DIY Thursday: Makeup Brush Cleaner

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This one is for a lovely reader in Tucson.  She contacted me the other day about makeup brush cleaners. She had purchased a spray at Sephora, which is the Sephora Professional Daily Brush Cleaner.

She paid $14 and noticed that the ingredients list is rather simplistic.  In fact, here is the exact list, as labeled on the bottle: Ingredients : Less than 5% of non-ionic surface agents. ALSO CONTAINS: Alcohol, fragrance


So what did this sweet gal purchase? Let’s figure it out. If less than 5% of it is “non-ionic surface agents”, the other 95% plus is nothing but alcohol and synthetic fragrance.  To clarify, a non-ionic surface agent would be a surfactant such as  Cocoamide DEA or Cocoamide MEA or possibly Ethylene Glycol Monostearate.
Not only was she majorly ripped off cost-wise when you look at the ingredients, but she could make a much more affordable alternative at home. So can you.
You do not have to use a spray brush cleaner. They are very convenient, though. They also dry much, much faster than cleaning them the traditional way.  No matter what, though, make sure you are regularly cleaning those makeup brushes to get rid of bacteria. If you have breakouts, the acne flare ups may simply be the result of your makeup brushes being dirty.  When you use makeup brushes over and over and do not wash them, you’re redepositing bacteria on your face day in and day out. It is also imperative to wash brushes, particularly your eye makeup brushes when you have pink eye so you don’t reinfect yourself with the contaminated brushes.
I swear by Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile Soap for weekly deep cleansing of my makeup brushes. I actually use the baby formula, fill my sink, soak the brushes and then let them air dry pointing up in a wire basket.
In between deep cleanings, though, I like to spray them and pat them on a tissue to remove the makeup and make sure the colors from today aren’t reappearing on my brushes tomorrow.
If you want to make a simple spray to clean the brushes, I’ll show you how right now. This is a recipe I have made before and use daily in between weekly. You can find the ingredients easily and, chances are,  these items are in your medicine cabinet.


*1 cup of CHEAP witch hazel (Don’t splurge on alcohol free. This time you want the cheap one that sells for $1 and is about 15% alcohol)
*1 T. castile soap (if you’re out, your shampoo will work)
*Several drops of tea tree essential oil (this is antibacterial)
Slowly pour and combine in a spray bottle. Spritz on your makeup brushes and make sure you wipe them on a tissue or paper towel back and forth a few times. They will dry relatively quickly.

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