Lather, rinse, repeat.
Brush cleaning is one of those ugly facts of life. No one ever enjoys doing it, however it is such an important aspect of makeup application. Oil, dirt, and bacteria build up over time and settle into brush bristles. This can then transfer to your skin as you apply your makeup. Skin can then be left irritated, with the gunk often leading to clogged pores and potential breakouts. Long story short, dirty brushes equals a dirty face.
Even though it is crucial to keep brushes clean, it can be a tedious task to accomplish. Additionally, it can be difficult to know what products to use if there’s no brush cleaner or shampoo available.
Below are some easy steps to follow to help ensure your brushes—and skin—stay clear.
Step 1: Lather
If you don’t have brush shampoo you can easily make your own with common products found around the house. A great option is to dilute some dish soap with water. This way it will still cut through the gunk left in the brushes, without being overly harsh.
Step 2: Rinse
After you’ve mixed your the soapy solution, dampen brushes under water and dip them into the mixture. Work the soap into the brush head using your fingers, taking care to squeeze out all the leftover makeup. If you are looking to splurge on some serious cleaning equipment, consider get a brush mat. (The mats are placed in the sink and allow you to clean brushes more thoroughly.) After you have rinsed out all the soap, check to see if the water you wring out is clear. That’s how you’ll know whether it’s completely clean.
Step 3: Repeat
If brushes are particularly clogged up, you may need to repeat the lathering process more than once. This is especially true for brushes that are used for foundation or other cream products, as that can be more difficult to clean. Continue repeating these steps until there is no makeup left.
Step 4: Dry
After you have fully cleaned your brushes, it is time for them to dry. First, squeeze out any excess water onto a clean paper towel. Then reshape the bristle to ensure they dry in the correct shape. Finally, lay brushes out on a flat surface and allow to dry. Another option is to pick up a drying rack made specifically for brushes. It helps ensure no water accumulates at the head of the brush, potentially damaging bristles. It also helps to clean brushes in the evening and leave them to dry overnight.