Ok so lets get down to the gross stuff first!! As most of us know, dirty brushes carry a mix of old makeup, dead skin cells & bacteria which can lead to blemish/blackheads/skin infections, so it’s incredibly important to keep them clean. It is a task that most people find very tedious and will avoid at all costs, but definitely a task that once it's done you immediately feel better. Plus you have more than likely invested a lot of money building a brush collection and by keeping up with your general brush care with regular cleaning it will pro-long the life of your precious investments.
For professionals, we all know the risks involved with cross contamination and keeping our tools sanitised and hygienic, but for the rest of the population some people I have met through the years have admitted to never having washed brushes ever and some brushes are almost a decade old! (Ew!) Or that cleaning brushes only comes to mind when the brush starts matting, clumping or general ickiness sets in, little may you know, this type of practice could be causing more harm than you care to imagine to your precious skin.
There are two methods of cleaning makeup tools, spot cleaning and deep cleaning. Both equally as important as one another and both necessary.
Spot cleaning your brushes is the quick & easy method. It is when you clean a brush after each time you use it. The brushes will be able to be re-used almost immediately after. Spot cleansers tend to be quite alcohol heavy which can dry out & damage natural hair bristle brushes if used too frequently. They won't fully remove every trace of foundation in dense brushes either. That's why a deep cleanse is still needed. But if you want to temporarily make things a little less yucky then this method will keep everything sanitary enough to use and also makes the task of deep cleaning brushes less frequent and much easier.
Deep cleaning is when you thoroughly wash your tools with warm water and soap/shampoo. Brushes will need to be left to dry naturally in room temperature overnight and take several hours to dry. Deep cleaning your brushes will remove deep staining and for very dense brushes will cleanse deep into the hairs of the brush. Your brushes should be deep cleaned once a week if you wear makeup everyday and not spot cleaning, but if you are spot cleaning after each use once every 3-4 weeks would suffice as long as your spot cleaner is anti-bacterial.