Makeup artists know how important it is to keep makeup brushes clean. Dirty brushes can cause pimples or blemishes and, even worse, they can spread infections like pink eye. Why? Makeup, mixed with natural oils from skin, left on brushes is a prime breeding ground for bacteria, which thrives in a warm, moist environment. Yet many people never think to clean their makeup brushes, and they may be harming their skin because of it.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take to keep brushes clean and avoid the blemishes or infections caused by dirty, bacteria-laden brushes. Besides, taking care of brushes can increase their longevity, which saves you the cost of buying new ones.
For home use, it's not necessary to clean brushes every day. But if you're very concerned about cleanliness and avoiding pimples or infections, there are products available for light cleaning and disinfection.
Sephora's Daily Brush Cleaner is an antibacterial product that comes in a pump-spray bottle. It's made for daily use. Simply spritz it onto a tissue and gently wipe your brushes to remove small amounts of makeup and to disinfect them. There's no need to rinse brushes after using the product.
MAC's Brush Cleanser is another option. It comes in a bottle with a spout instead of a spray. Just apply a small amount to a napkin or paper towel and sweep the brush over it until bristles look clean. It dries quickly, so you can use the brush immediately after cleaning.
Your makeup brushes should be cleaned with water periodically. Once a week is ideal, but if you use a daily cleaner, like Sephora's, it's okay to do it less often. Every two weeks or so should be fine. Again, MAC's Brush Cleanser works well. It lathers nicely when used with water and has a fresh, clean scent.
To cleanse and disinfect, add about two drops of MAC's Brush Cleanser, or a similar product, to a dampened brush, then gently rub to remove makeup. Avoid getting water into the ferrule of the brush. Water can cause the brush to separate from the handle. Keeping the brush pointed downward for the entire cleansing process prevents water from entering the ferrule. After cleansing, thoroughly rinse the brush. Using a towel, gently squeeze the brush to remove excess water, then lay it flat to dry.
If you're in a pinch and don't have any brush cleaner on hand, try using a gentle shampoo, like Johnson's Baby Shampoo. It will get the job done until you're able to buy an appropriate brush cleaner.
Taking proper care of your makeup brushes extends their life, so you won't need to replace them as often and you'll save some money. But more importantly, by cleaning makeup brushes on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis, you can avoid pimples and infections caused by using dirty brushes.