askpRoy: How Often Should I Wash My Makeup Brushes?

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Q: Hey pRoy! I like to wear make-up, but I hate washing the brushes.  How am I suppose to clean them without damaging the bristles?  Will they fall apart?  And how often do I need to wash them?
A: FEEL MY PAIN! 
Washing makeup brushes is much like having a thorn in my side at times, but it is absolutely necessary to clean those brushes.  Firstly, they can become a bacteria factory if they aren’t washed properly (or at all).  Secondly: why spend the money on quality makeup brushes if you aren’t going to take care of them?
Cleaning them doesn’t have to take a long time, but it will take some time so allot enough time to get the task done (whew – said ‘time’ way too many times).   There are also a few around the house products you can use to curb your costs:
  • Baby Shampoo: I don’t have kids and have no need for this shampoo besides washing my makeup brushes.  The formula is gentle on the bristles.
  • Bar Soap: Helps get all the gunk off the brushes when washing them.
  • Olive oil: Not only is this good for cleansing the smaller brushes, but it also conditions the bristles as well (double duty).
You can choose to use one or all, depending on your OCD factor.  The key is to wash the bristles without getting the neck of the brush (where the bristles and handle meet) wet because it can loosen the glue.  Here is the method I use:
  • First, run your brush bristles under lukewarm water.  
  • Next, apply cleaning product to a small bowl mixed with a little water.  Swirl the brush in the mixture and you can rub the bristles against your palm as a way to work up a lather and work the dirt out of the brush.
  • Rinse your brush under the water and repeat the first two steps until the water runs clear.
  • (Paper) Towel dry your brushes, reshaping them if necessary and lay them flat on a (paper) towel to dry.
I’d like to tell you I wash my brushes every week (that would be a lie), but every 2 weeks is what is working for me at the moment.  I don’t wear makeup everyday, but if I do wear it within that week and have no intentions of washing them as mentioned above, I will use a makeup brush cleaning spritz I have from Sephora.  You can find it here.
Good luck washing those brushes!
Weigh in! How often do you wash your makeup brushes? What do you use to wash them?

Read more!
  • Thank you so much Shera!! <3

  • Thank you!!

  • Jim

    This product uses PVP (poly N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) which is a polymer.
    It is an excellent film-former that is substantive to hair, forms clear
    films, and is completely water soluble. However, it absorbs water
    readily, which in humid weather makes it sticky or tacky to the touch,
    can cause frizz, and give a dull appearance to the hair. In dry weather,
    it can become brittle and flaky. So, you got to choose a polymer that
    works according to your climate.

  • Jim

    Various Hold Agents:Some of the more frequently used polymer fixative agents include, but are definitely not limited to, the following.

    PVP (poly N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone)
    is an excellent film-former that is substantive to hair, forms clear
    films, and is completely water soluble. However, it absorbs water
    readily, which in humid weather makes it sticky or tacky to the touch,
    can cause frizz, and give a dull appearance to the hair. In dry weather,
    it can become brittle and flaky.

    PVA (polyvinyl acetate)
    resists absorption of water in high humidity (which leads to better
    hold in damp weather conditions) and is more flexible in dry weather so
    it doesn’t flake, but is not as substantive to hair.

    PVP/VA copolymer provides an excellent compromise between the properties of each of these polymers individually.

    Polyurethane (good thermal stability), acrylic copolymer, polyacrylates, acrylates copolymer, and other copolymers are also all hold agents found in hair gels.

    Cationic polymers (Polyquaternium)
    – These positively-charged polymers are very substantive to the
    negatively-charged surfaces of human hair. For this reason, some
    cationic polymers have been found to be useful in hair styling
    applications. They form clear, glossy films and decrease static-charge
    buildup and fly-away hair. They typically provide good wet and dry
    combing results and impart a smooth feel to the hair.

    Polyquaternium-4
    is a superior film-former on the hair, and has been found to exhibit
    very high curl retention even in humidity. It is very substantive to
    hair, but exhibits little build-up. It is very stiff due to its
    molecular structure, and is thus outstanding for use in hair gels.

    Polyquaternium-11
    is copolymer of VP/DMAEMA (vinyl pyrrolidone and dimethylaminoethyl
    methacrylate). As a copolymer of VP and an acrylate, it is less
    susceptible to humidity than VP homopolymer. However, it may have more
    potential for failure due to humidity than polyquaternium-4.
    Polyquaternium-11 is generally recommended for mousses and creams, where
    it can moisturize as well as aid in styling. This polymer is water
    miscible, but not water soluble. This could lead to some build-up over
    time if one were not using a clarifying shampoo occasionally. There are
    many more polymers, copolymers, combinations of polymers, and new
    additives for hair gels that are being used in commercially available
    formulas, and even more being developed in laboratories. Many of
    these provide better rinsability, more softness, and a tougher film with
    better hold. We may explore some of these newer ideas and technologies
    in a future article.

    So,
    choose holding agents that seem compatible
    with your local climate