How Often Should You Really Be Washing Your Makeup Brushes To Avoid Getting Acne?

washing makeup brushes to avoid acne
by Kali Kushner

Sometimes it’s our makeup that’s triggering acne- and other times it’s our makeup brushes. I’d be lying if I said I clean my brushes religiously every week on a certain day every time, I wish I had my life that much put together. But hey- I’m only human! And sometimes I slip up and go biweekly, I’ll admit once I even waited a full month but, hey- before you judge when’s the last time you washed your brushes? Exactly. Plus I don’t even wear makeup everyday so it seems a wee bit unnecessary to me.

This whole idea got me thinking, how often should you really be washing your brushes to avoid getting acne? Is there a peak number of times I can use my brushes, I also don’t want to over-wash them. And how long can you go in between washings? Well, my friends, to answer all of those questions and more keep reading.

For the best clean brushes, wash your brushes weekly

It’s no surprise to me that the general consensus online seems to be washing all foundation and concealer makeup brushes about once a week to prevent them for causing acne.  (dag nabbit I honestly thought I was going to get away with biweekly washings!). This will prevent any dirt, oil, and bacteria from building up and possibly causing more acne breakouts. All other brushes, like eye and lip brushes can be washed biweekly! Hip hip hooray!

Interesting enough, washing your brushes actually helps to extend the life of the brush- not wear the bristles down like we are led to believe. It also makes the makeup application apply smoother (score!!). Dirty brushes built up with old makeup can cause an uneven and spotty makeup application, so in the end cleansing your brushes will make your makeup look better too!

What should you use to clean your makeup brushes?

There are tons of fancy brush cleaning soaps on the market but the best and most effective way to clean your brushes is simply by using water and a gentle non fragrance soap. I’ve found that baby shampoo is fantastic because it is gentle and also cleanses the brushes thoroughly! Johnson & Johnson is an amazing brand I’ve used quiet a few times to cleanse my brushes as well as Dr.Bronners Castile Soap!

How to clean your makeup brushes

So now that we know about how often we should clean our brushes and what to clean with, how often do we need to clean our brushes? Below is my simple 7 step process I use to clean all of my brushes and sponges.

  1. Wet brushes with warm water
  2. Apply desired soap to palm of your hand or in a plastic cup
  3. Swirl brush around in cup or in palm of your hand
  4. Rinse out the bristles
  5. Squeeze out any excess water, making sure the water runs completely clear
  6. Reshape the brush head
  7. On a paper towel, or upright in a cup allow the brushes to dry completely, usually about 8 hours or so will do the trick.

*Make sure when you are cleansing the brush to keep the metal connector piece away from soap and water. Brush handles are typically held together with some type of glue or adhesive which soap and water will deteriorate with time, causing the brush to fall apart.

When is it time to replace my brushes and sponges?

Any circular or triangle cut sponge that comes in a bulk plastic bag isn’t meant to be reused. However, beauty blenders or any other expensive microbial-resistant sponge can be reused for 3 to 4 months.

Brushes can last a long, long time. You’ll know it’s time to replace them when they begin to fray, shed, or lose their once full shape. Many times your makeup brushes can be even more important than your makeup itself, determining how an eyeshadow blends or concealer lays – that is why it is so vital to replace your brushes after they’ve bit the dust. Using the right tools is so important to when working to achieve a specific look!

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