As any makeup enthusiast knows, cleaning your brushes regularly is absolutely essential. Good cosmetic hygiene helps you avoid the transfer of bacteria, protecting you and the people around you from infection. If you follow beauty gurus and professional makeup artists online, however, you’ll know that different people have different recommendations for which method of brush cleaning is best. Some people swear by expensive professional cleaners, while others insist that a little soap and water will do.
For the makeup lover who also appreciates a good DIY project, making your own brush cleaner at home is a great alternative to buying cleansers or deciding between soaps. Most of the homemade recipes you’ll find are also made from natural, skin-friendly ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, a homemade brush cleanser might be just the solution you’re looking for!
Check out these great recipes for homemade makeup brush cleaner!
1. Michelle Phan‘s “Ultimate Brush Cleaner”
Using a little bit of soap can be helpful for cleansing, but it’s not always kind to your bristles. Michelle Phan fixes that by adding a little olive oil into the mix! Extra virgin olive oil will condition the brushes while the soap disinfects.
2. The Beauty Department‘s Natural Brush Cleaner
Vinegar is for more than just french fries! The Beauty Department shows you how to combine it with a cup of hot water to make a simple but effective natural brush cleaner. White vinegar is disinfectant and also much cheaper than professional brush cleansers. Rinsing your brushes well in warm water afterwards will rid your brushes of the vinegar smell.
3. Live Simply’s Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner
This cleanser uses witch hazel, mild castile soap, and natural oils like olive, coconut, or almond oil to cleanse, disinfect, and condition all at once! It’s a great recipe for people who are prone to breakouts but also don’t want to dry out their brush bristles using harsh disinfectants.
4. Discount Queen‘s Two Ingredient DIY Cleaners
If you use your makeup brushes heavily and very frequently, you might not like the idea of using vinegar on the bristles. It’s a great option for occasional makeup wearers, but cleaning your brushes too often with vinegar solutions that don’t include enough water could dry them out. Instead, consider using an organic hair conditioner mixed with gentle anti-bacterial soap. Discount Queen points out that, while the soap disinfects and cleans the brushes, the conditioner protects the bristles and keeps their suppleness. Organic conditioner is skin-friendly enough for your scalp, so you know it’s brush friendly too!
5. Snapguide‘s Homemade Brush Cleaner
This homemade cleanser covers all your brush cleaning bases. It has a small amount of alcohol for disinfecting, conditioner to avoid dry bristles, and gentle anti-bacterial soap to really get those brushes sparking. Snapguide shows you how to combine and bottle the ingredients to make frequent cleaning easier. Having your DIY cleanser on hand will help you develop great makeup hygiene habits!
6. Obsessed Magazine‘s “Saving Face” Tea Tree Oil Cleanser
If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, you probably already know the wonders of tea tree oil. It’s included in countless skin treatments and recommended as a part of many great skincare regimes. Not only does it give natural beauty products a fresh smell, but it also soothes and disinfects. Combining tea tree oil with distilled water and storing it in a spray bottle for frequent use will help you with frequent cleaning. Your skin will thank you!
7. Vegan Beauty Review‘s DIY Vegan Brush Cleaner
If you prefer to use products that are all natural and vegan, trying mixing organic vegan castile soap with a little bit of jojoba oil. The combination is skin-friendly, conditioning, and anti-bacterial. It will also clean the excess product off your brushes quickly, meaning that the bristles experience minimal scrubbing damage!
8. Kate Inspired‘s Homemade Brush Cleaner
Using skin-friendly oils and organic products is a great way to make sure that your brushes get the deep clean they need. Disinfectant ingredients that are still gentle enough for your face are the perfect ingredients! Oils like almond oil and lavender oil have anti-bacterial properties and are often included in natural skincare products. Unlike citrus based oils, they won’t wear away the glue in your bristles and cause them to fall out.
Some Helpful Tips
Do you have other natural, skin-friendly essential oils around the house? Feel free to make substitutes in these recipes! Remember that your priorities are gentleness (for your brushes and your skin!) and anti-bacterial properties. In addition to the oils listed in the recipes above, you might use:
- Coconut oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil (just a couple drops will do- peppermint oil is strong!)
If your skin is extremely sensitive and you’re worried you might react to a natural that you’ve cleaned your brushes with, do a spot test! Rub a very small amount of the product you’re concerned about in a subtle place on your skin, like the inside of your forearm near your elbow or behind your ear. Observe the spot and pay attention to how it feels. If it becomes red or feels itchy, leave that product out of your DIY recipe and choose an alternative that doesn’t bother your skin. Even though you’re not applying your brush cleanser directly to your face, it’s important to use things that won’t irritate your skin.