by Stephanie Saltzman
Roger CabelloConsider this a friendly--if redundant--PSA from Allure: clean your makeup brushes. Even if laziness occasionally gets the better of you and your brushes go neglected (believe me, I understand), this time of year brings out the OCD in many of us, so while you're giving the rest of your apartment a seasonal scrub-down, channel that energy toward your makeup bag. Even better, use this opportunity to de-gunk the other brush you probably use every day: Your skin brush. I asked some experts to help me brush up (sorry, had to) my cleaning technique.
See more: The Best 6 Spring Nail Polish Colors
Why is it important to clean my brushes? According to makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci, soaping up your makeup brushes regularly can extend their life and can make for a better makeup application. "Brush hairs and sponges are porous, so they hold onto oils, debris, and bacteria. If your brushes are dirty, your application will be spotty and blending will be difficult," she adds. Dermatologist Jason Emer notes that the link between dirty makeup brushes and the transmission of infections hasn't been proven definitively (yet), but he does recommend washing them at least once a week, just to be safe.
What's the best way to do it? There are plenty quick and effective brush cleaners out there (some of our favorites are by Shu Uemura and Sonia Kashuk), but Ciucci recommends using moisturizing shampoo for a deep clean. "For really dirty brushes, you can apply the shampoo directly to the wet bristles and massage. Rinse, squeeze gently, and lay flat to dry. Do not dry vertically: this will cause water to leak into the ferrule [the piece that joins the bristles to the wand] which will loosen the glue and lead to bristle loss," she explains.
See more: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger
Do I really need to clean my skin brush? The good news, according to Emer, is that if you use a Clarisonic, bacteria doesn't "adhere" to the non-porous synthetic bristles. However, dead skin cells and oils can still build up on the brush and its handle, so Emer urges his patients to clean them after each use.
And how do I do that? "Immediately after [using it], wash the brush with an antibacterial soap or Johnson's Baby Shampoo and let the bristles rinse under warm water," says Emer. Dr. Robb Akridge, a co-founder of Clarisonic, says you can also remove the brush head and soak it in alcohol if you want to really disinfect it.
More from Allure:
Inside Allure's Beauty Blogger Awards!
How to Wear Bangs
Top 21 Drugstore Beauty Bargains
Best Hairstyles for Spring 2013
by Stephanie Saltzman