How to Properly Sanitize Your Makeup Tools at Home—Beautyblender Included

How to Properly Sanitize Your Makeup Tools at Home—Beautyblender Included
Photo: Nemida /iStock/Getty Images Plus. Design: Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER.

By now, our very clean hands have experienced the side effects of repeated hand-washing. They’re dry, flaky and in need of a manicure (and a high-five because being away from friends is hard). Still, we have zero objections to what can feel like overzealous cleansing because, hey, it’s the best way to prevent passing along germs and as of late, something even worse too. For those of us maintaining an everyday makeup routine, knowing how to sanitize makeup brushes is equally important because they can get nasty real fast.

In case you need a refresher, I got two experts to break down the quick tips you should always follow, whether you’re stuck at home practicing your cut-crease or preparing for a future night out.

Prepare Your Space

First things first: make sure your vanity or table is clean. According to celebrity makeup artist Mari Shten, “that includes the table, chair and chair arms, light switches and anything that could have been touched.” A spray or liquid formula would certainly suffice, but disinfectant wipes reserved specifically for this task are more likely to help you remember this crucial first step. 

“Don’t forget to wipe down the packaging of your makeup and skincare once in a while,” adds Shten.

Opticide Max Disinfectant Wipes


Alternatively, you can also opt for an alcohol spray. “I just pour 99% rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and keep it in my kit/station at all times. You can use it for sanitizing the space and any powder makeup (pressed powders, eyeshadow, blushes) and some lipsticks,” says Shten. “Just spray alcohol on products from about 10 inches away and let it dry.” Just don’t use alcohol on your brushes because it will dry the hair out and make it coarse.

Gentle Reminder: Wash Your Hands!

Need we say more? “This may seem obvious, but wash and sanitize your hands before doing makeup,” says Shten. Hand soap is a hot commodity right now, so we recommend buying in bulk to ensure that you won’t run out for a while. 

Equate Liquid Hand Soap


Scrub & Soak Your Brushes

By now, you probably can’t stop thinking about germs, yet we still forget how much germs our makeup tools can carry. More often than not, it takes a breakout or other skin setback for us to do something about it. To break this bad habit, Shten recommends setting a reminder to “clean your personal makeup brushes at least once a week.”

“You can use special brush soap, regular shampoo or liquid brush cleansers, which usually has a bit of alcohol in the formula and are great for quick clean and disinfect.”

Felix Makeup Brush Cleaner

Felix Professional.

If you have an excess of hand soap, dish soap or shampoo, simply use that. Otherwise, there are plenty of top-rated brush cleansers, including this Amazon favorite (above), to keep next to your products. Remember to lay your brushes on a clean surface afterward so they can dry completely before using again.

Deep-Clean Your Sponges

Your sponges need love too and we can guarantee at least one of them is the iconic Beautyblender. As of late, its cleaning accessories as just as popular as the product itself and according to Mark Chi, the brand’s Global Trainer, the Beautyblender blendercleanser can be used to deep-clean brushes too.

beautyblender blendercleanser solid pro


“As a professional makeup artist, I am always super concerned about keeping my tools hygienic and sanitary, even the tools I use at home for personal use,” he says.

“I use it to clean my Beautyblender first thing every morning. That way, my Beautyblender is already wet and ready to use, while keeping the germs out of my makeup and off my skin. I also love using it to deep clean my makeup brushes.  I use the silicone scrubby pad it comes with to get the soap in between the bristles. Nothing gets my brushes cleaner.”

Don’t Forget Your Makeup Bag

Shten also emphasizes the importance of keeping your makeup bag clean too since it “can be covered in germs.” Otherwise, there’s little hope for the clean products sitting inside.

Never Share Products

Lastly, Shten says to “never share lipsticks that can’t be cleaned (liquid/lip glosses), or mascaras with other people.” It should go without saying, but those are highly sensitive areas of the face that can be easily infected. 

Now, go wash your hands again and make it at least 20 seconds.

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