How to clean + take care of your makeup brushes

By on June 13, 2013


By: Denisa Murrizi

Makeup brushes are an investment that can last for over five years with proper care. To ensure the maximum usage out of each brush, you must follow a few basic, simple cleaning steps to avoid build up.

Makeup brushes can be made of acrylic hair fibers or real hair from animal tails. Acrylic brushes tend to be less expensive, and they can be found in various department stores. Makeup brushes made from sable, pony, squirrel or goat are more costly upfront, however they are guaranteed to last for years. These brushes can be found (generally) in specialized cosmetic stores, such as M.A.C. Cosmetics, Sephora, Caryl Baker Visage, Faces, etc.

Brush Shampoo from Sephora

Brush Shampoo from Sephora

“Brushes are the one thing to invest in even for the most basic day-to-day makeup applications,” says Vanessa, the lead makeup artist for C.A.B. Artistry. “All it takes is a brush shampoo and brush cleaner.”

Similarly to human hair, makeup brush bristles have a PH balance that ranges from zero (very acidic) to seven (very alkaline). It is important to maintain the brushes PH balance in the middle to avoid over drying them.

“A common mistake people make is using regular shampoo or alcohol to clean brushes,” Vanessa elaborates, “But that is very damaging for the brushes themselves as the hair has a PH balance to maintain, which is intrinsic to its quality.”

Shampooing and cleaning the brushes are fairly easy tasks  and only take five minutes all together. A brush shampoo can be used once a week

on all brushes to kill bacteria and thoroughly remove makeup build-up. Sephora’s Purifying Brush Shampoo is between $6 – $12. Ana-Maria Gonzales, a lead makeup specialist at Sephora Canada, suggests, “If you do not want to go out and purchase an actual brush cleaner, the only other alternative suggested is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo No-Tears Formula.”

The first step is ensuring your brush is damp. Next, apply a small amount of makeup brushs hampoo, or Johnson’s Baby Shampoo No-Tears

Daily Brush Cleaner from Sephora

Daily Brush Cleaner from Sephora

Formula, to the palm of your hand. Gently swirl the brush into the shampoo to create a light lather. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry the brushes while they are laying flat.

Do not place the brushes upright to dry as water can damage the glue that holds the brush together.

A brush cleaner can be used after each daily use and in between shampoos. Sephora’s Daily Brush Cleaner is an effective spray in helping remove light traces of makeup from day to day use.


  1. Joanna

    July 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Love this article! well written and very thorough. I never knew how to properly wash my brushes and kept using regular hand soap! Now I know at the very least to use baby shampoo! Thank you ladies.

  2. Lauri

    November 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Decrease in fat and calories can play a good part in your personal health and will
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