How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Brushes? (Psst: It’s More Than You Think)


You love the way your highlighter brush melts the reflective cream across your cheekbones. And how your eyeliner brush creates a subtle, sharp flick at the corner of your lids. But how often are you really washing those beauty tools? (Not often enough, if you’re anything like us.) On this week’s episode of The Glow Up, PureWow’s beauty director Jenny Jin asks pro makeup artist Vjosa Pacuku what we’ve all been wondering: How often should you wash your makeup brushes?

After checking in with some co-workers and friends, it seems washing your brushes is as sensitive a topic as washing your hair—one that might feel like a dirty secret to those who’ve lathered up less frequently. We’ve heard everything from once a month to once a year, and our favorite, “Uhh, never?”

To get all the dirt on our washing habits, Jin uses a microscopic camera to inspect her brushes after four days, one week and one month of use. And after catching a glimpse of the product buildup, dirt and dust hanging out on those babies, we’re officially committing to a strict shampooing schedule for our tools.

Here’s how to get scrubbing:

  1. Combine some dish soap and olive oil (baby shampoo works here, too).
  2. With your brush facing downward, coat the bristles with the mixture and swirl into the palm of your hand.
  3. Rinse and squeeze out the excess water.
  4. Once the water runs clear, you’re done!

Watch as Jin and Pacuku explain how often we should soak each type of brush (and yes, beautyblender!) and the best tricks to getting them all squeaky clean. See ya, breakouts. 

purewow author

Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.