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How to clean your makeup and makeup brushes

How to clean your makeup and makeup brushes 27 Oct

When you consider how to clean your makeup and makeup brushes, it is considered one of those mundane tasks that we tend to ‘forget’ about, or deliberately choose to ignore its importance, as no one will see the result apart from yourself. But, the reality of deep cleaning your makeup brushes, is that it prevents you from breaking out and ridding your brushes of nasty bacteria and oils that accumulate after time. Your makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, considering you use it to apply foundation, powder, blusher and all sorts to your face. After some time, layers of bacteria form, and the effectiveness of your brushes start to wear off. 

Makeup artist Florrie White, claims that she is diligent with washing her tools after use, and they are simply an extension of her fingers: ‘all used brushes are washed after every shoot, and some favourites are washed during the shoot so they are clean for retouches’. 

Cleaning your makeup brushes is just as important as removing your makeup every night. No matter, how long you wear make-up for during the day, it is vital to keep your skin clean, hydrated and replenished for a new day. The same goes for your brushes – sometimes the mistake in your skincare routine is in the cleaning. 

There are four easy steps to deep cleaning your makeup brushes:



Take your dirty brushes out of your makeup bag and individually assess which ones need cleaning to more urgently. Take the ones that will require the most amount of cleaning and conduct the following 4 step process:




You need to make sure you thoroughly wet every fibre of your makeup brush with warm water, and make sure it facing downwards, so the water runs through it. 





Once you have wet your brushes, use a cleanser, by brushing every strand clean. To get an even deeper clean, swirl the brush on your balm so the solution reaches every little bit. Don’t use a cleanser that has alcohol as it can dry out your brush and make it hard and eventually break off. 





Rinse your makeup brush with warm water, to clean the cleansing product off your brush. Once you are confident it is clean, squeeze the excess wash and use your fingers and your hands to gently re-shape the bristles and strands, so you don’t have any wondering stray from the central groove. 





Now – you sit and wait for your makeup brush to dry. It’s best to lay out your brushes flat to dry as opposed to standing up, so excess moisture escapes quickly and leaves the strands to dry thoroughly.  




And if it’s not enough to give your makeup brushes a good clean, it may now be worth assessing the state of your makeup bag which will have some shocking truths that you’d probably not want to know. Whether it is your out of date mascara, year-old foundation or grotty lip balm, there’s a reason for cleaning it out. Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic has commented that: 

‘Many laboratory-based tests where makeup items have been swabbed have shown the growth of all sorts of different microbes that can cause infection.’ 

Nancy Crossley, who is a makeup artist and founder of Beauty So Clean has also commented that ‘we have done studies with outside labs and an average, 11 out of 25 products tested contained Staphylococcus Aureus, which commonly causes skin infections and food poisoning, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (which can cause bloodstream infections and pneumonia) and E-Coli’. 

Here are some extra simple tips to reduce the amount of bacteria collected in your hoard of makeup. 

  • It’s beneficial to use a clear makeup bag – so say goodbye to bright colours and personalized bags. Dr Helen Webberley, GP for has cited that ‘Bacteria can build up anywhere that is dark, warm, moist and has nutrients so your makeup bag is the perfect place’. 
  • Aside from cleaning your makeup brushes, put your bag through the wash once a month and use alchol wipes to clean tweezers and eyelash curlers. 
  • All makeup has an expiry date – make sure you check when this is as if your mascara is out of date, you could put yourself at risk of contracting an eye infection. 
  • Even when you buy makeup, consider how it is stored. When you purchase foundations, opt for tubes not jars, as every time you put your finger into the pot, you deposit bacteria collected on your fingers. Instead, use a clean brush or cotton pad to apply, so your foundation remains bacteria free, for as long as possible. 

Image used: credit – Neirfy/Shutterstock 

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