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How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes Correctly

Step-by-step instructions to a healthier face!

Makeup brushes are, of course, a very vital part of your daily makeup routine but over time can become clogged with oils, dead skin cells and old makeup. This can lead to bacteria growing on your brush which, in turn, you'll put onto your face the next time you apply your makeup – this leads to unwanted spot breakouts!

As we all know, makeup brushes are often rather expensive and you're probably going to need more than just one. The aim of the game is to make your brushes last for as long as possible before you have to replace them again, so to get the most out of your hefty investment and save yourself money you'll want to take care of them to the best of your ability, right? Yes! 

One easy way to do this is to simply wash them! Depending on how often you use them, brushes should be washed every two weeks on average and here are some simple instructions on how to take care of them properly.

Step 1: Wet a Bar of Soap

I would recommend using an unscented bar of soap. A soap with added lotions or other chemical substances can leave a residue that can linger on the bristles of the brush, by using an unscented bar of soap you can clean your brushes effectively. 

Dove sells an excellent unscented Beauty Bar that will clean your brushes but won’t strip them of the natural oils in the bristles. Place the soap in a bowl, so it won't slip away, and run it under lukewarm water to get it wet.

Step 2: Wash the Brush

Using gentle and swirling movements with the tip of the brush on the soap, it will start to lather which means it can work its way between all the bristles. 

USEFUL HINT: Don't press down too hard as you wash the brush tips you can damage the bristles this way and inevitably change the shape of the brush. Also, don't let the soap reach the brush's barrel (where the bristles meet the handle) as the soap will loosen the glue and cause bristles to loosen and fall out – which will shorten the lifespan of the brush.

Step 3: Rinse the Brush

Turn on a tap and place the tip of the brush into a stream of running and warm water, rotating the brush slowly as you do. Then check the brush to see if the makeup has gone, don't worry if there is still some leftover residue as you can always repeat Step 2 as many times as you need. 

USEFUL HINT: Make sure that the water is warm and not hot, as hot water could damage the brush. Again, try as best you can to keep the water away from the barrel of the brush.

Step 4: Dry the Brush

Lay the brush down flat on a clean towel to let it air dry thoroughly which should take around six to eight hours. 

USEFUL HINT: If you place the brush to “stand dry”, the left over water in the bristles can run down the handle and cause rust. If you want to “stand dry” your brushes I would recommend hanging them upside down to avoid damage to the brush.

BONUS TIP: For extra dirty brushes you can use a little olive oil to break down the makeup residue before you wash. Olive oil acts as a natural, gentle cleanser and will also condition the brush to keep the bristles from drying out.

Step 5: Ready to Use

The brush is now clean and you can enjoy using a bacteria-free brush, as if it were brand new, again and again and again!

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