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How To Clean Your Foundation Brush (And Why It’s Important To Clean All Your Makeup Brushes)

by Beverly Hills MD

December 27 2019

If you’re searching for the right answer to the query “How to clean a foundation brush?” there’s a big chance you aren’t cleaning and disinfecting your makeup brushes as well and as often as you should.

It’s important to understand why picking up the habit of washing your makeup brushes is essential for not only proper makeup application, but also for your skin’s overall health and hygiene. Your brushes come into direct and regular contact with your face, and it’s definitely in the best interest of your skin to make sure these makeup brushes are as clean and germ-free as possible.

Read on for all the reasons why you need to pay special attention to the workhorses of your makeup kit.

Why Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes Regularly?

dirty makeup brushes | Beverly Hills MD

It’s all in the bristles. Tons of tiny hairs or bristles dotting your brush head are porous and can hold on to makeup residue. This means any makeup leftover sticks to your brushes – and the same goes for natural oils and bacteria from your face, too.

Dirty brushes won’t be able to apply products to your face as effectively and could lead to wear and tear down the line. You may end up with poorly blended makeup, or waste a lot of product since your brushes aren’t up to the task. Whether you’re using the cult-fave EcoTools makeup brush or pricier classics like the MAC 217, these brushes aren’t going to be able to do their job well if they’re dirty.

But more importantly, dirty brushes can be prime breeding ground for bacteria. Now, imagine transferring that gunk and bacteria back to your face with each swipe and pat of your favorite brushes. This could contribute to skin breakouts or irritations.

This is why it is the general consensus of skincare and makeup experts that you should deep clean your brushes from once weekly to a couple of times monthly depending on how much you use them, with special emphasis on eyeshadow brushes that touch your delicate eye area.1

Getting Started: Choosing The Best Makeup Brush Cleanser

makeup brush cleaner | Beverly Hills MD

Even when it comes to makeup brush cleaning, fancy tech isn’t far behind. There’s already a lot of exciting expert-level cleaning gear available for you to try, from little washing machine-type cleaners to those that use UV technology to disinfect brushes.2

While these are all interesting, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a makeup brush cleanser. You can easily wash your brushes with a handful of items you probably already have at home.

The jury’s still out on the actual best brush cleanser, especially because it really depends on what you prefer to use or whatever is handy for you. As long as the soap product can safely yet effectively strip your brushes of residual makeup, excess oils, bacteria, and other debris without damaging their texture, feel free to try any of these popular options:

  • Store-bought brush cleanser (these come in sprays, solutions, or balms, so use according to product instructions)
  • Dish soap (effective because these are specially formulated to strip oil)3
  • Baby shampoo (made with gentler ingredients to help protect your brushes)
  • Castile soap (another gentle, natural soap option)

The addition of a bit of olive oil can make the cleaning process more effective, while helping condition your bristles and keep them soft after all that soap. Using this common household ingredient makes brush cleaning a little more green and sustainable too.4

How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes: Soap, Rinse, Dry

dirty makeup brush | Beverly Hills MDHere’s a simple step-by-step guide, along with some helpful hints, that should make brush cleaning a breeze.

    1. Gather your gear:
      • Soap of choice (dish soap, baby shampoo, or other gentle antibacterial liquid soap)
      • A cup or two of lukewarm water
      • Paper towels for drying
    2. Put a few drops of soap into the container of lukewarm water. Swirl and swish your brush around inside the cup.
    3. You can also gently massage the bristles with your fingers to really work the cleaning solution into the dense bristles.
    4. Rinse the brush head under clean water, taking the time to make sure all the soap or shampoo comes out.
    5. Use a rolled hand towel to prop your bushes up at an angle so excess water can drain away from the ferrule and you don’t end up with waterlogged bristles. Allow them to dry completely.5

    Tips For Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

    • makeup brushes | Beverly Hills MDMake sure to focus on washing the brush head and bristles. Avoid getting the ferrule (that silver or metal part connecting the brush head to the handle) wet when you rinse, since this can cause bristles to loosen and fall out over time.
    • Take as much time as possible to dry the bristles out. Using a damp makeup brush will just breed more bacteria.
    • Make sure to also clean your brushes’ storage space or your makeup kit. There’s no point cleaning them only to put them back into a dirty container full of old makeup or more dirt and debris.
    • Invest in special brush cleaning pads. These silicone or plastic pads have a bumpy or textured surface that can help rid bristles of old makeup and other gunk. These are easily washable and often small enough to stash in your makeup drawer.

    Still Getting Skin Irritation Despite Using Clean Brushes? What To Do Next

    You’re sure to see and feel the difference once you start using squeaky-clean brushes, especially a definite improvement on your makeup application technique. However, if you still experience skin breakouts or rashes, this might not be related to dirty makeup brushes. It’s best to consult a dermatologist who may be able to give you a more in-depth insight into what’s causing your skin problems.

    Learn More:
    How To Remove Nail Polish Without Nail Polish Remover: Tips And Tricks
    How To Get Rid Of Yellow Nails At Home: Remove Or Cover Yellow Stains
    The Importance Of Cleaning Pillows And Easy Steps To Wash Yours


Beverly Hills MD Dermal Repair Complex