8 Reasons Why You NEED To Clean Your Makeup Brushes!

When I saw the recent picture and article of the beautiful girl who had this grotesque and disfiguring sore on her face from popping what she thought was a pimple I nearly lost my lunch. Turns out it was a cellulitis, a type of Staph infection that affects the deep cellular tissue. She got it from using a dirty eyebrow spooly brush. Like probably several other beauty bloggers it made me think “I need to remind women the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes!” (well that and not picking your face but who can resist a big whitehead? I get it.) This is a PSA! You NEED to clean your makeup brushes often!

Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup brush cleaning 101

Yes, it’s Makeup Brush Cleaning 101 time friends! How important is it to clean your brushes? Well not doing so can not only wreak havoc on your skin by clogging pores, irritating skin, causing wrinkles, etc., it can also be bad for your health, with the bacteria buildup possibly leading to a staph infection like cellulitis (did you see the picture?). Besides, if you invest in high quality makeup brushes (and even if you don’t) you can extend their life by cleaning them. Not to mention makeup application is much better with a clean brush.


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I have vivid memories of my mother rinsing her makeup and hairbrushes in the sink using baby shampoo. They would be set out on towels to dry and I loved helping her swish them around until all the makeup came off (yeah, it was kinda gross but cool). Things have come a long way because today there are numerous relatively inexpensive makeup brush cleansers on the market. You can even find ones that are organic and/or have skincare benefits

8 Reasons You Should Clean Your MakeUp Brushes

1. Dirty Brushes Are A Haven For Germs

If you don’t wash your brush you are effectively allowing it to accumulate bacteria, dust and dirt. Then when you place said dirty brush in your expensive makeup you are essentially contaminating your cherished products. Gels and creams are wet environments where germs can multiply, just waiting for you to feed them again with a dirty brush. It’s like an STD for brushes.

2. Dirty Brushes Can Give You Acne

It doesn’t matter your age, filthy makeup brushes can give you acne. If you think your foundation is the cause it could be your dirty brush and not the product itself. Even if your skin is clean, your brushes are still collecting oil, dust, dead skin, and possibly hair products you spray around your makeup mirror. Ew.

3. Dirty Brushes Don’t Apply Makeup Properly

Think that eye shadow color isn’t saturated enough? To get naturally blended eye shadow you need a precise application which you can’t get with a dirty brush. Your eye shadow brushes should be clean and dry so you know exactly what colors you’re putting on your face.

4. Dirty Brushes Cause Skin Irritation

This is different than acne. Brush bristles that are caked with dust and product can dry out and become brittle, making them more abrasive to your skin. Cleaning your brushes regularly keeps natural and synthetic fibers soft and supple.

5. Dirty Brushes Can Cause Mystery Reactions and Allergies

I have sensitive skin to begin with so almost anything makes me rashy. Therefore I need to make sure my brushes are clean so I know when I am reacting to a product and not a dirty brush.

6. Dirty Brushes Can Give You Herpes and Pinkeye

I know, scary right? Herpes loves a moist environment and pinkeye (kids can carry the bacteria from school) lives easily and on almost any surface..

7. Dirty Brushes Ruin Your Investment

Do you spend serious coin on expensive makeup brushes? Well cleaning them will prolong their shape and life. If you invest 10 minutes a week in cleaning your brushes you will have them for years.

8. Dirty Brushes Are Just The Beginning

You’re thinking, I got you! I don’t use makeup brushes or sponges (those are even worse and should be cleaned after every single use BTW), I use my fingers. Are your fingers clean? If you have just dipped them in moisturizer and have gone straight to your foundation you are in just as much trouble. Please make sure your hands are clean before applying anything that doesn’t come in a tube. I keep anti-bacterial soap and spray by my sink and am basically OCD about washing my hands

The moral is; wash your brushes after every use, If that is just too much for you at LEAST once a week.

recommended Brush Cleaners

The majority of these are under $25. Some are even under $10. You can’t afford not to get one.

Have you read My 12 Favorite Luxury (and mostly green) Beauty Products or Summer Hair: Fighting The Frizz yet? You really should.


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