Wayne Goss Tips: Revive Dull, Dry Makeup Brushes


When it comes time to wash makeup brushes, everyone has a different method. It can feel like a chore and sometimes, the easiest thing is to grab the nearest soap and get started. But, if you’re using a cleanser that is too harsh, you may find that your brushes end up looking dull and feeling dry.

We recently spoke with Wayne Goss to find out how to revitalize dry brush hairs. He tells us, “Generally speaking, any soap should be just fine with all brushes and shouldn’t change the hair density at all. Even 96% alcohol works great for cleaning makeup brushes—but certain hair types, like squirrel, should never be cleaned with alcohol.”

“Hair is dead (otherwise it would hurt when we have our hair cut!) It always responds well with moisture via conditioner but brushes are a little bit different. If you use a deep conditioner (like a hair mask) on a makeup brush, it will hold onto the product and become limp.”

“If your brush has been damaged, then using a light, daily conditioner is fine. But use very sparingly—you don’t want to fully coat the hair because it will go limp (especially blue squirrel). After conditioning, rinse carefully with cool water.” Wayne’s advice may not bring the brush back to the original condition, but it will help a lot.

“Most Japanese brushes can handle frequent cleaning and even alcohol (except dyed brushes or brushes made of squirrel). Brushes are best washed weekly with a gentle baby shampoo or soap, but use judgment. If your brushes are for personal use they may require less washing. Brushes used with powder can be wiped off on a tissue. The wiping will release most of the pigment, so they require less washing.”

Featured Products