Choosing the best makeup brush cleaner
You already know how important it is to cleanse your face at night and make sure your pores can take a break from makeup. You wouldn’t want there to be build up of products on your skin. It’s just as important, though, to clean your makeup brushes regularly to ensure there’s no build up on the bristles of your makeup brushes.
We’ll tell you exactly why it’s necessary to clean your brushes, about different makeup brush cleaners, and how to disinfect makeup brushes. We’ll even give you instructions for how to make your very own makeup brush cleaner from all-natural ingredients!
So let’s get started:
Why cleaning makeup brushes is so important:
Here is the main reason that washing makeup brushes is necessary: to get rid of bacteria. When you use your brushes to apply makeup to your skin, your brushes pick up small amounts of your skin’s natural oils. They can also pick amount microscopic dirt and dead skin. Bacteria love all of those things, and will soon start to grow in your bristles. Pretty gross. If you use makeup brushes without cleaning them regularly you will spread this bacteria on to your skin, which can lead to clogged pores, acne, and infections.
The other reason that cleaning makeup brushes should be part of your weekly or even daily routine is to get the best performance from your brushes. They will last longer with regular cleaning. More importantly, every time you use a makeup brush you want to make sure that you are getting exactly the color you want that day. You don’t want to be brushing on remnants of the color you used yesterday or last week. Clean your makeup brushes to keep your skin safe and your colors perfect.
How often you should clean your makeup brushes
The short answer to how often you should clean your makeup brushes is: it depends. If your skin is particularly oily or acne-prone, you should clean your brushes as often as you can, preferably daily. If that isn’t a problem for you, try to clean your brushes every one to two weeks.
It’s also important to clean your makeup brushes that come in contact with your eyes and mouth more regularly, because bacteria prefer wet places. So make sure that your eyeliner and lip liner brushes get regular treatment (it’s best to clean them every time you use them). Also make sure never to share these types of brushes with friends!
Types of makeup brush cleaners
You can easily find makeup brush cleaning products at any store where makeup is sold. Most major makeup brands offer makeup brush cleaning solutions. We’ve listed our favorite cleaners below. You can also use water and a very mild shampoo, such as shampoo that’s suitable for babies and toddlers. This is because these shampoos don’t contain any harsh chemicals, which could also damage the bristles in your makeup brushes. The final option is to use all-natural ingredients – check out our quick and easy recipe at the end of this guide for the perfect DIY cleaner.
Our favorite makeup brush cleaners
Best overall makeup brush cleaner
If you want to use what the pros use, look no further than this top-notch brush cleaner. The makers of Cinema Secrets guarantee that this solution will kill 99.9% of bacteria – a pretty good answer for how to disinfect makeup brushes. The process is simple too: wipe off excess makeup from your brushes, dip in this brush cleaner (or spray a bit on), and then wipe your brushes again.
This cleaner instantly dissolves all makeup residue from your brushes and, amazingly, dries in less than a minute. No wonder why it’s so popular for makeup artists at runway shows! It works with all makeup tools (including spatulas and palettes), and can remove any type of makeup. The ingredients are environmentally friendly, and above all we love the delicious vanilla smell.
Shampoos and sprays
We always love Bare Minerals products, from their amazing powder foundations to their lush, soft makeup brushes. It’s no wonder that they also offer an amazing shampoo perfect for cleaning makeup brushes! The shampoo is included in the full foundation set, but you can also buy it on its own. The shampoo includes aloe to nourish both your makeup brushes and your skin.
We love the amazing blend of ingredients in this makeup brush cleaner, including rosemary, ginger, eucalyptus, lavender, and Iceland moss. While this is perfect for those of us who love the smell of natural cleanliness, the smell is so intense that it’s not for everyone. This brush cleaner isn’t just a substitute for your potpourri, though; it also effectively and quickly sterilizes your makeup brushes. Spritz this all-natural solution onto your brushes and get rid of all that nasty bacteria while also lengthening the lives of your brushes. With these great ingredients, you’ll also lengthen the life of your skin.
From one of the most popular makeup brands in the world comes this excellent alcohol-based brush cleaner. It simply gets the job done right. You may be surprised—and even a little grossed out—to see how much pigment the MAC cleaner will remove from your makeup brushes. Unlike many shampoos, the MAC Brush Cleanser is a solvent-based cleaner. The main ingredient of alcohol is important for breaking down buildup that other shampoos just can’t dissolve. You might want to keep this MAC cleaner handy to spritz your brushes in between deep-cleaning them.
