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The foundation of any good makeup routine starts before makeup even comes into play. Getting the even, flawless coverage you want begins with your brushes and sponges. Keeping them clean is the only way to ensure that they continue to provide consistent, quality results again and again.

If you’ve never cleaned your makeup brushes, it’s a habit you want to start as soon as possible. It’s easy to do and will make a big difference in your makeup application, skin health, and the longevity of your brushes.

Why Is It Important to Clean Makeup Brushes?

Protect Your Skin

Like towels, washcloths, and any other material you repeatedly use on your skin, your makeup brushes and sponges build up oil and bacteria from your skin. Add that to layers of makeup residue that remain on them after you apply, and you have a perfect recipe for breakouts and skin irritation.

Maximize Results

Even the best brushes in the world won’t do their job correctly if they’re full of built-up products and residue from your skin. Keeping your brushes clean means they can do their jobs correctly, leaving you with the results you want.

Protect Your Investment

Quality makeup brushes aren’t cheap. If you’ve spent the money on a decent set, don’t you want them to last as long as possible? Keeping them clean and sanitized is the best way to make your investment last.

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How Do I Clean My Brushes?

Get the Timing Right

You don’t want to wash your brushes and have them still be wet when you try to use them next. Make sure they have plenty of time to dry before you’re going to use them again when you decide to clean them. Clean your brushes at least every two weeks to keep them free of buildup and extend their life. Additionally, varying products will necessitate different washing schedules. For example, cream foundations and concealers will build up more quickly than powder.

Find the Right Cleanser

Many makeup brands make cleansers specifically for cleaning your brushes. So, if you want a specialized product, find one that works for your purpose and price range. Or, you can use dish soap or shampoo that you already have lying around. Wet the bristles, apply the cleanser, and massage the brush in your hand. You can also find special, texturized rubber scrubbing mats that are texturized to help you get your brushes clean, but you don’t need one to get the job done.

Dry Out

Squeeze the bristles with a clean towel to get out excess water, then leave your brushes to dry. Always ensure that the brushes are horizontal while they dry. If possible, hang them so that the bristles are pointing down. This will keep moisture from soaking into the glue that holds the bristles in. If this glue starts to come loose, your brush will shed bristles and it won’t last as long.

Things To Avoid

Stash Those Brushes

If possible, you should avoid keeping your brushes out in the open—on a countertop or shelf. Keep them in a drawer or makeup bag to protect them from the bacteria that are flying around your bathroom.

Don’t Dunk Them

Just like you don’t want water to run down into the brush head during the drying process, you don’t want the brush to get wet past the bristles when you’re washing it. In addition to loosening the glue that holds everything together, this invites bacteria, odor, and even mold. Avoid submerging your brushes or letting water run into the brush head while you’re washing.

Keeping your makeup brushes clean is quick and easy once you get into the habit. You’ll be glad you went to the effort of cleaning these frequently used tools when you’re putting on a fresh face of makeup.