So, how often should you clean your makeup brushes? Good question and you will find a plethora of advice from daily to monthly! And, like most advice, it depends on your individual user habits.
For makeup professionals – between each and every client
We know, as makeup and beauty professionals, just how important it is to keep your makeup brushes clean, sanitized and germ free. Not only is it essential in terms of ensuring your clients are not catching anything nasty, but there are more reasons to keep brushes squeaky clean than just the obvious hygiene ones. As a pro artist or a beauty professional working on counter, cleaning brushes between each and every client is the number one hygiene rule along with keeping your makeup products germ-free.
Makeup brushes, whether made from synthetic materials or from natural hair, can be expensive and as makeup artists, your makeup kit will probably have a bag full of brushes of every shape and size including your favourites. There will be brushes from days gone by that you can’t get hold of any more as well as more recent buys. Here are our tip tips for brush cleaning for makeup professionals:
Preparation: preparation, preparation, preparation: going on a big job, then have the right tools. Not just the right makeup brushes, but the right hygiene tools to keep you clean on the go. It is essential to have a quick-dry but deep cleaning and sanitizing makeup brush cleaner in your kit. Without this, you just can’t work professionally. Looking after your client’s health is just as important as turning up on time and delivering the brief.
Squeaky clean between each and every client: ensure you have enough quick-dry spray makeup brush cleaner for your day’s work. It’s easy not to check the bottle and get to the job and find it’s nearly empty. Have a back up if needs be.
End of day deep clean: deep clean all your brushes, sponges and powder puffs at the end of the working day at home with a sanitizing wash. It is so important to get into good habits and do this daily. How easy is it to say… “oh, I’ll do it tomorrow”. That’s OK, if you are not working the next day, but if you’re a busy pro, never go to bed without cleaning your kit and putting it away with respect. It’s like going to bed with your makeup on – you just know you should not do it.
Beware of makeup brush belts: if you wear a makeup brush belt at work, then take good a look at it and ask yourself this question. If it was swabbed for bacteria, what would the results be? If your immediate instinct is “OMG” then you are not alone! Brush belts are a breeding ground for bacteria for all the obvious reasons. It needs cleaning each and every day. We have seen some real terrors out and about whilst secret shopping and it’s not just the belts, but the brushes too. Put yourself in the consumer’s place – what would they think if they saw a filthy looking brush belt with equally dirty looking makeup brushes while having a makeover at a beauty counter or having professional makeup done for a special event? Unless a makeup brush belt is part of your uniform, our advice is don’t use them.
For general makeup users – varies, but at least weekly and often between each use depending on products
For non professionals, and that’s most of us – clean your personal makeup brushes at least once a week and when you are using a cream product, like foundation, concealer or lipstick, or dark eye shadows and gels, clean after every use otherwise you will transfer products and mix up colours.
It’s not just about keeping brushes regularly clean to avoid potential breakouts from bacteria buildup, but it’s also essential for daily performance. By looking after your brushes with a bit of TLC, you can extend the life of them and get a better application – a win win in our book. Product builds up on makeup bristles and sponges and affects performance, are less flexible. Think about it, brushes loaded with last night’s smokey eye gel liner (which has gone hard), a mix of eyeshadows and powders, gels, creams and fluids in an array of colours and formulations does not make for good application.
Have both a good quick-dry makeup brush cleaner that not only deeps cleans strong pigments and hard to remove long wear formulas such as highly pigmented lipsticks and eye gel, but also a wash/shampoo that can be used weekly for both makeup brushes as well as makeup sponges and powder puffs. Remember, just because you can’t see germs on your brushes and lipstick, doesn’t mean they’re not there!
How to use The Pro Hygiene Collection® Makeup Brush Cleaner (quick-dry, instant cleaner)
The Pro Hygiene Collection® Makeup Brush Cleaner cleans and sanitizes natural and synthetic makeup brushes by removing product residue, oil and pigments and kills 99.99% of bacteria within 60 seconds.
Step 1 Spray The Pro Hygiene Collection® Makeup Brush Cleaner directly onto the makeup brush from 15cm, holding the brush over a tissue or kitchen towel.
