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How to Clean Makeup Brushes the Right Way

We’re guessing cleaning makeup brushes probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list. If you have a super packed schedule, you might not even remember the last time you did it. But it’s important to learn how to clean makeup brushes properly — and regularly — so you can avoid serious skin problems later on.

Dirty makeup brushes can ruin your skin in many ways. Along with collecting makeup residue, dirt, and oil, makeup brushes are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this can cause acne breakouts and rashes. In the worst-case scenario, dirty makeup brushes can also lead to fungal infections, E. coli, or even a staph infection. Yikes! Luckily, learning the best way to clean makeup brushes is pretty simple. 

Dermatologists recommend starting the cleaning job by first rinsing just the tips of your brushes under lukewarm, running water. After the residual makeup disappears, fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a tablespoon of gentle shampoo. Swirl each brush tip in the bowl, and then rinse the brushes under running water. Keep shampooing and rinsing the brushes in this gentle way until the water runs clear. Squeeze out any extra moisture with a clean paper towel. Finally, lay your brushes out flat to dry on a towel with the brush tips hanging over the edge of the counter. That’s pretty much it!

Some folks might be tempted to let their brushes dry upright, especially if they keep their brushes in a container. But according to L’Oréal Paris Beauty Magazine, it’s really important to keep them flat until they’re dry. Storing still-wet brushes upright can cause water to leak into the metal part below the bristles, which can actually lead to mold. Probably the last thing you want after going through the trouble to clean your brushes in the first place, right?

Now that you know how to clean your makeup brushes, you’re probably wondering how often you need to do this. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it depends on which types of brushes you’re using. Brushes that you use for liquid-y makeup like concealer should be washed about once per week. Any brush you use near your eyes should be cleaned about once every two weeks. And brushes used for dry products like blush can be washed just once per month.

While this task may seem tedious, just think of it as another part of your skincare routine. As you’ll see, a little care can really go a long way!

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