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Washing Makeup Brushes to Prevent Breakouts

Updated on July 23, 2015

Why Wash Makeup Brushes?

Makeup brushes are a staple for any makeup bag. There are many varieties of makeup brushes out there and each brush has a specific purpose when it comes to makeup application. The most commonly known makeup brushes are powder, foundation, blush, contour, and shadow brushes. Most women who wear makeup will use these brushes daily to apply their makeup. Over time these brushes can harbor nasty bacteria, dirt, and oil which can cause breakouts.

Anyone who uses their makeup brushes on a regular or daily basis should wash their makeup brushes once a week to keep them clean and bacteria-free. If bacteria, dirt, and oil are allowed to build up on makeup brushes it can lead to massive breakouts and exacerbate existing acne. To avoid this it is important to learn the correct technique to wash makeup brushes to prolong their life and to prevent unnecessary breakouts.

How to Wash Makeup Brushes

  • Run your makeup brush under warm water to saturate the brush. Don't use hot water. Some brushes have glue that keeps the bristles in place and hot water can melt the glue and ruin the brush.
  • Once the brush is saturated with warm water, apply soap to the palm of your hand. You can use a soap made specifically for washing makeup brushes or you can save money by using baby shampoo or antibacterial soap. 

  • Swirl the brush around on the palm of your hand, creating a good lather. You should start to see the makeup coming off of the brush as you lather. Be sure to be thorough and get all of the bristles. Don't scrub too hard, this can distort the shape of the brush.
  • Rinse the brush thoroughly under warm water. Be sure to get all of the bristles and rinse until the soapy lather is completely gone.
  • When you're done washing the brush, blot it on a clean towel. You can shape the brush at this point to make sure it maintains it's original shape. It may have become more fanned out from being washed. Once you have blotted the brush, lay it out on a towel and let it air dry.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that any makeup tools that come in contact with your skin should be sanitized and cleaned regularly. Mascara wands are another example of a makeup tool that should be washed to get rid of bacteria and buildup. Clean and sanitized makeup tools will help ward off those pesky breakouts.

For more info on treating and preventing acne, check out my blog The Natural Acne Cure!


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    • alisharenee profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

      I'm glad you found it helpful. For a long time I had no idea that I should be washing my makeup brushes, but after talking to my dermatologist she pointed out that not washing my makeup brushes could be linked to my frequent breakouts. I've washed my brushes weekly ever since!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      This is very useful, thank you for sharing this. I have heard this before and I keep forgetting to wash out my brushes. I didn't even know they had soap out there just for this AND that some brushes had a special glue on them to keep them stiff. Very useful, voting up!


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