I recently attended an outdoorsy event, which involved a bit of dancing. At some point, ladies around me pulled out their make-up to freshen up; and I was shocked at the state of some of the accessories! They had sponges that looked like they last saw water during Noah’s floods, brushes that had greasy, scraggy bristles…it was a YUCK moment that made my skin crawl, my toes curl and my stomach churn. It got me thinking, how often do we really clean our makeup brushes?
Dirty make-up brushes are breeding grounds for bacteria that end up on your face causing never-ending breakouts. Worse still are those ladies who share makeup products – you grab your friend’s powder not knowing the last time that sponge saw water. Dirty brushes also make the application of products quite difficult leading to waste as you pile on more and more product to get the colour pop you are after.
There are two ways you can clean your brushes at home:
- Make-up Brushes
- Warm Water
- Mild Soap or Shampoo
CLEANING YOUR BRUSHES METHOD 1:
- Wet the brush under lukewarm water,
- Apply a bit of mild soap or shampoo on the palm of your hand and swirl the brush on your hand as if you are cleaning it using the brush.
- Rinse under running water and repeat until there is no more product evident in the lather.
- Squeeze the brush gently to remove excess water and lay it flat on a towel to air dry (see drying tips below).
CLEANING YOUR BRUSHES METHOD 2:
- Put a bit of warm water in a bowl,
- Add a dash of mild soap or shampoo
- Swirl your brush in the water
- You can rinse by swirling the brush in a clean bowl of water or under a tap of flowing water.
- Dry the brushes (see drying tips below).
HOW TO DRY YOUR CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES:
Drying your brushes an important step and you should take note of the following:
- Brushes should be air dried on a flat surface.
- Never ever dry a wet brush upright – EVER! Be they synthetic or natural hair ones. If water gets into your ferrule (the metal part of the brush) it might weaken the glue that is attaching the bristles to the handle leading to massive shedding and a trip to the beauty store for a new brush.
- If you are quite keen you can invest in a brush-drying gadget – yes they exist, or you can hit Google D.I.Y University and create one of your own.
- Do not dry it near a heat source as the heat can cause the glue attaching the bristles to the brush to melt.
SANITISING YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
A final and important thing about cleaning make-up brushes is to sanitize them especially if you are a make-up artist. There are many dedicated brush-cleaning products that have high alcohol content, as alcohol kills bacteria effectively.
But since brush cleaners are not always cost effective, especially for makeup artists, some prefer to buy Isopropyl Alcohol (99%). Note that alcohol and natural hair-brushes are not the greatest of friends, but that discussion requires another post on its own.
Sanitization is really only important for make-up artists and as an individual you don’t have to unless you have OCD tendencies or are fighting severe adult acne. Otherwise you can just use a mild anti-bacterial hand soap or regular dishwasher fluid.
I have deliberately not listed any particular products, as there are so many cleaners in the market. What you use depends on your location, beliefs, quality of brushes and your budget. The main thing is to clean those brushes – and those of you using dirty, oily, sponges that are falling to bits either wash them or replace them – sponges are a bacteria heaven!