Is Coconut Oil A Suitable Makeup Brush Cleaner?

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Regularly cleansing makeup brushes is not only key in keeping your tools fresh but in preventing a buildup of bacteria on the skin — which, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, could lead to rashes, breakouts, and even infections. It may slip your mind (particularly if your makeup brushes don't look dirty), but if you use them daily, chances are there is quite a bit of makeup residue, dirt, and oil hidden within those bristles.


And while there are cleansers out there specifically aimed at refreshing makeup brushes, one of your go-to household ingredients can be a great aid in both cleansing and conditioning your brushes: coconut oil. You may already be using coconut oil in your beauty routine and know it to be nourishing and ultra-hydrating.

So, when it comes to your makeup brushes, the same can be said of the treasured ingredient. Coconut oil is a suitable makeup brush cleanser; however, you may yield even better results using it as a makeup brush conditioner in addition to a clarifying shampoo. Join us as we dive deeper into using coconut oil to cleanse the bristles of your makeup brushes.

Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties

As Cleveland Clinic points out, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, with lauric acid — a fatty acid with significant antimicrobial properties — making up 49% of coconut oil's composition. Thus, coconut oil can cleanse your makeup brushes of bacteria and buildup, which we know is inevitable when it comes to the consistent use of brushes. Plus, coconut oil is an emollient and, therefore, makes for a great conditioner.


However, it's possible (and very likely) that if coconut oil is used as the sole cleanser for your makeup brushes, you'll find your bristles too oily. Using a clarifying soap or shampoo on your makeup brushes first, like Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Liquid Soap, and then following up with coconut oil to rid the brushes of bacteria as well as condition and moisturize, will likely yield the best results.

It may not seem necessary to condition your brushes, but they'll likely last longer if you do. "We end up throwing brushes away because it's too late to salvage them by the time we get to them. Neglect that $20 brush and it will quickly end up looking like a stack of mottled hay," Francesca Roman, a makeup artist at Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City, told Today.


How to cleanse and condition your makeup brushes with coconut oil

There are a couple of different routes you can take when it comes to using coconut oil to cleanse and nourish your makeup brushes. You'll want to wet the bristles of your brushes with warm water first. Next, lather the brush with your clarifying cleanser. You'll likely see the foundation, blush, or eyeshadow being released from the bristles, and this is a good sign.


Once you've lathered the product thoroughly, wash your brushes again with warm water. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Next, melt down a small amount of coconut oil and dip the ends of your brushes into the oil. Wipe them clean on a paper towel and rinse once more with warm water. This is the conditioning step of your cleansing routine, and you should notice your brushes are both clean and silky smooth.

Alternatively, you can mix up a sort of conditioning mask for your makeup brushes and do the treatment after every two to three washes. You'll need your coconut oil, a lemon, and a bowl. Mix a teaspoon of melted coconut oil with lemon juice in the bowl. Next, swipe your makeup brushes in the mixture and then rinse with warm water. If you find they're too oily, cleanse again with just the lemon juice and then rinse.