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Brush Up!


Are your makeup brushes harbouring bugs? Are those sponges looking suspect? Great makeup starts with clean beauty products and tools. We use cosmetics to take care of ourselves, but we also need to take care of our beauty gear.

These tips will help your beauty products last longer and keep skin problems to a minimum.

The Brush Off

Makeup brushes are made with animal or synthetic hair or bristles. Powder, blush, and eye shadow brushes are usually made from natural hair, so keeping them soft and flexible is important. Use a mild shampoo that won’t strip the hair of moisture or cause the bristles to break.

If you have synthetic bristles, you may need a stronger cleanser such as liquid dish soap. Dishwashing liquid is designed to break down various types of oil, so it’s perfect for synthetic brushes that may grab onto the oils in foundation or lip cremes. When using a cleanser, do not put it directly on the bristles; it can get trapped at the base of your brush and leave a residue.

No matter which cleanser you use, make sure you run only warm water–not hot–which can weaken the glue that holds the bristles to the brush handles.

Clean brushes monthly for normal to dry skin types, weekly for oily to combination skin, and daily for acne-prone or other problematic skin types.

Tool Box

Makeup brushes aren’t the only tools you need to keep clean.

Brow brushes can be cleaned with shampoo like other makeup brushes. However, if lint and brow hair become tangled and trapped at the base of the brush, use a clean toothpick to loosen between the bristles before washing.

Eyelash curlers and pencil sharpeners can be cleaned using a swab saturated with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Clean pencil sharpener blades often to prevent bacteria being redistributed onto your lip and eye pencils.

Lash curlers can be cleansed, but if the curling inserts have cracks in them, they should be replaced. Replacement inserts are not expensive and can be purchased separately.

Clean Inside and Out

Skin care products and makeup can get messy with daily use. Spillage on the rims and sides of containers can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that will contaminate your product.

To keep containers free of germs, wipe them when spills occur and keep lids closed after each use.

Five Steps to Clean Makeup Brushes

  1. Fill sink with warm water and mild shampoo.
  2. Clean each brush by shaking bristles back and forth in the soapy water and then rubbing them until they foam. To keep wood handles from warping or glue from loosening, do not totally submerge brushes. Wipe handles with a damp, soapy cloth.
  3. Thoroughly rinse all traces of cleanser from bristles in warm water, and wipe down handles with a damp cloth.
  4. Squeeze water from bristles; then use a dry towel to squeeze out more water.
  5. Place clean makeup brushes on the edge of a cabinet until they are totally dry before replacing them into holders.


No Proof

No Proof

Raise a glass and say cheers to not-so-hard drinks

Matthew Kadey, MSc, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc, RD