The Pro’s Guide To Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

With the love of applying makeup comes the burden of taking it off — and we mean taking it off your face and your brushes. If you're thinking, "yeah, but I don't have to clean my makeup brushes as often," think again. Any makeup pro or derm will tell you it's important to consistently clean your application tools. Fresh brushes and sponges ensure that your products glide on flawlessly (your new bright pink blush won't dust off the same with red flakes hiding between your brush hairs).
Clean tools also keep harmful buildup off of your skin, so you aren't making frequent appointments at your dermatologist's office. “It is important to clean makeup brushes to get rid of buildup, dirt, oils, and most importantly bacteria," says Cristina Monaco, certified physician assistant at Schweiger Dermatology Group. "I find many patients complain of increased acne breakouts if they do not clean their makeup brushes consistently."
Being that healthy skin is always the goal (or should be), we've asked a few makeup industry pros to share how they clean their beloved brushes. The pro-approved products, tips, and tricks to washing your tools, ahead.
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"This cleanser is great for disinfecting brushes in between clients and dries after just a few seconds," says makeup artist Denise Sanchez (@makeupbydenise). For this clesaner, all you have to do is hold the spray bottle a few inches from bristles — making sure to get it all over — and then, wipe the brush clean on a piece of paper towel. No water is required, making it the easiest cleanup session.
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"I keep a non-drying, gentle bar soap in the kit. I also use gentle hand soap or shampoo," says makeup artist Romy Soleimani (@romyglow). "I don’t like using alcohol-based brush cleaners. I feel like they dry out the hairs of the brush, and it leaves a residue that I don’t like."

This gentle soap is 100% vegetable based and best part is that once you're done cleaning your brushes with the bar, you can lather up your face with it... a multitasking win.
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"I use this bar soap to clean all my brushes and sponges," says celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng. "I take a few brushes at a time, wet them, lather directly on the bar, scrub gently on the cleansing pad, then rinse off. I avoid instant brush cleaners, and I find that liquid cleansers often build up an overabundance of soap suds."
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"This glove has different patterns that allow for different levels of cleaning," says makeup pro Mélanie Inglessis. "Then, I let [my brushes] dry on my kitchen counter with the head hanging from the countertop so no water gets into the actual handle, which could damage it."
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"I love this charcoal brush soap because it seems to clean my brushes better than anything else," says makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes. "I clean my brushes with a little of the soap and droplets of water until the brushes are foamy. Then, I rinse them under the faucet until clean and free of suds. It’s so easy."
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Post-cleansing, Hughes relies on a brush hanging tree to dry. "You can stick in your brushes and they dry upside down, it's amazing," she says. "When water gets into the base of the bristles, it can loosen the glue so [hanging your brushes] is super important."

This budget-friendly option has slots in different size, so that all your brushes get hang time. It also folds flat for storage, so you won't have to sacrifice any more room than you need to on your vanity.

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