Ask Beaut: How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

Welcome to our weekly ‘Ask Beaut’ where we try to help with all your beauty dilemmas, troubles, and concerns (and if you’ve any to add, you can check out all the original questions here).

This week’s question to our Beauty Editor is all about brush cleaning.

Celine asks: 

"Hi Aisling, Short and sweet- How often do I need to wash my makeup brushes?"


Hi Celine,

That is a question that needs to be addressed. A lot of people either don't clean their brushes at all, don't clean them enough or don't clean them properly.

For personal use, you need to be cleaning them at least once a month if not every three weeks for powder products, and weekly for liquid products. If you use the brush on a second person, it should be washed immediately after.

There are some really good instant brush cleaners out there. I personally like the Estée Lauder one as it has both anti-bacterial agents and conditioning agents to keep your brushes soft and in good condition. I just spray it on a piece of kitchen paper and swirl the brush around until it's clean. Make sure to really dry it well with clean kitchen towel before putting it back in your brush case. Cinema Secrets also do an amazing brush cleaner similar to this one.





If you prefer you can use Johnson's Baby Shampoo and hot water or any mild shampoo with no sulphate and add a bit of IPA alcohol to kill any germs if you're a germ freak like me. However, if you are washing them in water be aware that the brushes should never be submerged in water; hold them right at the top where the hair meets the metal connection.




Add shampoo to a saucer or the palm of your hand, and swirl the brush around in it. Still holding the brush upside down with your hand in a fist around the metal connection, rinse well. Repeat this process until the water runs clean.

Squeeze out all the remaining water, and towel dry as much as possible. Then rest the brush on its side over the side of a table to let air dry fully.

The aim is to not let any water get into the metal connection as that is where the hairs are glued, and if water gets in it will eventually break down the glue, and the hairs will start to fall out of your brush.

Also, do not use any artificial heat on your brushes. No hair dryers, radiators or oven heat (I have seen it all at this stage) as this will just destroy your brushes.

Hope that answers your question.

Let me know how you get on,


Ais x

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