If you’ve always felt too intimated and confused to add a facial cleansing brush to your skincare routine (like, how—and why—do you even use one?!), you’ve officially come to the right place. Surprisingly, facial cleansing brushes are actually pretty simple: All you do is grab your favorite cleanser, dampen your brush, and move it over your face in small, circular motions. The result? Skin that’s cleaner, softer, and ready for the rest of your product lineup.
But since they aren’t great for all skin types (more on that in a bit), it’s important to figure out if you’re the right candidate before you give a cleansing device a try. Ahead, two derms weigh in on everything you should know, including who they’re best for, how often to use them, and more. And, bc I love you, I even rounded up the 15 best devices on the market rn if/when you decide to try one.
Are facial cleansing brushes good for your skin?
Even though they’re known for their ability to deeply clean and gently exfoliate, facial cleansing brushes are unfortunately too harsh for folks with acne, eczema, rosacea, or sensitive skin, says dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at Yale University. That doesn’t mean they’re completely off the table though. If you have relatively “normal” skin and you follow the directions to a T, facial cleansing brushes can be a nice occasional addition to your routine (especially if you opt for a model with all the bells and whistles, like facial massaging and various exfoliating modes).
But before giving any brush a try, it’s always a good idea to chat with your dermatologist and do a patch test on your cheek and jawline to make sure it’s safe for your skin type and skin concerns. Any burning, itching, redness, or irritation afterward (or even the next day)? It might not be wise to try on the rest of your face.
Can I use a facial cleansing brush every day?
If you’re new to world of facial cleansing brushes, it’s best to slowly ease them into your routine (think: one or two times a week max, until you get a feel for how your skin reacts). One thing to keep in mind? Dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, MD, says regardless of your frequency, you’ll want to wash your brush every time you use it—no exceptions. “A lot of times these types of brushes can harbor bacteria and even exacerbate acne,” he says. So don’t forget to really rinse it off, k? And if that sounds like something you’ll absolutely never do…then, again, maybe these aren’t the go-to tool for you.
Now, let’s get to what you really came here for. Keep reading for the 15 best facial cleansing brushes of all damn time.
Best Facial Cleansing Brush for Makeup Removal
Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Petite Patented Antimicrobial Facial Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush
If you feel like your regular cleansing routine isn’t doing much to remove your full-coverage foundation, you’ll love the deep (but gentle) clean this device offers. It’s also equipped with an antimicrobial brush that helps keep your device fresh and bacteria-free (tho you’ll definitely still want to wash it after each use, as Dr. Goldenberg suggests).
Best Waterproof Facial Cleansing Brush
Spa Sciences Nova Antimicrobial Sonic Cleansing System
Looking for a solid intro to facial cleansing brushes? This option from Spa Sciences is reasonably priced, offers an effective clean, and is 100 percent waterproof (meaning, yes, you can use it to wash your face in the shower). And since it’s on the smaller side and rechargeable, it’s not a bad option for bringing on the go either.
Best Cleansing Brush for DIY Facials
ReFa Clear 3D Sonic Ion Cleansing Device
K, it’s definitely pricey, but if you’re trying to get a spa-worthy facial at home, you can’t go wrong with this facial cleansing device. It’s got three modes (soft, clean, and deep), which means you can really customize your routine. P.S., The bristles are soften enough that you don’t have to worry about it stripping your skin dry.
Best Cleansing Brush for Hard-to-Reach Areas
Conair True Glow Silicone Facial Brush
This compact silicone brush is perfect for deep yet gentle cleansing in harder-to-reach areas (think: on and around your nose). Even better, it’s got two speeds (I suggest starting slow and working your way up) and it leaves your skin feeling noticeably softer and smoother.
Best Facial Cleansing and Massaging Brush
Flawless by Finishing Touch Flawless Cleanse Hydro-Vibrating Facial Cleanser
Not only does this silicone brush do an excellent job at cleansing and exfoliating your skin, but it also has a facial massage mode (which is great for reducing swelling, soothing puffiness, and enhancing your glow). TBH, there’s not a lot this one can’t do.
