We know, we know. Taking the time out to individually clean your makeup brushes is one of the easiest tasks to procrastinate actually doing. After all, each brush seems to take forever to lather, rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.
Washing your makeup brushes might be a total drag, but it is so incredibly necessary. Don't believe us? Here are seven insanely icky things that can happen if you don't clean your makeup brushes. We guarantee that by the time you finish reading this list, you'll be rushing to the bathroom with your makeup brushes and your favorite brush cleanser in hand.
1. A Ton of Bacteria
Even if you're always applying to a clean face, bacteria can still build up. While fluffy powder brushes take a bit more time to build up an influx of bacteria, dense synthetic brushes used to apply foundation and cream products can be unsuited for use after just one application. That's because bacteria thrives in moist environments. When it comes to foundation brushes or a sponge like the Beauty Blender, it's crucial you wash it every night. Just make it a part of your nighttime skincare and cleaning routine.
2. Acne and Breakouts
Pimples love an excess of bacteria. It's what clogs your pores and causes breakouts in the first place. When your brushes are dirty, you're basically putting all of that bacteria right onto your skin and swirling it around. If you find yourself breaking out more than usual, dirty brushes can absolutely be to blame.
Just because you're not acne-prone doesn't mean that your skin is bacteria-proof. Germs and grime can also cause irritation, roughness and redness. If you want a flawless complexion, cleaning your brushes regularly needs to be an essential part of your routine.
4. Viral Illnesses
No, we're not kidding. Your dirty brushes could actually make you sick. Bacteria doesn't just clog your pores and give you unsightly blemishes. Rather, it can get into your system via your pores and actually give you infections or the flu. It's similar to how dentists suggest you change your toothbrush with regularity. Reducing bacteria reduces your chance of getting sick.
5. Bugs. Actual, Literal Bugs
This one made us shudder. YouTube beauty guru Stevie Miller found an actual infestation of bugs in her unwashed Beauty Blender. (While this clip made us gag, we did get a bit of a chuckle from her British mother panicking that American bugs were a special kind of dangerous. We're pretty sure our LA bugs aren't any more insidious than London bugs.)
6. Bad Application
Sure, this isn't as dangerous as illness, irritation or terrifying American bugs. However, as diehard makeup lovers, we definitely consider it important. When makeup is applied with dirty brushes, you're not getting an optimal application. Unclean brushes can distort the shade of the product you're using, in addition to distributing it unevenly. If you want a precise application, then keep your makeup brushes clean.
7. Damaged Brushes
Some people are under the erroneous notion that cleaning your brushes regularly is bad for them. This couldn't be further from the truth. Cleaning your brushes with regularity is actually good for them and keeps the bristles shiny and intact. What's bad for your brushes is letting grime and dirt accumulate on the bristles. This can cause both synthetic and real fibers to become oily, which can cause the adhesive that bonds them to the handle to disintegrate. If you want your brushes to stick around, keep them clean.
After all of that, we trust that none of you will ever let your brushes go unwashed again. However, some of you might not know exactly how you should be cleaning your brushes. Don't worry, we have you covered. Here are some tips on keeping your brushes in tip-top condition.
Deep Clean Foundation Brushes Once A Day, Powder Brushes Once Or Twice A Week
Remember, bacteria loves moisture, so it's essential that you clean your Beauty Blender and liquid brushes each night. For powder brushes, once or twice a week is fine, provided that you're spot cleaning after each use. For both synthetic and real bristle brushes, we're downright obsessed with Michelle Phan's technique of using dish soap and olive oil. However, we prefer to use the branded cleanser for our Beauty Blenders.
Spot-Clean Like a Fanatic
You can never spot clean too much. Spot cleaning refers to using a spray-on, fast-drying cleanser after you use every brush. We swear by the BeautySoClean Conditioning Brush Cleanser. It dissolves makeup and grime while leaving the bristles of our brushes fluffy and conditioned.
Remember, spot cleaning is not a substitution for deep cleaning. Spot cleaning removes pigment and makeup, but it does not thoroughly cleanse enough to remove all of the bacteria that your makeup brushes may have accumulated. Spot cleaning can help to keep bacteria at bay, but it doesn't completely eradicate it. Only a deep cleaning can prevent bacteria and infestations.
Hopefully this article hasn't given you the heeby-jeebies too much! Our intention wasn't to freak you out, but rather to make you absolutely aware that cleaning your makeup brushes isn't something you can skip. Instead, it should be a regular part of your routine.
If you'll excuse us, we're off to give our brushes a nice deep cleaning. In the meantime, join Frends Beauty today to get 10% off of first order, which will hopefully include some new brushes and a great spot-cleaner to keep them fresh.