Be honest: When is the last time you washed your makeup brushes? If you just paused while reading this, that probably means you're due for a wash day. It's one of those things we all know we should do but rarely take the time to do it. But dirty brushes not only perform worse but can lead to a lot of skin issues.

Here, we explain everything you need to know.

Why you really do need to wash those brushes.

"Your natural oils, bacteria, makeup, dead skin cells, dirt, and grime accumulate on the brush, and then you are just reapplying that on a daily basis," says board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D. "This can lead to a lot of skin issues—acne, contact dermatitis, infections—but then from a functional aspect the brushes aren't going to work."

Makeup artists agree too: "Cleaning brushing is a must: They collect bacteria over time and can just get really nasty, especially ones that apply creamy makeup," says natural makeup artist Sally Duvall.

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