Facial cleansing brushes, they seem to be everywhere nowadays and every beauty blogger on the internet is raving about them. They come in all shapes and sizes and make some pretty impressive promises about giving you the best skin of your life. Every skin type and budget has been catered to, and even the more budget friendly brands are coming out with this holy grail for your face.

But do you really need one? How do you find out which brush fits your budget, your lifestyle, and most importantly, your skin type? Should you go manual or electric? All these questions went through my head when I first heard about them; and after some research and testing, both in-store and in the comfort of my own home, here’s my lowdown on the hype that is facial brushes.

Pros and Cons of a Facial Brush

The Good

The first question you should be asking yourself is what it will do for your face. Why do you need it? Well, consider a facial brush as a loofah for your face. They are designed to help you with exfoliation and cell renewal, which in turn makes for more radiant and glowy skin. When used regularly, you will see breakouts disappear and skin become more tight and toned overall.

This is because a brush will cleanse on a deeper level than your hands will. They are specifically designed to reach deep into your pores and pull all the gunk and dirt out that your hands might miss. (Hey, there’s only so much hands can do!)

A big plus that I personally found with using these brushes is that they are amazing at removing make-up, so if you wear it daily, definitely consider adding a brush to your routine!

Facial brushes also stimulate collagen production. Remember collagen? It’s the magic little thing that keeps your skin looking plump and helps the wrinkles stay away. This means they are also great for anti-ageing!

Lastly, they make your cleansers last longer! These brushes will aid tremendously in helping your cleanser lather up, so in the end you will end up using less product to achieve the same result! I use half a pump of my cleanser now, instead of a full one when I used to use my hands!

The Bad

As is the case with pretty much anything, these brushes do have some cons. People with dry or sensitive skin might find a facial brush only makes their skin red and irritated. However, this can be helped by using a brush that is specifically designed for your skin type, and they are out there for sure! Try looking for soft bristles or silicone, as they will be less harsh on your face.

Another downside is that these brushes can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew, but only if you do not clean them properly! We’ll get into the cleaning process in a bit. Because of this, you might find your brush works really well at first, but after a week or so, it will only cause more breakouts and irritation.

Speaking of breakouts, be prepared to see some during the first two weeks of using your brush. This is caused by dead skin cells clogging up your pores before they are washed away. This is a temporary problem and will go away after two weeks tops! Give your brush at least this amount of time to prove itself to you before you throw it out!

How To Work a Brush into Your Routine

Okay, you’ve decided to add a brush to your routine, but how and when? Experts recommend to start out using your brush once or twice a week, and then build up the frequency depending on your skin type and needs. For those sensitive and dry skin types among us, choose a brush with soft bristles or silicone, and if you can, test it out on your hand before you buy one. If your skin gets irritated, take it down a notch and use less often.

Rule of thumb: The brush should feel nice and soft on your hand, and not scratchy. This also applies if you want to use your brush daily. For people with normal or oily skin, you can go a bit harsher in terms of bristles, but take care not to use it every day as it may irritate your face. I use a very, very soft and gentle brush twice daily, and my sensitive skin has not reacted to it at all.

Use your brush together with a gentle cleanser, and work the product into your skin using circular motions. This will help get as much of the gunk out as possible. Take your time to focus on each part of your face individually and enjoy the little massage that is included in this process!

Now for the biggest and most important tip I’m going to give you about these brushes: Keep them clean! Rinse them out properly after every use (the water should run clear) and deep clean them once a week at least! Just take some soap and water and work it into your brush in circular motions, then rinse out, again, until the water runs clear. If you use an electric brush, be sure to replace the brush heads regularly!

Manual Cleansing Brushes

My favourite manual cleansing brush is the Super Soft Cleansing Brush by The Body Shop. It is so incredibly soft and gentle, it’s by far the best manual brush I’ve used to far. My sensitive skin does not get irritated by it at all, even when using it twice daily. For everyday use, this is the way to go! The Body Shop also sell a harsher brush, which might be good as an exfoliating brush for oily types, but only use every other day!

Manual brushes are seemingly sold by everyone nowadays. Even Primark sells them! This means that you have plenty of options to suit your budget and skincare needs, and really gives you no excuse not to try one! These cheaper brushes are a good starting point to see how well your skin reacts to this type of product, but make sure to switch to one that is most suitable for your skin type if you find it works!

Electric Cleansing Brushes

These types of brushes are definitely the most talked about. They seem to be making huge leaps and bounds and new inventions and innovations are showing up everywhere! Think of brands like Visapure, Clarisonic, Foreo, N°7 and Magnitone. They all offer different types of products designed for every single skincare need out there!

Some brands like Foreo and Magnitone offer silicone brushes. These do not need replacing and are generally gentler on the skin that the actual ‘brush’ brushes. This means for daily use, I would recommend a cleansing brush that is made of silicone. They are also less likely to accumulate a buildup of bacteria!

Visapure, Clarisonic, N°7 and Magnitone offer cleansing brushes that resemble their manual equivalents more. This makes for a deeper cleaning experience, but you will have to replace the brush heads from time to time, which means it is not just a one time purchase. The good thing about this is that they often sell different brush heads to cater to different needs, and may even offer some that focus on massaging your face instead of cleansing it.

Whichever option you prefer, all of these brands offer lots of options to suit your wishes. A lot of the brushes on the market nowadays will have built-in massage functions, or will offer specific products for everyday use or sensitive skin. The possibilities are truly endless!

Bringing it All Together

So, do you really need a facial cleansing brush? Short answer, yes, you do. They will help you immensely with treating your skincare issues and will offer tons of benefits. The market has expanded so much in recent years there is bound to be a product that will suit your needs perfectly. These brushes should be a staple of your routine and will do wonders for your skin!

To recap:

  • When starting out, choose a manual brush to see if your skin reacts well to it. Consider a soft and gentle one for daily use and start out by using once or twice weekly
  • When choosing an electric brush, choose silicone for daily use and less buildup of bacteria, or a brush one for deeper cleaning and different brush head options
  • Gentle is the way to go if you plan on using these daily, for every skin type, but especially for sensitive or dry skin
  • Give your face two weeks to adjust to using your brush before you form an opinion
  • Keep your brushes clean! They are a huge hazard for buildup of bacteria and this will only end up having the opposite effect a cleansing brush should have.

Do you use a facial cleaning brush? How has it helped your skin? If you don’t, have I made you consider getting one? Let me know in the comments!

Keep glowing!

Melanie