How often should I wash my makeup brushes?

The Pro Hygiene Collection makeup brush cleaning and sanitising

So, how often should you clean your makeup brushes?

Good question and you will find a plethora of advice from daily to monthly!  And, like most advice, it depends on your individual user habits.

For makeup professionals – between each and every client

We know, as makeup and beauty professionals, just how important it is to keep your makeup brushes clean, sanitised and germ free.  Not only is it essential in terms of ensuring your clients are not catching anything nasty, but there are more reasons to keep brushes squeaky clean than just the obvious hygiene ones.

As a pro artist or a beauty professional working on counter, cleaning brushes between each and every client is the number one hygiene rule along with keeping your makeup products germ-free.

Makeup brushes, whether made from synthetic materials or from natural hair, can be expensive and as makeup artists, your makeup kit will probably have a bag full of brushes of every shape and size including your favourites.  There will be brushes from days gone by that you can’t get hold of any more as well as more recent buys. Here are our tip tips for brush cleaning for makeup professionals.

Preparation, preparation, preparation

Going on a big job, then have the right tools.  Not just the right makeup brushes, but the right hygiene tools to keep you clean on the go. It is essential to have a quick-dry but deep cleaning and sanitising makeup brush cleaner in your kit.  Without this, you just can’t work professionally.  Looking after your client’s health is just as important as turning up on time and delivering the brief.

Squeaky clean between each and every client

Ensure you have enough quick-dry spray makeup brush cleaner for your day’s work. It’s easy not to check the bottle and get to the job and find it’s nearly empty.  Have a back up if needs be.

End of day deep clean

Deep clean all your brushes, sponges and powder puffs at the end of the working day at home with a sanitising wash.  It is so important to get into good habits and do this daily.  How easy is it to say… “oh, I’ll do it tomorrow”.  That’s OK, if you are not working the next day, but if you’re a busy pro, never go to bed without cleaning your kit and putting it away with respect. It’s like going to bed with your makeup on – you just know you should not do it.

Beware of makeup brush belts

If you wear a makeup brush belt at work, then take good a look at it and ask yourself this question.  If it was swabbed for bacteria, what would the results be?  If your immediate instinct is “OMG” then you are not alone!  Brush belts are a breeding ground for bacteria for all the obvious reasons.  It needs cleaning AND sanitising each and every day.

We have seen some real terrors out and about whilst secret shopping and it’s not just the belts, but the brushes too. Put yourself in the consumer’s place – what would they think if they saw a filthy looking brush belt with equally dirty looking makeup brushes while having a makeover at a beauty counter or having professional makeup done for a special event?

Unless a makeup brush belt is part of your uniform, our advice is don’t use them.


bacteria on makeup and makeup brushes

Dirty makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria

makeup brushes need cleaning daily

Unclean brushes build up makeup residue and inhibits accurate colour and product application

The Pro Hygiene Collection - beware of dirty makeup brush belts

Professional makeup artists often used "brush belts" - keeping them clean and sanitised is a regular daily requirement

We are often asked the difference between “cleaning makeup brushes” and “sanitising makeup brushes” and why do we have two makeup brush cleaner products?  Surely they do the same thing?

Both good questions, but no, they are very different products and do different things.  Here’s our quick and easy guide to cleaning and sanitising your makeup brushes and by doing so, you not only extend life of your lovely brushes and get a far better makeup application but just as importantly you help reduce of the risk of infections

What is makeup brush cleaning?

Cleaning your makeup brushes means removing all makeup product residue from makeup brushes whether foundation, eyeshadow, highlighters, liners so there is no product left on the bristles.

In other words, your brushes should be free from all makeup products from liquids to powders, creams to gels.  By cleaning your brushes, not only do you look after your often expensive beauty tools, but it means you get better application as you are not applying fresh products onto of old makeup (think dried gels and creams, dark shadows when you want to apply a light highlighter).

In addition, and really importantly, you will be removing dead skin cells and oils that contribute to bacteria build up on your makeup brushes and when left on brushes make a perfect breeding ground for germs.

What is makeup brush sanitising?

Washing makeup brushes will clean off the makeup product residue and makes the brushes feel clean, but you need to sanitise your makeup brushes too.

Research has proven that our makeup sponges and our makeup brushes are breeding grounds for germs and it’s so important not only to clean, but to sanitise your brushes in order to keep bacteria at bay from your brushes and to avoid cross-contamination.  Makeup brush to makeup, makeup to face, hands to face, fingers to makeup products – it’s a natural cycle and one which contributes to infection.  To help reduce horrid skin irritation and breakouts, sanitising your makeup brushes and beauty tools is essential.

Think about the times you have had a stye or conjunctivitis.  Where did you that come from?  Old makeup, dirty hands, a mucky unclean eyeliner brush that has a month’s worth of eye liner build up on it?



Dual clean and sanitise makeup brush hygiene routine is quick and easy with The Pro Hygiene Collection’s range of proven, super-effective cleaning and sanitising makeup brush cleaning products.

Daily spot cleaning and sanitising for makeup brushes (super-quick, no time to dry)
Frequency – every day and between each and every use especially when using a range of products and colours.

Washing/shampoo (time to dry/shampoo (time to dry)
Frequency – makeup sponges
– between each and every use with our sponge and makeup brush wash.
Frequency – makeup brushes –
twice a week (if using every day) for deep cleaning and conditioning.