Purchasing makeup brushes that have been made with quality and sustainable materials might be an investment, but caring for them doesn't have to be expensive or difficult at all. Many of us use makeup on a daily basis, and although we all know how to apply makeup, surprisingly, many of us don’t know how to properly clean the tools that we are frequently using. Makeup and makeup brushes should be used and enjoyed, and how you care for your brushes is particularly important for their performance and longevity. Here we show you the easiest ways to clean your makeup brushes, to protect your skin and your investment! 

Washing your makeup brushes should be a part of your regular beauty routine, and although there are numerous reasons for why you should be cleaning your brushes, the more important reasons are that dirty makeup brushes can cause skin irritation and lead to breakouts due to product buildup. This is additionally why we prefer to use makeup brushes and not sponges. The term ‘sponge’ itself, means to soak up and absorb, which not only means considerable makeup is wasted through absorption, it also means bacteria is absorbed and trapped within the sponge which can lead to acne breakouts or worse. Although sponges can and should be thoroughly washed on a regular basis, according to dermatologists, this still isn’t enough to prevent potentially hazardous microorganisms from being trapped in the sponge and coming into contact with your skin. Due to their dense shape and large surface area, it is significantly difficult to be able to ensure all bacteria is removed during the washing process.



A buildup of product in your brushes can affect the shape and performance of the brush bristles, as well as its ability to pick up and lay down pigment, which subsequently affects how the brush blends and applies product. Additionally, the brushes cannot perform to their full potential if the bristles are overwhelmed with residue. To avoid this, and ensure you are achieving a smooth finish with each application, we recommend washing the brushes every 7 to 10 days (as recommended by dermatologists). If you are someone who wears significant amounts of makeup on a regular basis, we recommend washing the brushes more frequently, whereas if you are a makeup artist, you should ideally be cleaning the brushes after each use.

To effectively wash the brushes, wet them with warm water (avoiding the ferrule where the handle attaches), and apply a gentle soap/cleanser to the bristles. The brush soap should be mild and conditioning so it won't damage the bristles. As our brushes are made with synthetic bristles, avoid using alcohol and oil-based cleansers on the bristles for the best results.

To remove stubborn residue, we recommend that you lightly massage the tips of the bristles in the palm of your hand with some soap/cleanser, and thoroughly rinse with warm water. Be sure however, not to use too much pressure as this could cause damage to the bristles. Avoid placing the brushes in a sink full of water, as this could additionally damage the handles and polish of the brushes, and water could interfere with the ferrule glue.

Once thoroughly rinsed, gently squeeze out any excess moisture with a clean, dry towel or paper towel, and lay the brushes on a flat and clean surface to air dry. We recommend re-shaping the bristles gently by running your fingers over the brush tip to smooth everything out. Opposite to storing the brushes (where you store them facing upwards so that the bristles retain their shape), you want to, if possible, dry the brushes upside down, so that water cannot drip inside the ferrule as the brushes dry. This can cause the glue to loosen over time, and could additionally lead to bristle shedding. Additionally, avoid laying the brushes to dry in direct sunlight. If you want to speed up the drying process, lightly pat the bristles with a clean dry towel, and then leave them on a flat surface to finish drying. Choose paper towels that aren't lint-prone so they won't leave your brushes looking dusty. Once dry, store your brushes in a cool dry area and out of direct sunlight.

How you store your brushes is another factor that can affect the longevity and performance of your brushes. The best way to store your brushes is away from moisture, out of the sun, and preferably inside a vanity drawer for safe and organised storage, as dust easily collects when the brushes are sat on top of a vanity or dresser.


1. Avoid drying the brushes vertically with the bristles facing upwards, as this can cause water to leak into the ferrule which can eventually dissolve the glue, causing the bristles to loosen or fall out over time.

2. If you own 10 or more brushes, a brush tree can be useful for drying the brushes upside down. A brush tree has silicone grippers that hold the brushes in place, they can also collapse after using for easy storing.

3. Don’t wait until the brushes look ‘dirty’ to then give them a clean, try and get into the habit of washing your brushes every 7 to 10 days, as this will benefit both the brushes and your skin.

At Viva La Gentil, we created a minimal makeup-range of versatile brushes that have been designed to simplify and enhance your beauty routine. These brushes are versatile for the face and body, and have been made with the highest quality materials and crafted using handmade synthetic fibres for precision application.
If you regularly clean your brushes as we have recommended in this article, the brushes and the synthetic bristles will remain long-lasting, and continue to perform effectively.

To discover more about our collection of makeup brushes, take a look at "Discover the brushes".

Discover the brushes

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