Wouldn’t you like to know the “how, what, why and when” to cleaning your makeup brushes, Green Beauty Team style? It’s a hot topic and something I get asked about quite a bit as a makeup artist.
When we dip those vegan, eco-friendly brushes into our favorite organic makeup, they collect not only product residue, but surface oils and dead skin from our face, and dust from the environment.
This creates a prime opportunity for bacteria to flourish, which can cause troublesome skin problems such as acne, rashes and even infections.
It also diminishes the quality of your makeup application and of your brushes. So let’s get to it!
For starters, I recommend cleaning your brushes after each use, with a brush cleaner.
The benefit of brush cleaner is that it’s the quickest way to disinfect your brush and remove the surface product. You simply spray some on a clean paper towel or cloth and wipe the brush gently back and forth, until it is clean. Most formulas dry fast so you can use the brush again shortly after, if necessary. This product is a must for both professional makeup artists and women on-the-go because it’s fast and effective.
Many brush cleaners on the market contain highly concentrated and dehydrating ingredients; however, gentler options do exist.
A a do-it-yourself recipe that is awesome for your skin, brushes and budget!
Purchase a small spray bottle and in it, mix 1 part tea tree oil to 5 parts witch hazel. Plant extracts such as tea tree oil, lavendar and witch hazel have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that are truly healing to the skin. This is extremely beneficial for oily, acneic skin types, as well as it is nourishing for the brush bristles.
If you would like to pick up a brush cleanser from the store, try this lovely blend by Mineral Fusion. The ingredients are natural, paraben free and include many helpful essential oils. It smells good and does the job without drying out your hands and brushes in the process. I was happy to find it at Whole Foods during the recent New York Fashion Week.
Here’s what’s in it: Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Water (Aqua), Isopropyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Citrus Sinensis (Essential Orange) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Extract, Symphytum Officinalis (Comfrey) Extract, Cetraria Islandica (Iceland Moss) Extract, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract.
For deeper Green Beauty cleaning, it’s necessary to shampoo your brushes at least once a week, or more often if you are prone to breakouts. This is also important with any brushes used for creamy products such as lipstick, concealer, mascara and cream eyeshadows because they harbor more bacteria by nature. To shampoo your brushes, fill a small bowl with a natural shampoo, face cleansers or castile soap (you may also add a few drops of tea tree oil) and gently rub the bristles until the makeup is removed. Rinse each brush until it is clear of all product and shampoo, then pat them dry with a towel. Using your fingers, reshape the bristles and lay the brushes flat to air dry.
I love to shampoo my brushes with natural, plant-based face cleansers such as Desert Essence, Thoroughly Clean Face Wash or Beauty Without Cruelty Herbal Facial Cleanser. They contain those key essential oils (such as tea tree and lavender), plus they serve a dual purpose for skin and brushes, which is great too! Another favorite for function and affordability is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Classic Soap, which is Certified Organic, Fair Trade and just amazing all-around. Dr. Bronner’s boasts 18-in-1 uses, naturally effective in cleaning your body, teeth, laundry, vegetables and yes, makeup brushes!
I hope this was helpful and you are now inspired to keep your tools Clean and Green! I welcome you to leave your best DIY brush cleaner recipes, questions or comments.
For more on eco-friendly brushes, please check out my previous Green Beauty Team article Brush Up On This.