Makeup brushes are an investment. Treat them well and you can use them for years. I have makeup brushes that are at least 10 years old, and they still look (and more importantly work) great.
As anyone who has ever had any kind of makeup related interaction with me can tell you, one of the first things I will ask about is the state of your brushes. And if you tell me you’ve never washed them, you better get ready for a demonstration.
I find that some brush soaps or shampoos (a lot of people just use baby shampoo) can be drying to the bristles after a few washes.
I prefer to wash my brushes with Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap in Baby Unscented, because it is gentle enough to keep my brushes soft, and the oil base helps to break down residual makeup on my brushes. A little bit goes a long way – a small bottle lasts me months, and I wash a lot of brushes.
If you are someone that washes their brushes regularly, comment below so that we can be friends. For everyone else keep reading, and watch my video to see how I clean my brushes (and leave a comment to let me know what you think).
Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning makeup brushes
Wash (deep cleanse) your brushes regularly (every two to three weeks) to stop bacteria building up. If you are acne prone I recommend cleaning your brushes after every use with a good spot/spray cleaner between washes (Parian Spirits is my personal pick, but can be hard to find. Priceline carries Artiste and Model’s Prefer cleaners which also work well).
Soak your brushes in water. This can cause the glue to deteriorate, the handle to swell and the bristles to fall out
Only run the bristles under water, not the handle. Water on the handle and under the ferrule (metal bit near the handle) can cause the handle to swell, the ferrule to rust and the glue to deteriorate.
Hold a wet brush with the bristles pointing upwards, this can cause water to travel down the to the glue and the handle and can ruin your brushes
Make sure that your brushes are properly dry before putting them away. Wet brushes can grow mould at the ferrule which is (obviously) not good for the brush or for your skin
Use a hairdryer to try to dry your brush more quickly. The heat can melt the glue causing the bristles to fall out.
Gently shape the bristles back into their original shape after washing so that you maintain the original shape of the brush
Do you have any cleaning tips for me? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.