Beauty Neat Freak? Test Your Sanitation Knowledge!

You know you’re supposed to clean your makeup brushes. Maybe you’re not sure exactly how often but you’re pretty sure you’re not doing it quite as often as you should. However, did you know that your hair tools should be cleaned regularly too? And you should probably even disinfect your makeup? See how much you really know about cleaning your beauty tools!

Beauty Neat Freak? Test Your Sanitation Knowledge!

Here’s what you Need to Know to Ace the Quiz!

Want to study up or review what you just learned? Here’s your study guide!

Sanitizing Makeup Brushes

Washing a Makeup Brush

Most dermatologists and beauty experts will recommend you wash foundation and concealer brushes once a week. Brushes that are used with creams and liquids will need to be washed much more often than brushes used with powder. You can likely wait every two to three weeks to wash brushes used with powder.

Natural-Hair Brushes

A natural-hair brush is most often used with powder, and this type of brush is made with fibers from animal fur. Makeup brushes are often made from squirrel, mink, sable, horse, badger, or goat hair. For this reason they are more fragile and need some extra TLC during cleaning. Natural-hair brushes also need to be washed more frequently, because the bristles are porous and can absorb oils and bacteria after repeated uses.

Makeup artists and enthusiasts love using natural-hair brushes with powder because they don’t leave fallout and are great for blending. Since you likely won’t have to scrub liquid foundation residue out of your natural brushes, keep it gentle while you wash. You can buy a specific brush shampoo or save some money and buy a bottle of baby shampoo instead. Before you wet the brush, tap off any leftover powder on the side of your sink. Then put a drop of shampoo in your hand, wet the brush, and gently swirl it on your palm. Natural brushes can shed very easily, so be careful! Once the brush is clean and rinsed, gently pat off excess water onto a paper towel, shape the bristles with your fingers, and lay flat to dry before using again.

Foundation Brushes

Cleaning foundation from a brush

If you wear liquid foundation, you definitely know the struggle of trying to clean it out of your brushes. Water and a gentle cleanser sometimes just can’t remove that oily residue from the center of your brush. However, it’s really important to clean foundation brushes regularly because that greasy residue can cause acne, skin irritation, and bacteria.

Foundation brushes are definitely easier to clean when they are cleaned more often, but if it’s been a while since your brush’s last good scrub, you can use a bit of dish soap instead of gently shampoo to get rid of the oily residue inside the bristles. This works well because dish soap is specially formulated to get rid of grease and oil in a way that regular soap can’t. Make sure you don’t let your brushes soak in water. If the ferule (the metal part between the bristles and the handle) gets wet, the glue holding the bristles can weaken, causing shedding.

However, this tip is only for synthetic brushes, which means the bristles are made from nylon, plastic, or other man-made materials. If you use a natural hair foundation brush, dish soap will be too harsh. Whatever your brush type, a brush cleaning glove can help get between the bristles without damaging the brush.

Disinfecting Makeup

How to Disinfect Makeup

Cream makeup products can be difficult to clean, but they are also some of the most important to disinfect regularly. Bacteria can grow very easily in a cream product like a lipstick that is repeatedly coming into contact with your lips. When you clean your lipsticks, the best way is to take a two step approach. Wipe off a thin top layer, then disinfect the rest by spraying with alcohol or freezing to kill any bacteria.

Cleaning Hair Tools

While we might not think about cleaning hot tools the same way as we think about cleaning makeup brushes, it’s still very important to clean them regularly! Over time they will pick up residue from hair products as well as natural hair oils. Repeatedly heating up the tools will burn this residue on over time, damaging the iron and your hair. You should never get an electric hair tool wet, but wiping the iron with a dry towel after each use will prevent any buildup.

How to Clean Hair Tools

Hair Brushes

Hair brushes should be cleaned at least once a month, but the exact amount of time between washes varies from person to person. If you use more products in your hair you will likely need to clean your brush more often. Once you start noticing product buildup it’s probably time to clean the brush. In an interview with Allure about cleaning your hair brush, hairstylist Matt Fugate says, “The best way to clean it is to simply use a fine-tooth comb and rake it through the brush. It should easily catch all the hair and pull it free. Then, run it under the sink and use your hands to massage the bristles to break up product that may be stuck in it.”

A regularly used hair brush should be replaced every 6-12 months. In an interview with Women’s Health, hairstylist Marc Anthony gives a few tips to help you decide if it’s time for a new brush: If bristles start to separate, if more than 10% of bristles are damaged or missing, when the brush bed is cracked, but most importantly, once you start to notice your hair catching on the brush. Since the purpose of brushing your hair is to detangle and keep it healthy and smooth, an old or dirty brush pulling at your hair will cause more damage than good.

Learn More About Beauty

Whether you’re a sanitation pro or just getting started in the world of beauty, an education can help you get where you want to go in the beauty industry! Learn more about what cosmetology school is like and what to consider before applying.

Ready for another quiz? Test your makeup knowledge next!

{Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information visit}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *