Makeup brushes of all shapes, sizes, descriptions and purposes - Photo courtesy of Google Images

No matter what brand, price, make, or material, it’s important to keep your makeup brushes in good shape by washing them thoroughly and regularly just to keep dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria out. Proper washing also keeps your brush bristles soft and clean, so makeup application is not only more hygienic but also glides on more smoothly, provides a more refined result and looks fresh and polished for longer.

Don’t wash your brushes with an abrasive, highly alkaline soap because it will dry out the bristles.  I know that many prefer using different purpose-made makeup brush cleaning solutions, but they can be pricey and are not that easily available on the Malaysian market just yet. My makeup brush cleaning routine is quite simple and inexpensive, and it works, so here I am sharing it with you.

Read on for more!

I use an antibacterial hand soap with a skin protecting/softening/moisturising agent to clean your brushes: I use Dettol Antibacterial Skincare hand soap – it’s in a white and pink pump bottle and available at any supermarket or pharmacy for about RM8. I find it does a good job because it keeps the brush bacteria-free while not stripping away the softness of each bristle thanks to the skin protective ingredient in the soap.

When washing your brush, make sure you work the soap in by pumping a little into your hand and stroking your moistened brush through the soap and across your palm repeatedly in a gentle back and forth motion. You will then see all the trapped colours in your brush bristles will start to seep out. Afterward, run the bristles under warm water until water runs clear and repeat until there is no more colour trapped in your brush bristles.

Before leaving the brushes out to dry, give them a minute or so of good, solid shaking just to expel the water that could be trapped in the base of the brush (if you don’t do this, the glue holding the bristles to the brush handle could be compromised and you might find your brush losing bristles, fast). Leave your brushes standing upright in a cup to dry overnight, and the next morning, you’ll have happy brushes. Of course, if you’re one of the lucky few who has devised a method of drying your brushes upside down, that’s even better! If you’re really eager to offer your makeup brushes five-star levels of care and protection, you can invest in The Brush Guard, made famous by beauty blogger extraordinaire Michelle Phan.

I try to wash my brushes once a week, as I don’t use them for anything heavy duty – just a light dusting of powder and concealer (for application of liquid foundation, I still use my fingertips as I find it produces the best result). However, if you use your makeup brushes more frequently and fervently, it’s a good idea to wash them three to four times a week. If you wash them too much, though, overdrying can be a problem, so exercise caution!

Remember, if you take good care of your brushes, they will return the favour and retain their shape, not lose bristles, stay soft and supple, and last for a long time. Good luck!

And if anyone cleans their brushes differently or has any suggestions on how to do it better, leave a comment and let us know how you do it – we’re always thrilled to hear from you and learn new tips and tricks from you!

This is a prelude post to an upcoming review of the EcoTools Recycled Aluminium Retractable Kabuki Brush No. 1214 – stay tuned!


3 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks: Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

  1. Pingback: Review: EcoTools Recycled Aluminium Retractable Kabuki Brush No. 1214 « belle demoiselle

  2. In regards to drying the brush, is it a good idea to stand the brush upright? I’ve read from a couple of places that standing the brush upright will cause it to become out of shape.

    What I do is that i lie them flat, at the edge of a table so that the brush end of it juts out and is not flattened by the table or any other surface. Also, i think it helps keep the brush in shape, instead of having it stand upright, where it might ‘bloom’ like a flower if the bristles are still wet and too heavy.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for dropping by! I’ve been drying my brushes upright since I got them and have not encountered any problems with the brush going out of shape – but your suggestion is really useful and I’ll definitely try that out next. Thanks for the tip, and hope you keep reading!

      – ksuan

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