Do you know how to clean a beautyblender? Like, really clean it?
A beautyblender - and similar teardrop makeup sponges - changed the makeup application game a few years ago, helping airbrushed skin become attainable for us mere makeup mortals. More porous for a flawless, seamless finish, curved to fit the contours of your face, and the perfect size to fit between your finger so you can effortlessly work it over your complexion, the OG beautyblender is loved the world over by makeup artists, celebs (Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey and Ashley Graham are all loyal fans) and makeup novices.
But it’s no good to you if it’s not clean.
A clean makeup sponge is the difference between a flawless finish and an uneven coverage (old foundation and new foundation don’t mesh well), not to mention a dirty beautyblender can cause breakouts thanks to all that bacteria lurking within the sponge.
How often should you clean your beautyblender? Honestly, after each use. We get it though, that’s probably not going to happen because who has the time or motivation, so try to at least do a deep clean every two weeks (bonus points for doing it more regularly than that).
What’s the best way to clean a beautyblender? The beautyblender brand recommend a simple five-step method:
1. Wet the beautyblender.
2. Swirl an ample amount of your favourite blendercleanser formula onto the sponge.
3. Allow it to soak in a bowl of water while working into a lather.
4. To avoid snags or tears, squeeze delicately.
5. Rinse with clean water; squeeze out the excess water and allow the blender to dry completely in a clean, well-ventilated area.
There are also a number of other ways you can get your sponges squeaky clean. Here's how to wash beauty blender sponges; just take your pick from these beautyblender cleaning methods:
#1 / The instant clean
Let’s start off with one that everyone will love: the fastest one. While it’s only recommended as a quick fix on lazy days, something is always better than nothing. Beautyblender’s INSTACLEAN™ is a waterless cleaner - like a dry shampoo for makeup sponges, if you will - that you spray onto your sponge to saturate the makeup stain, before wiping it on a tissue to remove excess product. No rinsing necessary. Just note that the formula doesn’t contain any antibacterial ingredients, so it’s literally just a temporary fix so you can keep using your beautyblender without the old makeup interfering with the new makeup.
#2 / The soap clean
This is most likely how you currently wash your makeup sponges, and good news, it’s a great cleaning technique. Wet your sponge then drizzle on some liquid soap, detergent, baby shampoo or cleanser. Work it into a lather by rubbing it between your fingers - the lather should change colour as the makeup starts to lift - then rinse. Repeat until the beautyblender is completely clean. For stubborn stains, you can leave the sponge to soak in warm water for one to two minutes.
You can use a solid soap (we recommend beautyblender’s Solid Cleanser over everyday soap, as it’s specifically formulated to be gentle on the sponge’s fibres) or your facial cleanser - just steer clear of chemical exfoliant formulas as they may degrade the sponge. You can also try this DIY beautyblender cleanser recipe.
#3 / The double cleanse method
Just as your skin benefits from a double cleanse to make sure *all* types of makeup are removed, so too does your beautyblender sponge. After first washing your sponge as per the soap clean method, do a second cleanse with a cleansing oil or coconut oil. Oil attracts oil, so this time when you clean your sponge, you’ll be able to target oil-based makeup and the oils from your skin that have soaked into the sponge.
#4 / The silicone deep cleanse
If your sponges need a deeper clean, use a rubber mitt or silicone mat to help loosen the caked-on makeup. We like Sigma Beauty Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Mat. To use one of these brush cleaning mats with your makeup sponge, first wet your beautyblender then add soap. Gently rub/bounce it across the ridges on the mat until you start to see the makeup lift. Rinse it, squeeze out the excess water and leave to dry.
#5 / The microwave clean
This nifty beauty hack made the rounds on the Internet last year, and you know what, it works a treat. Fill three-quarters of a microwave-safe mug with warm water and add in a little dishwashing liquid. Drop in your dirty beauty blender, put it in the microwave for one minute, leave it to soak for another minute, then give it another clean with water and a drop of dishwashing soap. Next you need to rinse it, but *don’t* squeeze the water out with your hands - it will be HOT. Put the entire mug under cold water for a few minutes to cool it down.
#6 / The washing machine rinse
This is the best option if you have a lot of makeup sponges that need cleaning. Throw all your makeup sponges into a garment bag and pop it in your washing machine. Add a splash of detergent along with a makeup sponge cleanser then put it on a gentle cycle with an extra rinse. We don’t recommend adding your makeup sponges in with your clothing as you may risk staining them.
#7 / The cleansing gadget
Ok, this one’s for those who love a gadget and don’t like to get their hands dirty. It also gets our vote for the most fun way to clean a beautyblender! The gadget is actually a toy washing machine and while the results aren’t the cleanest we’ve seen, it’s fun and hey, it might just make you more inclined to regularly wash your sponges. And that, in our books, is a big win!
Once you’ve cleaned your makeup sponge using whichever method above that takes your fancy, always make sure you thoroughly dry your sponge afterwards. Wet sponges are a breading ground for bacteria and mould, and you just worked hard to clean it, so don’t skip this final - and vital - step.
Also, there will come a point when it’s time to stop cleaning and spring for a new makeup sponge. Every three months is what beautyblender recommend.
Curious to know how else you’re sabotaging your skin? This one mistake could be the reason you don’t have clear skin.
How do your clean your beautyblender, and how often? We’d love to hear your thoughts and tips below.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.