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How to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? You purchase quality brushes but to maintain that quality, makeup brushes need a bit of TLC. You can clean your makeup brushes like a professional with a few simple tips and techniques.

Did you know? Dirty makeup brushes harbor not only old makeup but also dead skin cells, oils and bacteria that can lead to skin irritations and breakouts in women of all ages.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the four main causes of acne are oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria. Reduce your risk for breakouts and skin irritations by keeping makeup brushes clean!

What to Use to Clean Makeup Brushes

A very mild shampoo or baby shampoo is ideal for cleaning makeup brushes. The shampoo and lukewarm water are essentially the only items needed. You’ll also need a towel to dry the brushes on so they can lay flat overnight. To clean an eyelash curler, opt for rubbing alcohol and cotton balls — be sure to remove the pad first and replace it with a fresh one after cleaning.

How to Clean Makeup Brushes at Home

The process for cleaning makeup brushes is simple and easy to do once a week. First, collect all your brushes and lay out a clean towel.

Run the bristles of the first brush under lukewarm tap water or if your water is mineral-rich, wet the bristles with distilled water. Hold the brush, bristles down (handle up) when wetting. Be careful to avoid wetting the area of the brush where the bristles meet the handle. If this area becomes saturated, the glue that secures the bristles will loosen and the bristles can fall out.

Place about a nickel-size drop of baby shampoo in your palm or in a small saucer. Swirl the bristles in the shampoo to create a lather and gently work out the old makeup and grime clinging to the bristles. You may opt to gently rub the lathered bristles with your thumb and forefinger to loosen any stubborn particles, but don’t bend the bristles.

Rinse the shampoo from the bristles with lukewarm tap water or the distilled water, thoroughly removing all traces of shampoo. You don’t want any soapy residue left behind.

Gently squeeze out excess water using your thumb and forefinger, again being careful not to bend the bristles. You also can gently squeeze the brush between the folds of a clean hand towel.

Lay the clean brush on a clean towel and allow to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight. Repeat the process with each brush.

Benefits of Clean Makeup Brushes

The number one benefit of clean makeup brushes is the health benefit for your skin. Clean brushes reduce the transfer of dead skin cells, oils, bacteria and other grime to your skin — all of which can cause breakouts, redness and other skin irritations. If you have sensitive skin, it’s essential to keep your makeup brushes clean.

Clean makeup brushes also are softer than ones crusted with old shadow, powder and lip paint. A makeup brush with product buildup typically feels scratchy and uncomfortable. Keep the brushes clean and you’ll enjoy soft, supple bristles that feel luxurious at every application.

Keeping your makeup brushes clean helps extend their life and when you’re on a budget, this is a very good thing. Clean your makeup brushes and hair brushes and combs on the same day, at least once a week to maintain a regular cleaning schedule for your beauty tools. Once you have your cleaning routine down, learn how to easily organize your beauty products to complete your beauty tool care routine.


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