For awhile lately I'd been noticing a difference in my skin, and not in the good way. It seemed like my skin was reacting to something and just didn't look or feel "fresh". I knew that recently I seemed to always be in more of a hurry in the morning, probably from the lack of sleep at night because I'd party through until the wee hours of the morning with my eight month old who's been cutting teeth and thus would tend to sleep in later than usual. So I'd rush through my routine and try to push out of mind the fact that I hadn't cleaned my makeup brushes in awhile. When I stopped to think about it, I couldn't remember the last time. GROSS.
I needed to get all of that bacteria and build up out of my brushes and in turn off of my face. Ideally, this brush cleaning routine should be done weekly, though normally for me I did it about every 2 weeks, sometimes with a quick fix of this cleansing spray during the week. For some reason, mainly because of time, I had been neglecting my trusty brushes and thus my own skin. After being back on track, I can happily say that I've noticed the difference, back to the good side, in my makeup application and in my skin.
Here's a breakdown on how to properly clean and disinfect your brushes with products you most likely already have on hand at home.
- In a shallow bowl, pour a tablespoon of white vinegar (to thoroughly disinfect your brushes) and a good organic dish soap (to help break up the build up on your brushes, I like this one) or if you're not a heavy makeup user, you can use an organic baby shampoo for a more gentle cleanse instead of the dish soap. Then add hot water from your faucet so it gets nice and bubbly. One at a time, dip your used brushes (starting with your cleanest brush) into the solution, gently swirling them in the soapy bowl to release the product build up. Keep the brushes in the water as you add each new one.
- One by one, hold each brush under cold water to rinse any remaining product and seal the hairs. Make sure the water runs clear and free of makeup build up.
- Gently shake brushes and swipe on a towel to get rid of excess water and reshape each brush with your fingers into its original shape.
- You don’t want to actually dry your brushes in the upright position that you store them in because the water settles into the glue that’s holding the bristles together at the base of each brush head and starts breaking it down. This causes the hairs eventually to come off over time when you swipe the brush against your face. You can lay your brushes flat on a towel or create a see-saw. I used a bottle of face wash with a towel laid over top to create mine and then balanced each brush with the brush head facing down, but not touching the towel. Just let them dry completely for a few hours, or overnight (I like to wash mine in the evening when I'm done using them so that they're dry by morning), and return them to where they belong. When I travel I use this awesome brush roll and when I'm home my brushes upright live in a glass mercury vase from Target (no longer available) similar to this West Elm version.
If you're worried about the vinegar scent, it's gone by the time your brushes are dry and only leaves fresh and clean brushes. It's very important to keep your brushes clean as it improves the life of your brushes, improves the application of your makeup and reduces the spread of germs and breakouts. Now enjoy your fresh brushes!!