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Monday, June 17, 2013

DIY: Brush Cleaning

One of the things I see a LOT is people not washing their brushes. Unclean applicators and brushes are one of the biggest culprits for promoting acne. The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (aka P. acnes) and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph A) are the resilient bacteria that cause acne and whiteheads and often times what we are trying to cover it up with is what is aggravating it!  That's why it's important to clean our pillowcases and phone often, but I digress. Cleaning our applicators helps reduce one of the ways that acne persists.

And washing your brushes isn't all that complicated.

First you need to see if your brushes are natural or synthetic. Natural brushes are made with animal hair/fur and should be treated as such. You want to shampoo them and condition them. Properly cared for brushes will last a very long time, and will continue to perform well. If you aren't sure if your brushes are natural or synthetic, treat them as natural brushes.

Synthetic brushes can take things like antibacterial soap. Natural brushes get stripped too much, and need to be reconditioned. I prefer to wash my natural brushes and synthetic brushes in Garnier Fructis 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner and then spray them afterwards with a conditioning spot cleanser and reshape the bristles.

Rinse your brush heads in warm water, taking care not to get water down the 'ferrule' (metal part) because you don't want to weaken the glue that is holding the brush head on. Putting a bit of your liquid cleanser in your hand *a tiny amount* you'll want to swirl them gently in your hand and rinse them until the water runs clear. Place your brushes on a towel and 'roll' them trying to get as much water as possible from them. Let dry either upside down or on a ledge, so that water doesn't run back in to the ferrule causing damage. After they are dry, spray them gently with the conditioning cleanser and reshaping and smoothing the bristles, bringing them back to original form. You can use brush guards for this or you can use your hands. Either way works well.

I spray them with this conditioning cleanser and wipe clean with either a microfiber or paper towel until no more product comes off of the brush.

*adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil is optional but very helpful in the cases of persistent acne.

If you want to make up your own conditioning cleanser, I made up a little instructional card to print out and cut out to keep with your bottle so you don't forget what it is!

Conditioning Cleanser printable cards

Hope this helps!

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