Dirty makeup brushes are devious breakout-causing culprits. Clean them too little and you may be left with unexplained zits and irritation. Even more frustrating is the fact that that most cosmetic companies don’t mention how to properly clean those pesky bristles, especially when a dirty brush can affect how smoothly makeup goes on.
Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you. Here’s how to make cleaning and caring for your makeup brushes a breeze — and as a result, how to banish breakouts from brush bacteria. (Say that one five times fast.)
1. Set a schedule
Make a plan to clean your brushes regularly, say once a week or every two weeks. The more often you clean your brushes, the easier it will be to get rid of all the gunk and bacteria that accumulate on them. Leave them for a year and you may as well get rid of them and start new.
2. Get the right tools
Invest in a good brush cleaner or use soap or a gentle shampoo (dermatologists recommend baby shampoo!) to clean your brushes once a week. Consider using a brush cleaning mat or tool to help you get the job done more efficiently.
3. Be gentle
Clean your brushes gently, using circular motions to remove all the buildup. Remember: these brushes are delicate, so treat them with care. In between weekly cleans, you can spray rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and wipe the brush across that to get the dirt and germs off every time you use it.
4. Little known tip: Don't soak them
Soaking your brushes in water can cause the glue holding the bristles together to break down, leading to shedding and misshapen brushes. So, be sure to only wet the bristles, not the entire brush.
5. Let them air dry
After cleaning your brushes, lay them flat on a clean towel and let them air dry. Avoid using a blow dryer, as the heat can damage the bristles.