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How to Clean Makeup Brushes

By Hannah Liddle - 10 months ago | Updated
How to clean makeup brushes

We certainly don’t leave the same makeup on our face longer than a week, so why would do we do it to our brushes? Let’s be real: when was the last time you cleaned your foundation brush? For me, it wasn’t too long ago. But the time before that? Well, I really don’t remember. Yikes!

Giving your brushes a weekly clean is a simple solution to attaining a pimple-free, picture-perfect complexion and we really should be penciling it in our diary more often. And now the festivities are over (during which I’m guessing your brushes were battered), it's the ideal time to clean them up and wash away the ungodly bacteria build-up of last year.

So without further ado, here's how to clean makeup brushes!


1. Find the perfect cleanser

When it comes to washing our makeup brushes, most people will just use the nearest shampoo or soap they can find. But it’s much better to use a proper makeup brush cleanser in order to effectively lift away makeup residue and grime. Try one of these three cleansers and breathe life back into your brushes.

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser

Why we love this cleanser: Mild but mighty, this lightweight cleanser gives your brushes the deep cleanse they’re craving and leaves them feeling fresh and gentle ahead of your next makeup application.

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Japonesque Solid Brush Cleaner

Why we love this cleanser: This gentle, conditioning balm leaves your bristles feeling extremely soft and even removes stubborn oil-based makeup. With a delightful coconut scent, your brushes will not only be squeaky clean but smell amazing too.

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The Pro Hygiene Collection Makeup Brush Cleaner

The Pro Hygiene Collection Makeup Brush Cleaner

Why we love this cleanser: Killing 99.9% of your makeup brushes’ bacteria within just one minute, this powerful makeup remover is a trusty sidekick for any beauty babe. It works on both natural and synthetic fibres and leaves each bristle feeling incredibly soft.

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2. Wet your brush with warm water

The heat helps to lift thick residue! However, you don't want the water to be piping hot as this can melt the glue that holds the bristles in place resulting in a mess. Always test the heat of the water before you put your brushes under the tap.

3. Apply your cleanser to the bristles

Work up a lather by massaging the cleanser around the palm of your hand. If you're wanting a more thorough clean, check out the Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat – it’ll cut your cleaning time in half and it does an excellent job at getting in between the bristles

4. Rinse the bristles

Keep going until the water runs clear. If makeup is still coming from the brush, repeat the process.

5. Squeeze out excess water

Gently squeeze the water out and don't pull too hard or you might loosen the bristles. Then, lay your brush flat on a towel to dry.

And voila! Now you know how to clean makeup brushes.

Tip: When using the Sigma Spa Express, massage your makeup brushes against the silicone bumps to give your brushes the scrub of a lifetime. Watch below to see how the experts do it:


Cleaning your makeup brushes once a week will keep your skin fresh and free from congestion. When makeup builds up on your brushes, it creates a haven for bacteria and germs. With dirt build-up comes breakouts, rashes and infections and that’s not the look we’re going for in 2019.

If you’re quite often coming out in an itchy rash or have angry pimples popping up to say hi, it could be because your makeup brushes are dirty. Give them a good ol’ scrub and your skin will love you for it. Bye bye clogged pores and hello fresh, healthy skin.


Still having trouble with your skin even after cleansing your makeup brushes? Check out our article on Treat and Cover Post-Christmas Skin – you may just need to give your face a little detox and a break from makeup. See why we're opting to spend more days makeup-free with our 7 Reasons to go Makeup-free.

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