You probably know that even the most gorgeous set of makeup brushes will lose their softness pretty quickly without the help of a good brush cleaner. Regular brush cleaning has other benefits as well – it prevents your makeup from looking streaky and it keeps your skin clear of breakouts. But do you know what the best makeup brush cleaner is? Do you know how often to clean your makeup brushes? We’ve got you covered!
We’ve created the ultimate guide to help you! We’ve selected the best makeup brush cleaners on the market, spanning all different kinds of formulas including sprays, liquids, soaps, and shampoos. We go on to explain exactly how each one of those formulas works and what it is good for, and then even give the details on how to clean makeup brushes with each one of them, so you can get scrubbing!
Makeup Brush Cleaner Guide: Contents
25 Best Makeup Brush Cleaners to Buy
You are sure to find the best makeup brush cleaner for you, since here we bring a variety of options – the best available on the beauty market now!
1. Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner
With this makeup artist brand, you know you’re buying something well formulated. This brush cleaner acts as an all in one that cleans and sanitizes makeup brushes without having to be rinsed off. Just wipe your brushes on a towel and you’ll know it’ll evaporate soon. It gets out even the toughest cream foundation residue, and will leave your brushes smelling like vanilla. Do note that if most of your brushes are white it might give them a blue tint. Buy it at Sephora!
2. MAC Cosmetics Brush Cleanser
This brush cleaner is another non-rinse-off that cleanses your brushes while killing bacteria. It contains quite a bit of alcohol that could be drying, but there is also hydrolyzed wheat protein to moisturize and nourish your brushes. It cleans out makeup very thoroughly and leaves behind a pleasant scent, but it may take a few moments to dry completely. It is available at Nordstrom.
3. IT Brushes for Ulta Brush Bath Purifying Brush Cleaner
This is an alcohol-free formula that will be super moisturizing to your brush bristles while cleaning them up. If you want a really quick clean this might be the best brush cleaner for you since it comes in spray bottle and doesn’t require rinsing. It is made with emollients and humectants that condition the makeup brushes well, and is lightly fragranced with natural essential oils. Please note that while it does clean very well, it is not antibacterial. Pick it up at Ulta!
4. Sephora Collection Color Switch By Vera Mona Brush Cleaner
This brush cleaner is very unique and a little magical sounding. It’s called Color Switch because it’s meant to make cleaning makeup brushes during your makeup application super easy. Apply one product, swirl the brush over this dry sponge, and then move on to the next one. You could do a full face with just a couple of brushes! The sponge comes in a metal case for easy portability. Keep in mind that it is not a substitute for a proper cleaning, and it might be a little rough on some makeup brushes. You can find it at Sephora.
5. Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser
This a very thorough and moisturizing brush cleaner that works similarly to a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. This sulfate-free formula breaks down all of the makeup in your brush, allowing it to get rinsed out easily. It contains some hydrating ingredients that’ll keep your makeup brushes soft, and a bit of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing scent. It is sold at Nordstrom.
6. Sephora Collection The Cleanse: Daily Brush Cleaner
This is another more natural option for spray-on makeup brush cleaners. It cleans the makeup brushes up with the help of some super gentle emollients that break down makeup just enough so that it can be wiped off on a paper towel. It contains a touch of tea tree oil, an essential oil with some antimicrobial properties that’ll keep your brushes free of bacteria. It is available at Sephora.
7. Sigma Beauty SigMagic Brushampoo
This soap-based brush shampoo is natural and very gentle. It is made of saponified coconut and palm oils, which penetrate through the thick layers of bristles in your makeup brushes to break down even the most persistent makeup residue. You would use it just as you would a shampoo, and it is ideal for thorough monthly washes. You can buy it from Nordstrom.
8. Mineral Fusion Brush Cleaner
This is another natural take on brush cleaners that should leave your brushes soft, sanitized and beautifully scented. It’s a spray that contains a bit of alcohol along with grapefruit extract and a whole host of beautiful essential oils. It’s very quick-drying, and ideal for weekly use when you just need a quick fix. Order it online from Dermstore!
9. Make Up For Ever Instant Brush Cleanser
If you want quick, impressive results then this would be the best makeup brush cleaner for you. MUFE hasn’t disclosed its ingredients, but as reviews testify, it works quickly to thoroughly clean makeup brushes without having to be rinsed away. It comes with a spray nozzle and dries very quickly, so it could work especially well for makeup artists. Buy it at Sephora!
10. Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser
This wonderful brush cleaning spray is great for weekly clean-up, as it kills bacteria, removes quite a bit of makeup build-up, and dries very quickly. It does contain alcohol, but that’s balanced out by moisturizing hydrolyzed wheat protein. It doesn’t leave behind a scent, which is a bonus for those with sensitive skin or nose. You can get it at Nordstrom.
11. Ulta Brush & Sponge Cleanser
This no-frills spray bottle holds one of the best brush cleaners for those who want thorough results with minimal effort. Oh, and it works on makeup sponges as well! Spray it on your brushes, lather a bit, and then rinse away and they’ll be as good as new. It smells a bit of soothing lavender, which makes for a calming cleaning experience. Find it at Ulta!
12. Artis Brush Brush Cleansing Foam
Artis is known for making super dense oval makeup brushes, so this foam brush cleaner is made to really penetrate through those tight rows of bristles but also to wipe away easily. You can use it in conjunction with the Artis microfiber cleaning pad or with a simple microfiber cloth to really make sure it gets in and works well. It is available online via Net-a-Porter.
13. Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette
This little palette will save you a lot of mess and effort when it’s time to giving your makeup brushes a thorough wash. This little tool is made of silicone and is exactly the right side to slide over the palm of your hand. It has a multi-textured surface perfect for lathering your shampoo-style brush cleaner and allowing it to penetrate into your brush to give a complete cleanse. It comes with two satchels of gel brush cleaner, but we actually prefer it with any one of the best brush cleaners with a rinse-off formula that are on this list. Buy it at Ulta!
14. J.Cat Beauty Dry Makeup Brush Cleaner
This dry sponge is similar to the Color Switch, in that it is made to remove powder-based makeup products off of your brush without introducing any chemicals or water. It doesn’t sanitize, but it also doesn’t require drying time so you can use it mid-makeup application if you decide you suddenly want to use your crease brush to apply a highlighting color. The cool thing is that the sponge itself can be cleaned when you take the time to give your makeup brushes a thorough cleanse, so it really should last a very long time. Order it from Ulta!
15. bareMinerals Well-Cared For Brush Conditioning Shampoo
For when you need that deep clean, a shampoo made especially for makeup brushes is the way to go. This brush cleanser lathers up beautifully, removes every speck of makeup, and then leaves your makeup brushes soft and moisturized like new. It’s ideal for monthly use, and does require rinsing just like a normal shampoo. Get it from Nordstrom!
16. Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner
This simple brush cleaner will sanitize your makeup brushes with alcohol but will keep them soft with witch hazel and carrageenan. Like other alcohol-based sprays, it should dry fairly quickly. It is a natural formula that comes in a spray bottle for easy carrying and using. It smells grapefruity and fresh. Check it out on Dermstore!
17. Estée Lauder Makeup Brush Cleanser
This brush cleanser is ideal for weekly use but is actually almost as thorough as a shampoo. It cleanses thoroughly and sanitizes well since it contains both alcohol and gentle surfactants that break down makeup from deep within the brush. It contains a touch of wheat protein to condition the makeup brushes, as well. Buy it at Nordstrom!
18. Parian Spirit Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner
This professional strength brush cleaner may come in uninspiring packaging but the formula itself packs a punch. It’s a strong solvent formula that gets out every little bit of makeup, and even works for really stubborn materials like glitter or wax-based creams. It doesn’t require rinsing, as it evaporates quickly. You might find that using a conditioner after a few clean-ups with this brush cleaner is necessary, but it might save you the need for shampooing. You can find it on Beautylish.
19. EcoTools Makeup Brush Cleansing Shampoo
This shampoo-style brush cleaner is so fabulous that I’d be willing to use it on my own hair! It’s a gentle, sulfate-free formula that will cleanse your makeup brushes thoroughly without drying them out. It is super concentrated so a little drop goes a long way. The…