The Essential Guide to Storing & Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

If there’s one tool in your makeup kit that gets a good work out, it’s your brushes. They sit on the top of your makeup bag or in a tin on your bathroom shelf, collecting dust and debris. They last forever, too so it’s easy to forget to replace them.

Every time you dab your face with those bristles, you’re adding bacteria to your skin. This can cause skin irritation and blemishes, without you even knowing it’s the cause. You end up applying more makeup to cover it, causing further issues.

But there’s one simple solution: keep your brushes well-maintained. By doing this, you’ll notice an improvement in the look and feel of your skin.

DIY tips to clean, bacteria-free makeup brushes

Follow these four steps to extend the life of your brushes and keep your skin healthy.

  1. Store brushes with the bristles upright. This prevents brushes becoming misshaped and reduces contact with bacteria. If you do need them lying down, be conscious of the bristles.
  2. Wash brushes with a simple soap that won’t leave residue. You don’t need to spend money on expensive brush washes. A clarifying shampoo will do if you already have one on hand, even a natural dish detergent.
  3. Only wash the bristles and avoid letting water get into the base where the bristles connect with the brush handle. This can weaken the glue and also deposit bacteria-attracting moisture. Be gentle with the bristles by massaging the tips into your palms.
  4. Squeeze out any excess moisture with a clean towel and reshape the brush head. Leave them out to air dry. Never leave them out to dry on a towel because they can become mildewed. You don’t need any fancy devices. Simply lay them across the rim of your sink or tub overnight. Brush them against your hands in the morning to make sure the moisture has dried and no residue comes off.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing this once a week. Sunday is a great day because you can prepare for the week ahead. Why not put on a face mask or eye patches and clean your brushes at the same time. Both activities usually take around 15 minutes, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Just like artists care for their brushes, you should, too.