Beauty

By now, you should 100% know that going to bed with your makeup on is the ultimate skincare sin (p.s. we do it occasionally too!). But did you know that so is washing your face in the shower (a big no-no because the water is often way too hot) and not washing your hands before you wash your face (because, errr germs?)

That’s where facial cleansing brushes come in. Not only do they have remove makeup and exfoliate, but if cleaned and stored properly—make sure to read those directions! — they can be a bit more sanitary…hence eliminating future breakouts. Sensitive skin types (i.e. prone to eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis) should opt for those with softer bristles and consider working brushes into their routine bi-weekly versus daily to start. Unsure if it’s the *right* tool for you? Chat up your derm to get their expert opinion.

Overall, the best brushes have the same general process: Remove your makeup, apply cleanser to wet skin, and massage along your face in circular motions for a minute or so. The results? Exfoliated, smooth, and clear skin. From the revamped classic Clarisonic to the new wave silicone-only PMD, here are 9 brushes Elle.com editors have tried and loved—plus a few other highly reviewed models.


1. Clarisonic Mia Smart Anti-Aging Cleansing Skincare Device

Mia Smart 3-in-1 Connected Beauty Device

Clarisonic

$169.00

Clarisonic’s vibrating brushes were all the rage in 2016 when all your fave “skin-fluencers” were on that buzz. The brushes are no longer quite as ubiquitous, but they’re still one of the top rated devices. The cult favorite is the Mia model, which recently received a new, sonic upgrade. What’s new? The award-winning brush takes off makeup 89% more effectively than makeup wipes, there’s adjacent skincare app that allows you to create a more customizable routine, you can look forward to even more attachments (think, a flawless foundation blending tool), a guided timer, and a longer battery life (up to 100 minutes.) Another fun stat? The Mia Smart is 6x more effective at cleansing than your hands alone.

The downside? According to former Elle.com Editor, Chloe Hall, the cleansing is a pain in the a**. “The brush comes with a number of filters but as a clean freak I can find the cleaning of the brush and filters to be exhausting. To clean the filter, you remove the brush and cleanse the base with soap and water. You can use a Q-tip to get in the nooks and crannies of the filter. Cleaning the brush head is where it gets a bit grimy. Because of the makeup buildup, it’s best to clean once a week or when you notice a lot of discoloration on the brush. Use an antibacterial soap and massage the bristles to remove the excess makeup. Next, rinse the brush head until any residue is gone or the water runs clear. I never feel like I clean it quite right. If you think you can beat me at the cleaning game, I highly suggest this brush.”

Tips of the trade:

  • Don’t over cleanse if you are wearing makeup. If can be tempting to go hard, but over-sloughing can leave your skin raw.
  • Attachment brushes range from $39 to $59, which can quickly rack up if you purchase multiples.
  • If you have sensitive skin, stick to three times a week, max. The brush works like an exfoliator removing dead cells, but it can be a bit harsh if you’re prone to acne, redness, or rosacea.
  • Skip out on chemical exfoliators like BHA, PHA and AHA’s—since this already act like an exfoliator (as mentioned above) you don’t want or need to go overboard. Less is more kids.

    2. Anisa Cleansing Brush

    Cleansing Brush

    Anisa

    $32.00

    If you’re worried about a battery or chargeable device being too harsh on your skin, this manual, responsibility-made brush (p.s. it features 100% cruelty-free synthetic fibers) might be your best best. The innovatively designed removable head is comprised of a soft fiber and silicone blend for gentle exfoliation and effective deep pore cleansing – leaving your complexion cleaner than ever, without feeling squeaky clean. One reviewer describes the brush as if “the bristles of a Clarisonic and the silicone of a Foreo had a baby.” The detachable brush head makes cleaning pretty easy, simply swivel, rinse and dry. Anisa also has their own branded cleanser, Purify, that removes excess makeup, oils, and residue without any water needed.

    Tips of the trade:

    • The brush head is removable for easy cleaning. Just make sure to air dry before using again.
    • A little cleanser goes a long way— focus on putting your product of choice directly onto the silicone ring before gently massaging in circular motions.
    • To avoid staining the bristles, rinse the brush thoroughly after each use.

      3. Liberex Egg Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush

      Egg Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush

      Liberex

      $33.99


      Don’t let the small size fool you, this “smart” egg shaped cleansing brush helps deep clean pores and exfoliates dead skin. Ultrasonic Vibration Technology ensures that your skin is thoroughly but gently cleansed without any excess tugging or pulling. You can also customize your cleaning experience by choosing one of three modes featuring various intensities (3800/min for massaging, 5000/min for exfoliating, 6500/min for deep cleansing.) Plus the smart timer reminds you to switch areas every 20 seconds before turning itself off at one minute so you don’t overdo it with the cleansing. All and all, it’s 6X more effective than manually cleansing which is major in our book!

      Tips of the trade:

      • Once fully charged, you’ll be able to the Liberex for at least a week at a time.
      • Pay attention to which brush head you select: The 0.075mm bristles are for deep pore cleansing and exfoliation, while the 0.05mm bristles are designed for sensitive and thinner skin.
      • To start, try the silicone brush head offers gentle exfoliation and massage.
      • A two-year warranty means you can anticipate a long-lasting product without many hiccups.

