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Are Facial Cleansing Brushes Good for Your Skin?

on August 16, 2021

Skincare has evolved from lemons to lighten the skin and the use of Chapstick and Vaseline. Women have seen significant milestones in skincare, and now, everyone can access affordable, dependable, and effective skincare products with the tap of a button.

One of the most revered inventions of all time is the facial cleansing brush. This power tool in skincare is a handheld device that can be either battery-operated or manual.

The brush uses circular motions or back-and-forth motions to remove dirt, dead skin cells, and pollutants from the face. Other brushes vibrate, due to the motor function, giving you a wholesome exfoliation experience.

Some facial cleansing brushes have a timer fitted with a constant-pressure setting. These, combined with variable speed, operations offer a more preferred skin cleansing method than using your fingers or cleansing wipes.

Types of facial cleansing brushes

We see people uploading their skincare routines and recommending products from different brands with more social media platforms.

There are simple skincare procedures, and then you get a little extra depth when you use quality equipment. One of these is a facial cleansing brush, which takes credit for improving facial cleansing.

There are two main types of facial cleansing brushes:

1. Electronic

Electronic facial cleansing brushes come with pre-programmed settings and a battery to power the rotating motion for a deep skin cleansing. The waterproof brushes come with different speed settings for different skins.


  • Electronic brushes guarantee an efficient and deep clean


  • They require recharging and are quite pricy

Types of Electronic Facial Cleansing Brushes

When you choose to go for electronic brushes, you can choose from:

  1. Rotating heads- these have brush heads that produce circular movements. They are on the more affordable side and penetrate the skin deeper for buffing away the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Despite this, they are a little harsh on the skin, especially when used frequently.
  2. Sonic brushes- these have an oscillatory motion caused by vibration of the brush head. They do not drag the skin. Instead, they push the dirt out of your pores without causing damage. Therefore, they leave your skin clean and bright with no epidermal damage. The downside to this is that they are pretty pricy.

2. Manual

On the other hand, manual facial cleansing brushes need the user to induce rotary motion to cleanse their face.


  • They are cheaper compared to their electronic counterparts
  • They are usually small enough to fit small spaces
  • Since they do not have speed settings, you get complete control of the cleansing process
  • You can use it in water without damages


  • The depth of cleansing is quite limited
  • It is tiring to use

Types of Manual brushes

There are various types of manual brushes, including:

  1. Bristle-type- these have a simple design and are affordable. The brushes can be synthetic fibers or natural materials. With suitable bristles, you can enjoy a comfortable and refreshing skin cleansing session.
  2. Silicon type- these brushes have protrusions that act like tiny fingers on your skin. They dig deep and give you clean, fresh, and rejuvenated skin by clearing your pores. If you have sensitive skin that is not good with bristles, this is the brush to use.
  3. The hybrid type has both bristles and silicone on it. It is a double-face brush. While silicon is gentler on your skin, the bristle-side gives you a deeper clean.

How to use facial cleansing brushes

Oily skins tend to break out regularly. Make-up and contaminants from your everyday hassle also make your skin prone to breakouts. That is why there are recommendations to remove your make-up and cleanse your face before going to bed.

With time, facial cleansing evolved, and now, along with the suitable moisturizers, toners, and cleansers, facial cleansing brushes are taking root as essential skincare routine equipment.

Now, how do you use a facial cleansing brush on your skin? Below are general ways to use the brush to remove dirt and grime off your face:

Manual Brush

  1. Find your favorite facial cleanser or exfoliator
  2. Apply a generous amount on your face
  3. Use your manual brush and rub your face in circular motions for about 5 minutes
  4. Rinse your face and moisturize 

Electronic Brush

To remove impurities and reduce excess oils in your face;

  1. Apply your favorite cleanser or exfoliator to your face. Apply it evenly all over your face
  2. Take your electronic brush, set the speed and time
  3. Let it rub the cleanser into your skin. The process is automatically rotary, so you do not need to move your hands in circular motions
  4. Continue cleansing every inch of your face for about 5 minutes
  5. Rinse your face and moisturize

Which brush is perfect for my skin?

Every skin is different, but most fall into three main groups; normal, oily, or dry skin. Depending on your skin type, you will require different guidelines when using a facial cleansing brush.

a. Oily skins

Oily skins tend to exude a lot of excess oil into the epidermis. Without proper cleaning, people with oily skins tend to be prone to breakout.

For oily skin, you can use a facial cleansing brush daily without worrying about over-drying your skin. Also, regular use of the brush protects you from breakouts. 

You can use a bristle-type brush with a rotating brush head to clean your skin.

b. Normal skin

Normal skin has the perfect balance in oil production and sebum excretion. And while you can use the facial cleansing brushes often, dermatologists agree that you do not need them every day.

However, if you have thick skin, then you can use a brush daily. Brushes with micro-polishing bristles and other brush heads work well on normal skin.

c. Dry skin

Dry skin needs special care. You do not want to over-exfoliate your face since each session leaves your skin tight and sensitive.

