Why It’s Important to Wash Makeup Brushes

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Why It's Important to Wash Your Makeup Brushes

I have so many makeup brushes but some of them I use daily or on other people when I do their makeup. I wash my brushes at least twice a month. I can’t stand seeing my brushes dirty. It’s so important that your makeup brushes are cleaned at least 1-2x a month because there are constantly touching your eyes or face. If you don’t deep clean them weekly at least spot clean them. I’ll be sharing a few items I love to use to spot clean my makeup brushes.

Why It's Important to Wash Makeup Brushes

Why It’s Important to Wash Makeup Brushes


Putting bacteria and germs back onto your face with a sticky, dusty makeup brush can aggravate underlying skin conditions like acne. If you have an open sore, pore or cracked skin, bacteria can start an infection. You’ll be swapping the infection back and forth creating a never-ending cycle of breakouts.

Changes of Color

If your makeup brushes are dirty, the intended shade will not appear on your skin as its true color. Also, blending and contouring your makeup for those dramatic effects will be difficult. You want your makeup to apply to your skin as smooth as porcelain. Dirty makeup brushes will leave your skin spotty. Not cute.

Destroy Makeup Brushes

You may not think that leaving your brushes unclean will be bad but it is. It can destroy the bristles on your brush. Washing them leaves your brushes smooth and soft. You don’t want to destroy a $15-50 makeup brush. Not fun.

Don’t use your hands

Dirty makeup brushes are just as bad as using your fingers. Putting foundation, powder, or shadow on your face, even with clean hands, is a no-no. The oils on your hands spread bacteria around your face much more easily than brushes. We don’t want bacteria on our faces because it can again lead back to nasty skin irritations or blemishes.

What do I use to wash my makeup brushes? I use a number of items. I like to switch it up. Dawn Dish Soap with coconut oil is one of my favorite ways to deep clean my brushes and beauty blenders. Coconut Oil is an antibacterial product so it helps kill off bacteria. The Dawn Dish Soap helps remove the buildup from the brushes. Another great product to use when you are spot cleaning your makeup brushes is the Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner or It Cosmetics Brush Cleaner.

How often do you wash your makeup brushes?

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  1. 8.17.15
    Sarah Emily said:

    eek! I am so bad about this but after reading this, I will be washing mine this morning!

  2. 8.17.15

    I’m actually pretty good about washing brushes but I never even thought about not using my hands, because I totally do that sometimes. Whoops.

  3. 8.17.15
    Lindsay Katherine said:

    oh my gosh i’m so embarrassed about how bad i am about this! literally on my way to wash them right now!!

    • 8.18.15

      You should wash them brushes girl. You’d be surprise how nasty and gross the brushes are when you look at it from a microscope.

  4. 8.17.15

    YES!! Washing makeup brushes is super important. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, but I still need to be more diligent.

  5. 8.17.15
    Ashley Chase said:

    I have really started trying to clean my brushes more…i just never think to.

  6. 8.17.15
    Laura Nalin said:

    It’s funny because my mom was just recently visiting me here in Korea and saw my makeup and was immediately shocked. She said, “you realize you need to clean these brushes, right?” And I didn’t. I had never thought of doing something like that because I am not good with makeup or anything.

    My makeup brushes are freshly cleaned and I will make sure they are taken care of more often. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. 8.17.15

    I need to clean my make up brushes more often. I use Mary Kay brush cleaner.

    • 8.18.15

      I haven’t tried that cleaner yet. How do you feel about it?

  8. 8.17.15

    I hate to admit it, but I haven’t washed my brushes in a while… although I have been meaning to. I like to use baby shampoo because it is gentle on the brushes, but still cleans them

  9. 8.17.15
    Jess Rey said:

    I normally use baby soap…I have never thought to use dawn, but then again I would see why that would be a great alternative to baby soap.

    • 8.18.15

      You can use Dawn on anything. lol plus it helps with greasy stuff.

  10. 8.17.15
    chall1018 said:

    I’ve used the baby shampoo before, but haven’t tried dawn. Dawn is good for almost everything! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for reminding me that I need to do this.

