Makeup brush cleaning versus sanitising – what’s the difference?

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.

makeup brush shampoo by The Pro Hygiene Collection

Makeup brushes need both cleaning and sanitising - there is a big difference


When using a makeup brush shampoo to deep clean your makeup brushes, never pour the liquid directly onto the bristles.  Pour into your hand or onto a brush mat, add a little warm water, wet the bristles and then start cleaning.    Your shampoo will go further and be more effecient.   Always rinse in clean water (never in a bowl of water which you have used to clean your brushes). Squeeze excess water before patting dry with a clean towel or paper towel and then air dry.  And, remember, always point your makeup head down so the water runs away from the furrule.

Antonia Hawke

Founder & Creator, The Pro Hygiene Collection

antibacterial makeup brush cleaner by The Pro Hygiene Collection

Sanitising formula kills 99.9% of bacteria and helps reduce the risk of infection as well as breakouts

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?

A 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.
What to useQuick-Dry Makeup Brush Cleaner Spray (cleaning and sanitising)

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.
What to useMakeup Brush & Sponge Sanitizing Wash (deep clean with hot water and allow time to dry)