How Often Should I Clean My Makeup Brushes?
Maybe it’s just us, but even so much as the suggestion of makeup brush cleaning used to send a tingle of fear and loathing down our spines. In an age which boundless responsibility is met with a staggering time deficit, menial tasks are often begrudged and, consequently, avoided. But with all we’re learning about the perils of waltzing with woebegone wands, we decided it was time to translate the loathsome aspects of makeup brush cleaning—especially frequency—to a more digestible dialogue.
Why You Should Care
• Do you like bugs? Unless you’re an entomologist, we’re betting not so much. But that’s who’s going to be hosting a garden party on your face if you allow dirt and debris to collect on your makeup brushes. Aside from the lesser evils dirty brushes can impart like uneven makeup application, a few pesky pimples and some premature wrinkles, at their most sinister they can be harbingers of straight-up staph infection.
• At anywhere from $20 to several hundred smackers per set, you’re doing yourself a major disservice to treat your makeup brushes as disposables. If creepy-crawlies aren’t incentive enough, consider this: The average woman spends roughly $15,000 on makeup in her lifetime. Mascara alone comprises nearly $4,000 of that figure—and mascara runs out! Any housepainter will emphasize the importance of brush care, first and foremost to ensure an amazing result, but also to protect your investment. Why should the tools you use on your face be treated any differently?
• Stressed skin wears its heart on its sleeve. If you’re scratching your head over breakout frequency, loss of eyelashes, even premature wrinkles, these could all be indicators that your skin is coming into direct contact with an irritant. So, in response to your age-old question, “How often should I clean my makeup brushes?” beauty experts say that, while doing so after every use is probably not realistic, we should shoot for a weekly to biweekly routine. Don’t forget to regularly maintain your sponges, eyelash curlers and other applicators—they need love, too!
How To Do It
1. Add a dash to lukewarm water in either the palm of your hand or a shallow bowl and gently swirl your brush bristles around in the mixture until you’ve worked up a light lather.
2. Rinse thoroughly under running water and repeat this process as necessary until water runs clear from your brush bristles.
3. Reshape your bristles as you towel-dry and lay them flat (read: not upright!) to dry completely. Brushes dried upright will draw moisture into the bristle base, breaking down the adhesive that holds it in place and potentially harboring mildew. Also, your bristles will splay outward, losing their shape you just worked so hard to maintain.