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Best Face Brushes

Updated June 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best face brushes

    Last Updated June 2018

    What if there was a way to not only remove pore-clogging facial oil and makeup, but to really give your skin a deep-down cleaning that helped exfoliate dead cells and left your complexion soft, glowing, and primed to soak up your favorite moisturizer or serum? Well, there is such a device: a facial cleansing brush.

    These beauty tools make quick work of the normally mundane task of washing your face, ramping it up to an optimal level of clean. You’ll see the benefits: fewer breakouts, softer skin, smaller pores, and an all-over healthy glow.

    But choosing the right facial brush can be a challenge. There are a lot of them on the market, all with considerable hype and varying prices. Many look almost identical. That makes it tough to know which is right for your complexion. And that’s where we step in.

    At BestReviews, we never accept free products or manufacturer perks in exchange for a good review or a product mention. We do our own research, gather advice from experts in the field, and listen to feedback from owners of the product in question. That lets us give you the sort of unbiased, helpful buying advice that you need.

    So if you just want to buy a cleansing brush to add to your beauty routine, check out the five products in the matrix above. All are good choices. But if you’d like to learn more about facial brushes in general, including how to use them, read on.

    It’s not uncommon to experience an acne flare-up during your first week or two of using a face brush. If this happens to you, stick with it unless it’s severe; most likely, you’ll see your skin start to clear up after a couple of weeks.

    Why use a face brush?

    Sure, you can get your face clean with a washcloth. But a cleaning brush goes beyond clean and improves your skin’s health and appearance. Simply apply your favorite facial cleanser to your skin, use the brush to thoroughly clean your face, and then rinse away soap and residue. Here are some key benefits of a face brush.

    • Face brushes effectively and efficiently remove oil, makeup, air pollution residue, and other impurities from your skin.

    • Face brushes are more effective than washcloths, sponges, or hands for lifting and removing dirt and impurities from the pores.

    • Face brushes provide mild exfoliation, clearing away dead skin cells and improving the appearance of your complexion.

    • Mild acne often responds very well to these beauty devices.

    • The motion of the brush encourages circulation for healthier skin.

    • Face brushes can be used on most skin types, even sensitive skin.

    • After using a face brush, your skin is better primed to receive moisturizers, serums, and other beauty potions.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Face brushes aren’t only for the face – many include large brush heads and other accessories for use on other areas of the body.

    Face brush features

    There are a lot of face brushes out there, so how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here are a few features to look for.

    Cleansing modalities

    All face brushes are small, handheld devices that run on battery power. Most come with a charging station that holds the brush between uses, although some of the less-expensive models use disposable batteries.

    Spinning brushes have brush heads that rotate rapidly to brush away skin impurities and makeup. Typically, spinning brushes provide deeper exfoliation and are best for normal to oily skin without sensitivity.

    Ultrasonic or oscillating brushes use extremely rapid side-to-side pulsations to break up oil, makeup, and other skin impurities before washing them away. Oscillating brushes generally don’t exfoliate your complexion as much as spinning brushes do, but they are effective at removing plugs and grime from inside skin pores and are not as likely to irritate your complexion. These are best for sensitive skin.

    While both spinning and oscillating face brushes have pros and cons, many people find that oscillating brushes to be a bit gentler on their complexion.

    Brush heads

    The brush head material breaks down into two main groups: soft, synthetic bristles and silicone nubby brushes with fairly flat bristles. You’ll also find sponge, pumice, and scrubber heads for specialized beauty functions.

    Some brushes have softer bristles than others – an especially important issue if you have sensitive or maturing skin. A good brush has bristles firm enough to clean thoroughly yet soft enough to avoid irritating or scratching your skin.

    After each use, rinse your face brush thoroughly, and allow it to dry before storing it. At least once per week, clean the brush with a mild liquid soap to remove dirt and bacteria.

    Brush speeds

    Many face brushes have just one speed, but some give you the option of choosing a lower speed for sensitive skin. If you are concerned about pressure and irritation, having two speeds can be helpful.

    Watch your pressure – there’s no need to press down hard. Let the brush’s motion do the work while gently gliding it over your face.

    Power source

    Most higher-end facial brushes come with rechargeable batteries and a charging station. This means you won’t have to bother replacing batteries on a frequent basis, but it also means you might lose power during a cleaning session. Don’t forget to charge your brush when it loses battery power.

    Face brushes that run on disposable batteries are a convenient choice if you travel frequently or don’t want to be bothered with a charging stand.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Never share your face brush. Doing so increases the risk of infection, blemishes, and skin irritation.

    Face brush considerations

    Price

    You’ll find budget drugstore face brushes that cost less than $15, and upscale brands selling for more than $100. For most people, however, a brush in the $20 to $40 range will provide good performance, durability, and desirable features.

    Brush heads

    Whatever brand you choose, the heads of face brushes eventually wear down. Just like a toothbrush, frequent use eventually wears down the bristles, leaving the brush less effective and likelier to irritate your skin. You can usually buy replacement heads for higher-end brushes, but some of the least expensive units do not have replacement heads, meaning the device is no longer usable once the heads wear out.

    If your skin becomes red or irritated, stop using your face brush until the irritation subsides.

    Durability

    Often, higher-end brands last longer than inexpensive models, but there are some lower-priced face brushes that hold up very well. A face brush isn’t an appliance that will last for a lifetime, however. Eventually, the small motor will fail as its moving parts wear out. You should expect at least two to three years of use from a good face brush.

    Soothe your skin after your cleansing session with a gentle toner, moisturizer, or serum.

    Accessories

    While some less-expensive or drugstore face brushes just come with one brush head, many higher-end models include a range of brush heads for various purposes. Some common types include deep exfoliation brushes, large brushes for use on the body, pumice stone for use on calluses and the bottom of the feet, buffing heads for use on nails, and extra-soft heads for sensitive skin. Many face brushes also include a small tube of facial cleanser, and some also provide carrying cases or travel bags.

    Use your face brush with a mild facial cleanser formulated for your skin type. Avoid scrubs or abrasive cleaners, and don’t use them on the same day you’ll be using your facial brush.

    FAQ

    Q. Are facial cleansing brushes safe for all types of skin?
    A.
    There are face brushes for all types of skin, including sensitive skin. However, if your complexion is especially sensitive, mature, irritated, injured, sunburned, or extremely dry, a face brush might be too irritating for your skin. These beauty devices are best for moderately dry, normal, or oily complexions.

    Q. Is it okay to use a face brush if I have rosacea or other skin conditions?
    A.
    Because of the exfoliating action of the brush, it can inflame rosacea, severe acne, dermatitis, sunburn, wounds, and other skin conditions. Always check with your dermatologist before using a face brush if you have any type of skin inflammation or chronic skin condition.

    Many face brushes are geared toward specific skin types, such as oily, sensitive, or mature skin. Consider your skin type and condition when selecting a brush.

    Q. How often can I use my face cleansing brush?
    A.
    While many people use their brush daily, it’s very easy to overdo it with these cleaning tools. For very oily skin, once a day might be okay, but for the majority of people, once to twice per week is the maximum. The most common cause of skin irritation from face brushes is over-use, including cleaning sessions that are too long or vigorous.

    Q. Do face brushes do anything besides clean skin?
    A.
     While the obvious main function of the brushes is to clean your complexion, some brush systems include heads for massaging the facial skin to improve circulation, sponge heads for applying moisturizer, pumice stones for removing calluses and dry skin, and buffers for your nails.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Michelle
      Michelle
      Writer