The importance of washing your make-up brushes and how to do so

The importance of washing your make-up brushes and how to do so

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - When it comes to applying make-up, there's one step a lot of people overlook: washing make-up brushes.

It's a task we tend to think of the same way we think of our bed sheets. We know we should wash them, but who has time for it?

Well, you're definitely going to want to make time after you hear how often some local dermatologists say you should wash them.

"If you're using any kind of liquid make-up that's either oil or water-based, probably washing them every time you use it would be the best thing to do," said Dr. Krishna Mutgi, dermatology specialist for Mercy Health in Toledo. "If you're using more of a dry powder make-up like a foundation, once a week would probably be reasonable."

Dr. Mutgi says the impact of not washing your brushes can be as minor as acne or a cold sore if you've ever shared your make-up with anyone, to as severe and even dangerous as a staph infection.

Dr. Mutgi also says you shouldn't keep any of your make-up longer than a year. Things like mascara, eyeliner and products on some of the more intimate places should be replaced at least every six months.

Most make-up manufactures have recommendations on the box telling you what to use to clean your brushes. You could also stick to something that's gentle on the skin and bristles, like Johnson's Baby Shampoo.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash your make-up brushes:


  • A shallow bowl
  • Gentle clarifying shampoo or baby shampoo
  • Your sink
  • A lint-fee cloth


  1. Begin by running your brushes under lukewarm water, rinsing out of all the residual make-up. Try to focus on the actual bristles while avoiding the part of the brush where the handle meets the head, as this can loosen the glue over time.
  2. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and a squirt of shampoo and gently swirl your brush tip in the water. If you need to, you can also swirl the brush in the palm of your hand to work up a lather.
  3. Rinse the brush tip under running water once again. Repeat steps two and three until the water runs clear from the brush.
  4. Use a cloth to wipe your brush clean, reshaping the bristles as you go.
  5. Lay your brushes flat on a cloth to dry.

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