If you leave them to clog up, makeup brushes can become unresponsive and distribute makeup unevenly. But, more importantly, brushes trap oils and moisture on which bacteria can thrive – which is certainly not the sort of the thing you want near your face. Luckily, cleaning them is much simpler than you might think.
How to Wash Makeup Brushes: The Basics
People disagree on the absolute best way to clean makeup brushes, but most methods are essentially the same; they just disagree on what’s the exact best soap to use. Here’s an easy guide!
- Rinse the brushes in lukewarm water. Take care not to oversaturate the bristles near the ferrule (where the bristles are connected to the handle). If the bristles are wetter here, they can swell and even fall out: a process that is hard to halt once it gets started.
- Apply a small amount baby shampoo and lather into a foam. (The technique is similar to lathering with a shaving brush, if you’ve seen it, only a little gentler.) Ordinary hand soap will work too if you don’t have baby shampoo.
- Rinse under lukewarm water again, until the water runs clear. Again, take care not to wet the bristles near the ferrule.
- Squeeze gently with a tissue and leave sideways in a ventilated area to dry. This may take a couple of hours, but be patient. Trying to speed up the drying process with a hairdryer, say, can distort the bristles and damage the brush.
How to Clean Makeup Brushes: Natural Bristles
Stiff brushes are not much fun to use; it’s hard to do a light dusting of anything with bristles like pine needles. This is especially true for premium natural brushes, which tend to command higher prices than their synthetic cousins. Luckily, you already know an excellent tip to make natural bristles nice and supple and most likely have the perfect substance close to hand, you just don’t realise it: conditioner. It can make restore the condition of your hair, and make-up brushes aren’t so very different, most just being made from (albeit non-human) hair. You can use any you have lying around.