    • 8.18.15

      Lol you’re welcome. Dawn is about the only dish soap we use.

  11. 8.17.15
    Kristen said:

    so this is what im doing tonight! such a good reminder, I dont even want to admit how long its been since I washed mine!! I never knew you could use dawn dish soap. Whats your favorite to use?

  12. 8.17.15

    I totally agree! And yet… I suck at cleaning my brushes! I am gonna do it today! My niece has some baby shampoo lol I’m going to use that! Thanks for the tip! I appreciate it! I have only really thought of acne being the issue. But you are so right, it makes the colors off and your sking spotty looking. Thanks!!
    Danielle Greco

  13. 8.17.15

    I never knew that applying with your hands was so bad! Thanks for these tips hun, it’s definitely prompted me to wash my brushes…I know what i’ll be doing later! 🙂

  14. 8.17.15

    Thanks for the reminder! This something I always forget to do.

  15. 8.17.15

    I am a TOTAL slacker in this department. I needed this reminder – especially to keep those breakouts away!

  16. 8.17.15
    Dana Brillante-Peller said:

    I am SO BAD about washing my brushes. I’m adding it to my to-do list 🙂

  17. 8.17.15

    I’m terrible at washing my brushes, I’m even worse at actually using them. I always do my makeup in like 5 minutes and never take the time to do it properly. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  18. 8.17.15
    Melissa Latimer said:

    This is great. I am definitely guilty of being lazy when the time comes to clean my blenders and brushes. This article is my wake up call lol New goal is to clean my brushes at least twice a week.

  19. 8.17.15

    I’m not on a regular schedule washing them, but have been trying to remember to do so at least once a month. I need to schedule a reminder in my phone…I do that for cleaning my Keurig and changing my Clarisonic brush head. If not, I would never think of it as much as I do when I get the reminder

  20. 8.17.15

    Thanks for the reminder. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to go …um….wash my brushes which I may have neglected to do for a – ahem – few months…

  21. 8.17.15
    Jacynta said:

    yes! totally agree with this all. the brushes in my kit are washed after every application and i even use antibacterial spray if they’re sitting unused too long. it’s a great habit to get into and will help your brushes last so much longer!

  22. 8.17.15
    Katy King said:

    And now I know what’s on my to do list tonight! thanks for sharing!

  23. 8.17.15

    Love Swirl and Sparkle! I agree on all of this! I do use my fingers to apply my Colorpop Eyeshadows because they just don’t go on any other way really well, but I always wash my hands right before I do it so they are clean!

  24. 8.17.15
    Erin said:

    I usually use baby shampoo on them! I’ll be honest though, I don’t wash them nearly as much as I should!

  25. 8.17.15
    Serene Mom said:

    I’m so bad at cleaning my brushes, but you’re so right about the bacteria ugh… LOL @ swirl and sparkle.

  26. 8.17.15

    Huge stickler for brush washing here! I have so many brushes I do a deep clean every 2 or so months when they’re all piled up. I love Parian Spirit for a spot clean and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo for a deep clean. Nothing better than fresh, clean brushes!!

  27. 8.18.15

    Yes this post comes just in time! I am horrible at washing my makeup brushes because they take way too long to dry! I guess I should get a few more so that I don’t mind the drying time! You are so right about the look of the makeup. I notice that mine can be way off in the color if I skipped washing the brushes. I use baby shampoo too!

  28. 8.18.15

    I use ELF brush remover. I love it. I need to be better about cleaning them.

  29. 8.19.15
    Jae said:

    I wash my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge more than any of my brushes. Since I always use it damped, it’s more susceptible to bacteria.

  30. 8.25.15

    Thanks for listing what you wash with! Your blog is great!

  31. 10.6.15
    Shelby Bussard said:

    This was just what I was looking for! I was hunting for you blog just so I could find this post because my brushes have been getting soooo dirty. Thank you!

  32. 3.10.16

    You’re the second person to recommend Dawn dish soap. I have to buy that. I just bought a Sonia something-or-other cleaner form Target for my brushes. Ever try that?