How to Clean Makeup Brushes (And Clarisonic Brush Heads!)

Like flossing or cleaning the oven, cleaning makeup brushes is something we all know we should do – but the reality is we probably don’t do as much as we should.

As Emily explains in the video, applying makeup with clean brushes is really the only way to get a smooth application and to prevent breakouts. And the same goes for your Clarisonic brush head – it’s not much use cleaning your face with something that is covered in bacteria from repeated use and damp conditions!

Clean Makeup Brushes

Ideally you should get into the habit of cleaning your makeup brushes every week if you frequently wear makeup, but you can probably get away with every two weeks if you don’t use your brushes very often. Emily also recommends investing in two sets of brushes, so you won’t be left without any makeup brushes while they dry. Allowing your brushes to dry completely after washing is really important to prevent bacteria buildup.

This method can also be used for cleaning your Clarisonic brush head, which we recommend doing after every use, and then giving it a deep clean once a week. You might want to soak the brush head in warm water once a week to prevent bacteria build up at the base of the bristles.

Three Steps to Clean Makeup Brushes (And Clarisonic Brush Heads)

Step one

Assemble your tools! Clear a workspace, perhaps in your bathroom, and gather all the items you will need. Emily recommends washing makeup brushes with a gentle anti-bacterial soap, baby shampoo, or any cleanser you’re comfortable putting on your face. You will rinse them well after washing, but if you have sensitive skin it’s best not to risk getting any harsh cleanser anywhere near your face.

You will also need a bowl of warm soapy water, a bowl of warm water, and a towel or paper towel – but not your very best towels, as there might be some makeup residue when you dry your brushes.

Step two

Apply a small amount of soap to your makeup and work it into the bristles using your hand. Emily uses the back of her hand in the video, but using working it into your palm works just as well. Then, just like when you’re washing your hair, you want to lather, rinse, and repeat. Repeat until the water rinses clear.

Step three

Rinse your brushes in warm water, and then shake out any excess water. Blot the brushes dry on a towel, and then leave them to air dry completely over the edge of a towel. With the Clarisonic brush head, you might want to remove it from the device and allow it to air dry completely once a week. And if you find you have any dirt build up behind the brush – which is common and nothing to worry about – clean this with a cotton bud and rinse thoroughly.

We recommend cleaning your makeup brushes – and Clarisonic brush heads – once a week, to ensure you’re not introducing any bacteria to your face and to prevent breakouts!

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1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Vera Pittman

    October 22, 2015

    Fantastic article! I clean my brushes daily. It is really important to prevent bacteria touches our skin. I hope most people take care of their brushes especially if they are professional make up artists. Best regards!