Keep Your Makeup Brushes Germ-Free

Shannon R., SELF magazine

Are your makeup brushes tossed at the bottom of your makeup drawer along with a collection of half used blushes and bronzers? If you're anything like me, your makeup can get a bit cluttered and messy. Unfortunately, poorly cared for makeup brushes can a be a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt, which can easily transfer to your skin (causing blackheads and breakouts!). Here are a few simple tips to keep your brushes (and skin!) in tip top shape.

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. The best way to disinfect brushes and remove dirt and old makeup is to simply wash them with shampoo. Use a pea-sized amount of mild shampoo (baby shampoo works great) and gently suds up the brush with the shampoo and water. I just swirl the brush in the palm of my hand and then rinse under warm water. You'll likely need to let the brushes dry for about 24 hours before using them again. If you have wood-handled brushes, dry them brush side down (or set them flat on the edge of your sink) so the water doesn't trickle into the wood handle which could potentially cause damage or rot the wood.

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Anti-bacterial sprays
. Look for quick drying alcohol-based brush cleaner sprays. The alcohol helps to kill bacteria, and since it is a quick drying solvent, you don't have to wait long for the brush to dry. This method isn't quite as effective as shampooing but it's great when you are in a rush. Spray the product directly onto the brush and then gently wipe off with a tissue or soft cloth.

Wet wipes
Anti-bacterial wipes (or even baby wipes) are a quick way to keep brushes clean in between washings. Simply rub the brush on the wipe (you'll see the makeup residue rub right off). The brushes should be dry in a couple of minutes. When to wash

I try to wash my brushes a few times a month. In between washings, I use wet wipes or a spray to quickly clean brushes when they start to look grimy.

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Tips for storage
. Storing brushes properly can also minimize exposure to dirt and bacteria. Some brushes come with their own cover (genius!). Otherwise, store brushes in a resealable bag to keep makeup and dirt contamination to a minimum.

Bottom Line
. If you are noticing more breakouts or blackheads, then dirty makeup brushes could be the culprit. Shampooing brushes is the best way to clean them, but an alcohol-based spray or wet wipe works too.

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