The Hidden Benefits of Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes + DIY Brush Cleanser

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Unwashed makeup brushes provide a place bacteria like to hang out, and they can clog your pores and dull your skin. Luckily, we’re sharing a DIY Brush Cleanser that uses simple, natural ingredients you may already have at home.

Washing your makeup brushes, though it can sometimes seem like a chore, is an absolute must. Once a week is ideal, and once a month is the very least you should give them some sprucing up.

The more often you cleanse them, the better. Here’s why:

●Over time, brushes accumulate bacteria. The more you cleanse them, the less acne-causing bacteria you’re spreading on your skin.

●Besides bacteria, brushes also accumulate dead skin cells and oil, which can clog your pores and lead to dull or broken out skin.

●Clean brushes apply makeup better. Even the best makeup can become streaky and patchy when applied with a dirty brush. Clean bristles will assure a smoother application.

●Regular cleaning keeps bristles soft, and that means they’re less irritating to your skin.

●Brushes that are cleaned well last longer. That means you won’t have to part too quickly with your favorite brushes, and you’ll save money when you don’t need to replace them as much.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to keep brushes clean using simple, natural ingredients that you may already have at home.

For deep cleaning:

A simple mix of water and a few drops of unscented castile soap is an easy way to shampoo your brushes. For brushes with a lot of residual product, add a few drops of olive oil to help break down any stubborn grime.

Let brushes dry flat. You should never leave your brushes soaking in water, or let a lot of water settle at the base of the bristles. It will damage the glue and cause your brush to shed.

For daily disinfecting:

In addition to shampooing your brushes, you can also use a disinfecting mist for an extra boost of cleanliness in between uses.

In a glass spray bottle, combine 4 ounces of witch hazel extract with 12 drops of grapefruit essential oil. Spray directly onto your brush, and then wipe clean using a clean cloth or paper towel.

Grapefruit essential oil, in addition to having a clean, uplifting scent, also has antimicrobial properties that will help keep your brushes disinfected. Witch hazel extract, which usually contains about 14% alcohol, helps to clear away leftover product. The slight alcohol content also allows the bristles to dry quickly, and keeps the essential oil evenly distributed throughout. So if you use an alcohol-free witch hazel toner, you may not have the same results.

If grapefruit isn’t your favorite scent, you can substitute another essential oil with antimicrobial properties such as lavender or tea tree. One oil that is not recommended is peppermint, because it has a very powerful scent that could potentially irritate the eyes.

Do you have any additional tips for keeping your makeup brushes clean? Share them with our readers in a comment!

This post has been crafted by the Willow and Sage Team. To learn more, please visit our Who We Are page.


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Welcome to flourish, a haven for all things homemade bath and body.

By reading flourish, you’re not just taking care of your skin. You’re discovering the importance of loving your skin, and everything in-between. flourish is more than just a blog. It’s our way of encouraging everyone to thrive in a healthy and vigorous way – to empower wellness in all aspects of your day-to-day life.

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