Keeping your makeup tools in tip top condition ensures makeup application is flawless every time, as well as helping to avoid pesky breakouts and irritation. Every time you use a brush to apply your favourite products, you transfer not only pigment but bacteria that breeds within these cosy warm environments. One of the biggest causes of problem skin is dirty tools, so cleaning your brushes regularly will help to minimise the risk of unnecessary pimples or redness while helping to create the look you desire – yet so many of us are still not doing it regularly enough. Too many beauty enthusiasts are still bumbling along with dirty brushes and sponges, when a quick spritz up could mean the difference between a cakey look and a blemish-free finish. So how often should you be taking time for a deep clean, how should you be doing it and what tools do you need to ensure the process is as effective as possible? Read on…
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BE CLEANING MY BRUSHES?
Bacteria breeds quicker than you probably realise; with your tools being in daily contact with your face, the bristles can provide the absolute dream environment for nasties to grow. At a minimum you should be deep cleansing them thoroughly every fortnight to ensure makeup residue and bacteria is completely removed – but if you’re prone to pimples and breakouts it’s definitely worth a more regular deep clean. To keep them as hygenic as possible between cleans, spritz them with an antibacterial cleanser to stop bacteria from taking hold.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING TO USE TO HELP CLEAN?
You can’t go wrong with a touch of baby shampoo or a sulphate-free cleanser (most of the ones you use on your face will be fine!) but it’s also worth investing in a specifically developed brush cleanser to keep bristles soft and to prevent degradation over time. Some of my faves include the Makeup Revolution solid brush cleanser, the Lottie brush cleanser and the Beauty Blender cleansing tools – you don’t need to spend a fortune, but just find a product that works for you.
IS THERE A TECHNIQUE I SHOULD BE ADOPTING?
Start with your most used, heavily caked makeup brushes and apply a spot of cleanser direct into the bristles. With a little warm (not boiling) water straight from the tap, start swirling in circular motions in the palm of your hand or onto a handy tool like the Beauty Blender ‘Keep It Clean’ pad which provides a larger surface area on which to work. Keep adding water until there’s no product left on the brush and the water runs away clear; this may require a fair amount of elbow grease, but keep at it before rinsing finally to remove any shampoo or cleanser residue.
AND WHAT ABOUT LEAVING THEM TO DRY?
It’s really important to reshape the bristles into their natural shape, or you could damage them and leave yourself with oddly formed tools that don’t work to their full potential. They can sometimes get a little messy or stuck together, so move the bristles around with your fingers to prevent clumping and then place on top of some kitchen roll, tissue or a towel to dry; this will absorb the moisture and speed up the process. It will take around twelve hours for them to fully dry out, so it’s best to leave them overnight (or do first thing in the morning after you’ve applied your makeup and leave out for the rest of the day.)
Investing a little time in thoroughly cleaning your makeup tools (don’t forget your sponges!) will ensure your application is far easier and your products are performing at their best, as well as minimising the potential for breakouts and irritation caused by bacteria and dirt. It’s not the most enjoyable way to spend an hour, but it’s a necessary evil that will pay off in the long term.
Have I convinced you to have a little makeup spring clean this weekend?
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