The Nasty Truth Behind Your Makeup Brushes

There are always things that we know we should do that we don’t. Sleep at least eight hours; drink more water. The same is true when it comes to cleaning our makeup brushes. Yes, it can be time consuming, but if you knew the cringeworthy truth behind the bristles, you would realize it’s well worth it.

Every time you use a makeup brush, you spread dirt and bacteria back and forth from your face to your makeup. In doing this, your brush accumulates dirt, oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Once the bacteria levels get too high, it can cause breakouts, irritation, and, in worst cases, infections. (Are you officially grossed out?)

In hopes of cleaning up my act and brushes, I have been trying out different tips and tricks to find the most effective way to clean makeup brushes and sponges! With only five simple steps and one very important product, you can get glam without the gross.


What you need:

Step One:

Add soap and warm water to cup(s). Using Dr. Bronner’s soap is the special ingredient. Not only does it contain organic oils and is certified fair trade, this soap breaks down the product build up and does not contain any other additives that will leave a residue on your brushes.

Step Two:

Insert makeup brushes and let soak in order to absorb the soapy liquid. Letting the brushes soak is crucial to break down the makeup build up.

As you can see, by letting the brushes sit, the product literally falls out of the bristles.

Step Three:

Swish the brushes in the water to remove the majority of product.

Step Four:

Rub the soaked brushes in circular motions on a silicone trivet to help work the soap through the length on the bristles. Next, rinse the brush using warm water. If you see there is still product residue, add soap directly onto bristles and massage until excess build up is gone.

Step Five:

After you rinse your brushes thoroughly, towel dry, reshape bristles, and lay out to dry. When laying out your clean brushes, place them at the edge of a counter with bristles hanging over the edge. Not only will your brushes dry faster this way, laying them out on a towel to dry can cause mildew.

When dry, storage is very important. The best place to store your brushes in an enclosed space that is cool and dry, like a medicine cabinet. The absolute worst place they can be stored is on shelves anywhere around the toilet because every time you flush, microorganisms from the bowl can land on surfaces.

Beauty Blender/ Sponge:

What you need:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap
  • Cold water
  • Cup

The main thing you need to know when cleaning your sponge is that you must use cold water. Warm water is the worst thing you could do when cleaning a beauty blender. Put sponge in cold water with soap and it will instantly begin to absorb the solution. Squeeze repeatedly in soapy water until most of the product is removed. Rinse with cold water until free of soap. If you find there are some additional stains, add soap directly to sponge and massage. Repeat until clean and rinse. Make sure to squeeze out all water and let sit to dry.