How to clean your makeup brush-Clean Image
For a species that tends to really worry about its hygiene, especially in the more developed parts of the world, it’s very easy to forget that despite all the things we do to keep ourselves clean, we are just inherently dirty little creatures! I am sorry but it’s not me saying it, its science. Apparently, humans shed like 30,000 skin cells just on an hourly basis and sadly, a lot of these cells decide to chill on our faces till dust mites eat them. And speaking of mites, did you know we have mites that have made homes out of our eyelashes? These mites, called Demodex, also feed on some of the oil produced by your face. And speaking of oil, do you have any clue how much crap we secrete from our skin on a daily basis?
Relax, the point of all this isn’t to relay disgusting facts about the human. It’s time you were made aware of what goes on in and around your face BEFORE you decide to run your makeup brushes through it. Because guess what, when you do, you’re putting all that junk on your limited edition brush set too and then, you put all that grime and nasty stuff back on your face the next time you do makeup!
You probably feel like you have bugs crawling all over you at this point! Cause that’s how I felt when I had this realization about my own face. Being realistic, you probably can’t do much about any of those things that go on underneath our skin. At the very least though, you can stop yourself from putting all that gunk back onto your face by cleaning your brushes. You might not be aware of this but dirty brushes create more problems than you might think. Dirty, germ-ridden brushes are a very common source for bacteria to get into your skin and cause your next breakout; the female gender’s worst enemy! When the bristles of your brushes are jammed with small debris and liquids, your blends will start to lose uniformity, so if you’re very precise with your details, it’s something you’ll want to consider the possibility of. Worst of all, according to some dermatologists, the dirt from your makeup brushes might be hastening your aging process too! If that last line is a straw too much, then come aboard; we’ll be taking care of all your dirty brushes by informing you about the different techniques that you can use to clean brushes and also include some micro details that might help you clean certain brush types.
There are several methods to get a basic cleaning done of your brush set. They will be listed and elaborated so you’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it.
- First of all, run the bristles of your brush under running, lukewarm water. Be careful about soaking too much if you’re using synthetic bristles with them. Afterward, squeeze out a drop or two of brush cleaning soap (always use branded ones please!) onto your palm and run the bristles only slightly over the palm. You can also use fingers to drag out bits of debris while you’re doing this. After all this is done, wash the bristles again under running water and dry out the bristles with a clean and dry towel. At this point, there’s a good chance the tip of your brush looks different and this is the slightly tricky bit. You’ll have to reshape the tip back into its original position. After that is done, just let it dry again by hanging the bristles off a surface and in half a day’s time, they should be dry, clean again and in top shape. If you’re going to try this out, remember one thing; never, and I mean NEVER, soak the base or bottom of the bristles. That is a surefire way to lose a bunch of bristles on the brush and hate your existence in this world so take extra care to keep that part dry. Wrap some paper around the base and keep it together with rubber bands; anything to keep it from soaking, really!
- Another way to get a basic clean done is by first applying some brush cleanser on a clean, cotton pad. After you’ve put in a decent amount, run the brush on top of the cotton pad in a swirling motion to clean the brush. Then, similar to the first one, run the bristles slightly under some running water to clean the cleanser off the brush. This one is less of a hassle in my opinion and it reduces the time you keep the brushes in contact with water, so you’re much less likely to mess something up and ruin your brush if you’re the clumsy type!
- This method is specifically for people with some experience of cleaning brushes and familiar with alchemy and chemistry and other scientific terms! To put it in plain English, don’t try this at home if you don’t know what you’re doing! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not particularly difficult or anything but you have to understand whether you actually have the right ingredients to pull it off. To being, take a small cup, putting in a mixture of olive oil and dishwashing soap, with 2/3rds of the mixture being the soap. Afterward, rinse the bristles and put it inside the solution, spinning the brush a few times with the bristles dipped inside to make sure all of the bristles come into contact with the solution. After you’re satisfied with the spinning or your hands just get tired, take your fingers and squeeze the bristles over their whole length, starting from the base of the bristles. This will help remove impurities that are still stuck inside the brush.Then put it under running water and check whether it’s completely clean by looking at whether any more makeup or foam comes off along with the water and dry it off to get your now, super clean brush without needing to spend extra money on brush cleansers. Team DIY ftw!
