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It’s Makeup Brush Cleaning Day

My old friend acne showed up with friends last week. I was doing so well too. I was being proactive (I am not talking about the product) with my wash, exfoliate, extract, tone, routine but still there it was, planted like a beacon on both my left and right cheeks, a pimple.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes

Since I have been wearing makeup more often now, I figured the culprit had to be the brushes that I have been using on my face.  It certainly couldn’t be the products because as frugal as I am, I put out good money for cosmetics that are non-comedogenic and therefore will not clog my pores and subsequently aggravate my acne.

Yep, I am one of the guilty who forgets that routine cleaning of our makeup brushes is just practicing good hygiene.  Regular cleanings ensures that our brushes are free of dirt, product and in my case cat hair (you guys just don’t know…) and of course safe from bacteria.

I discovered that there are actually a number of products available that you can buy to clean your brushes.  A quick search of “makeup brush cleaner” on google came back with Ulta’s Professional Brush & Sponge Cleaner ($3.50); Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner ($6.50); and M-A-C Brush Cleaner ($14.00) which “cleans, disinfects and condition the brush fibers so that the brushes will last longer”.  Maybe if you are a makeup artist, the MAC product would be a worthy investment. If I have to buy one though, I think I would go for the Ulta. $3.50 sounds like a reasonable price for a cleaner, however, a warm bath in water, vinegar (disinfecting agent) and a drop of mild shampoo (conditioning agent) works just as good.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes
My brushes hanging out in their warm soapy bath


Don’t forget to rinse the brushes clean after you remove them from the solution. Once the brushes get wet they will fan out so mold/smooth the bristles back into shape before laying them flat on a paper towel to dry.


I was discussing this post today with one of my co-workers (she seriously and really needs to have her own blog).  Apparently immersing the entire brush in solution of water is not advisable.  Once the water gets under the ferrule (that’s the metallic band that you see above the bristles) it loosens the glue and therefore also the bristles. Her advice was that next time, if my brushes survive, and so far it looks like they did, to swirl them around in the shampoo and vinegar solution, in my hand and then rinse the bristles under a facet. She also recommended  this sigma brush dryer which shortens the time period for drying.


Have yourself a beautiful Tuesday!

Photocredit: I took these photos!

XoXo, Natasha

About Natasha Samuels

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  1. Hey, saw your post and thought I’d leave my 2 cents =). It’s also advisable to have your brushes dry vertically or at least lean them on top of a clean rag or paper towel, or something like that so that the water runs down and out, rather than having them dry horizontally, they also dry faster I’ve found, don’t have a dryer or anything like that and even my fluffy powder brush dries overnight- bt my brushes are artificial fibers (the e.l.f. studio brush set) so… You could also hang them completely vertical to dry- youtube it, there are a couple of tutorials using rubber-bands, paper clips or large safety pins and a wire hanger- so cheap and easy ;)…
    I know I’ve babbled, but another tip, babies don’t wear makeup, lol. So no baby shampoo I’ve found has been effective on removing it on it’s own, especially liquid foundation- my test, if it can’t take it completely off my skin then it probably won’t dissolve it from between my brushes- lol. I clean my brushes at least once every two weeks once I’ve used them (don’t wear makeup everyday). I deep clean using the method on makeupgeek.com (they have amazing tutorials and makeup tips for pretty much everything- *not affiliated). I’ve also used a homemade spray brush cleaner, found the recipe on the internet- basically you mix half and half rubbing alcohol (at least 70% concentration) and water and a little of the baby shampoo- to counteract the drying effect of the alcohol and keep the bristles soft- spray onto your brushes then wipe off on a clean towel or paper towel (*paper towels just seem more hygienic to me- I throw them away after), repeat until no product comes out, usually once for my eyeshadow brushes, three times max for my foundation/powder brushes- bt I don’t use much may be more for you depending on your usage…
    That’s worked tremendously for me- gets all the makeup off and my skin is acne prone as well- hasnt broken me out thus far, been using it for months. So that was my 2 cents- well more like 10 cents (=P) hope it helps ^_^

    • *meant to say I don’t use much makeup- you need to saturate your brush with the spray (not dripping wet, but not just “moist”) and then wipe til the bristles are almost dry for it to work effectively

    • Hi Candice,
      You left some really helpful tips that I think a lot of people who are viewing this article can benefit from. I am an expert on acne. Makeup is something that I actually just really started getting into so I am still learning and therefore welcome any and all advice. I will definitely check out makeupgeek.com for some extra tips. (-:

  2. I typically use mild (baby) shampoo to clean my brushes. But for $3.50 I will have to try the Ulta Professional Brush & Sponge Cleaner. Great tip!

    • Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your comment. Actually, someone else responded via instagram with the same baby shampoo tip. Honestly, baby shampoo is gentler and is a better choice for cleaning brushes, but it is also critical to add a disinfecting agen. My brushes are finally dry. I’ll see if any new pimples show up. If that happens I am going to try the Ulta one. (-: