How (and How Often) to Clean Your Makeup Brushes


We all know we’re supposed to clean our makeup brushes and beauty blenders, but many of us are guilty of letting this perpetually slide down our to-do list. Part of the reason for the ongoing procrastination is that we have so many questions! Do we use regular soap? How do we avoid losing bristles? What’s the ideal drying situation? We asked Josh, our trusted beauty expert at Sephora St. Vital Centre, all of our questions and now we’re ready to get cleaning – and you can be too. Read on! 

Q. How often should we be washing our brushes?

A. There is no brush that you shouldn’t wash. To extend the life of your brush and keep your skin healthy, you need to be cleaning your brushes regularly. If you don’t clean your brushes regularly, product will seep to the inside of the brush and loosen the glue, damaging the integrity of the brush.

How often you wash your brushes depends on what you’re using them for. For example, your complexion brushes (concealer, foundation, etc.) should be cleaned daily. As those products are usually liquid or cream, they can harbour bacteria quickly and will cause breakouts. With brushes you use for powder products (eyeshadow, blush, etc.), I would say minimum once a week. When you want to switch up your products, clean your brush first, then try out your new product.

Q. What type of soap should we use to clean our brushes?

There are an infinite number of brush cleaners. There are sprays you can use daily, or shampoos you would use weekly. There are solid cleansers that look like a circular bar of soap that will give your brushes and sponges a deep cleanse. You can make a homemade cleanser from oil and dish soap.

Q. So… how do we wash without wrecking?

Have the tap running with warm water. With brush shampoo in the palm of one hand, wet the brush then work the bristles into the shampoo with a circular motion. There are also rubber mats you can buy if you don’t want to use your hand, and they’re textured so you can really get a deep cleanse. Rinse and make sure you get all the shampoo out of the brush. Repeat until the water is clear and you see no makeup residue in the brush.

Q. What’s the best way to dry brushes?

Lay the brush on your bathroom counter with the ferrule* on the counter and the bristles over the edge of the counter. Never let brushes dry standing up, because the water will sink into the brush and loosen the glue holding the bristles, and your brush will shed and fall apart.

* The ferrule is the metal reinforcement between the bristles and the handle.

All sounds pretty doable, right? Once you’ve got your brushes cleaned, we know you’ll be dying to use them again, so check out our video tutorials on perfect bronzer application and mastering liquid blush.

See something that caught your eye? Visit St. Vital Centre to shop the items featured in this post (check stores for availability).

Sephora Collection Brush Cleaning Essentials Set (Detox deep-cleaning brush shampoo, brush cleansing mat, microfiber towel, brush stand): Sephora, $56
#15 brush: Sephora, $22
#47 brush: Sephora, $38
#73 brush: Sephora, $42
#91 brush: Sephora, $48
Brush bag: Sephora, $78

comments powered by Disqus