We need to talk about how often you’re cleaning your makeup brushes.
I should first start off by saying I’m a complete hypocrite and never wash my manky, decades-old makeup brushes. It’s disgusting and I’m deeply ashamed, but I’m also inherently lazy.
But don’t be like me. Be like Leigh Campbell, Mamamia’s executive editor and beauty journalist of 15 years.
On the You Beauty podcast, Leigh shared some home truths about how often you really do need to wash your makeup brushes.
“Best practice depends on how often you use your brushes and your skin. If you’re acne prone or oily, I would wash them after every use or every second use,” Leigh told co-host Kelly McCarren.
“Look, this is best practice – I wash my powder brushes once a month, I don’t use brushes for liquid because I can’t be bothered and fingers do just as good a job. The more frequently you can be bothered, the better though, especially if you have skin concerns.”
An important note on liquid foundation/formula brushes – these need to be washed more frequently because, “by nature, liquid formulas can hold and breed bacteria. Powders still can, but not as much, because there’s no wet environment.”
If you’re worried about your soft, fluffy brushes turning into straw post-bath, Leigh explained all decent quality brushes can be washed without damage.
“You can wash all brushes, good quality brushes can withstand the washing, if the bristles come out, they’re not good quality.”
Yes, it sounds like a lot of work, but there’s good news. You don’t actually need any fancy equipment or little gadgets. In Leigh’s experience, good ole elbow grease does the job better than any battery operated machine.
Here’s how Leigh cleans her makeup brushes:
- Fill a sink or bowl with warm water and add baby shampoo, Dr Bronner’s soap or any gentle soap.
- Put the brush in the water and smoosh around on the palm of your hand (you can also use a brush cleaning mat if you feel like it).
- Once you’ve got all the gunk out, rinse in cold water.
- Lay your brushes out to dry on a hand towel near a window with sun (sun is a natural anti-bacterial agent).
- Make sure you smooth them out while they’re wet because otherwise they’ll dry bent.
Hey presto, that’s how you clean your makeup brushes. Let’s all make a pact to do it more often.
You Beauty Cheat Sheet
Other questions Leigh and Kelly answered, as well as their ‘spendys’ and ‘saveys’ (and where you can buy them).
‘Are dermal rollers safe and do they do anything for your skin?’
- Check out Leigh’s full explainer and road test with dermal rollers for more in-depth information.
- Dermal rolling or dermal needling involves running very, very tiny needles over your face to create tiny micro holes in your skin so products can penetrate deeper.
- There are different depths: 0.1mm, 0.2mm and 0.5mm – at 0.5mm you’re creating a wound in the skin, which promotes your skin to create collagen to fix it (like when people put holes in the lawn before fertiliser).
- Can do at home or in-salon.
- At home dermal roller looks like a pizza cutter, the head has spiky bits on it.
- How to use:
- Clean your face.
- Roll up up and down, and across your face with medium pressure as per a video tutorial or instructions.
- Sterilise after each use, use rubbing alcohol and let it air dry.
- It does work, you’ll wake up with plumper skin, great for acne scaring and under eye area.
- You can cause damage, so it’s for people who have some experience, not beauty newbies.
- In-salon gets great results, a good option if you’re a bit squeamish or scared of putting needles in your face.