        4. PMD Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device

        Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device

        PMD

        $99.00

        Beyond simply cleansing, this tech-first cleansing device boasts over 7,000 vibrations per minutes thanks to SonicGlow™ technology. Look forward to skin that’s not only clean, but firm, tone, and overall more youthful in appearance. Unlike other brushes where you have to swap out the head, the device is made completely with ultra-hygienic silicone, meaning PMD Clean is odor-resistant, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and waterproof. The brush is also pretty fool-proof to clean, simple rinse with warm water and gently rub in cleanser (or soap), then pat dry after use. Consistent users claim their skin has never looked or felt better.

        Tips of the trade:

        • There are four customizable modes total. Hint: Up the ante on your serum application by using mode 3 or 4 for massaging.
        • Apply cleanser directly onto the bristles, whereas serums and moisturizer should be applied directly to the back.
        • To avoid damaging or bending the silicone bristles, use the included stand.

          5. Shiseido Essentials Cleansing Massage Brush

          Massage Brush

          Shiseido

          $25.00

          The cult-favorite Japanese skincare brand’s luxurious cleansing brush is the perfect hybrid of silky-soft, finely tapered bristles and silicone cushions made to gently message the skin. A ergonomic, curved handle allows users to grip without slip, and breeze over natural facial contours. It also allows for gentle facial massage (great for microcirculation) and overall skin vitality-meets-radiance.

          Tips of the trade:

          • Make sure to use included cap to protect the brush’s bristles. One reviewer said with proper care her brush lasted nearly 10 years. #Impressive
          • Don’t overload on cleanser, the bristles were made to create maximum foam.Due to the super soft bristles, this brush isn’t as effective at exfoliation.
          • Like all of the cleansing brushes, use in circular motion for an effective cleanse.

            6. Foreo Luna Cleansing Brush

            LUNA 2 for Normal Skin

            Foreo

            $169.00

            The incredible silicone material is what sets this cleansing brush apart . It’s non-abrasive, gentle, and easy to clean. Very easy to clean! Plus, it lasts for months after a full charge so you don’t have to worry about it dying if you travel often. Foreo delivers around 8,000 T-Sonic pulsations per minute through the silicone touch-points. The T-sonic technology is designed to penetrate deep in the layers of your skin for a strong cleansing. The Luna comes in four colors and looks great in any top #shelfie.

            Tips of the trade:

            • The product is small and sits upright so it makes storage easy.
              • It doesn’t have a timer, so set your own alarm for about one minute.
              • Because of the silicone brush, don’t use clay-based, silicone-based, or grainy cleansers, exfoliators, or scrubs. The silicone nubs are tough enough on their own.
              • Instead, opt for a gel-based cleanser to get the job done.

                7. Cleansing by Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

                Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush System

                Clinique

                $22.00

                The first facial brush from beauty giant Clinique delivers. The brush was developed by dermatologists to serve all skin types and provide a gentle cleanse. I have to say, my pores were noticeably less visible while using this product. The unique tapered head also lets you target hard to reach areas like beside your nose or on your lower chin. Unlike the other brushes that recommend one minute sessions, this brush has a 30-second timer so you’ll never over-scrub. The major criticism for this product comes from Amazon users. A number of customers complained that the brush’s use was very short-lived. The product seemed to die or break too easily for some shoppers.

                Tips of the trade

                • Replacement brushes cost $27.
                • The charger holds charge for hours so you can take it on the go.
                • The tilted head can help reach difficult areas.

                  8. Proactiv Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush

                  Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush

                  Proactiv

                  $55.00

                  Proactiv could sell me on anything in middle school, but things have changed since I was giving pubescent acne everything it could handle. I went back to ol’ faithful and tried this brush on a whim—it was surprising wonderful. Highlights: The bristles are long and exaggerated so it feels like a delightful tickle on your face. The brush also vibrates to stimulate my skin cells and doesn’t just oscillate like other brushes on the market. My main issue with this was after a few months it began to not work or function properly. I must say because it was portable, I was throwing it around and not treating it with the respect it deserves. Again, a me problem, but if you want something heavy-duty and durable, this might not be the brush for you.

                  Tips of the trade:

                  • Replacement brushes cost $10.
                  • Great to include in your nightly routine if you’re trying to conquer acne.


                    9. Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System with Facial Brush

                    Advanced Facial Cleansing Brush System

                    Olay

                    $43.10

                    A product that delivers bang for your back. The Olay brush provides a deep clean and exfoliation that’s perfect on all skin types. Amazon readers compare the brush to the one from Clarisonic and see similar results after continual use. The Olay product is quite small and only comes with two settings: high and low. It’s definitely a cheaper version of more expensive brushes, but it’s a good entry-level device at a totally approachable price. The brush doesn’t use sonic vibrations, but a two-speed rotating system to cleanse the skin.

                    Tips of the trade:

                    • Replacement brushes cost $10.
                    • Invest in backup brushes as they will go fast.
                    • Olay recommends using an anti-aging moisturizer with this product.

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