How Long Do Makeup Brushes Last?

Woman holding Makeup Brushes
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High-quality makeup brushes last for years. So, it’s definitely worth splurging if you ever plan to buy new tools for your makeup routine.

However, you need to ensure that you still replace your makeup brushes

Regardless of their quality, you need to know when it’s time to let them go.

Makeup brushes typically last 1 – 5 years. However, makeup experts recommend replacing them every four months. 

Read further to find out why you need to replace your brushes so often.

How Often Should You Replace Makeup Brushes?

Being a makeup enthusiast does not end in showing interest in learning about makeup products. 

It should also include knowing how to take care of your tools, especially makeup brushes.

Keep in mind that having high-quality brushes allows you to achieve flawless makeup looks. 

However, if you keep using old brushes, you might encounter difficulties applying cosmetic products.

Your makeup brushes may last for years, but it depends on the actual brush materials and how you store and maintain them. 

However, for safety and hygiene purposes, aim to replace them every four months at most. 

You may also replace your brush the moment you observe quality issues. This includes a change in shape, smell, and color. 

why you should replace your makeup brushes

Some women probably never felt the need to replace their brushes, especially when they invested in high quality ones. 

However, you need to avoid this mistake because you might encounter issues such as the following: 

Bacteria buildup

Replacing your brushes is necessary to avoid bacteria buildup. 

Whenever you forget to thoroughly clean your makeup brushes, there’s a high risk that bacteria will form on them.

Skin irritations

Makeup brushes grow mold and they attract dirt and bacteria. So, if you refuse to replace them, you might suffer skin irritations.

If your brushes are not properly cleaned and maintained, continuously using them may lead to redness and inflammation on your skin.

Pimples and acne

Old and dirty makeup brushes may also cause breakouts. Because of bacteria or molds, you will likely get pimples and acne from your makeup brushes. 

To avoid this issue, you need to ensure that you clean your brushes every after use. Also, you need to know if it’s time to toss them out.

Uneven or unpolished makeup looks

Another issue that may come up if you don’t replace your brushes is that it may give you uneven makeup looks. 

If your brushes are not in good condition, you can’t expect them to provide you with flawless makeup finishes.

Signs it’s time to toss your makeup brush

Do makeup brushes last for several years if you take proper care of them? 

Yes, they can last for years, especially if you always clean them after every use. If you also store them properly, your brushes will last longer. 

However, this doesn’t mean you never have to replace them. You still need to toss them out the moment you see these signs:

You need to know when it’s time to let go of your favorite makeup brushes. 

To give you an idea, here are a few signs that means your brushes need replacements: 

makeup brush losing bristles

If you observe that your makeup brush has started losing bristles, it’s time to replace them. 

Lost bristles indicate your brush has already been used and abused, so you need to find a new one already.

makeup brush changed color

Even if you thoroughly clean your brushes, if it remains stained, you have to toss them out.

Stained brushes means your tools have product buildup. If you continue to use them, you might unintentionally transfer dirt and bacteria to your skin.

makeup brush has weird smell

Makeup brushes should not have a weird smell, especially after cleaning them. 

If you, however, continue to observe weird smells from your brush, it’s time to replace them.

makeup brush with deformed bristles

Another sign that you need to replace your makeup brush is when they don’t return to their original shape. 

If your makeup brushes have deformed bristles, you will have trouble achieving a flawless makeup look. So, you need to understand that it’s time to get rid of them.

Can you extend makeup brush life

You can definitely extend the life of your makeup brushes as long as you follow proper makeup brush care techniques. 

makeup brush care

You need to learn the proper care routine to make sure your makeup brushes last longer. To help you with this, you can take note of the following tricks and ideas: 

Easy Ways to Clean Makeup Brushes

According to Anisa International, 39% of women admitted they clean makeup brushes less than once a month. 

Some of them even revealed that they don’t ever clean these makeup tools.

Some women simply don’t want to spend too much time and effort in cleaning their makeup brushes. 

Thus, they avoid cleaning these tools because it takes time, especially if you need to wait for them to dry. 

Despite the hassle of cleaning your makeup brushes, you still need to perform regular upkeep. 

This way, you can prolong the lifespan of these tools. 

You just need to find a quick way to clean and maintain your makeup tools. 

Here are a few makeup brush cleaning steps for you: 

  1. After using your brush, wash it with a gentle soap or shampoo. Make sure to use lukewarm water to get rid of dirt and stubborn products.
  2. Place and swirl it under running water. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly.
  3. Ensure there are no residues. Then, squeeze water out.
  4. Lay the brush flat on a paper towel to let it dry.

What to Clean Makeup Brushes With

Cleaning makeup brushes can be a breeze, especially if you have a gentle soap in hand. 

However, if you want other options, you can also try other products. 

You can choose from a variety of cleaning products for your makeup brushes. You can start with the following options:

  • Baby Shampoo – One of the best alternatives for cleaning makeup brushes is baby shampoo. Its gentle formula helps get rid of dust and dirt from your makeup tools. 
  • Facial Wash – Using a gentle facial wash can also work, especially if you are traveling. If you forgot to pack your brush cleanser, you could simply use your facial cleanser.
  • Dish Soap – If you want a cheaper option, you can also choose dish soaps. These are effective for deep cleaning your brushes.
  • Brush Cleanser – For a quick and hassle-free cleaning, you can simply buy a brush cleanser. This product quickly dissolves and removes residue from your brushes.
  • Cleaning Mat – Brush cleaning mats have become popular among makeup enthusiasts. These help swirl away dirt, oil, and other unwanted products from your makeup brushes.

How Often to Clean Makeup Brushes

Beauty experts recommend that you clean your makeup brushes after every use. This means that you need to wash and let them dry right after your makeup session. 

Doing so helps ensure that your makeup brushes stay clean and free from oil and dirt. 

Regular cleaning also prevents bacteria build-up, which helps you avoid having skin problems.

It’s also recommended that you store your makeup brushes in a cool, dry place. 

Avoid placing them under direct sunlight as it may cause damage to the wand and the bristles. 


Makeup brushes need to be replaced after several months of use. 

Even if you perform proper cleaning, storage, and maintenance, you still need to toss them out after some time. 

Take note that you have to toss your brushes out the moment you observe issues such as the ones mentioned above. 

If you plan on buying new ones, ensure that you also understand that you need to take more care of them. This way they will last longer. 

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