We all know how important cleaning our makeup brushes is. All of that leftover makeup and bacteria can take a toll on your skin and the end result isn’t pretty. Luckily, you have options for disinfecting and removing the makeup from your brushes depending on your needs. Using a silicone mat or olive oil and dish soap are available for those not ready to invest in new products to clean their brushes. Rubbing alcohol and brush cleaner sprays are quick-drying options but don’t quite produce the deepest clean. And lastly, the makeup brush cleaner provides a deep clean quickly, dries brushes in just as much time, and is ideal for those who don’t want to spend their time scrubbing and rinsing brushes, or waiting for them to dry.
The simplest way to remove leftover makeup on your brushes is to put a silicone mat on the bottom of your sink and apply mild soap to your brushes and scrub them repeatedly until the water runs clear. This process is time consuming and hard on your brushes, so most people choose not to do this very often. If you have the time, try out this method.
Pro Tip: When hanging brushes to dry, ensure the brushes are hung with the bristles down. This way fluid stays out of the ferrule (the metal band holding the bristles). Fluid that can break down the adhesive holding the bristles in the ferrule thereby shortening the life of your brush.
Oils are an effective way to remove makeup from your brushes, and olive oil does the job best since it doesn’t leave residue like other cooking oils. Antibacterial dish soap is also great at removing impurities and bacteria, but can damage the bristles if it isn’t used in conjunction with olive oil.
Pro Tip: Start with three teaspoons of dish soap and one teaspoon of olive oil and swirl your brushes in the mixture until the brushes are clean. You may need to replace the combination when it gets too saturated with makeup to effectively clean your brushes. Rinse the brushes thoroughly with water afterwards to get rid of any remaining residue and don’t forget to hang up your brushes to dry.
Professional artists primarily use this technique to disinfect their brushes in between clients when they lack a professional cleaner. Caution: Rubbing alcohol can damage your bristles if they are made with natural fibers. To disinfect with rubbing alcohol, saturate the brush completely and rub the brush back and forth on a towel to remove makeup. Wait 15 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate and your brushes should be ready for re-use.
Many retailers like Ulta or Sephora offer brush cleaning sprays that work almost like dry shampoo for your makeup brushes when you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning your brushes. Most sprays are formulated with solvents or alcohol that you spray on your brush and then wipe off and use the brush immediately afterward. Sprays without alcohol are not intended to disinfect your brushes, but can help with removing makeup. This is a great option for traveling or if you just want to get powders off of your brushes.
Pro Tip: Especially for natural fiber brushes and long fiber brushes (e.g. foundation), avoid excessively bending the bristles. Bristles bent too far will take a set and you will wind up with a frayed brush head -- one that has stray fibers reaching out in all directions.
The fastest, and most thorough way to clean all of your makeup brushes at once is with a makeup brush cleaner that does the work for you. Just strap in all of your brushes onto the machine, fill up the base with water, drop in a cleaning pod, and let the machine do the work. This is a great choice for anyone who’s too busy to disinfect and clean each brush by hand.
Cleaning your makeup brushes doesn’t have to be a lot of work, if you use any of these methods regularly enough then your time cleaning will get cut down to a minimum. Keeping your brushes clean is the best way to ensure their longevity and to keep your skin acne-free. Your brushes won’t have a chance at applying your makeup flawlessly if there’s built up residue, so help yourself out and find out which cleaning solution works best for you.