The Rise of Facial Cleansing Brushes

Similar to fashion, there are trends and fads in skincare – some of them good, some of them bad. One of the most popular trends right now is “facial brushing” or “face brushing,” a DIY treatment that promises to minimize wrinkles, fade scars, improve skin tone, and reduce acne.

The face brushing trend began with manual face brushes made of wood and natural bristles, but has since evolved to include rotation and sonic devices. High-end brushes can be pricey, but when compared to other skincare treatments, facial brushing is on the inexpensive side.

Keep reading for facial cleansing brush reviews and other information that will help you decide if this treatment is right for you.

How do facial cleansing brushes work?

Brushing your face might sound painful, but it actually feels quite good. The bristles on a facial brushes are very fine and soft. Using it feels sort of like a subtle massage.

The skin on your face naturally sheds about once every month. This process becomes slower and less effective as we age, which makes our skin look dull. Using a facial cleansing brush brightens skin and boosts the natural regenerative process by helping to remove dead skin cells.

The main selling point for face brushes is that they exfoliate and clean at the same time. And they are more effective and environmentally friendly than face scrubs with microbeads.

Face cleansing brush benefits include:

  • Increases efficacy of skincare products
  • Exfoliates
  • Reduces pore congestion
  • Boosts circulation
  • Improves sinus movement/ lymphatic drainage
  • Fights acne
  • Fades acne scars

Face brushing also works as an anti-aging treatment by preventing your body’s natural breakdown of collagen, reducing hyperpigmentation, and improving wrinkles and environmental damage.

Facial brushing effectively fights acne by thoroughly exfoliating pores, removing toxins from the skin, and helping to regulate sebum (oil) production. It is also a great option for people with sensitive skin.

Downsides to face brushing:

  • Excessive use can lead to skin irritation and premature aging
  • The abrasive nature of face brushing can cause inflammation
  • Risk of acne breakout with initial use

Essential Skin Solutions Face and Body Brush Cleansing System ($23.57 on Amazon)

EssentialYour best bet for acne scars

This waterproof system has been shown to minimize acne, prevent acne scars from forming, reduce the appearance of current acne scars, improve dark spots, and effectively unclog pores.

Regular use has also been shown to shrink pores and improve complexion for both men and women.



Product details:

  • Requires 4 AA batteries
  • Waterproof (can be used in the shower)
  • Includes 1 brush for normal skin and 1 brush for medium skin
  • Includes 1 brush for use on body
  • Cordless

Users agree this is a great choice for acne treatment on sensitive skin and love that it can be used to treat the hands, back, and chest as well as the face.

ToiletTree Skin Cleansing System ($35 on Amazon)

31WHKaXT5JLExfoliating brush for face & body

This system can also be used on the body. It includes 1 brush for normal skin, 1 brush for sensitive skin, and 1 larger brush for use on the body.

ToiletTree’s product is water resistant (can be used in the shower) and features a rotating brush head with 1 speed. It is available in 6 different colors.

Purchase includes 1 pumice sphere.


Regular use has been shown to improve problems related to:

  • Oily skin
  • Dry patches
  • Blemishes
  • Fine lines
  • Blackheads
  • Visible pores
  • Wrinkles and fine lines

The only downside to this system is that it requires 4 AA batteries. These batteries are included with the initial purchase.

Users agree the ToiletTree system improves absorption of regular skincare products.

Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush ($38.75 on Amazon)

MKBest facial cleansing brush for sensitive skin

The Skinvigorate system features super-soft bristles with rounded tips. It can be used with virtually any cleanser, but of course Mary Kay recommends you one its signature cleansers.

Skinvigorate is cordless (requires batteries). Initial purchase includes batteries and 2 brush heads. This system is advertised as being 85% more effective at removing makeup than washing your face with your hands.

Users agree this is one of the most effective brushes for sensitive skin.

Clarisonic Mia 2 ($169 on Amazon)

ClarisonicYour best bet for acne reduction

Clarisonic’s 2-speed sonic facial brush is said to be up to 6x more effective than your hands when it comes to removing dirt, makeup, sweat, and oil.

“Speed 2” is for everyday use and “Speed 1” is designed to be used on sensitive skin.

This product is designed to be used with your regular cleanser, but initial purchase includes a small tube of Clarisonic’s foaming cleanser.

Product details:

  • Gentle on skin
  • Waterproof (can be used in the shower)
  • Cordless; includes charger

Clarisonic offers a variety of specialty brush heads, including those used for:

  • Sensitive skin
  • Men only
  • Makeup blending
  • Deep pore cleaning
  • Acne

Clarisonic Mia FIT ($219 on Amazon)

Luxury model

Achieve squeaky clean skin in just 60 seconds with Clarisonic’s luxury travel-sized Mia FIT.

This 2-speed sonic system is available in white, teal, and pink. It also comes in a men’s version. The Mia FIT features “oscillation technology” that effectively cleans skin with 300 micro movements per second and “fluid forces,” which means the brush uses the water on the brush to flush pores clean.

Initial purchase includes a small tube of “sonic radiance skin illuminating cleanser.” Like the previous product, the Mia FIT is cordless and includes a charger.

How to pick the best facial cleansing brush

There are so many models out there, but how do you know which one is right for you? Before you make a purchase, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have sensitive skin?
  • Do you have oily skin?
  • What are you looking to achieve with face brushing (i.e. acne reduction, improved complexion, anti-aging)?

There are two main types of facial cleansing systems: pulsating/sonic and those that clean with rotation.

If you do not have acne, choose a rotation-type brush. These are typically cheaper than their sonic cousins. If you do have acne, choose a sonic system like the Mia 2 described above.

Click here to learn more about how to achieve glowing skin.

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