makeup brush
(Photo : Vecteezy/Lifia Dona Rita)

Your makeup brushes and sponges play a crucial role in your beauty routine, but their cleanliness is often overlooked. Failure to clean these tools regularly can lead to various skin issues, including infections and acne, as they become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria with consistent use.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) emphasizes the importance of cleaning your makeup brushes every seven to 10 days. Regular cleaning not only preserves the quality of your tools but also ensures the health and safety of your skin by eliminating lingering bacteria.

Below is step-by-step guide to help you maintain clean and bacteria-free makeup brushes and sponges.

1. Soak in a cleansing solution/wash with lukewarm water

Begin by filling a container with water and adding a makeup brush cleaner or gentle soap. This helps dissolve product buildup, aids in breaking down stubborn makeup residue, and facilitates the removal of dirt and bacteria. This approach was recommended by Belle Rodolfo, a TikTok beauty creator and editor for magazine L'Officiel Philippines.

Soaking the brushes and sponges in a cleansing solution provides a preliminary cleanse, making the subsequent steps easier and more effective.

Alternatively, for the first step, AAD recommends rinsing just the brush tips with lukewarm water because immersing the entire brush head may lead to the gradual dissolution of the glue that binds the brush head to the handle.

2. Lather on a silicone brush cleaning pad

Take advantage of silicone brush cleaning pads or mats to lather your brushes gently in a circular motion. Avoid scrubbing too vigorously to prevent damage to the bristles. This step ensures that the cleaning agent penetrates the brushes thoroughly, removing any remaining traces of makeup and bacteria.

A silicone brush cleaning pad offers a textured surface that aids in dislodging particles from the bristles, but in the absence of this product, you may massage your brush tip using your clean palm. 

3. Thoroughly rinse under running water

Rinse the brushes and sponges under running water to remove the cleaning solution, leftover makeup, and any loosened debris. For the sponges, gently squeeze them to expel dirt and soap.

Ensure that all residue is washed away, leaving your tools squeaky clean. This guarantees that no chemical product is left on your brushes, which could irritate the skin upon reuse.

4. Allow complete drying

Once cleaned, let your brushes and sponges air-dry completely. Lay them flat on a clean surface to maintain their shape and prevent water from seeping into the ferrule, the metal band connecting the bristles and handle. 

Allowing the tools to air-dry ensures that no moisture is trapped, preventing growth of mold and bacteria on damp brushes. It also maintains the integrity of the bristles and prolongs the lifespan of your makeup brushes and sponges.