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15 Best Facial Cleansing Brushes 2021 — Reviews

By now, you should 100% know that going to bed with your makeup on is the ultimate skincare sin. 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 help 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 look for options with softer bristles and consider working brushes into their routine bi-weekly versus daily to start. It can be tempting to go hard when cleansing, but over-sloughing can leave your skin raw. 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. With the classic Clarisonic no longer, we’ve rounded up a new batch of favorites including the silicone-only newbies from PMD and Foreo. Ahead are 12 brushes ELLE.com editors have tried and loved—plus a few other top-rated models.

      1. Buttah Vibe Brush Facial Cleansing Device

      BUTTAH SKIN The Buttah Vibe Brush Facial Cleansing Device at Nordstrom



      Sure, you’ll have to head out to buy a few AA batteries but this device will make the trip worth it. Featuring two different pulse settings, you can give yourself a gentle clean each day with its soft anti-microbial silicone bristles. For those who wear makeup frequently, this will help you take removal up a notch for a deeper clean.

      Tips of the trade:

      • The silicone bristles are soft on the skin, which is perfect for everyday use.
      • It’s designed with sonic pulsation technology that delivers up to 10,000 pulses per minute to help work your cleanser into clogged pores.
      • It’s water-resistant, so it can be used in the shower.

        2. Raedia Facial Cleansing Brush

        This is the YouTube beauty gurus’ favorite brush for good reason. For starters, it’s super affordable for what you get in the box: the device, four different brush heads, and a compact case that’s great for traveling. You can buy it full price or shave a few dollars off by subscribing to receive fresh brush heads every three months for just $20.

        Tips of the trade:

        • The brush has two spin speeds to tailor to different skin types, especially sensitive skin.
        • You can choose between three facial brushes and one body brush to slough away dead skin in place your washcloth can’t reach.
        • Features a nonslip handle so you can better control the device.

          3. Soniclear Petite Patented Antimicrobial Facial Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush

          Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Petite Patented Antimicrobial Facial Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush

          Michael Todd Beauty


          Ask any beauty obsessive and they’ll tell you that Michael Todd’s cleansing brushes are the crème de la crème of facial cleansing devices. What’s special about this system, in particular, is the serum infusion feature.

          Tips of the trade:

          • The device has an automatic timer that helps you maximize your cleaning routine
          • Aside from cleansing the skin with one of the brush heads, you can use the firming head to massage in your favorite serum.
          • It comes with a drying stand to extend your device’s lifespan.

                            4. Luckyiren Silicone Face Scrubbers

                            Silicone Face Scrubbers Exfoliator Brush



                            For the low-tech scrubber, these hand-held silicone pads give a great cleanse without needing any batteries or cords. It’s the ideal scrub to leave in the shower so when it’s time for a deep-pore cleanse, you have your tool waiting right there for you. The tool has a handy grip on the backside so you can cleanse without it falling to the shower floor, and it’s gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin.

                            Tips of the trade:

                            • These silicone pads are so gentle you can use them every day with your favorite cleanser.
                            • Each pad featured two types of bristles that are designed to get into clogged pores and hard-to-reach areas.
                            • Gentle massaging also brings extra circulation to the face, improving luminosity and facial contour.

                              5. Liberex Sonic Vibrating Cleansing Brush

                                  Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush



                                  For anyone with sensitive skin who’s scared of scrubbing too hard, this brush has customizable heads and speeds to make sure you’re treating your skin gently while also ridding yourself of those pesky blackheads. Does your S.O. prefer an intense, powerful cleanse? Just swap out those bristled heads and they can crank up the speed. Rather than a spinning head which may be too intense for some people, this device vibrates to reduce abrasion.

                                  Tips of the trade:

                                    • A two-pack of replacement heads are sold separately for $13.
                                    • This device will shut off after one minute, insuring that you don’t over-cleanse your skin.
                                    • After fully charging the brush, the battery will live a full month, so you don’t need to constantly plug it in.
                                    • For safekeeping or traveling, a Liberex travel case can be bought separately.

                                      6. EZBASICS Facial Cleansing Brush

                                      Facial Cleansing Brush



                                      If you don’t want a bulky device sitting on your sink, messing up the #vibes of your bathroom, have no fear. This cleansing brush is chic, fits easily into your palm, and won’t take up any unnecessary counter space. On one side of the tool, there are silicone nodes for cleansing, while on the backside there are small ridges that make it double as a facial massaging tool. Essentially, it’s a tw0-in-one device for the most cleansed, lifted appearance you could ask for.

