Makeup brushes can become coated not only with makeup residue, but also with body oils and dead skin, making them havens for bacteria that will decrease the life of your brush, negatively affect the proper application of makeup and can also cause skin problems and possible infection. It is recommended that you clean your makeup brushes after each use and that you give them a thorough cleaning at least once a week.
What You Will Need:
- Baby wipes
- Mild shampoo
- Tea tree oil
- Warm water
- Sink or small bowl
- Dry towel
The Cleaning Process:
- After each use, your makeup brushes should be wiped with a fresh baby wipe. This will help reduce build-up of make-up residue and oils.
- Once a week, fill your sink or small bowl with a couple of inches of warm water (depending on how many brushes you have to wash) and add a capful of shampoo (about a tablespoon) and 3-4 drops of Tea Tree oil (available at most drug stores and beauty supply stores, such as The Body Shop, and work into a sudsy mixture.
- Place your brushes in the solution and gently rub the bristles between your fingers for at least 30 seconds for each brush.
- Rinse each brush thoroughly in warm water, making sure to get all shampoo residue off.
- Pat the brushes dry with the towel, then lay them flat on the towel, reshaping the bristles, and keep them in a warm, dry location to finish air-drying completely. You may need to reshape the bristles on the brushes so that they retain their proper shape after they dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- DON’T try to boil your brushes to sterilize them. There is never any need to boil your brushes and doing so could actually ruin them.
- Many professional beauty salons and websites offer cleaning products specifically designed to clean your make-up brushes. While we don’t feel there’s anything wrong about using these products, the shampoo/tea tree oil mixture works quite well and is much less expensive than many of the specialized products for sale.
- If your makeup brush doesn’t come clean even after using the above described method, it may be time to replace your brush.
- It is generally not a good idea to share makeup brushes as it is an easy way to also share bacteria that can lead to infection.
- When washing your brushes, avoid scrubbing them too harshly or you may loosen the bristles.
- Be sure to check any literature that came with your makeup brushes regarding any specialized or recommended methods of cleaning.
- Make sure the shampoo you choose to use is for normal hair and does not contain conditioner. Daily clarifying shampoos are a good choice.
- Don’t skip the Tea Tree oil—it is a great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agent. Tea Tree oil is an all-natural substance with a host of beneficial uses.
- Make sure your brushes are completely dry before using them again.