If you wear make up, you're going to want to read this. This is my personal PSA about the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes regularly! I've fallen victim so some of the plights that come with not cleaning my makeup brushes, so I'm writing this because I really don't want others to have to experience it!
I'm sure most of you avid makeup users/artists already know about this and clean your makeup brushes anyway, but for someone like me who is just getting into doing more elaborate makeup and watching tutorials and using all the brushes in my kit, I didn't realize what happens to not only your brushes but to your skin when you don't wash the brushes regularly.
1. First, and most obviously, your pores could get super clogged up from dirty brushes
when they are used over and over again and it could cause some serious breakouts on your face. This is what happened to me and I kept wondering why. The dirt spreads from your face to your makeup and back and forth again! Washing the brushes you use closes some lanes of that bacteria highway from your makeup to your face.
2. Next, it is not unlikely that you could get a staph infection
from a dirty makeup brush! Gross. Makeup brushes accumulate oils, dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria, and that all goes right on your face and into your skin. It is a possibility so its better to be wary of it.
3. It affects the way your makeup turns out on your face!
Think about it...how can the brand new pigment you bought look like its supposed to when there are weeks of loose makeup still on your brushes? They blend into other colors and you never get the color you intended to.
4. Aside from breakouts, your skin can get easily irritated from dirty makeup brushes
. When dirt builds up on them, they become more abrasive and stiff, which can cause them to be rougher on your skin when used.
5. Brushes that are well taken care of last longer!
If you want to save your money in the long run, clean your brushes. A few dirty bristles ruin the whole brush and will need to be replaced faster.
6. You can risk getting wrinkles!
Dirty brushes can expose the skin to "oxidative stress", which causes a breakdown of collagen and result in premature aging.
Now that you know why to clean your makeup brushes, I'll share with you how! You really should be doing this every 2 weeks. A lot of makeup brands sell their own brush cleaners like these:
I, personally, like to use Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. I like that there's more of it in the bottle than the other makeup brush cleansers and I like that the chemical content of it is low. It leaves the bristles on my brushes extremely soft.
I treat the brushes I use for different products separately. I use two different methods: one for my brushes I use with liquid/oily products like foundation and pigments and one for my brushes I use with powder products like eyeshadow and blush.
For liquid/oily product brushes, the leftover makeup really builds up...like a crazy amount. And since it's liquid product, it clings onto the brushes. So to get it all out, I first start by dropping a nickel size drop of olive oil onto a paper towel. Then before the brush even touches water, I rub the brush into the spot of oil on the paper towel and brush it back and forth 4-5 strokes then I continue brushing it on the areas of the paper towel without oil. I repeat this until most of the product is out and when I stroke it on the paper towel, there is not much color coming out of it.
Instead of using a paper towel, you can also invest in a silicone makeup cleanser pad that has ridges that help to get everything out of the bristles. This one, for example, is a really great product:
After I do this, I fill a shallow bowl with lukewarm water, enough so that when you vertically put the brush in it, the metal part of the brush that holds the bristles doesn't get wet. **This is super important! Make sure the metal part holding the bristles doesn't get wet because it causes the glue holding them to wear down and can cause rust on the metal**
So when I fill the dish, I squeeze in 2-3 drops of the baby shampoo. Then I place the brush in the water and swirl it around to mix the shampoo but also it releases the dirt and grime from the bristles. I keep swirling it and stroke the brush onto a clean paper towel and alternate between the two until there is no color coming from the brush.
With the brushes used for powdery products, don't use oil at all! For these, begin by running the brush bristles under lukewarm water to get rid of as much product as you can. Remember again to not let the metal part of the brush touch the water! After this, repeat the same thing as before by placing 2-3 drops of baby shampoo or brush cleanser in a shallow bowl of lukewarm water and swirl each brush in it until the brush comes out clean and doesn't leave residue when you stroke it on a paper towel.
|This is all the makeup and dirt that came off one brush, which I use for eyeshadows.|
It's wise to dump and refill the water+cleanser solution every so often (maybe like after cleaning 2-3 brushes at a time) so that the excess dirt and makeup doesn't end up back on your brushes.
After you're done cleaning all the brushes, you want to make sure they dry properly and are the same shape as they are started out as. While they are wet, reshape the brushes with your hands to the shape they are supposed to be.
To dry them, place them on a kitchen tea towel in a well ventilated area and place the brushes over the edge so they are sort of hanging. Just like this:
This will give the bristles air ventilation to dry and it won't stay damp and build a funky smell.
I again cannot stress how important cleaning your makeup brushes are! If you can't do it every 2 weeks, at least do it once a month...your skin will thank you, your wallet will thank you!