                                      Tips of the trade:

                                      • After fully charging, this device can be used 200 (!) times before it needs to be plugged in again.
                                      • The entire device is watertight so you can use it in the shower without worrying about damaging it.
                                      • Designed to be extra gentle, this tool won’t cause abrasions or sensitivity to the skin.

                                        7. Conture AeroCleanse Cleansing Device

                                        AeroCleanse Cleansing Device



                                            If you’re a Clarisonic stan, this is the replacement facial cleansing brush for you. Inspired by the technology that’s used on air hockey tables (yes, you read that right) this soft-bristled brush is our ELLE associate beauty editor’s latest obsession. It helps create a fantastic lather—even when you’re using an oil-based cleanser—but doesn’t splatter everywhere as you’re gliding it across your face. It’s battery-powered, which may seem like a drawback, but it helps to serve as a reminder: whenever the batteries are out that also means it’s time to change the brush head.

                                            Tips of the trade:

                                            • There’s only one brush head, but it’s universal for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin.
                                            • The oval-shaped brush makes it easy to get into tight but important areas like the corner of the nose.
                                            • Use it on the tops of your hands once a week (and always wear sunscreen) to keep them looking youthful.
                                            • Skip out on chemical exfoliators like BHA, PHA, and AHA’s—since this already acts like an exfoliator. You don’t want or need to go overboard. Less is more, kids.

                                              8. Anisa Cleansing Brush


                                              If you’re worried about a battery or chargeable device being too harsh on your skin, this manual brush, which features 100% cruelty-free synthetic fibers, might be your best bet. The innovatively designed removable head is comprised of 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 the tool pretty easy. Simply swivel, rinse and dry. Anisa also has a brush cleanser, Purify, which removes excess makeup, oils, and residue from the device 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.

                                                9. Naturopathica Facial Cleansing Brush

                                                Facial Cleansing Brush



                                                High tech isn’t always better. Many with sensitive skin aren’t able to use abrasive cleansing brushes. But this painterly pouf is softer than a puppy—and it’s cruelty-free, too! The nylon bristles feel like a cloud as they gently sweep across your skin, both sweeping away dead skin, removing the grit and grime of everyday life without irritation. It’s especially divine with a balm cleanser. And the textured shape isn’t just for look—the waves act like a dry brush for your face, gently stimulating your lymphatic system to help reduce puffiness.

                                                Tips of the trade:

                                                • Gentle enough to use daily with your favorite cleanser.
                                                • Can be used wet or dry to buff in skincare products before rinsing.
                                                • A fantastic option for anybody who is new to cleansing brushes or wants a gentler option.

                                                  10. PMD Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device

                                                  Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device

                                                  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. Simply rinse with warm water and gently rub in a cleanser (or soap), then pat dry. 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.

                                                    11. Shiseido Cleansing Massage Brush

                                                    Cleansing Massage Brush



                                                    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 massage the skin. An 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 the 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 the cleanser, the bristles were made to create maximum foam.
                                                    • Due to the softness of the bristles, this brush isn’t as effective at exfoliating.
                                                    • Like all of the cleansing brushes, use the one in a circular motion for a thorough cleanse.

                                                      12. Foreo Luna Cleansing Brush

                                                      LUNA 2 Facial Cleansing Brush

                                                      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 into 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.
                                                        • Skip using clay-based, silicone-based, or grainy cleansers, exfoliators, or scrubs with this tool. The silicone nubs offer enough sloughing on their own.
                                                        • Instead, go with a gel-based cleanser to get the job done.

                                                          13. Cleansing by Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

                                                          CLINIQUE Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, 1 Ounce



                                                          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 charge holds for hours so you can take it on the go.
                                                          • The tilted head can help reach difficult areas.

                                                            14. Proactiv Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush

                                                            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 surprisingly wonderful. Highlights: The bristles are long and exaggerated so it feels like a delightful tickle on your face. In addition to oscillating, the brush also vibrates to stimulate my skin cells. 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.

                                                              15. Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System with Facial Brush

                                                              Advanced Facial Cleansing Brush System

                                                              A product that delivers bang for your buck. The Olay brush provides a deep clean and exfoliation that’s perfect on all skin types. Amazon readers compare the brush to the classic Clarisonic and see similar results after continual use. The Olay version is quite small and only comes with two settings: high and low. While. it’s less expensive it’s a good entry-level device for folks looking to try a cleansing brush. Instead of sonic vibrations, the brush uses a two-speed rotating system to cleanse the skin.

                                                              Tips of the trade:

                                                              • Replacement heads cost $10.
                                                              • Invest in backup brush heads as they will need to be replaced frequently.
                                                              • Olay recommends using an anti-aging moisturizer with this product.

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