Makeup brush hygiene 101

The modern-day woman is all about healthy, clean and green skincare choices and particularly conscious of the makeup they apply daily. However, most women don’t remember that the tools we use to apply make-up are just as important as the make up we apply. Neglecting your make up brushes when it comes to hygiene, is a big no-no and here are some reasons why:

Why should I clean my make up brushes?

Clogged Pores and Breakouts

This one should come as no surprise. We have all heard about the importance of removing makeup before going to sleep, and the same rule applies to your brushes. Using dirty brushes with product build-up will lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Most makeup consists of oily substances which is perfect for blackhead breakouts.

Damaged brushes

If the clogged pores, breakouts and infections aren’t enough, neglecting to wash your makeup, brushes will actually damage your brushes. The constant build-up of old makeup will cause the bristles to wear out and will completely ruin them over a long period. Needless to say, it will also limit the lifespan of your brushes, making them not last as long as they should.

Eye Infections and more

A gross one, we know. This is an important one not to ignore, especially when you are sharing your makeup brushes.

First off, skin irritations, you might decide to throw that one brush away because you think your allergic to it, turns out if not cleaned properly it could be the oil and bacteria in your makeup brush.

Pink eye and herpes, a common way to attract viral infections are through your dirty old moist makeup brushes. Sharing the brushes are also a fast way to spread the infections.

Makeup brushes

Bacterial Build up

Readers Digest reminds us in an article that our makeup brushes move from our vanity cases, onto our products, onto our faces (and sometimes our friend’s faces), onto the countertop and then back into our vanity cases.

It is inevitable that in this case, your makeup brushes will encounter various types of bacteria, and some may be harmful to your skin, causing breakouts and acne. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests not sharing make-up brushes and of course cleaning them regularly.

How often should I wash my brushes?

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Washing those makeup brushes can be a tedious process, we know. Therefore most if not all women can definitely up their game when it comes to the frequency of keeping those bristles fresh. In a survey conducted by Business Wire, they found that 61% of women who use makeup brushes clean them less than once a month or not at all.

Health.com suggests that washing your brushes once a week is ideal; however, it can be unrealistic for most of us. If you are the only one using your brushes and you don’t have any infections or allergies, you can gently wipe down those brushes on a damp towel between uses. As far as giving them a nice thorough clean, according to one of the most famous makeup artists Bobbi Brown, brushes that are used around the eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month while all others can be washed once a month.

However, if you are a professional makeup artist, there is just no way around this one. Makeup artist Beauty by Odette said: “This is a non-negotiable for professional makeup artists. If you use products and brushes on different people, you need to wash those brushes thoroughly after each client, with no exceptions.

How do I clean my makeup brushes?

What would be a long and boring task we have compressed into a 4-step guide in cleaning those brushes in a jiffy.

Step 1:   Cleanse

The first step is cleaning those brushes with a product that won’t destroy it. (Wouldn’t that be ironic) .What you need to do is get yourself a product that is used specifically for cleaning brushes, or you can look at these amazing household alternatives by Goodhousekeeping that are gentle to your precious brushes, and affordable of course.

What you don’t want to do is soak your brushes in the sink. Bad idea, I repeat, bad idea. Not only will the water soak into the handles and make them deteriorate, but it will also loosen the glue holding the bristles together. So we suggest gently washing the tips in the abovementioned products in lukewarm water. After that, let them dry.

Another no-no is forgetting about the handle. Ignoring your brush handle is a big mistake considering it is the part of the brush that has more oil, grime, dirt and bacteria and washing them will ensure that the likelihood of germs spreading would be less if we washed our handles more.

Oh, and no, you can not just throw your make up brushes in the washing machine.

Step 2:   Add some Conditioner

Just like our hair, our bristles need conditioning too. Adding a hint of coconut oil to your brushes will prevent them from becoming rough and straw-like.

Step 3:   Keep that shape

Just like we run a comb through our hair after washing it to make it dry a bit more “tamed”, the same should apply to our brushes. Squeezing out the excess water after a wash can change the shape of the bristles and make them look like very dry hair tips. Make sure you squeeze the tips of the brush tightly to ensure they dry the right way.

Step 4:   Dont forget to dry

Just tip them upside down in a jar and call it a day. Eeeernntt!  Wrong answer! The most crucial thing to remember when it comes to drying these things is that we need to avoid getting the glue into the base of the bristles.

You know when you apply foundation, and then there is that one annoying small hair from your brush that came off on your face? Well, that’s exactly what will happen if you flip it in a jar to dry.

How do I know when I need to replace my brushes?

When your make-up brushes become dirty, and you can see a difference in the overall “smoothness” of your applied makeup, you will know that it is time for you to clean your brushes. But when do you for sure, know when it is time to replace them?

Elle Magazine suggests that you should look out for these three signs to know if you need to replace your brushes:

First, you should look at the bristles and whether they are shedding or not. When your brushes start to shed, it is a good sign that they are worn out and ready to be replaced.

Secondly, if your brushes smell bad, its time for them to go. No explanation needed here, I am sure that by now you are aware of all the scary bacteria that we find on brushes and if they start smelling bad, throw them out. Or burn them.

Make up brush

Lastly, if your brushes become severely discoloured it can indicate that they have been around long enough to have probably washed them a few times. When they are very discoloured, toss em’ out and get yourself a new set.

The modern-day woman is all about healthy, clean and green skincare choices and hopefully, you will now be even more conscious of the all the consequences that follow when you neglect to take proper care of the tools you use to apply makeup to your skin.

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