PSA: The Importance of Cleaning Make-Up Tools

When I began experimenting with makeup I predominantly used my fingers for everything, and before you ask I did blend my eyeshadow with my fingers, too. Within a month I started collecting, within two months I experienced breakouts and within three months I contracted my first stye. I cleaned my brushes every month, but as it turns out, that was simply not frequent enough. Think back to the last time you cleaned your own beauty. tools. It may be a month, a year or never? But, if we’re painting our faces with these makeup tools everyday, then we should be cleaning them. I mean we wash our sheets, our towels and our clothes every week, but imagine not having done that in a year or ever. The idea is quite grim when you think about it. From talking to friends I have a general consensus that not enough people are cleaning their makeup tools regularly, so here is why you should and how you could go about doing it.

Why should I clean and wash them regularly?

For starters our makeup brushes and sponges are the backbone of our beauty collection. When we use these regularly dirt and oil build up on them, which can lead to rashes, dermatitis, acne breakouts and in some cases, like myself, styes. Therefore, you should clean your makeup brushes on a weekly basis resulting in all of the dirt, oil and residual makeup’s removal. Advice varies between makeup artists and dermatologists. The most frequent advice is to clean face brushes, such as powder, concealer and foundation on a weekly basis and to clean eye brushes between each use. Just because you’ve cleaned your brushes, it does not mean you shouldn’t also wash them, and that should be done on a monthly basis.

What method should I use to clean my brushes?

  1. Dampen the bristles with lukewarm water.
  2. Place a drop of shampoo, makeup brush cleanser or soap into your hand. Alternatively, fill a glass with lukewarm water and add a drop of shampoo, cleanser or soap and swirl the brush in the glass.
  3. Massage the bristles gently in the palm of your hand to remove excess dirt and buildup.
  4. Rinse the bristles, squeeze out the excess water with a clean towel and reshape the brush head.
  5. Allow your brushes to dry by hanging them over the edge of a counter; this allows the shape of the brush head to stay intact and prevent your bristles from becoming mildewed by laying on a dry towel. 

This public service announcement highlights the importance of cleaning your makeup tools, but don’t forget that there is a balance to cleaning them. You don’t want to over cleanse them either. So, stick with a regular schedule of cleaning and washing your brushes, instead of jumping to wash them everyday. 

When should I replace my makeup brushes?

There are many signs of when you should replace your brushes. An important one is to check for shedding. If there is no severe discolouration, shedding or odour, then it’s doubtful you need to replace your brushes. Another sign is if your brushes no longer turn out clean when you wash them, it usually means they are coming to the end of their days. As for synthetic brushes or brushes used for foundations and other creams and liquids, one sign for replacement is when they begin to become clumpy or the bristles begin to lose their shape. So, if you see your bristles lose their shape, shed and fray, it’s time to say goodbye to the old and hello the new. You’re using these tools to ensure you get the best use out of your products and to create the look you envisioned. 

On that note, I leave you to clean your makeup brushes or even replace them to ensure your face continues to be healthy and glowing!

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