More people are becoming interested in the world of makeup. To explore the art of contouring and cut creases, it's not only important to have the right brushes, but you must also take proper care of your brushes by keeping them clean. Washing your brushes will keep them in the best shape, prevent unwanted color transfer, and, most importantly, will keep your skin from experiencing any breakouts due to built-up dirt and oil on your brushes. With some simple supplies and a few minutes, you can keep your brushes in top shape for many makeup applications to come.

Find a makeup brush cleaner or make your own

While a little water can go a long way in the short-term, you should have a makeup brush cleaner on hand for deep-cleaning sessions. You can buy brush cleaner in the makeup section of most stores, but a gentle shampoo like baby shampoo will also do the trick. There are also many DIY brush-washing solutions available if you want to try your hand at making your own cleaner made from all-natural ingredients.

Cleaning makeup brushes PitchyPix / Getty Images


Lather the cleaning solution into the bristles

After your brushes have soaked in the solution for a short amount of time, gently rub the bristles to get some of the excess makeup loose. This ensures that you are getting the makeup remover deep into the brush head. Also, note that this needs to be done gently. If you are too rough when doing this, some of the bristles could fall out and alter the utility of the brush itself.

washing makeup brush with soap and foam in the sink Dmytro Pokulityi / Getty Images


Gently rinse your brushes

Rinse your brushes under warm water. Move the bristles around by gently rubbing the head of the brush onto the palm of your hand. This helps the water reach some of the harder to reach spots and ensures a more thorough rinse off any remaining makeup product and cleanings solution.

Rinsing makeup brushes Dmytro Pokulityi / Getty Images


Let brushes air dry for best results

You can lightly towel dry your brushes, but it is best to let them air dry so the bristles can fan out naturally again. To do this, allow your brushes to hang over the edge of a counter with the brush heads suspended over the edge. It is important to note that using a heated dryer or anything warm to speed this along could damage your brushes. So, it may be best to wait for them to dry naturally.

Drying makeup brushes Anetlanda / Getty Images


Tips for cleaning makeup brushes quickly

There are ways to give your brushes a quick clean if you don't have time for a thorough wash before using them. Lightly rub the bristles of a brush on a clean, damp washcloth, then rub it on a completely dry washcloth. Wait a few moments for the brush to dry before using it. Of course, this is a quick tip meant f in between cleanings; your brushes deserve a deep clean.

Clean makeup brushes fast lokisurina / Getty Images


Why should you clean your brushes?

After you use your brushes, there is a lot of built-up product in the bristles. A buildup of makeup on your brushes can lead to skin irritation and, in some cases, infection from bacteria on your brushes transferring onto your face. On top of that, it will prevent the transfer of previously-used products⁠—no one wants yesterday's blue eyeshadow making an appearance in today's natural look⁠—and will keep your brushes soft and at their best for effortless makeup application.

Shot of an attractive young woman applying makeup to her face with a brush Peopleimages / Getty Images


How often should you wash your brushes?

How often you need to wash your brushes depends on how often you do your makeup. Some people will need to wash their brushes every 7 to 10 days if they are doing makeup on a daily basis. Others will be able to get away with washing them every couple of months. Any brushes that come into contact with your eyes, however, should be washed at least twice a month.

Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images


Keep them clean between washes

Similarly, it will help your look and the life of your brushes if you give them a quick wash between eye shadow colors. For instance, if you use a certain brush in a certain color, rub the brush against a dry washcloth until it significantly lightens or disappears. This keeps you from picking up old color in the next pigment you swipe, and it will also keep your brushes cleaner in between washes.

Wash eye shadow brushes EkaterinaZakharova / Getty Images


Tips for maintaining your brushes

Washing your brushes on a regular basis is only part of keeping them maintained. To ensure you get the most out of your makeup brushes, you should also store them properly. Keep your bristles in a place they can breathe. It isn't usually good to have them packed away in a makeup bag, especially if you keep makeup products in there as well. It is also a good idea to keep them in a place where they aren't in danger of getting wet. If you store them in the bathroom, be sure to keep them somewhere they can freely breathe and dry if condensation occurs.

Maintaining your makeup brushes dabldy / Getty Images


When to replace your brushes

No matter how well you take care of your brushes or how often you clean them, you will need new makeup brushes eventually. Some makeup enthusiasts recommend swapping out your brushes quarterly. However, a telltale sign you're in need of a new set is if your brushes begin smelling strange or become permanently discolored. The same goes for your makeup sponges. Once they get dirty beyond cleaning, it is time to toss them.

Replacing makeup brushes jm1366 / Getty Images


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