How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

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Okay, who else doesn’t want to admit their makeup brushes haven’t had a good clean in a few weeks?

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

I used to dread the thought of cleaning my ever-growing collection of brushes. Having to give up a few hours of my day to sit there scrubbing, trying to get that last bit of foundation out of my white brush, or those questionable stains out of my grey beauty blender that was once pink.

After years of struggling to perfectly clean my brushes, I have stumbled upon a few different ways that are going to make your life a whole lot easier. 

Here a few different “at home” tips to help bring your brushes back to life! (Without having to fork out for expensive tools).



Sensitive Skin Soap


Sensitive skin soap is one of the best products for cleaning makeup brushes. Not only is it safe to use on synthetic and natural brushes, but also safe for your skin.

You can purchase a bar of sensitive soap at a supermarket, drugstore or online, and they are reasonably cheap.

When using the soap to clean your brushes, place the soap under slow running lukewarm water, and rub the brush lightly against the soap in a circular motion.

After about 30 seconds, remove the soap and run the brush under the water. This is to wash out the remaining soap and product from the makeup brush. I find using the circular motion technique works in this instance as well, but instead of using the soap, use your palm. 

It usually takes two washes to get the brush 99% clean, depending on how long it’s been since last washed.

Once clean, dry the brush by swirling it around on a textured towel, and then let air dry to get remove any extra moisture. Wait until the brush is 99% dry before using it. 

See the Basis Sensitive Skin soap on Amazon.



Olive Oil Soap

Olive oil soap can be a little bit more difficult to get your hands on. It is a little more expensive than standard soap, but worth it for the end result.

Olive oil soap has been known as a remedy for hair and skin. Its antioxidant properties are renowned for cleansing, nourishing, moisturising and protecting skin against environmental and free radical damage.

When using the olive oil soap to clean your makeup brushes, use the same steps as the sensitive skin soap (rubbing the brush against the soap in a circular motion under running lukewarm water).

The brushes feel different after using the olive oil soap, they feel SO clean and don’t absorb as much product afterwards. It’s almost as if it creates a protective shield around each bristle.

Check out the Pre De Provence French olive oil soap on Amazon.



Baby Shampoo


Baby shampoo is one of the most popular “at home” brush cleaners, it’s affordable and readily available. It’s delicate on the brushes and gets in deep to clean out leftover product and bacteria.

Using the baby shampoo to clean your brushes will be a little more difficult compared to using a bar of soap, mainly due to there being nothing to rub the brush against.

In this case, just use the palm of your hand as a replacement for the bar.

Squirt a small amount of the shampoo into your palm and rub the brush around with a little bit of water to get the suds going. Once you’ve coated the brush in shampoo, run it under lukewarm water.

Using your palm once again, rub the brush to get the remaining soap and product out. The baby shampoo process does take a little bit longer than the rest.

See the Cetaphil baby shampoo on Amazon.


Why clean your makeup brushes? 

1. Prevent acne / breakouts

how to clean your makeup brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes may take up some time, but is extremely important to do every 2-3 weeks.

Dirty brushes are a prime breeding ground for bacteria. When using a brush on your face, it collects the oil, dead skin, and other debris. 

Every time you use the same brush, it means you are spreading this grime back onto your skin. The bacteria that has has began to grow is now settling on your skin for the next however many hours your makeup is on.

This buildup of bad bacteria leads to increased breakouts, acne, blemishes and clogging of your pores.



2. Improve application

how to clean your makeup brushes

Not cleaning your makeup brushes properly can also affect how your makeup applies. Old makeup will continue to build up and eventually start to compromise the look your were trying to achieve. 

Even when you do everything as normal to get the perfect look, a dirty bush can cause makeup to look uneven, patchy and cakey.



3. Increase your brushes lifespan

how to clean your makeup brushes

In the long term of keeping your makeup brushes clean and healthy, you can actually see a saving in money.

Using good quality soaps to clean your brushes can help to preserve their life, and save your hard earned $$$ in the long run.

So don’t think of cleaning your brushes as a chore that is costing you time, think of it as preserving your investment.



Sensitive soap – See the Basis Sensitive Skin soap on Amazon.


Olive Oil soap – Check out the Pre De Provence French olive oil soap on Amazon.

Baby Shampoo – See the Cetaphil baby shampoo on Amazon.


Leave a comment below if you enjoyed how to clean your makeup brushes, or if you have any questions.


Stay Flawless!



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