Step 2 Wipe brush on tissue. For natural hair brushes wipe the brush in the direction of hair follicles so as not to damage the brush. Continue wiping brush until all makeup residue is removed.
Step 3 You may need to repeat steps 1 and 2 for larger brushes or deeper pigments but be careful not to over-soak brushes.
Step 4 Leave brushes for a few minutes until completely dry before using again as normal.
Below are questions that we are frequently asked about our makeup brush cleaner along with our recommendations.
Q1. I have some old, but favourite makeup brushes – is the Makeup Brush Cleaner OK to use on all my brushes?
Q2. Yes, our quick-drying brush cleaner works on both natural hair and man-made synthetic brushes. Just follow the instructions and it will cleanse and sanitize your brushes.
Q2. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my makeup brushes – does it really make a difference?
A2. Yes. We were shocked to learn that over 70% of women have never cleaned their makeup brushes. Just think of all the bacteria lurking, let alone the dirty, dried out makeup that will affect the quality of application – yuck.
Q3. I don’t use all my makeup brushes daily, how often should I clean them?
A3. Like your makeup, if you don’t use a certain brush for a few weeks, but have left it out on your dressing table, in the bathroom or in your makeup bag, it will become contaminated just because it’s open to the air or touching other products you are using daily and that means it does need cleaning.
Q4. Can’t I just wash my brushes in soap and warm water?
A4. Yes, you can, but this won’t remove all pigments, oils and product residue and The Pro Hygiene Collection® is designed to clean and sanitize. The Makeup Brush Cleaner will kill 99.99% of bacteria and fungi.
How to use The Pro Hygiene Collection® Makeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash (shampoo with running water, brushes need to dry)
The Pro Hygiene Collection® Makeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash hygienically cleans both natural and synthetic makeup brushes, sponges and puffs, without drying or causing damage.
Step 1 Wet makeup brushes, sponges and powder puffs with warm water and apply a 10 pence piece size amount of the product, gently working it into the brush, sponge or puff and into a gentle lather.
Step 2 Rinse under slow running warm water until clean of suds.
Step 3 Repeat as required in order to remove all traces of residue, and then wipe excess water off on a clean towel or tissue and leave to dry.
Step 4 Leave makeup brushes flat with the brush head over the edge of a surface allowing air to circulate.
Q1. You have the Makeup Brush Cleaner and the Makeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash – what’s the difference?
A1. The Makeup Brush Cleaner is a quick-dry spray that kills 99.99% of bacteria and can be used on the move. It dries very quickly. The Makeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash needs to be used with warm running water and is like a super-clean shampoo specially designed for your makeup brushes, sponges and puffs. It was developed to remove tough formulas such as silicone and heavy cream based products such as concealer and lipstick. Makeup and beauty professionals need to clean brushes between clients and like to “wash brushes end of day” – so both products do the job at hand.
Q2. How much of the liquid do I need to clean my brushes?
A2. Start with a small amount the size of a ten pence piece – it will depend on the size of your brush and how dirty it is, whether it is natural or synthetic and what products you have been using with the brush. Just follow the instructions and repeat as necessary.
Q3. Does the formula remove all products?
A3. Yes – the formula was developed using everyday makeup we all wear and also professional products for screen and stage such as foundation with silicone and long wear eyeliners that “dry” hard onto brushes as well as heavily pigmented creams and gels.
Q4. Can I use it the Makeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash on both natural and synthetic brushes?
A4. Yes – safe for both. Remember never to soak your brushes as soaking destroys the glue around the ferrule (the metal bit that holds the brushes together with the handle) and the handle.
Q5. Do I need to use water to clean my brushes?
A5. Yes, best to use warm clean running water. You could use a bowl of water, but by using running water, you can see when the brush, sponge of puff is completely clean as the water will be free from colour residue.
Q6. Once I have cleaned my brushes, can I use them immediately?
A6. You need to let the brushes dry naturally and drying time depends on whether natural or synthetic. Follow the instructions and ensure you squeeze excess water out and let the head of the brush hang over the edge so air can get all around the brush head. Never dry artificially.