Even if you’re not an ‘I wear make-up every day’ kinda gal, it’s safe to say that most of us have at least one or two make-up brushes in our beauty kits. But how often do you clean them?
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Sure, you often resort to applying foundation with your fingers (I know I do), but there’s no denying that blush brushes and beauty sponges remain an essential part of how we apply the rest of our make-up to our faces.
The trouble is, after a couple of uses, our fluffy friends get bogged down with all sorts of unwanted matter, including dead skin cells and oily make-up residue, making them a cesspool for skin-irritating bacteria.
But do we clean these useful tools as much as we should?
Apparently not. According to a recent study by Cosmetify, 26% of women admit to never having washed their make-up brushes before. Yikes!
It’s also important to be aware that, “bacteria and fungi prefer wet to dry conditions, so foundation brushes may accumulate micro-organisms quicker than dry powder brushes,” explains dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams in an interview with Glamour magazine.
So, how often should I clean my make-up brushes?
In an ideal world, we should all be washing our brushes approximately every two weeks. But if this seems like an impossible feat (because you have so many brushes or simply, not enough time), aim for a deep clean at least once a month.
What should I use to clean my make-up brushes?
There are two ways to go about cleaning your make-up brushes; here is what you’ll need for each method…
Option 1: quick cleanse
For times when you’ve just finished using a recently cleaned brush or feel the need to sanitise one of those brushes that you reach for less often, try a quick cleanse.
This type of cleansing is not that involved and is, as the name suggests, fast.
What you’ll need: An alcohol-based brush cleaner (it evaporates in seconds) and a few paper towels.
Start by spritzing the ‘heads’ of your brushes with a sprayable brush cleaner like Clinique Makeup Brush Cleaner, R375 for 236ml; or Smashbox Camera Ready Brush Cleaner, R335 for 116ml.
Then wipe off the make-up left on your brush onto a paper towel and your brush will be as good (and clean) as new. Done!
Another fab and fast option is a waterless cleansing pot
It uses a specially structured sponge that effectively gets rid of powder type products, so best use this on your eyeshadow brushes before setting down a new colour.
Option 2: deep cleanse
This is the option that makes most of us dread having to clean our make-up brushes…
What you’ll need: Besides motivation and a fair bit of time on your hands, it’s nice to have something to help loosen the dirt trapped in your brushes like a silicone pad, plus lukewarm water and delicate cleansing agents like baby shampoo or a multi-purpose cleansing gel.
Swiitchbeauty #BrushLoveGlove, R200, is an ultra-easy to use silicone glove. Simply slip onto your hand and wet your make-up brush with some lukewarm water. Then place a small amount of gentle cleansing liquid, like the rose-scented Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Rose Pure-Castille Soap, R159 for 237ml, and swirl your brush around on the silicone glove until it’s clean.
Repeat steps as much as necessary.
By Beauty Editor, Martinique Stevens
A scent obsessed beauty editor with a flair for fashion and an affinity for anything kawaii. When she’s not researching skincare ingredient lists for the latest low-down on what this or that compound or chemical does on the skin, you can expect to find her off-loading stress at the gym, enjoying a salsa dancing social or hunting for the latest fragrance.