How To Disinfect Makeup Brushes and 5 Reasons You Should Today

Emily LaCroix

You're at work touching up your makeup before a big presentation when one wrong move leads to your open makeup bag upside down in the sink. You quickly gather everything up and place your tools and products back in your bag. 

Will you be cleaning your brushes thoroughly before applying makeup again? Do you think as long as your brushes don't end up in a public sink they’re safe and clean? Unfortunately, whether your makeup tools have ever left the comfort of your home or not, they need to be disinfected. 

We know, cleaning your brushes just doesn't always seem necessary or like a good time. However, there can be some severe consequences if you don't. We are going to go over all the reasons you need to clean those brushes today.

The Dangers of Dirty Makeup Brushes

Your makeup brushes and other cosmetic tools, like your spoolie and sponges, can make or break your entire look. They can create the perfect flawless finish, defined brows, and smokey eyes. Therefore, keeping these tools in tip-top shape is essential. However, there are more reasons to disinfect them than keeping them in prime condition for makeup application. 

1. Clogged Pores

After a week of use, there's going to be an overabundance of bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt, and oil making themselves at home inside your makeup brushes. Every time you apply your makeup, you add new contaminants and spread old ones around on your skin. Yuck! 

Those dirty brushes can lead to clogged pores, which is one of the causes of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. When a pore is open and clogged, you get a blackhead. However, when the pore gets clogged and then closes, you end up with a whitehead. If there are bacteria involved, you may end up with an inflamed acne spot. Clean brushes may lead to clearer skin, and who doesn't want that!

2. Infections 

Your brushes may have harmful bacteria growing on them. When they come in contact with your skin, you can end up with a nasty infection, even Staph. Staph infections are the result of staphylococcus bacteria, which is commonly found on the skin of people, even healthy individuals. 

If you share your brushes with a friend and don't disinfect them, you can get a staph infection, even if your friend didn't have an infection. The germs only take a serious turn when they reach a deep layer of skin and enter your bloodstream. A staph infection can lead to many health issues.

If these harmful germs are on your makeup brushes and you continually use them, you significantly increase your chances of getting an infection. You can also contract viruses, like herpes and pink-eye, from sharing brushes or placing your brushes on a dirty surface. 

3. Premature Skin Aging 

When your skin is dealing with harmful bacteria and contaminants, it may show signs of aging sooner. These germs can lead to collagen and elastin breakdown at an alarming rate. Collagen and elastin are what keeps your skin looking youthful, supple, and wrinkle-free. 

4. Contaminating Your Makeup 

When you use dirty makeup brushes with your products, you can end up contaminating and ruining them. If you are swirling your bacteria-filled blending brush in your eyeshadow pallet, your eyeshadow now has that bacteria on it. 

Another example is if you're brushing your brows with a dirty spoolie and then applying your brow product, like the TatBrow Microblade Pen or the Ultra Hold Brow Gel. The applicator will pick up harmful germs as it applies the product. If you end up with an infection, you may not have to just throw away or clean your makeup tools but all of your makeup products as well. 

Makeup can be an expensive investment and having to toss it before you've used all of the product may feel almost as painful as the infection. 

5. Make Your Brushes Last Longer

You probably don't want to have to buy expensive makeup brushes often. Your tools are an investment you want to last, and to achieve that, you need to take care of them by cleaning them frequently. Once the hairs are splitting and stiff, you won't be able to get a good application, and you will need more brushes.  

How To Disinfect Your Brushes

Now that you are potentially horrified with what may be on your makeup brushes let's go over how to disinfect them. You don't necessarily need to throw everything out and start over if it's been a minute since you last cleaned them. There are simple ways to remove bacteria and other germs. 

A quick cleaning tip is you should pick a time when you will not need to apply makeup in the immediate future. Another option, if you have enough brushes, is to split them into two groups. When one group is drying, you can use the other to apply makeup. 

Here is a step-by-step guide for cleaning your brushes. 

Step 1

Gather all your makeup tools next to the sink to get started. A makeup brush cleaning solution or a brush shampoo is ideal to have on hand. However, if you don't have one of these products, you can use dish soap or hand soap. Dish soap can break down grease and also the oil on your brushes from your makeup. You will also need some towels or paper towels. 

Step 2 

Once you have everything together, you can start cleaning. Run your brushes under lukewarm water facing down so you don't get water where the glue is holding the bristles together. 

Take your cleaning soap of choice and gently massage it into the bristles. Next, swirl the brush in the palm of your hand, breaking up the buildup on the brushes. 

Step 3

Once you feel like you have removed the makeup and any contaminates, rinse the brush under the faucet. After you rinse, you can gently squeeze out excess water. You can swirl the brush on a towel or paper towel to remove water as well. If you see makeup still coming off of the brush, you may need to repeat step 2. 

Step 4 

When the brush is clean, lay it flat to dry. You can lay the brushes at the edge of the counter so the bristles are over the edge. This technique allows both sides of the brush to dry. 

You don't want to dry them upright because the water can drip down into the bristles leading to mold. It can also dissolve the glue holding the brush together. You also don't want to place them in an enclosed container before they are completely dry. 

How Often Should I Clean My Brushes?

It would be best if you cleaned your tools once a week, especially your foundation and concealer brushes. When it comes to using any tool on your face, the cleaner, the better. You can usually get away with cleaning your eyeshadow brushes every two weeks without running into problems. 

Remember, cleaning will keep you safe and prolong the life of your tools. 

Plus, if your brushes are too dirty, you won't even be getting the ideal application.

When Should I Throw Away a Makeup Tool?

You may be wondering how to know when your brush is past the point of no return. There comes the point in every brush's life, no matter how well you take care of them, that they need to be thrown out. 

When the brush's bristles begin to fray or lose their shape, it can be the first sign that you need a new brush. You may also notice that it's starting to shed, leaving tiny hairs on your face. When these things happen, know it's time to get a new brush.

When it comes to makeup sponges, you also need to clean and replace them. If you are using sponges from a bulk bag, those are only meant for single use. However, other makeup sponges are microbial-resistant and can be used for three to four months if you take care of them. Although, if you notice a smell coming from your sponge (the kind of smell when you leave your wet clothes in the washer for too long) it's time for a new one. 


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Get To Cleaning

Cleaning your makeup brushes is essential to having the best-looking application and skin. You should be cleaning them at least a few times a month, if not more. 

If you don't clean your brushes, you are opening yourself up for some pretty unpleasant side effects. Dirty brushes can lead to severe infections, breakouts, and premature aging. You can quickly clean your brushes with soap from your home or products specifically designed to sanitize them. 

Disinfecting your makeup brushes will also keep your high-quality makeup, like your TatBrow products, clean!



How to clean your makeup brushes | AAD

How to clear clogged pores: Treatments and techniques | Medical News Today

Staph Infections: Symptoms, Stages, Causes, Treatment, Contagiousness Staph infections of the skin can be serious | Web MD

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