If you want to get really serious about cleaning your brushes, borrow a product originally meant for a different kind of brushes. Yes, this Brush Cleaner is made for artists who work on canvases with oil, acrylic, and watercolor paint. Painters require the best possible solution for effectively cleaning their paintbrushes, and savvy makeup artists soon started following in their footsteps. This is perfect for cleaning those big, synthetic makeup brushes that need more than just a little shampoo. It leaves no residue on your bristles, just a light and clean lemon scent.
These two products form an amazing cleaning system when used together. The Brush Cleaner is a formula that is gentle and environmentally safe, yet is able to fully disinfect natural-hair brushes, like sable and squirrel. It leaves a nice citrus orange scent on your makeup brushes. Put a little bit in a spray bottle to keep your brushes clean on a daily basis. You can use Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner on other hair-like products, such as fake eyelashes or wigs. It even helps to get makeup off of clothing.
Combine the Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner with the Cleaning Jar for an ultimate clean. The jar comes with a plastic mesh top. Simply rub your brushes lightly over the mesh and watch the pigment fall away. If you pour a small amount of the Brush Cleaner on the mesh lid and twirl your brush in the liquid, even more makeup will be removed.
Sigma makes revolutionary beauty products, and this Brush Cleaning Glove is no exception. The innovative rubber glove has four different textures for the five stages of cleaning makeup brushes: wash, rinse, refine, rinse (again), and shape.
The stages are labeled right on the glove so that there won’t be any confusion. Swirl the makeup brush on the bumpy “wash” section to start, and then sweep the brush over the rippled “rinse” section. Swirl the brush on the smaller bumps of the “refine” section to get a deep clean, and rinse again. Then press out extra water between your thumb and hand, which corresponds to the “shape” section. And while you’re doing all this easy and fun cleaning, your hand will be comfortable: the inner layer is a soft microfiber designed to make the process even more enjoyable.
You can use this glove with all shapes and sizes of makeup brushes. It’s a sure bet that you’ll want to clean your brushes much more often with this glove in your life. The glove comes in four colors: pink, black, blue, and purple.
Technically, this is not a makeup brush cleaner, but it can help both with drying your brushes and with keeping them clean so that the surrounding air doesn’t leave dirt and dust in your bristles. The set comes with 15 purple mesh guards, which you can stretch to fit around most medium to large brush sizes. These are perfect for covering your brushes as they dry to keep their shape intact.
How to clean makeup brushes
If you haven’t cleaned your makeup brushes before, you may be a bit nervous about getting them wet. Don’t be! The bristles of your brush, whether natural hairs or synthetic fibers, can handle water without any problems. Just be careful not to get any water near the base of the bristles where they connect with the ferrule (a fancy word for the handle of the brush). This is because water can damage and loosen the glue that holds the bristles to the handle. You would probably notice that your makeup brush starting to shed more if this glue loosened up.
Step 1: Work a small amount of your cleaning product into the bristles of your makeup brush. Avoid the very base of the bristles—this part doesn’t come into contact with your skin anyway and remember that you don’t want to jeopardize the glue holding in your bristles.
Step 2: Hold your makeup brush at a downward angle underneath a stream of cool water. Pull down gently on the bristles of your makeup brush to get the old makeup out. You will see that the water going down the sink is discolored from the makeup. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the water runs clear. This may take a few applications of the cleaning product, depending on when you last cleaned your brush and how much makeup you’ve applied with it since that last cleanse.
Step 3: With a clean towel, gently squeeze out any excess water and blot your brush. Reshape your brush by holding the bristles in the form they originally came in—this will help them get back to their natural shape.
Step 4: Leave your brushes to dry. You can either set them with on a clean, dry towel, or hang them to dry upside-down. Do not leave them to dry standing up, because the excess water will drip inside the handle and weaken your brushes; they also won’t dry as completely or as fast.
Step 5: When your brushes are dry, fluff them a little to get the shape of the bristles back to normal. Now you’re ready to use those brushes again!
DIY makeup brush cleaner
One of our favorite makeup brush cleaner is easy to create at home, and includes some ingredients you probably have around the house already. This is all you need:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- White vinegar
- Liquid dish soap
Mix these three ingredients together in equal parts. The vinegar is important to kill bacteria lurking in your bristles, the soap gets rid of all that makeup, and the olive oil conditions your brushes to feel soft once again after they dry.
Now you know everything you need to know to get your makeup brushes clean and safe for your skin. Choose from among the many makeup brush cleaners we’ve suggested, or create your own! Then just make sure to factor in this new part of your beauty routine into your daily or weekly schedule. Don’t think you’ll love doing the extra cleaning? Personally, we think it’s so satisfying to watch that old makeup drain down your sink and know that it’s not going on your skin. So clean away and know that your brushes will last longer, and your skin will thank you!