We brush, blush and contour our face and eyes every day with a myriad of makeup brushes but how often do we wash them? Not enough or so it seems. Truth is it’s a mundane, unglamorous job that some of us rarely (or even never) give any priority to. Our sable haired bristles stood up when we found out how much bacteria and other nasties could be lurking inside. So how often should we be cleaning our makeup brushes?  Well, at the very least once a month but preferably weekly. If you use your brushes profesionally on other peoples faces then they should definitely be cleaned daily.

Clean brushes help avoid:

skin irritation
clogged pores
pink eye
Herpes (since it loves moist enviornments – ugh)
Fungal & bacterial infections
viral infections can spread e.g. conjunctivitis

If that isn’t enough to motivate you to change your beauty regime check out this video clip from Buzzfeed.

 Cleaning made simple

There’s nothing wrong with some good old soapy water to get your makeup brushes clean. In fact Dermatologist Ellen Marmur says that dipping them into soapy water using either shampoo or a mild bar of soap is perfectly acceptable.

  1. Slightly dampen your brush with warm water.
  2. Apply a little of your chosen cleaning product directly onto brush.
  3. Clean bristles by massaging the tips of the brush gently in the palm of your hand and rinse.
  4. Use your fingers to gently reform the shape of the brush head.
  5. Pat dry with a paper towel & allow the brush to dry out properly (don’t use a damp brush to apply makeup).
  6. To help avoid bacteria build up hang upside down (the brushes, not you) for a more thorough dry.



For some alternative brush cleaning products we’ve rounded up our favs below.

Mac Brush Cleanser £12

A go-to brand for every well-seasoned beauty buff, this formula is specifically designed to extend the life of your brushes, by conditioning the fibres while also promising to disinfect and clean them thoroughly and it really does. The baby pink liquid is easy to use, simply swirl your brushes in circular motions in the solution until clean and then rinse.

£14 Blender Cleanser

This soothing soy-based make up sponge and brush cleanser has all the attributes of the original, with the bonus of being a more portable solid. Just massage a small amount into your damp sponge or brush, to eliminate all traces of make-up and ensure your tools stay hygienically clean.

Dior Brush Cleanser £16

The Brush Cleanser is a key accessory to ensure optimal quality of all DIOR Backstage Brushes. It guarantees a perfect, professional makeup day after day. A quick-drying antibacterial lotion for the ultimate in practicality.

Application tip: Spray the cleanser on a tissue, then wipe the brush on the wetted tissue to remove makeup residue.


£15.50 Sigma Spa

The Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat is the best way to keep your brushes pristine clean and free from germs. With suction cups to adhere to the bottom of your sink (or any smooth surface), this multi-textured ‘Express’ mat makes brush cleaning a breeze. The different textured elements of the base mean you can clean right to the roots of your brushes and it keeps your sink clean too.

£9.44 Real Techniques

This mini brush cleansing palette takes all the hassle out of cleaning your brushes and is perfectly compact for travel.  Similar to the Sigma mat the palette is designed with four different surfaces that are each fitted with various sized raised bumps to free the grime and dirt from your brushes.

Written by Ella Considine