Best Facial Cleansing Brush With Soft Bristles
Naturopathica Facial Cleansing Brush
The coolest thing about this facial cleansing brush is that it’s made with ultra-soft nylon bristles that are super gentle on your skin. Lightly massage it over your wet skin with your go-to cleanser and it’ll help dissolve makeup and grime without irritating or drying out your face.
Best Facial Cleansing Brush for Serums
This brush head offers up a mini facial every single time you use it. The antibacterial silicone it’s made of (that’s also odor-resistant, hypoallergenic, and waterproof) gives off 7,000 vibrations per minute to deeply cleanse your skin. You can also use it to work your favorite serum or moisturizer into your skin for a deeper absorption (just use mode three or four and the backside of the brush for massaging).
Best Facial Cleansing Brush on Amazon
Gackoko Facial Cleansing Brush
Comb through the thousands (yes, thousands) of five-star reviews on Amazon and you’ll understand why people love this facial cleansing brush so much. To summarize: It’s got a super-reasonable price tag and it comes with a whopping five interchangeable brush heads that do everything from deep-clean to mildly exfoliate. Impressive, right?
Best Customizable Facial Cleansing Brush
Vanity Planet Raedia Facial Cleansing Brush
Not only does this facial cleansing brush come in this super cute case, it also has three different brush heads to help you customize your cleansing routine. There’s a daily cleanser that lifts away dead skin cells, a weekly exfoliator for a deeper clean, and a silicone brush that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Best Manual Facial Cleansing Brush
Anisa Beauty Cleansing Brush
If you want to have complete control over your facial cleansing brush, grab this manual one. Just add your cleanser onto the silicone ring in the center and gently massage it into your skin using light pressure and a circular motion. The combo of silicone and fiber bristles will gently cleanse your skin without irritating TF out of it.
Most Gentle Facial Cleansing Brush
Elf Cosmetics Cleansing Duo Face Brush
If you’re worried a facial cleansing brush may be too intense for your sensitive skin, you gotta try out this one from Elf. The bristles are ridiculously soft and clean out your pores without freaking out your skin. Plus, there are silicone bristles on the back of the brush, in case you need an even gentler cleansing tool.
Best Budget Facial Cleansing Brush
Olay Regenerist Facial Cleansing Device
This lightweight, water-resistant facial cleansing brush is one of the least expensive options on the list—but it still works amazingly well. It has a dual-speed rotating brush head that removes makeup and cleanses your skin (shout out to the exfoliating wash it comes with), while also sloughing away any dead skin cells that might potentially clog your pores.
Best Lightweight Facial Cleansing Brush
Mary Kay Skinvigorate Sonic Skin Care System
Super lightweight and with three speeds (gentle, standard, and power), this facial cleansing brush helps to remove makeup, oil, and grime in 60 seconds flat. Use this bb regularly and it’ll help make sure your serums, moisturizers, and creams can fully penetrate your skin.
Best Charcoal Facial Cleansing Brush
Proactiv Charcoal-Bristle Pore Cleansing Brush
You’re probably not surprised to hear that Proactiv went a step further than any other brand and infused their bristles with charcoal, a pore-cleansing ingredient known for its ability to absorb excess oil and debris. Its ultra-soft brush head has a 360-degree rotation along with low and high speeds to help give your face a thorough cleansing. Bonus: It’s gentle enough to use once a day, even on acne-prone skin.
Best Mini Facial Cleansing Brush
Foreo Luna 2 Mini
$119.00 (14% off)
Not only does this small yet mighty silicone brush fit into the tiniest of spaces (like that little pocket inside of your cosmetics bag), but it only needs to be charged once every five months too. Wait, it gets better: Its minute-long T-Sonic pulsations and hygienic nubs claim to remove 99.5 percent of dirt and oil as it exfoliates your skin without irritation. Pretty awesome, right?
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