When cleansing, be careful not to overdo it, and once you finish, follow up with a good moisturizer. The best brush for dry skins is a bristled brush, which cleans at a low setting, or a manual brush.

d. Sensitive skin

Skin sensitivity differs from person to person. While some people have thin skin, other cases of sensitivity could be sunburns or inflammation.

If that is the case, you do not want to use a facial cleansing brush more than twice per week. Also, you should look out for any irritation from the product and change brush up, if any.

The best brushes for sensitive skins are gentle, sonic, silicon-type brushes. And when using the brush, apply little pressure and use the device for a short period.

e. Combination skins

For combination skin, you could have some normal spots and some dry ones. For that case, you should limit your brush usage to a few times per week.

This way, you do not dry out the already dry parts. The best brush or combination skin is a gentle silicon sonic brush.

Can I use my brush to exfoliate?

Did you know that you develop new cells every 28 days during young age? This process, which changes with time, produces skin cells that are so tiny to be seen by the naked eye. Therefore, if you want to have smooth, glowing skin, you need first to get rid of the dead one.

Exfoliation means removing the dead skin cells, dirt, and make-up from your face, either physically or using chemical methods.

When you decide to do so physically, then a facial cleansing brush could be of great help. The oscillatory movement of the brush helps loosen the skin cells and dirt from your face.

To achieve this, below are simple tips to follow:

  1. Choose a facial cleansing brush that goes well with your type of skin. If you plan to exfoliate often, your skin will become more sensitive, which means you need a gentle brush to avoid scratching and inflammation.
  2. Clean your brush often. Dead skin, dirt, and make-up removal is not a clean process. Your brush comes to contact with bacteria that nest in the bristles. So, every time you want to exfoliate, start by cleaning your brush thoroughly to avoid a transfer of bacteria to your face.
  3. Replace the brush head regularly- just like a toothbrush wears out, your facial cleansing brush becomes brittle or ineffective with time. Make sure to replace the brush head to enjoy the best exfoliation.
  4. Finally, do not share your brush- facial cleansing brushes can harbor millions of bacteria, and increasing the number of users increases the chances of bacterial and dirt contamination.

Taking care of your facial cleansing brush

Facial cleansing brushes come to contact with a lot of bacteria, dirt, and other contaminants. Cleaning your face will leave it fresh and glowing, but there is a chance that some of the bacteria stick to the brush.

That is why you need a facial brush cleaning routine to get rid of dirt and bacteria.

When cleaning your facial cleansing brush:

  1. Clean the head of the brush with a toothbrush and soap. You can squirt some hand soap to the bristles, then run it under some water to wet it. Using your toothbrush, scrub the head in back-and-forth strokes. Finish by rinsing the brush in running water.
  2. Alternatively, you can soak the bristles in alcohol for 10 minutes to 24 hours for a deep clean. Once you take it out, rinse the brush under running water for 3 minutes, then let them dry.

As you clean your brush, make sure you also get all the gunk that slips into the nooks and crannies of your brush. Also, make a point to clean your brush every 1-2 weeks to avoid bacterial build-up.

When you should avoid a facial brush

The initial use of a facial cleansing brush will result in a breakout. This is because the pores are trying to remove the dead skin and build-ups, which clogs them. However, this is normal for the first few times.

What is not normal is experiencing irritation and inflammation every time you use a facial cleansing brush. If so, try cleaning your brush or changing it to a better one suitable for your skin.

In some cases, it is advisable to steer clear of a cleaning brush. Such cases include:

  • If you are experiencing eczema or psoriasis flare-up
  • Sunburnt or broken skin
  • After aggressive skin treatment procedures
  • Around your eyes, where the skin is delicate

Benefits of a facial cleansing brush

Whether manual or electronic, facial cleansing brushes have revolutionized the world of skincare.  And sometimes, we have to accept that machines do make our work easier.

Facial brushes have features that allow them to penetrate the skin pores, unclog them, and eliminate all dead skin cells and excess oil on your skin with the least effort.

There are some benefits associated with the use of facial cleansing brushes. These include;

  1. When used regularly, the skin cleansing brush penetrates deep into the skin, stimulating better skin condition, which means you have smooth, radiant skin.
  2. By clearing out blocked pores on your face, you can achieve a youthful skin
  3. Due to the stimulation of better blood flow to the epidermis, you can reduce dryness and dull complexions of your skin.
  4. By unblocking pores, your face automatically reduces the appearance of blemishes, and you have fewer breakouts
  5. When you are taking off make-up before bed, using a facial cleansing brush offers a more effective and reliable way, rather than smudging it on your face using make-up wipes

The question at hand is whether a facial cleansing brush is suitable for your face or not. But from the discussion above, we can safely conclude that using a brush and cleanser according to the user guide and your skin type can benefit your skin.

Facial cleansing brushes give you more than your hands can offer. However, you mustn’t overuse the brush and over-exfoliate, lest you increase your skin’s sensitivity.

Finally, you do not want a cleansing brush near your eyes because you could damage and age your skin at this tender spot. However, you should focus on your nose, chin, and forehead, where most dirt collects.