How To Clean and Care For Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes and brush cleaner

Some of the best advice I had, right at the start of my career was that if you look after your brushes well, they will last a lifetime. And it it’s true – I have some brushes still going strong from my very first student kit.

Cleaning your brushes regularly keeps them in good condition and also helps your skin. Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria which thrive in a moist environment. The longer you go without cleaning them, the more likely you are to be introducing bacteria onto your skin, leading to break outs and infections like conjunctivitis.

How often should you clean your makeup brushes?

I clean my professional brushes in my kit after every use and never use a brush on more than one person without cleaning first. I use Clinique brush cleanser when I’m out on jobs, then when I get home I give them a wash with Revolution solid brush cleaner.

I clean my personal brushes about once a week. I don’t wear makeup every day but if you do, you might want to clean them more often.

Some brushes, such as ones for eyeliner need cleaning after every use because it’s impossible to get a nice fluid line with a brush covered in dried-up makeup!

A hand holding a bottle of brush cleaner

The best way to clean your makeup brushes

At home, I love to use something like Revolution solid brush cleaner because it’s great at getting rid of oil based products such as lipstick, as well as sanitising my brushes.

Use warm (but not hot) water to clean your brushes. Hot water can melt the glue that holds the bristles together under the ferrule and over time cause the bristles to fall out.

Clean your brushes one at a time and be gentle with them. The bristles are fragile and being rough with them when wet will make them splay out and become misshapen. I prefer to use my hands rather than any kind of plastic mat or glove because it’s more gentle.

Once you’ve cleaned each brush gently reshape and lay it flat on a clean towel. Never dry your brushes standing upright because the water will work it’s way down to the wood and gradually cause it to soften and swell.

Let me know below if you have any tips or a favourite brush cleaner you use!


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Hi I’m Rebecca

I’ve been a makeup artist and hair stylist in the fashion industry for 15 years. Welcome to by blog where I write about all things beauty, makeup and skincare. Check out my Instagram below for daily content and mini tutorials.