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How to Wash Makeup Sponges Like a Pro

How to Wash Makeup Sponges Like a Pro I Mirra Skincare

The creation of makeup sponges catapulted beauty rituals into the future. With seamless blending and versatile uses, there's nothing a makeup sponge can’t do. When we take care of our makeup sponges, they take care of us, which is why learning how to wash makeup sponges is crucial. It’s time to devote 10 minutes a week back into our makeup sponges to get the most out of the powerful tool and protect our skin health. Don’t know how to wash makeup sponges? Do not fret; we have your back. Below is a step by step guide on how to wash makeup sponges and proper makeup sponge hygiene. Let’s get started. 

Contents

1. Makeup Sponges 101

2. Why You Should Learn How To Wash Makeup Sponges

3. How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Sponge?

4. How to Wash Makeup Sponges: Techniques and Tricks

5. Our Favorite Makeup Sponge Cleansing Soaps

6. Final Thoughts

Key Points

  • Their spongy texture makes them perfect for blending, buffing, and bronzing, but it also makes them perfect breeding grounds for bacteria.
  • It's recommended that you wash your makeup sponge once or twice a week.
  • You can wash your makeup sponge like you wash your hands, soak them to deep clean, or even microwave them (I'm serious).

Makeup Sponges 101

Makeup sponges are a Godsend for beauty rituals. Their spongy nature makes them perfect for blending, smoothing, and setting makeup. There is nothing truly like the addition of a beauty sponge to any ritual. 

Traditionally, the makeup sponge is used for liquid and powder beauty products like foundation, concealer, BB creams, highlighters, and setting powders. If you own a makeup sponge, you’re probably thinking duh! 

But, what you may not know is the use of a makeup sponge beyond your makeup ritual. Other uses for makeup sponges are serum and moisturizer application, sunless tanning product application, and eye cream application. There are so many makeup sponges on the market ranging in size and shape. You can check out cult favorites like the Beauty Blender at Sephora, the e.l.f Cosmetics Total Face Sponge at Ulta, or the Jane Iredale flocked sponge makeup blender at Amazon

Why You Should Learn How To Wash Makeup Sponges

We get to reap the benefits of these versatile bad boys. While I mentioned above some of the benefits of their spongy nature, there are a few cons to be aware of too. Their spongy nature creates the perfect breeding and retention ground for bacteria, moisture, product retention, and dirt and oils (gross!). 

Not only can these unclean makeup sponge conditions lead to acne breakouts and rashes - it can be detrimental to your health. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, unclean makeup application tools can cause an infection such as “a fungal infection, E. coli, or staph infection,”. 

Dr. Chimento, a dermatologist from Miami, explains infections have the potential to occur due to the bacteria from an unclean makeup sponge entering open wound entry points from acne or hair removal methods such as waxing. Aside from the negative skin health effects, an unclean makeup sponge does not perform to the best of it’s ability due to product build up. If you want to maintain the effortlessly blended foundation, you have to know how to wash makeup sponges like a pro! 

How Often Should You Wash Your Makeup Sponge?

I know what I am about to say sounds like a BIG ask, but don’t shoot the messenger! Dermatologists recommend washing your makeup sponge once to twice a week. In an ideal world, they recommend washing it after every single use, but for busy people who forget to eat lunch (guilty as charged) washing a makeup sponge everyday is not realistic. 

How to Wash Makeup Sponges: Techniques and Tricks

Learning how to wash makeup sponges is quite easy and time friendly. There are a handful of cleansing techniques to choose from.  Without further ado, let’s take a peek at what each entails.

Technique One: Wash Your Makeup Sponge by Hand With Soap and Water 

What You Need: Soap, Water, and Your Hands 

Steps: 

  1. Rinse your makeup sponge under running water, ensuring the entire sponge is wet and expanded in size 
  2. Apply soap (liquid works best, but bar soap works too!)
  3. For liquid soap, place the sponge in the palm of your hand and begin gently massaging the soap into the sponge. Your goal is to get the soap to the center of the sponge. For bar soap, rub the sponge against the bar with pressure. 
  4. Rinse the sponge by squeezing it under running water until the water squeezed out is clear.
  5. Dry the sponge by squeezing any excess water and leaving it out to dry overnight. Do not store the sponge in a closed container to dry. Leave it on the counter. 

Technique Two: Soak Your Makeup Sponge

What You Need: A small bowl, warm water, liquid soap

Steps:

  1. Prepare your soap bowl by filling a small bowl with warm water. Mix in liquid soap and stir. 
  2. Place your makeup sponge in the bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. 
  3. Remove your makeup sponge from the soak and begin spot cleaning. Do so by applying liquid soap and gently massaging the sponge in the palm of your hand. 
  4. Rinse the sponge by squeezing it under running water until the water squeezed out is clear.
  5. Dry the sponge by squeezing any excess water and leaving it out to dry overnight. Do not store the sponge in a closed container to dry. Leave it on the counter. 

Technique Three: Microwave Your Makeup Sponge

What You Need: Microwave safe mug or bowl, water, liquid soap

Steps

  1. Prepare your microwave safe mug or bowl by adding water and mixing in liquid soap. There should be enough liquid so your makeup sponge is fully submerged. 
  2. Place your sponge on the microwave safe mug or bowl.
  3. Pop the microwave safe mug or bowl in the microwave for a minute. 
  4. Take it out of the microwave and let the sponge cool. 
  5. Rinse the sponge by squeezing it under running water until the water squeezed out is clear.
  6. Dry the sponge by squeezing any excess water and leaving it out to dry overnight. Do not store the sponge in a closed container to dry. Leave it on the counter. 

Our Favorite Makeup Sponge Cleansing Soaps

Here are a few of our favorite makeup sponge cleansing soaps. 

  1. Dawn Gentle Clean Dish Soap - $4.29 @ Target
  2. BeautyBlender Blendercleanser Solid - $16 @ Sephora
  3. BeautyBlender Blendercleanser Liquid - $18 @ Sephora

Final Thoughts

It’s official: cleansing your makeup sponge at least once a week is one of the cardinal rules of makeup hygiene. I don’t make the rules! 

In all seriousness though, learning how to wash makeup sponges is imperative for the health of your skin. Setting aside 10 minutes a week to prevent irritation, further acne breakouts, and infection is worth it. Your skin will thank you later. 

Written by Lauren Conklin

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SOURCES:

  1. https://www.glamour.com/story/how-to-clean-beauty-blender-makeup-sponge
  2. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/clean-your-makeup-brushes#:~:text=Dirty%20makeup%20brushes%20can%20cause,every%207%20to%2010%20days.
  3. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a19634312/beauty-blender-sponge-microwave-cleaning/
  4. https://www.glamour.com/story/how-to-clean-beauty-blender-makeup-sponge

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