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Soap and glory how to clean your makeup brushes

How to be Hygienius

10 November 2020

We’ve all upped our clean scene recently. It’s the new normal to wash your hands several times a day, hand sanitiser is the new handbag essential, and you have enough face masks to match every outfit. But have you thought about how hygienic your makeup is?

Makeup kits are notorious for committing heinous grime crimes – bacteria, e-coli and even funghi can all be found on unwashed and overused makeup tools. Just the thought of all those layers of bugs and oil, mushed up with makeup and dead skin cells (vomit emoji) has us running for the anti-bac soap.

It’s not just a minefield of muck either; your tools will be way less effective if caked in old makeup. Oily residue stops brushes and sponges picking up the right amount of product and applying it smoothly.

Urge to Purge

Start by channelling your inner Marie Kondo with a ruthless rummage and ditch any products past the sell-by date.

(De)grime Time

Bacteria love to party in wet conditions, so if you’re using your brushes for creams and liquids, wash them once a week. If you are using them for powder, once a month should be enough. Here’s how:

1. Hand wash your brushes with a gentle antibacterial soap or baby shampoo, and warm water (not hot; you don’t want to melt the glue that holds the bristles in). Give them a soak for a few minutes and next put a dollop of soap in your hand and swirl the wet brush around in circles on your palm to really dope up that soap.

2. Squeeze or flick water out of the brush and leave to dry flat so water doesn’t run back into the handle and create a mouldy pool (yep, still nasty). Once all the excess water has gone, shape the bristles and then leave them to dry on a clean tea towel on the radiator or a sunny windowsill (remember them?).

Finally, wipe your makeup bag clean with alcohol spray, or fling it on a hot wash if it’s made of cotton.

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