HOW TO CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES (AND HOW OFTEN)

Cleaning your makeup brushes is right up there with flossing. It’s essential but there are some days when we really just CBF, amiright? 

In case you need reminding, your brushes are a literal breeding ground for bacteria that cause breakouts, infections and skin irritations. ‘But Beth, I only wear makeup a few times a year, I don’t need to clean my brushes’. Well Karen, I hate to burst your beauty bubble, but you do. Every time you use your brush, bacteria builds up, so the next time you use it – no matter when that is – you’re putting your skin at risk.

Another hard & sad truth: your brush will not apply makeup as well when it’s dirty 😨

Alright, alright, so what’s the solution? Well, my beauty loving friend, you’re in luck because I have TWO! 

METHOD ONE: SPOT CLEANING

Saint Jack Makeup Cleaning Mist and woman's hand holding a dirty blush brush

Spot cleaning your brushes is an awesome solution because it is quick, kills bacteria and removes (most) stains. Spot cleaning is best when you don’t have time for a deep clean (see below), but you want to keep your brush clean enough so your glam stays on point and your skin stays risk-free. 

I use the Makeup Cleaning Mist to spot clean my brushes. I spray the Mist liberally onto the brush and gently the bristles on an old towel. I repeat until the brush is no longer transferring pigment and is relatively stain-free.

There is no drying time, so I could use that brush again immediately – which makes this an awesome method to use when doing a colourful look and wanting to swap between eyeshadow shades using the same brush. 

Saint Jack's Makeup Cleaning Mist - Before and After 

Before and after of brush cleaning with Saint Jack the Makeup Cleaning Mist

METHOD TWO: DEEP CLEANING

Sard Wonder Soap and woman's hand holding dirty blush brush

Deep cleaning is more time consuming than a spot clean, but in most cases makes your brush as clean and fluffy as when you bought it. You’re cleaning deep into the brush, in between the bristles, killing all the bacteria & removing 99% of the stains.

There are lots of products on the market for this, but Pro Makeup Artist hack – Sard Wonder Soap is a cheap, easily accessible solution.  

Simply wet the soap and swirl your brush directly onto the bar. Underneath running water, build up a lather, swirling your brush in the palm of your hand and until the stains wash away. Continue until the water runs clean. Gently squeeze the bristles from the handle end in an upwards motion to remove the excess water and lay flat on a towel to dry. It is crucial to lay the brush completely flat to avoid damaging the ferrule (aka the silver bit the connects the bristles to the brush handle). 

Deep cleaning is obviously more time consuming than a spot clean, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Pop on your favourite face mask, press play on a podcast and enjoy the process getting your brushes squeaky clean, knowing that you’re doing your skin a solid.

Sard Wonder Soap - Before and After

Before and after of brush cleaning with Sard Wonder Soap

FINAL THOUGHTS: How often should you be cleaning your brushes and what method should you use?

Golden rule: when you have time – deep clean. When you don’t - spot clean. 

For someone who wears makeup daily, aim to deep clean once a week / fortnight and spot clean daily / every other day. If you’re really pressed for time, prioritise the brushes that you use on your face as these have more hidden nasties than an eyeshadow brush.

So, what do you think? Are you already a brush cleaning expert or could you step up your game? Either way, head to Saint Jack’s Instagram to see these two cleaning methods in action & let me know in the comments how you clean your brushes and tools.

Until next time, keep your vibes high,

Beth, Makeup Artist and Founder of Saint Jack xx