Beauty Tips

How Often Should You Clean Your Makeup Brushes?

Makeup Brush Cleansing Guide
Photo: Fancy Temple

Last week, Lex Loves Couture asked its readers how often they wash their makeup brushes. This week, you’re going to find out how you should wash your makeup brushes. Hate to break it to you guys, but we’re all doing it wrong. So, wrong! Results will be shared later.

Before we delve into how frequently you should be cleaning your brushes and how to do it, let’s discuss the why. Imagine waking up in the morning, taking a shower, and then putting on the outfit you wore the day before down to the undies. Gross, right? Well, using a dirty brush is essentially like doing the same thing to your face. If your tools are not sanitary it kind of cancels out the fact that you washed your face.

Here are few reasons why you must clean your brushes regularly:
  • It causes breakouts.
    Your brushes collect oil, dead skin, dust and bacteria. It’s basically saying, “Acne meet face, face meet acne”.
  • Ruins makeup looks.
    If you have eyeshadow, foundation, brow pomade, gel liner, etc caked onto your brushes then you will not (and cannot) execute a perfect makeup look. You aren’t starting with a clean canvas so there’s no way to be flawless. You see those makeup artists on Instagram with makeup that is “on fleek”? Yeah, they use clean brushes.
  • Spreads germs.
    When you use a dirty brush, not only is your brush infested with bacteria, all the products you use will be too. That bomb highlighter that makes you glow, your Anastasia Beverly Hill brow pomade, and the gel liner that gives you the perfect wing? Yup, you just spread those germs all over that pretty makeup.
When to Clean Your Brushes
Foundation, Contour, Concealer, Eyeliner/Brow and Beauty Blenders: Once a Week

Yes, once a week. Product buildup happens almost instantly with these brushes. If you had the time to clean them after every use that would be even better. Since we all  have places to be and people to see, try to stick to a once per week schedule. After each use take a makeup wipe or paper towel to wipe away some of the product.

Blush/ Highlighter: Every 2 Weeks


Since blushes and highlighter tend to have a lighter application you do not need to wash them as often as you would wash you would wash your other brushes. Still, for a more precise application it is good to have your brushes be as clean as possible. So clean them on a bi-weekly schedule.

Eyeshadow: Depends on Use


If you wear eyeshadow every day then you should wash your brushes once a week for cleanliness as well as aesthetic purposes. Your eyes will pop more if your brushes are clean as there will not be any leftover eyeshadow on it. You also tend to have more oil around your eyes which can lead to bacteria accumulating. If you are the type of girl that only does a smokey eye when she is going out then you can get away with washing your eyeshadow brushes once or twice a month.

How to Clean Your Brushes:
Photo: Makeup by Londrie

For brushes: You can use dish soap, baby shampoo, or an actual brush cleanser to wash you brushes. Run each brush under lukewarm water. Do not let the handles touch the water as it will cause the glue the handle to come loose which can eventually lead to your brush breaking. Add the cleanser of your choice to the palm of your hands. In a circular motion gently rub the brush against your palm. You will see the build up seeping out. Rinse and squeeze the brush until the water runs clear. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get it completely clean.  Pat the brushes dry with paper towel and reshape them. Let them dry with the bristles hanging over the edge (see above). Do not dry on a towel as it can cause mildew. Once brushes are dry, fluff them up by running them across the palm of your hand.

For beauty blenders: Beauty blenders require a different cleaning process. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and add one of the cleansers mentioned above. Let the beauty blender soak for 30 minutes. Take the beauty blender out of the bowl and massage cleanser into it. Rinse the blender and dry with paper towel. Let it dry over night in open area.

When to Replace Your Brushes/ Beauty Blenders
Photo: Real Simple
Photo: Real Simple

Your brushes tell you when it is time for them to be replaced. Basically when they are shedding, misshapen, or frayed it is time to get rid of them. You need the right tools to get best makeup look.

Beauty blenders should be replaced once per month. They are essentially a sponge and there is no way to keep them completely sanitary over time unless you have soaked them in rubbing alcohol or bleach. Neither of which is reccomended by the way!

PS— If you were wondering how Lex Loves Couture’s readers are doing in regards to cleansing their brushes. Let’s just say only seven percent of us is doing it right!  See results below:


BRB, gotta go clean some brushes!




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