How often do I *really* need to clean my makeup applicators?

I'm the kind of person who thinks we have become way too germaphobic -- getting out of control with hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soaps, etc.  However, I do agree that makeup applicators should be washed occasionally. my question is, how often do you really need to do it? It's a pain in the butt. 

specifically, the makeup I use is a loose powder applied with a puff, stored in the powder container. my face is clean when I use it, but I can't help but think about how the puff is not getting any air circulation.

back in the old days I used to never wash puffs, I just waited for the powder to run out and then threw it away. I never had problems with infections or anything, but I do have mild adult acne. 

I'm currently washing them once a week now, and  my acne seems better, but it might be just a coincidence (there are other things that could have caused the improvement). I'm lazy. once a week seems too often. 


  • Great question. We have written about makeup brush cleansers before (How can you clean makeup brushes?) but I've never seen a definitive answer on how OFTEN brushes need to be cleaned. 

    I agree that you probably don't have to worry too much about powder puffs. I think that brushes that come in contact with oil based make up are more likely to grow "bugs." 

    PS For what it's worth, I agree with you about the over use of hand sanitizers.  
  • edited May 19
    I clean my makeup brushes every time I use them. I used to wash them once a week, but I found a better solution while watching a makeup artist named Wayne Goss on YouTube. He suggested getting 91% isopropyl alcohol, putting it in a small spray bottle, spray the brushes use, wipe off by brushing against a paper towel and lay flat to dry.

    I still wash the brushes, just not as frequently as before.
  • I love Wayne Goss.  I personally wash mine rarely:(  Whenever I get the idea that they are probably getting gross.  But I am not prone to acne (other than rosacea), and I hardly ever get a pimple.  Also, I don't use liquid makeup much.
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