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Whether you're flicking the perfect cat eye or covering up a massive pimple, makeup brushes are a must-have in anyone's makeup arsenal. But every once in a while, your brushes need a decent scrub, especially if you want to keep acne and other skin issues at bay. Sure, there are countless makeup brush cleansers out there, but it turns out you don't really need a fancy product to do the job.

Makeup artist and YouTube beauty guru Eimear McElheron's viral video shows you just how easy it is to give your face primpers a deep clean, using just two household ingredients: olive oil and shampoo. In her video, which has amassed more than 1.6 million views, McElheron demonstrates how to use both ingredients to get deep into the brush fibres to remove excess makeup and germs.

To clean everyday makeup brushes, McElheron likes to use shampoo and water alone, but for brushes you use for applying heavy-duty foundation or waterproof eyeliner, McElheron recommends deep cleaning them with a combination of olive oil and shampoo.

Here's how she does it:

  1. Wet the brush with a little bit of water so the shampoo lathers up. Squeeze a generous amount of shampoo into your palm.
  2. In a circular motion, swirl the brush head around your palm so it becomes coated with the shampoo.
  3. Then, move the brush up and down along your fingers so it helps break up the product build-up. You'll see the makeup strip away from the brush. Rinse with some water as the makeup comes off. You'll know the brush is clean when the water that runs through it comes out clear. Be sure to squeeze the brush heads to remove excess water and soap suds. This also helps to speed up the drying time.
  4. To dry your brushes, fold a towel so one end is raised and place the brush on the slope you've created with the towel so that any water in the brushes drips down into the towel.

Why it's important to wash your makeup brushes

Dermatologist Dr Doris Day says McElheron's technique of washing your brushes with shampoo and water works just as well as any makeup brush cleanser. She recommends washing your makeup brushes every few weeks to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Product build-up in the brushes is not only bad for your skin, but it can also put pressure on the bristles, causing them to break.

Not convinced this hack works well? You can always buy a makeup brush cleanser. 

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