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How to Clean a Foundation Brush Without Damaging It

Cleaning your makeup tools is just as important as the makeup you put on with them.
March 30, 2022


Whether you’re a total makeup addict or you simply like to keep up with the latest makeup trends and headlines, you should already know how important it is to keep your makeup brushes clean — or at least we hope you do. You wouldn’t use a dirty paint brush to paint on a clean canvas, would you? It’s sort of the same thing with makeup, only when it comes to your face, using dirty brushes on your complexion can spread things like bacteria and excess oil, and we all know what that can lead to. 


Instead, you should get in the habit of cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. But, if you're new to this you may be wondering what’s the best way to do so and how often you should clean your makeup brushes and makeup blenders. Here, we’re focusing on one type of makeup brush that likely needs the most upkeep of all of them: your foundation brush. Keep reading to learn how to clean a foundation brush to get rid of dirt and bacteria without damaging your bristles. 


How to Clean a Foundation Brush

Foundation is likely one of the first steps in your daily makeup routine. It follows your makeup primer, and both products can be applied onto your complexion with a foundation brush. Because you use it often, your foundation brush should also be cleaned pretty frequently. 


In addition to harboring things like bacteria, oil from your skin, and leftover makeup debris, a dirty foundation brush also just won’t work as well at doing its job. In other words, when it’s already covered in leftover makeup, your foundation brush won’t be as effective at applying a fresh face of foundation.


Contrary to what you might think, you don’t actually need any fancy tools or products to give your foundation brush a good cleansing (although we’re not saying they won’t help). Follow these three easy steps for cleaning your foundation brush.


Step 1. Choose Your Cleanser

If you’ve already invested in a product specifically formulated to clean makeup brushes, that’s great. But if you haven’t, don’t worry — a mild, gentle soap will do the job just fine. Even a gentle shampoo or facial cleanser, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Cream Cleanser, will break down any lingering makeup and oil on the brush adequately, without causing any damage to the bristles.


Step 2. Use Your Hands to Massage and Cleanse

Once you’ve found your cleanser, you’ve got to know how to use it. We suggest that for foundation brushes, you should simply place a bit of your chosen cleanser in your palm. Then, wet your brush bristles and swirl the brush around on your hand to loosen up the debris. 


After a few moments, give it a rinse and then repeat until the water runs completely clear. If you feel like this gentle method isn’t getting out all the residue on your foundation brush, try using a washcloth instead of your palm.


Step 3. Lay Brushes Down to Dry

You might store your foundation brush and other makeup brushes upright, but don’t let them dry this way. Doing so can actually ruin the handle of your brush since water can drip and run down the sides (and back into the base of the bristles). Instead, grab a clean paper towel or washcloth and lay your wet foundation brush down on top of it. Let it dry there for at least a couple of hours before you return it to its normal upright position in your makeup brush holder.


Editor’s tip: You may be tempted to take a blow dryer to your foundation brush if you need to use it right after cleaning it but that could result in ruin. Depending on what your brush is made out of, this could be a fast track to melted bristles. If you need it immediately, try rubbing it in a downward motion with a dry paper towel or cloth to get the water out.


How to Clean a Foundation Blender

If you find yourself reaching for a makeup blender more often than a foundation brush don’t worry, you can clean the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender using a similar method as you would for a brush. 


Just wash the makeup blender with gentle soap and water, squeeze out the excess water, and store it in a cool, dry place.


How Often Should You Clean Your Foundation Brush?

Now you know how to clean your foundation brush (and blender), but how often should you actually be going through these steps? The answer varies depending on how often you use your foundation brush, as well as how much foundation you wear daily. 


One tip that can help maximize the time in between brush cleansing is to always, always apply your face makeup on clean skin. Besides that, the general rule of thumb is that you should be thoroughly cleaning your foundation brush once a week. 


Next: 5 Unique Ways To Use Makeup Brushes And Blenders


Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: iStock

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