How Dirty Makeup Brushes Affect Your Skin

You wash your face every day, right? Right (I hope). If you’ve got a good skincare regimen happening, the last thing you want to do is mess it up by using dirty makeup brushes. I understand it probably doesn’t dawn on many of us to regularly clean our brushes as often as we clean our faces. But without proper cleaning, your makeup brushes and other beauty tools can redeposit oils, dead skin cells, and residual makeup back onto your clean face.

These less than pleasant substances can clog your pores, cause the spread of bacteria and germs, and unleash a lot more harm than you probably realize. Sanitizing your makeup brushes can reduce the transmission of bacteria and prevent breakouts and more. You don’t want to completely sabotage the skincare effort you’ve put in by using dirty tools every day.

So, how often should you clean your makeup brushes? If the bristles of your brush stick together from old product or hairspray, wash them at least twice per week. If you wear makeup every day, then washing them once or twice per month is the bare minimum recommendation. We have a great product available that I love, Glo Minerals brush cleaner, and I use it regularly.

Bottom line, here’s how dirty brushes can affect your skin.

1. THEY CAN MAKE YOU BREAK OUT

The most obvious but most important thing to realize about dirty brushes: they cause acne. Think about all of the residue that collects on those brushes every day, and then think about them rubbing your nice, clean face. Save your skin and clean your brushes.

2. DIRTY BRUSHES = BREEDING GROUND FOR BACTERIA

If you don’t wash your brushes, they accumulate bacteria, dust, dirt, and germs. Then you swirl those brushes into powder, foundation, blush, or bronzer which just means all of your favorite products are now contaminated with that gunk. Wet environments (think liquid makeup) are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. It’s a nasty circe that can be prevented with proper cleaning.

3. THEY MESS WITH YOUR MAKEUP APPLICATION

Even if you don’t mind the onslaught of oils, dead skin, and germ cycling through your makeup (which, ew gross, you should), then the fact that dirty brushes hinder your perfect makeup application should get under your skin. You simply cannot get a smooth, color-perfect application with a dirty brush.

4. YOUR SKIN CAN BECOME IRRITATED

It seems like a no-brainer, but bristles that are caked and covered in dust and old product can dry out and become brittle. This makes the brushes more abrasive on your skin, which causes irritation. Keeping your brushes clean keeps the natural and synthetic fibers soft and ideal for your skin.

5. YOU CAN CONTACT DISEASES, ALLERGIES, AND EYE CONDITIONS

That’s right, the dirty business continues. When a breeding ground for bacteria and germs exists, so do diseases and allergies! Did you know that herpes thrives in moist environments? Yeah, I know, I know. No one wants to think about that. But you should! It’s possible. And sharing brushes just makes the spread of these types of things worse. Think: pinkeye. It spreads like wildfire. Also, if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, cleaning your brushes is definitely a must-do since they collect dust and dander.

6. DIRTY BRUSHES CAN LEAD TO OTHER BAD HABITS

If you’re lax on cleaning your makeup brushes, then chances are you’re a little too laid back when it comes to being proactive about other things. Like using your (dirty) fingers to dip into various makeup bottles and containers or letting your makeup go way beyond its expiration window. Anything that regularly touches your face or eyes should be washed regularly, period.