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Beautiful Skin: Keeping Make-Up Brushes Clean


Do you use the same facial towel for months at a time without washing the towel? Then why would you do that with your make up brushes? Even if you use your brushes every day or once a month, you’ll need to care for the brushes to avoid damage and feeding-grounds for bacteria.

If you have problem skin (sensitive or acne), it’s recommended you clean your brushes up to two times a week if you are using the brushes frequently. At minimum, each brush should be cleaned once a week. I may not always do a full smokey eye to go to Target, but I may dab on some foundation to brighten up a bit. My foundation brush gets used more frequently than my other brushes so I’ll clean that one to two times more often than my eye shadow brushes. Bacteria in your brushes can lead to break outs and oil build up which impacts how your make up looks on your skin.

The most important thing to keep in mind is keeping the brushes clean and free from damage. I’m not a professional make-up artist so don’t take this as the end all be all only method for cleaning brushes.

  1. Start with warm water and a cleanser.

Take your favorite facial cleanser. Some experts suggest using a shampoo. As someone with problem skin, I would never put shampoo on my face so facial cleanser seemed a more logical choice. Avoid the cleansers with micro-beads because the beads could get stuck in the base (where the bristles meet the handle) of the brushes. A foaming cleanser is the best.


  1. Massage, Rinse, and Repeat.

Rinse the brushes under running warm water to remove excess make-up. I was always advised to avoid having the brushes submerged in water or to get the base of the brush wet. It will loosen the glue and can get stuck in the base of the brush to trap bacteria.

Once you have rinsed the brushes, take a small amount of foaming cleanser and massage it into the brushes. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clean.

  1. Dry and Use

Gently tap the brush on the edge of the sink to remove excess water. Place a paper towel on the counter and the handles of the brushes on the paper towel with the base and bristles hanging off the edge of the sink.


Some sites suggest positioning the entire brush on the paper towel. However, keeping something sitting in water is another way to bring in bacteria back to the brush. Store the brushes flat, not upright. If you store them to dry upright, the water can get into the base and loosen the bristles or trap bacteria.


Use the brush once it is completely dry.



About Author

  • Mauro Obery

    Osbourne is a natural foods chef and freelance writer. She is passionate about a holistic approach to health and wellness. She