The one question that hits my inbox on an almost weekly basis is just how often should we be washing our make-up brushes? Truthfully it is something I struggle with mainly because I'm not great with germs (who is?) and I'm kinda (okay a lot) lazy. I realise that not everyone will have a vast brush collection so brush rotation may not be an option and like a lot of things it does come down to preference and of course use.
I wash my make-up brushes after every use, this is because I have acne and can't really run the risk of spreading bacteria. I say every use when really what I do is, I use it cast it aside and wash my brushes in large batches. Like I said lazy and for the average person a little excessive. If you do have acne I recommend cleaning any facial brush after each use, be it deeply with soap (I use the term loosely) and water or a little a quick on the spot refresh using a brush cleanser - every little helps.
Acne woes aside dermatologists and make-up artists recommend when it comes to personal use (brushes you use on yourself) anything from two to four weeks. It really all boils down to how frequently you use the brushes and the amount of product used per application. In my experience foundation and concealer brushes are the quickest to get murky, blush and eyeshadow brushes not so much.
Like everything else there are tell tale signs that you really need to haul ass to your nearest sink and get to scrubbing! Things to look out for include: dried out and scratchy bristles, product application not what it normally is (for example foundation applies streaky) and of course visible, caked on residue. Think of washing your brushes as a lot like changing your bed sheets, an annoyance but so worth it once you have actually got it all over and done with.
I wash my brushes with Dr Bronner Organic Baby Liquid Soap as it is unscented (great if your skin is easily irritated) and nothing cleans my brushes better without stripping or ruining the delicate bristles. For travel when deep cleansing isn't an option, I use MAC Brush Cleanser - typically I decant a little so I don't have to lug around a large bottle.
Find Dr Bronner Organic Baby Liquid Soap (£5.99-£8.99) via Feel Unique - link.
Find MAC Brush Cleanser (£11) via Debenhams - link