While most people have read a magazine article or blog post about the importance of cleaning makeup brushes, not many people actually do it on a regular basis. It’s one of those things, probably much like flossing and changing your sheets, that you know you should do a lot more often than you actually accomplish it. When using brushes to apply cream makeup, like foundation, leaving makeup on brushes can damage the flexibility of natural hairs, and harden bristles. When left sitting for a long period, bacteria, dust and dirt can accumulate on brushes. Then, when you brush these contaminants onto your skin, they can deposit bacteria and pore-clogging materials, leading to breakouts. If you use the same brush for multiple kinds of makeup, the pigment can accumulate, and throw off the shade you spent so much time picking out at Sephora. This whole host of nasty side effects can be avoided by establishing a routine, and washing your brushes regularly.
Manhattan dermatologist Julie Karen, M.D. recommends washing brushes at night, squeezing out excess moisture, and laying them flat to dry. Then when you pick them up to apply your morning makeup, they are clean and bacteria-free. Clean makeup brushes avoid contaminating your makeup, and can keep skin clear.