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How Often Should You Replace Your Makeup Brushes

May. 16, 2024


Unfortunately, makeup brushes don’t last forever. Over time, they lose their original luster and effectiveness. So, how long do makeup brushes last, and how do you know when it's time to replace them? Keep reading to discover the top signs that your old makeup brushes are ready to be tossed.


How Often Should You Replace Your Makeup Brushes?


We recommend replacing your makeup brushes every two years. Makeup brushes tend to last longer the better you take care of them, but since different brushes have different levels of quality, they can be replaced every three to five years.


What Is the Life of Makeup Brushes?


Depending on the quality and the care you show them, makeup brushes can last anywhere from a year to a decade. However, many need replacement every three to five years.


Routinely cleaning your makeup brushes can help them last longer, so aim for once-weekly washing to keep them in tip-top shape. You can also gently wash makeup brushes after every use if you prefer, but weekly cleaning is considered excellent makeup hygiene!


Personalised Makeup Brush Set

How Do You Know When to Throw Out Makeup Brushes?


If you've been diligent about cleaning your makeup brushes but are still experiencing issues, it may be time to replace them. Here are the top signs your makeup brushes are ready for the bin:


1. They Look Frazzled


Over time, makeup brushes can lose their shape, affecting their performance. Signs of deformed brushes include wayward bristles, dents, and bends. This often happens when brushes are not properly washed, dried, or stored.


2. Bristles Are Falling Out


Old makeup brush sets may start shedding bristles. You might notice the brush looking thinner or find bristles in your makeup bag or on your face after use.


3. The Bristles Are Super Stiff


New brushes are typically fluffy and soft. However, with regular use, bristles can become stiff and uncomfortable against your skin. There's no point in using brushes that make applying makeup painful.


4. The Handle Has Seen Better Days


It's not just the brush heads that wear out; handles can also deteriorate. If the handle is falling apart or feels uncomfortable to hold, it's time to replace the brush.


5. Your Makeup Doesn't Apply Nicely Anymore


Makeup brushes can lose their effectiveness gradually. If you notice your foundation, concealer, blush, or eyeshadow isn't applying as smoothly or evenly as before, it might indicate that your brush is past its prime. If any of these signs sound familiar, it might be time for a shopping trip to replace those old brushes with new, high-performing ones.


6. Unpleasant Odors


If anything in your makeup bag, including your makeup brushes, has an off smell, it’s best to discard it. Foul-smelling makeup brushes can indicate the presence of mildew, mold, or bacteria. Your skin will definitely not appreciate that.


7. Breakouts


Makeup brushes can harbor dirt, grime, or bacteria even if they don’t smell bad. If you notice an increase in skin irritation or breakouts after using your brushes, take note. Cleaning them may help, but if the irritation persists, it’s best to replace them.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Washing Your Makeup Brushes




The first step to cleaning your personalised makeup brushes is soaking them in very warm water. While you don’t want the water to be boiling (that could ruin the bristles of your brush), a good warm bath temperature will help to break up any makeup and also begins to kill bacteria. Allow your brushes to soak in the water for at least 15 minutes.




Begin by selecting a mild cleanser suitable for washing your brushes. Since many makeup brushes are crafted from real hair, opt for something gentle enough for your own hair. Avoid products with strong fragrances as they may linger on the brushes and potentially irritate your skin later on. Unscented shampoo and your regular facial cleanser are two excellent choices. If you prefer not to use your pricey shampoo or cleanser for brush cleaning, opt for an unscented facial cleanser available at your local drugstore.




Start by applying a few drops of soap to the bristles and gently washing them with your hands under warm running water. Repeat this process three or four times until you notice a significant reduction in the pigment runoff from the brush. Keep in mind that the water may never run completely clear due to stubborn makeup residue, but it should be clear enough to indicate thorough cleaning.




Next, use a clean towel or cloth to gently pat the brush until it's mostly dry. Be careful not to disturb the bristles too much, as reshaping them can be challenging once they lose their original form.




Reshape the bristles if necessary, then lay the brush flat on a desk or table to air dry. Avoid drying the brush in the bathroom where airborne bacteria may contaminate the wet bristles. Allow the brush to dry for at least eight to 10 hours, preferably overnight, to ensure it's completely dry and ready for use the next day.

Personalised Makeup Brush Set

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