When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes?


These tools are constantly mingling with the cocktail of products on your face, making it a breeding ground for germs.


If you haven’t cleaned your brushes in a long time, chances are they’re harboring plenty of gross bacteria which you’re applying and reapplying to your face over and over again, possibly leading to nasty breakouts.


Here’s the truth about your makeup brushes and sponges and how often you should be cleaning them. 

How often should you really be washing your makeup brushes?

If you use your brushes to apply liquid foundation and concealer, you really should be washing them at least once a week.


For the brushes that you use with blush and eye shadow, you can probably get away with washing them every two weeks.


Generally, if makeup is visible on the brush, this is a sign that it should be cleaned fairly often.


Some professional makeup artists, who use hundreds of different brushes throughout the week, may not need to wash them as often. But if you use the same few brushes all the time, they probably get quite filthy on a regular basis.


Under no circumstances should you use your makeup brushes for more than a month without cleaning them.

What’s the best way to clean your makeup brushes?

There’s a simple process to clean your makeup brushes. First, get the bristles wet with lukewarm water. Then, put a drop of cleanser in the palm of your hand, and massage the wet bristles into it. Rinse the brushes thoroughly and squeeze them out with a clean towel. After you have put the bristles back into their proper shape, let them dry while hanging off a countertop. Avoid drying them on a towel, as this can lead to mildew.

What about makeup sponges?

You should wash any makeup sponges at least once a week. One easy way to do this is simply place your wet sponges in the microwave for a few seconds. This is a surefire method to kill any bacteria. Just make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the sponges during this process. 


If you purchase inexpensive makeup sponges in bulk, these are not meant to be cleaned and reused. Simply throw them out and replace them with each use. However, anti-microbial sponges should last for three or four months.

How often should you replace makeup brushes and sponges?

If you clean your brushes regularly, you can continue to use them for months, or even years. However, be aware of the telltale signs that it’s time to get a replacement. If you notice that the bristles are frayed or generally losing their shape, they may no longer be as effective. Also pay attention if the brush is starting to shed. Misshapen makeup brushes won’t give you the delicate contouring you need when applying makeup.


Your makeup is only as good as the tools you use. Keep your makeup brushes and sponges clean to ensure that your face remains both beautiful and healthy.