How To Keep Your Beauty Tools Clean (Spring Cleaning Pt. 2)

By Minji

  • As part of your spring cleaning ritual, you should also take a closer look at your beauty tools 
  • For makeup brushes, micellar water is the key!
  • For other tools, consider 70%+ rubbing alcohol 

In addition to purging and cleaning out skincare products and makeup as part of your annual spring cleaning ritual, you should take a closer look at your beauty tools.  By beauty tools I mean anything you use to take care of you skin (including hair and nails) or apply skincare or makeup products with.  Examples include makeup brushes, makeup bags, sponges, tweezers, nail clippers, or other skincare devices like an LED, mirco-needling or micro-current device.  Because many of these products are used daily, it’s sometimes hard to regularly think about cleaning them. However, if not properly cared for, they can become breeding grounds for all sorts of disgusting bacteria and germs that can ruin your skin. 

First, let’s conquer the most annoying item – the makeup brush.  I’m going to be honest and confess that I rarely clean them.  My excuse is that I’m mostly makeup free so I rarely use them…but deep down inside I know that this is a pretty disgusting habit that I need to break.  Most experts recommend you clean makeup brushes at least once a month.  Even if you target once a quarter, I think that’s better than burying your head in the sand and hoping the germs, oil and dirt accumulated on your brushes will somehow magically fly away by themselves! 

The good news is, I have a really easy way to clean them.  The answer is, micellar water!  If you’re pretty diligent and clean your brushes often, you can just dab some micellar water onto the brush hairs, gently massage out all the makeup and other gunk, then gently rinse the brush hairs under warm water to clean them out.  If you’re more like me and not so regular, I recommend a good old fashioned K-beauty double cleanse for your brushes too.  After working the gunk out with micellar water, follow up with your favorite gentle foaming wash for a second cleansing and rinse. Make sure you don’t get the wooden part of brushes or the part that the brush handle and head attach too wet so as not to ruin your brush. 

Once you’ve rinsed them off, use a towel to pat of the moisture and set out to dry for at least 24 hours.  It’s best that you use the edge of your sink or tub for drying so that only the handle is on a flat surface and the brush hairs are floating so that they can easily recover their original shape.  There are special brush cleansers out there but my thoughts are to simplify and skip them – if it’s gentle and potent enough to cleanse your face skin, it should be just fine for your makeup brushes.  

Second, makeup bags and sponges.  My recommendation for both is to handwash with a gentle facial foam cleanser.  For sponges at least once a month and makeup bags at least once a quarter.  Also, since sponges are not too expensive and it’s fairly easy to get free makeup bags with your makeup or skincare purchases, I would consider switching out entirely once in a while.

Lastly, for all of your other tools that are made with metals or have hard surfaces, I highly recommend swiping away all germs and bacteria with a cotton wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol (at least 70% - this is the minimum alcohol content you need to combat coronavirus too!) on a weekly or at least monthly basis. 

I know it’s not the most fun thing to do, but properly cleaning and maintaining all of your beauty gadgets is a must.  Let’s make sure these handy tools you’ve brought into your life to enhance your skin health and beauty routines actually end up doing exactly that, without causing unnecessary skincare issues and problems.