Here's How to Properly Clean and Dry Your Makeup Brushes

Say goodbye to bacteria-harboring brushes.

I'll be honest, when I think about how to clean makeup brushes, it seems like a long, tedious task. I'm sure you can agree that cleaning your makeup brushes isn't the most enjoyable thing to do, but it's rather important. Over time, the bristles can become a breeding ground for bacteria that could lead to breakouts.

"Makeup brushes need to be washed regularly to remove the makeup product, bacteria and pigment from the brush hairs," says Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist and founder of The Essential Makeup Brush Collection by Tobi Henney. "Having clean brushes is first of all the most hygienic option for the skin and will avoid any further causes for acne and irritation. Clean brushes also help your makeup look more flawless as the application and blending is more precise."

If you invest in a good set of brushes they should last you a good amount of years says Henney, but sometimes, it might just be time to toss them and invest in a new set. "Once the brush hairs start to shed or you find the metal shaft has become loose then it's time to bin the brush," she explains.

Still wondering if your brushes could do with a wash? If the fibers feel stiff, you're overdue for a scrubbing, so stop pushing the task to the bottom of your to do list, and find out how to properly clean makeup brushes by following our guide below.

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes in 3 Easy Steps
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How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Brushes?

How often you should wash your brushes totally depends on the frequency at which you use them. Founder and CEO of Anisa Beauty, Anisa Telwar Kaicker suggests giving your brushes a deep cleaning bi-weekly or once a month. If you use your brushes on a daily basis, you may need to squeeze in a few more washes.

For a deep clean, use a makeup brush cleanser like The Wash by Anisa Beauty, or grab a gentle cleanser that won't disrupt the fibers of your brush, whether they're made from synthetic or natural materials. Many beauty bloggers swear by classic anti-bacterial dish liquid.

While you don't need to deep clean your brushes every week, Kaicker does recommend a quick, "dry clean" using a product that doesn't require water, like the Sephora Collection Daily Brush Cleaner. "It gets rid of surface oil and dirt for everyday use with no downtime," she tells us.

How To Wash Your Makeup Brushes

We all dread the process of actually washing our brushes, which is why most of us put off doing it. But avoiding deep brush cleanings will just create more problems for you (like breakouts and stiff brushes). So we asked the experts to share an efficient brush cleaning process that's as easy as 1-2-3. Follow these steps for a streamlined, hassle free, and quick washing process.

1. Wet Your Makeup Brushes

"Start by running your brushes under warm water," says Henney. It doesn't matter if the brushes are made of synthetic or natural fibers, be sure to concentrate the running water on the tips of the brush. "Try not to get water in the metal part of the brush as that is where the glue holds the bristles in place. Over time, the constant contact can weaken the adhesive and result in unwanted shedding," explains the makeup artist.

2. Swirl Your Wet Makeup Brushes

To remove all traces of makeup and dirt, swoosh the wet brush in a circular motion into a cleanser of your choice then swirl it on either a clean towel or a silicone cleaning pad. Rinse the brush and repeat this step until the water runs clear. If you have gunks of product build-up, you'll want to reach for a solution made specifically to remove makeup. Cinema Secrets makes a time-saving Makeup Brush Cleaner that doesn't require rinsing.

3. Dry Your Makeup Brushes

You can speed up the drying process by removing excess water using a silicone cleaning pad like J. Cat Silicone Pad Brush Cleaner, then gently reshape the brushes.

Instead of letting the brushes dry standing up or laying flat, hang them upside down for at least four hours. Gravity will help all of the moisture to properly evaporate and preserve the shape of the bristles. The Dry'N Shape Tower by Sigma Beauty can dry and shape 44 brushes at once.

Lastly, store your brushes in an area where they are not going to be rubbing against anything that can push the brush hairs out of their place. "Be gentle with your brushes, at the end of the day they are delicate tools that need to be looked after," says Henney.

VIDEO: 7 Expert Tips on How to Apply Makeup on Dry Skin and Avoid Flakes

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