How often do you really need to clean your makeup brushes?

23 June, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by IALH Editor

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I think anyone who uses makeup regularly can attest to this. There was probably a time in your life when you never cleaned your make up brushes. Now I know, it’s hard to admit – but we’ve probably all been THAT girl at one point or another. And even if you clean them now, are you using the right cleansers and are you doing it often enough?

Make up brushes caked in foundation and other makeup products are a breeding ground for bacteria and oils that you don’t need to be repeatedly putting on your face everyday. If you’re getting breakouts, especially on your forehead and cheeks it might be time to take a closer look at those brushes hun.

How often?

The simple answer is you should clean brushes frequently. Once a week or every 10 days is the sweet spot for brushes you use with liquid makeup products like foundation or concealers. If you use a sponge for these products they need to be washed too! They absorb the product even more leading to a fast build up of bacteria.

What should I clean the brushes with?

All you really need is some tepid / warm water and a very gentle cleanser. As ever, the market is saturated with brush cleaning products and tools but we’ve got a few to get you started. A good general rule to stick to is avoiding anything with perfume or scent as this can irritate your skin when you come to use the brush again.


Makeup Brush Cleaner with Detachable Dip Tray

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Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer

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Brush Cleanser

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28 Hole Makeup Brush Drying Rack & Cleaning Mat

Shop the rack ↗

Bobbi Brown 

Condition Brush Cleanser

Shop the cleaner ↗

What shouldn’t you clean your brushes with?

As mentioned above, steer clear of anything with perfume in it. Some people swear by hair shampoo for their brush cleaning, while shampoo is fine – use a gentle non scented (preferably one for babies) shampoo. Definitely avoid things like dish soap as these can be harsh on your skin and your brushes!


IALH Editorial Team


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