How Often Should I Wash My Makeup Brushes?

Ready to come clean? It’s time to wash your beauty tools. Here’s how often you really need to clean your makeup brushes.

Fess up, ladies! How often do you really wash your makeup brushes? Did you know that dirty brushes could lead to everything from acne to fungal infections? All that babying that you do to your skin can be totally undone with a quick swipe of a brush.

If you want to keep your skin looking flawless, you have to keep your makeup brushes clean and bacteria-free. Not only will you be doing your skin a favour, but you'll also make your brushes last longer.


How Often Should I Wash My Makeup Brushes?


How Often to Clean Makeup Brushes

Generally speaking, you’ll want to clean your brushes at least once a month. Stretching out the time any further puts you at risk of nasty side effects. Fortunately, it only takes you a few minutes to wash your brushes, and then you'll be good to go for another month.

When it comes to foundation and blush brushes, once a month is an easy standard. In the case of brushes used around your eyes for shadow and liner, you’ll probably want to clean them more often.

The more often you change makeup colours, the more often you’ll need to clean your brushes. Putting off cleaning leaves all of your favourite shades looking muddied. Ideally, to keep cosmetics colours looking fresh, you’ll want to clean your brushes after every use.

PRO TIP: Never, ever share your makeup brushes. Spreading your own oil and germs is bad enough. Wiping someone else’s gunk all over your face is downright dangerous.


How Often Should I Wash My Makeup Brushes?


How to Clean Your Brushes

Ready to do your monthly clean-up? It’s time to run your brushes a bath. All you need is a bowl of warm water, a clean white towel, and some brush cleaner. It’s important to use a cleanser designed for your brush. Natural brushes in particular are sensitive, so treat them with care to avoid ruining them.

For a great, versatile cleaner, we love Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner. It’ll clean your brush in a flash, and the natural formula is perfect for both real-hair and synthetic brushes.

  1. Run your brush under water to remove loose particles of dust and makeup.
  2. Next, squeeze about a pea-size amount of brush cleanser into your bowl of warm water. Follow the instructions on your cleanser bottle, since they vary a bit with each formula.
  3. Now that your bowl is ready, gently swirl the brush around in circles over the bottom of the bowl. Don’t press too hard. Keep swirling until your brush looks clean.
  4. Next, grab your towel and swirl your brush over it to be sure there's no makeup residue left. If your brush is still dirty, you'll see streaks of colour on the towel.
  5. When your brush leaves no residue, give it a quick rinse under the tap.
  6. After your brush is clean and rinsed, gently squeeze it with the towel to remove excess water.
  7. Lay the brush flat overnight to dry.


Don’t have all night? Estée Lauder Makeup Brush Cleanser is perfect for an instant clean. Just spray and wipe, and you're ready to go.

Hate cleaning your brushes? Get a case! Tossing your makeup brushes into a jumble in a bag or drawer gets them dirty again in no time. For a versatile storage pick, we love Sigma Brush Case.


How Often Should I Wash My Makeup Brushes?