Skip to main content

The Angle may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to clean foundation brushes

As tedious as it might be, cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is necessary to stop the spread of bacteria and to prevent breakouts. Not only is it essential for great skin, but it also helps prolong the life of your cosmetic brush. You might not realize how dirty your brush is, but over time, the tips and bristles will clump up.

It makes an incredible difference when you use a clean makeup brush to apply foundation. When you regularly remove makeup buildup on your brush, it helps with flawless blending. You can buy a brush cleaner, but cleaning your makeup brushes is easy using tools you already have at home.

What do I need to clean my foundation brushes?

  • Soap or shampoo: You can use almost anything you have on hand to wash makeup brushes. If you use soap or shampoo, make sure that it doesn’t have any harsh fragrances, because the brushes are applied directly to your face. Baby shampoo is a great option because it’s very gentle, but you can also use liquid dish soap. A great option for people with really sensitive skin is Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in “baby unscented.” It’s made with only vegan and organic ingredients.
  • Silicone cleaning mat (optional): A silicone cleaning mat is great for swirling the brush, but if you don’t have one at home, you can just swirl it on your hand. There are a number of affordable beauty brush cleaning mats that you can find online, such as this brush cleaner with suction cup.
  • Bowl: Fill the bowl with cold water.
  • Towel pad: You can use any clean towel to lay your brushes flat to dry.

Step-by-step guide to clean your foundation brushes

  1. Step 1: Pour the shampoo or soap of your choice on your hand or cleaning mat and begin swirling. Pour depending on the size of the brush. A bigger brush will need more drops than a smaller brush.
  2. Step 2: Once you see that there are no remnants of foundation, concealer, or makeup on your brush, move it over to the cold water bowl and rinse it once by dipping it and squeezing out the water with your hands.
  3. Step 3: Lay your brush flat to dry. This will take a few hours or more, and then they should be ready to use again. Ideally, you want to hang them with the brush pointing down, but you can also lay them at the edge of a table so they can dry properly.

How often should I clean my makeup brushes?

Most dermatologists recommend washing your makeup brushes every two weeks.

Why do I need to clean my makeup brush?

  • You often hear people telling you not to touch your face with your fingers. That’s because your fingers can hold a lot of bacteria, which will clog pores and cause breakouts. Similarly, when your makeup brushes are dirty, they hold bacteria.
  • If you have a dirty brush, the application of your foundation will be spotty and you won’t be able to apply that perfect blend that you’re looking for.
  • Washing your brushes regularly helps them last much longer.

Looking for more beauty tips and guides? Find more on our health and beauty hub.

Editors' Recommendations