How to Clean Your Brushes to Achieve a Flawless Complexion

We all know that it would probably be in our best interest to clean our makeup brushes as often as we clean out our closets. Let’s be honest, we could probably be way better about both. But do we really know why we need to add washing makeup tools to our extraneous lists of responsibilities? We might know that bacteria and other “gunk” build up on our beloved facial brushes, but is it really that bad? And if it’s so bad, how can we fix it?

Let's research makeup brushes.

Before attempting to defile my own bathroom by swabbing my precious makeup brushes I figured I would see if anyone else had been up to the challenge. Several articles describe the different kinds of surface contaminants that can be found on our tools. After cultivating makeup brush swabs most articles describe finding a variety of orange and white bacterias as well as fungus. The results are not as terrifying as I had imagined, but they reassure me that it is critical to regularly wash the tools we touch to our faces on daily basis. 

Am I going to get the plague?

What if we already wash our brushes? How do we know if we are doing it right? The good news is that as long as you are cleansing them bi-weekly you are most likely not going to contract the black plague from your favorite kabuki brush. The other good news is that there is no right answer; the best way to wash your makeup brushes is whatever way fits best into your routine. I love these two super easy options.

Soap is dope.

Our first and most standard option is some good ol’ soap & water. Just take a wet bar of soap and make circles with the brush until all of the product has been removed from the bristles. A textured bar can help remove grime. 

Spray is the way.

Our second option is to use a brush cleansing spray. Just spray the brush, rub the product out on a paper towel, and voila! I like the Shany Detox Professional Brush Cleanser ($14) or the Japonesque Brush Cleansing Trio ($16). The Dior Brush Cleanser ($20) is worth it if you want to splurge. 


No matter what method we choose, cleaning our brushes is an important part of our makeup routines. Tell me your favorite brush cleansing secrets in the comments below!