5 Ways Taking Care of Your Makeup Brushes Can Save Your Skin

Did you know your makeup brushes could be doing more to harm than to help your skin? When not cared for properly, old product, dead skin cells, dirt, debris and oils can all gather in your brushes, making them a perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. And, if you happen to have reactive or blemished skin, a bacteria-filled cosmetic brush can exacerbate already troublesome skin conditions. At JoyVIVA we began taking better care of our brushes long ago and encourage you to do the same. Here are five ways taking care of your makeup brushes can improve your skin:


We may not want to admit it, but our faces are covered with bacteria. If you don't clean your makeup brushes regularly, you essentially give that bacteria permission to multiply. Other germs like viruses and fungal infections can harbour between the bristles as well, causing problems that range from blemishes to pink eye - and even infections far worse than that. Bacteria can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema by clogging pores and exposing already reactive skin to free radicals. Not only that, using brushes that contain bacteria likely means you're spreading the germs back to your makeup products, too. Just like you wouldn't go for weeks at a time without washing your face, your brushes need proper care to remain clean and clear.


If you've been ignoring your brushes' plea for a good cleaning, you may actually be compromising the quality of your makeup. Besides a buildup of dirt and oils, pigments from the cosmetics you use also remain lodged between your brush bristles - as far down as the roots. Not only can this distort the colour of your products, it can actually shorten the lifespan of your brushes. Regularly washing and conditioning your makeup brushes is the only way to avoid this unwanted side effect.


It seems like overstating the obvious, but we'll say it anyway: makeup brushes that are caked with old product do not work! Natural, high-quality cosmetic brushes are an investment and, like any investment, we want them to last as long as possible. As Jane Iredale points out, regularly cleaning your makeup brushes can extend their use for years. Regular maintenance of your brushes will improve your brushes' performance, meaning your makeup will go on smoother without any unsightly "streaks". You'll also be avoiding creating minor scratches on the surface of your skin, caused by old, dried-up product.


We don't normally think of our makeup brushes as being a mild exfoliant, but they are. Using a cosmetic brush helps to loosen dead skin cells from the surface of your face, and washing that same brush regularly will eliminate the cells instead of allowing them to collect between the bristles. And that's a very good thing, since all those dead skin cells can irritate healthy living skin over time, leading to blemishes or other, more serious, conditions.


We each carry our own bacteria on our bodies and sometimes, while not harmful to us, that bacteria can be dangerous to others. From mild irritations (you borrow a girlfriend's brush and contract pink eye) to severe (you use a friend's brush on an open sore or pimple and contract a staph infection), bacterial spread is rarely ever pretty. If you or a friend insists on using the same brush, make sure you wash it thoroughly before and after use. This will keep both of you safe from infections, and your brush free of bacteria and other potentially unsafe bugs.


  1. Use warm rather than hot water. The latter can loosen the glue at the base of the brush that holds the bristles in place. Do not fully submerge brushes in water either, for the same reason.
  2. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of mild shampoo such as John Masters Organics Evening Primrose Shampoo into the palm of your hand. Or, try a gentle face cleanser such as Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser.
  3. Massage the cleanser into the hair of the brush and then rinse thoroughly under water, until the water runs clear. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Remove excess water by gently pulling the brush through your fingers.
  5. Lay the brush flat on a towel to dry. Never dry standing up as the water can run into the base of the brush and loosen the glue holding the brush in place.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment