brush cleanser or shampoo
  • Warm water
  • Towel

Follow these steps:

  • Wet the bristles and work a dime-sized amount of brush cleanser or baby shampoo into the bristles.
  • Massage and swirl the bristles to work the cleanser in and loosen any trapped pigment.
  • Rinse the brush thoroughly under warm running water until the water runs clear.
  • Reshape the bristles and lay the brush flat on a towel to air dry.
  • For dense brushes, repeat the process until the water runs completely clear.

How to Quick Cleanse Makeup Brushes

For a quick cleanse between deep cleanses, you’ll need:

  • Makeup remover
  • Makeup removing wipes
  • Paper towel

Follow these steps:

  • Simply spray or dampen a wipe with makeup remover.
  • Wipe the brush in a circular motion on the wipe.
  • Wipe the brush on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Reshape the bristles and let air dry.

Makeup Brushes Cleaning Tool

Although you can easily wash your makeup brushes and sponges by rubbing them on your palm, however with a brush cleaning tool, it becomes quite easy to wash makeup brushes thoroughly.

Currently, I am using this Brush Cleaning Tool and all you need to do is swirl your brushes around it to loosen the makeup stuck to them after soaking them in soapy water for sometime. 

It makes it very easy to thoroughly clean makeup brushes. 

There are a variety of makeup brush cleaning tools available which will make it easy for you to clean your brushes every weekend, just like you do your weekend skincare routine.

Click “shop now” to buy.

Tips for Cleaning Makeup Brushes

  • Be gentle – Avoid rubbing brushes harshly and twisting bristles as it can damage them.
  • Reshape – Reshape brushes while damp to maintain their form.
  • Dry flat – Lay brushes flat on a towel to dry to maintain the cut and shape.
  • Disinfect – For a deeper clean, wipe brushes with rubbing alcohol and let air dry.
  • Label – Label brushes with their intended use to avoid confusion.
  • Store – Store cleaned brushes bristle-side up to maintain shape and avoid collecting dust.


Hope these tips have you brushing up on your brush cleaning skills! Although cleaning your brushes frequently can help extend the life of your brushes. But there are signs which help you in determining that your makeup brushes are no longer capable of doing their best job. Just when the bristles start coming off or lose their shape, it’s the time to bid them adieu. And always remember, clean brushes are key to achieving gorgeous, flawless makeup that lasts. So roll up those sleeves, bust out the cleansers and get scrubbing – your pristine, picture-perfect face awaits!

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