This article aims to introduce you to some products for cleaning make-up brushes. Cleaning make-up brushes is perhaps not the most exciting of activities – there is always something more fun to do! However, cleaning your brushes regularly helps to ensure that they are sanitary and do not gather germs which are then transferred to the face, eyes or lips. Product particles (whether powder, gel or cream) can also become gathered in the bristles over time, making brushes apply make-up less effectively.
Try your usual face wash
Face wash is a good option if you are someone who only uses make-up brushes occasionally or if you would rather not invest in a separate product for washing your brushes. Face wash products are gentle enough to use on your face and so they are a good option for washing brush bristles. If you know that the product already works for your skin (and does not lead to any adverse reactions) then this means it will likely work on your brushes as well.
My face wash of choice is currently Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser, which costs £4.99 for 150ml. This product is available from Boots (I haven’t been able to find this product in other stores).
Try baby shampoo
Baby shampoo is currently my go-to product for washing my make-up brushes. Baby shampoo generally comes available in large bottles and is reasonably priced, making it a cost-effective option for washing brushes. This type of product tends to lathers well, allowing you to effectively rinse product out of bristles. Baby shampoo is also very gentle on the skin, meaning that it is not harsh on the bristles and keeps brushes soft.
I currently use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, which costs £3.35 for 500ml or £1.75 for 300ml. This product is often available on special offer, which further helps to keep costs down (I bought my bottle for half price from the supermarket). Baby Shampoo is available from supermarkets, Boots, Superdrugs and various other stores.
Try a brush cleanser
Various brands have brush cleansers which are specifically for cleaning make-up brushes. These products are good for ‘spot cleaning’ your brushes (removing product without wetting the bristles, meaning you do not need to wait for the brush to dry) or diluting with water to give them a deep clean.
Many brush cleansers contain alcohol which acts to disinfect brushes, making them a good option if you apply make-up to other people. Brush cleansers do tend to be slightly more expensive and so they are perhaps better if you are really into your make-up.
I currently use the MAC Brush Cleanser, which costs £11 for 235ml. This product is available from MAC counters, MAC online, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
Some other options to try include:
Clinique Make-up Brush Cleanser (£13 for 200ml)
Bare Minerals Quick Change Brush Cleanser (for spot-cleaning) £10 for 110ml)
Bare Minerals Well-Cared for Brush Conditioning Shampoo (£10 for 120ml)
The Pro Hygiene Collection Make-up Brush Cleanser (£8 for 100ml) (available from feelunique.com, cultbeauty.co.uk, lovemakeup.co.uk)
Boots No 7 Make-up Brush Cleanser (£8, available from Boots and Boots online)
Try a make-up sanitiser/anti-bacterial spray
Make-up sanitisers tend to be best suited to those wishing to apply make-up to other people as they are specifically for sterilising make-up and tools. Spraying this product onto brush bristles or make-up products (creams, powders, gels, eyeliners, sharpeners and so on) makes them sterile and prevents bacteria from transferring between people. These products are also a good option if you regularly use make-up and wish to prevent germs and bacteria from gathering over time.
I currently use The Pro Hygiene Collection Make-up Antibacterial Spray, which costs £15 for 240ml. This product is available from various online retailers, including feelunique.com and cultbeauty.co.uk.
What products do you like to use for cleaning your make-up brushes? Let me know in the comments section below.
The next article in this series explains how to ‘spot clean’ or ‘deep clean’ make-up brushes using brush cleanser, baby shampoo and face wash.