If you’re not satisfied with a basic cleaning, what have you been doing with your brushes?! Well, it’s your call I guess but prepare to get your wallet out again! But seriously, there is a way to get an even deeper cleansing of your brush, for users who haven’t cleaned their brushes since the dinosaurs got wiped out.
- Buy a brush cleaning pad. These pads have some regions of elevation and some regions of depression. Apply some of that brush cleanser on the pad and then run the bristles of your brush through the pad, covering the area of the pad properly. The idea behind this is simple; the uneven surface created by the elevations and depressions will open up the gap between the bristles when the brush is run through the pad. Debris and gunk stuck deep in the gaps between bristles will be forced out by this, especially the ones that you cannot access with your fingers. Afterward, just wash away the remaining debris and dirt stuck in the brush. With this method, you can get a more thorough cleaning of your brushes and given the relative simplicity, it’s also quite beginner friendly. Normally, I encourage people to just get good products that make things easier to do or do things better so even if you’re not in dire need of a thorough cleaning, I would recommend keeping one with you in case you ever find that you are in need of it. Needless to say, if you’re not getting satisfactory results with the basic cleaning techniques, most certainly consider getting a cleaning pad and a good cleanser to go along with it for maximum cleaning results.
- Did you know cleaning balms were a thing?! Even I was surprised to find out but it turns out that there are these balms, made up of natural oils that can help collect the debris and gunk stuck in your makeup brushes. To clean your brushes, just simply run the bristles of your brush in a circle and just watch and be amazed as all the oil and dirt stuck in your brush magically disappears into the depths of the balm, never to be seen again. Needless to say, this might be the easiest method of cleaning among all the others I’ve mentioned and given that it is composed of somewhat dense oils, running a brush through this will very effectively trap liquid dirt as well as solid debris and take all of this gunk out after you remove the brush from the container of the balm. Depending on the oil being used, it can also leave your bristles in a smooth, post-conditioner-type state.
In order to supplement these techniques, I will also leave you with a bunch of things you ought to know and things that you should do in general for the cleanliness of your brushes:
- Make sure you clean your foundation brushes at least once a week. Foundation tends to accumulate much more quickly than other types of skincare products so it’s important to wash them as frequently as you can to keep them clean. This is particularly true for heavy users who are using their brushes everyday.
- Powder-based brushes also tend to gunk up quite quickly and there is also the caveat that dirt will damage bristles and alter the color of your finish by carrying over bits of a previously used product with your new application.
- After you’re done cleaning, make sure you leave the brush to dry with the bristles facing downwards. If bristles are facing upwards when left to dry, water is going to seep down into the base of the bristles and I hope I don’t have to tell you what could go wrong with that again now do I? Good, you’ve been paying attention then!
- Knowing the type of hair on your brushes is important. You’re going to clean natural hair brushes slightly differently to synthetic hair brushes. Natural hair bristles will be better off used with milder cleansers as they’re a bit like actual hair. If you don’t have mild cleansers, use a mix of baby shampoo and slightly warm water to clean the brush. On the other hand, for synthetic hair bristles, you’ll want to use something coarser. A lot of people find good results using dishwashing liquid. Synthetic brushes as a whole are harder to clean and therefore, need quite a rigorous cleaning before they will become usable again. Even if dishwashing liquid is very corrosive, you’ll probably have an easier time cleaning the brush with this than other, less effective soap alternatives.
As in with most things to do with maintenance, cleaning is no fun at all. No one wants to spend too much time doing the nitty-gritty cleaning of brushes but as a consequence, they often do not get the best out of their makeup kit. I personally still find it hard to fathom why some people don’t clear their brushes as often as they need to, given all the slimy details about human skin and secretion that would make the normal person feel quite uncomfortable. Some of you are just nasty I guess! If personal hygiene isn’t enough of a motivating factor for you (I’m still judging you so hard if it isn’t), surely, SURELY, putting on your makeup properly is. You wouldn’t be reading still if it wasn’t I imagine. That doesn’t say a lot of good things about you, to be honest but people are strange like that! Passion over hygiene I guess!
Anyways, I hope with these instructions and extra advice, you should have enough knowledge in your memory about how to clean your brushes. Get into the habit of keeping your brushes clean and I am fairly confident you’ll start to see improved results consistently and there’s always the added bonus of keeping your face free from more dead skin and mites!
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