Ever feel like your skin is breaking out out of nowhere, or have watery eyes and can’t figure out why?
You drink enough water, exercise, remind yourself to stop touching your face / eyes, eat healthier, and have tried every kind of contact solution or eye drops you can find, medicated, non-medicated and natural acne cleanser on the market- but still nothing seems to work… The culprit may quite possibly be your makeup brushes! Who knew?
Makeup brushes can harbor lots of yucky stuff like… oh, say old makeup residue, dead skin cells, germs from being sick (or not), toxins from sweat, oil, dirt, and bacteria… Umm, Ew! Cleaning your makeup brushes is also necessary to keeping them in tip-top shape… I have had some of mine for 10+ years and counting (all M.A.C.), because I take care of them really well. Hmmm… I guess the (not so) small fortune I paid was definitely worth the investment.
Well, it actually depends on the brush.
A great rule of thumb is that any brush used on a liquid cosmetic (like concealer, foundation, eye primer, lipstick, cream eye shadow, etc.) should be cleaned EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you have sensitive, itchy, watery, allergy eyes- this will really help, I promise! It has worked wonders for me.
For all other brushes, they should be done at least once a week. Now, if I’m breaking out really badly- I will clean all of my brushes everyday until my skin clears up. I can’t tell you what a difference this one little, simple habit alone has made on my skin! I usually try to do them at night when I wash my face before bed… so they can dry overnight. When I’m cleaning them once a week- I usually try to stay on a schedule (like on laundry or cleaning day) so I don’t forget.
Brownie Points If You…
Wipe down ALL of your makeup containers and the inside of your makeup case or bag at least once a week also. I use Rubbing Alcohol on a Wash Cloth. Whatever you do, DO NOT wipe down the handles of your makeup brushes with Rubbing Alcohol- it will ruin them! I currently have a fabric makeup bag and brush roll, so both can go right in the wash and I’m done, Ta-da!
A few little tips before we begin… Clean your brushes one at a time, using the same water temperature that you would use to wash our hair. Try to use something as natural as possible (like Baby Shampoo) without fragrance or dye- you can probably use whatever you use to wash your face, as long as there’s nothing harsh in it. Don’t scrub too hard (fragile like a flower LOL) and never stand your brushes up when they’re wet! Always air dry your brushes- but in case you have a hot date at the last minute, you can blow dry them on a cool, low setting… promise to only do this in an emergency though :)
Wet your brush with the fluffy part pointing downwards so you don’t get the “ferrule” (metal part which contains glue) wet or drip water down the handle .
Drop a tiny dot of the Dr. Bronner’s Shikakai Soap into your hand.
Swirl the brush around gently in a circular motion and then switch it up.
Rinse the brush, while leaving the dirty Soap in your hand… remember, “like” removes “like”. Check to see if the brush feels and looks clean. If not- repeat and rinse again. * If you’re still having trouble- you can use a tiny dab of Olive Oil first to loosen up the makeup and then shampoo. (I tired this method and it worked, but it bothered my eyes a little. Lots of makeup artists seem to do this though).
If it’s clean, rinse your hand and your brush thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Lay it flat on the dry towel and move on to the next brush.
Fold the towel over the brush head and gently press your brushes dry to rid them of any excess water.
For the handles… take the towel and go from the metal part towards the handle end and wipe. Now hold onto the handle end and go towards the brush end and wipe over the metal. Ta-Da, clean handles!
Take any brushes that get “too poofy” (like a Kabuki Brush) and loose their natural shape once they’re dry, and set them aside (See * below).
Find a warm, dry place (sunny window sill works well) and lay down the towel.
Reshape the brush bristles to their original shape and lay them flat on the towel to dry.
* For the really fluffy ones that “Fro” (for example, my M.A.C. 217 Brush), use the T.P. Trick…
Take the brush and place it up against the toilet paper roll- and roll it up snugly (usually using anywhere between 1-3 squares, depending on brush size).
Rip it off, trying to keep the T.P. taught.
Now gently pull on the handle and slide the T.P. up over the fluffy part and place it with the rest of your brushes to dry.
Wait to remove the T.P. until your brushes are completely dry.
This simple ritual has dramatically changed my skin… more than any product ever has. Once you get into the habit- it’s cake. If you need help, or need me to clarify anything… please don’t hesitate to ask. Or, if you have tips you want to share- hook it up! There are also a ton of really great videos on YouTube to help you with this- a lot of them just happen to use harsh chemical brush cleansers- so I didn’t want to include them.
Former Professional Ice Princess. Two-time Breast Cancer Ass-kicker. Clean Beauty Advocate behind Green Beauty Blog – The Glamorganic Goddess. When the Big C crashed Danielle’s party in her early 30’s – she swapped chemo cocktails with green juice, went through a major break-up with her MAC makeup, + greened her glam with the best, natural + organic beauty products she could find! Danielle currently consults for natural beauty brands, retailers, salons, survivors + organizations, + lives happily ever after.