I had never imagined that something as insignificant as a makeup brush actually needs quite significant care and attention, until I heard a friend talking about the new brush cleaning solution she bought. She gave some very easy tips on how to clean makeup brushes. Whether you use a natural bristled makeup brush or a synthetic fiber makeup brush, proper cleaning and storage care should be followed to extend the life and quality of your brushes.
Natural bristles are made from animal hair, which is by default porous. Being porous, they absorb moisture, dead skin cells, chemicals, solvents, minerals, grime and bacteria on each use. Synthetic bristles although less absorbent, can still retain traces of makeup products after each use.
How to Clean Makeup Brushes With Perfection
If not cleaned in time, they can help foster bacterial and fungal growth which is invisible to the naked eye. What seems like a perfectly clean and elegant makeup brush on the outside – can in fact be a haven for bacteria and fungus on the inside. Reusing infected, damp brushes over and over can cause skin problems like acne, skin eruptions, rashes, redness and irritation. Sensitive skin especially, is affected easily by unclean brushes, sponges, powder dusters and cloth.
Hence it is essential to know exactly how to clean them. Keep in mind that higher the usage, more frequent and rigorous the cleaning routine should be. Professionals who have high volume of clientele have to use special cleaning techniques everyday, to maintain their tools of the trade. Special brush cleaning liquid solutions are available in the market today which act like a solvent – the solution gently dissolves the outer coating on the bristles leaving them clean. Disinfectants are also used to prevent bacteria and other harmful residue. The brushes are soaked in the solutions for sometime before leaving to dry. Synthetic brushes could also be washed or rinsed in soap and water.
Get a Handle on It
Cleaning makeup brush handles is another notable point altogether. Cheaper, mass produced brushes have handles that are made of unfinished wood or plastic, which can be easily washed with water, polished and disinfected with dissolving solutions. However, many high-end brushes have exquisite hand crafted handles made from wood, ivory, silver and other precious metals. Some royal heirlooms are beautifully carved, gold gilded and jewel encrusted. Special cleaning, waxing, water-proofing, polishing solutions (like silver and brass polish, oil enamel or lacquer) need to be used to maintain these special handles.
Store and Stow
Along with tips on how to clean makeup brushes, proper storage of the brushes is just as important. Exposure to air, water, sunlight, dust, heat or cold can impact the quality and life/durability of the bristles. Natural hair bristles are weak and can fall off. Synthetic bristles can break if not handled with care. Keeping the brushes covered is the best way to deal with these problems. Hard cases (leather or plastic) and soft pouches (cloth, velvet lined or foam) are available in the market for storing your brushes.