How To Take Care Of Make-Up Brushes

I had the same foundation brush from eighth grade until about freshman year of college before I learned from my dermatologist that improper cleaning and lack of changing my brushes regularly was majorly contributing to my acne problems. I also lost a lot of money having the get rid of nicer brushes because I was not properly storing them after washing or just down right now washing them appropriately. So I’m here to save the day for my fellow make-up wearers!

Use The Right Products

This probably seems to go without saying but honestly if we took a poll I promise you over half of the answers would be that people have no idea what to use to clean their makeup brushes. We’re sold on all of these expensive products that are full of cleaning solutions. Do you use cleaning solutions on your face? Probably not!

All Natural Products
I personally use an all natural shower gel and that’s exactly what I use to clean my makeup brushes too!

The idea here is that anything you’d typically use to clean your face or body, you can use to clean brushes!

Face Wash
Most of my face washing products are a little too pricey to also be cleaning makeup brushes, but in theory it works just as well if not better to clean them too.

Elf Brush Cleaner
This is one I have found that doesn’t break the bank, doesn’t break you out and has a pretty good overall outcome. I does take a little extra spraying and soaking for those foundation brushes, but overall this is a great and affordable product.

Wash Them Frequently

Just like I think most people don’t know how often to wash their sheets, their towels or their laundry….they also don’t know how often to clean makeup brushes. Theoretically some of or all of them touch your face on a daily basis, which means they need to be cleaned more often.


That’s right, they need to be washed weekly! I take part in a Sunday Self Care ritual, which includes self tanner, cleaning brushes, face masks and other weekly activities. I promise once you get into the habit, it’ll become easier to remember.


Monthly is my worst case, more realist goal. Some brushes, like eye make up brushes need to be cleaned more frequently if you’re going to use them for multiple eye colors, but if you’re like me and wear the same color scheme daily then you probably can get away with cleaning them once a month.

Use The Right Cleaning Utensils

Now here is where it gets tricky. To be honest you can use just plain ole soap and water and your hand to clean brushes off, but if you’re anything like me you’re going to be a prune by the time you’re done cleaning all those brushes. If you just have a small amount, you’re probably good to go without any of these items.

Cleaning Mat
These are super helpful for any liquid products that tend to get deep into the fibers of your brushes. Think of them just like paint brushes, that can have deep dried up paint if you don’t wash them well enough.

Electric Cleaning Machine
This this is AWESOME!! Helps you clean your brushes way more effectively and in about half the time as cleaning them with a cloth or by hand. Worth checking out. Some of the reviews are low because people get faulty machines, but the company is trustworthy and awesome! Definitely recommend.

As I mentioned you can of course use the ole rub em’ against your hand method, but if you want to keep your makeup brushes for a while and avoid the damage they can do to your face, I would suggest investing ever so slightly in the products you use to clean them.

In addition to potentially adding dirt and grime to your face, without proper cleaning our makeup brushes can also keep our fresh makeup from properly setting on our faces. With all that caked on foundation, your fresh foundation can’t actually set properly and instead sticks to the brush. It’s pretty gross when you do some reading about it, but I will spare you and hope you’ll take my word for it.

Proper Storage

Proper storage isn’t something we really think of that often. In short, here are the steps to follow:

Immediately after cleaning, you’re going to want to set them up where they can hang upside down. You can purchase a brush holder or you can find a way to hang them upside down. Either way, you want water escaping the bristles and handle so that it doesn’t break down the glue that holds them onto the brush.

When you’re not using them, you can typically store them anywhere but make sure they aren’t being squished and the bristles get all tangled or messed up. You also want to store them somewhere that won’t get products sprayed on them or anything like that. I use to keep mine right up on my bathroom counter that gets sprayed once a week to be cleaned, thus cleaning products were ending up on my brushes (gross).

You can find all the products mentioned right here

As always, thank you for reading and let me know if you need any additional information, have any questions or just wanna chat!


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