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Best facial cleansing brush: Smooth and clear skin at the touch of a button

Pamper your skin at home with a facial cleansing brush

Incorporating a facial cleansing brush into your existing skincare routine can reveal fresher and clearer-looking skin. Not only will it rid your pores of unwanted nasties – oil, grime and makeup, for example – but it will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth and more inviting to any serums, moisturisers and masks you apply thereafter.

Think cleansing brushes are just another fad? Trust us, fans of squeaky clean skin will love the range we reviewed below – and the results they deliver. 

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How to buy the best facial cleansing brush for you

Why should I use a facial cleansing brush?

Manual cleansing and the odd scrub with a flannel isn’t going to cut it if you’re a city-dweller who faces a barrage of grime on a daily basis. A facial brush will deep-clean your pores to unclog dirt, makeup and oil that often leads to breakouts and blackheads. Also, acting as an exfoliator and facial massager, a cleansing brush will remove dead skin and promote blood circulation to reveal a smooth, even and healthy complexion.

How do you use a facial cleansing brush?

Once you’ve removed your makeup, use the cleansing brush and a face wash suited to your particular skin type for a second cleanse. We’ve found that foaming cleansers work best. Apply the foaming cleanser directly to your face and wet the tool thoroughly before gently making your way around the skin on your face.

Note that over-stimulating the skin can cause irritation, so we’d advise using a cleansing brush once a day or 3-4 times a week, for a maximum of two minutes at a time. Don’t apply too much pressure. If the tool feels too harsh on your skin, consider whether you’ve applied sufficient water and cleanser to your face, or invest in a brush head that’s designed with sensitive skin in mind. 

How do you care for the facial cleansing brush?

Beauty buffs and novices wouldn’t dare use a dirty makeup brush or muslin cloth, and the same rules apply here. To keep your cleansing brush in tip-top condition, rinse it thoroughly after each use and then use a gentle soap or baby shampoo, such as Johnson’s, to clean the tool once a week.

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The best facial cleansing brushes you can buy

1. Magnitone BareFaced 2 Vibra-Sonic Facial Cleansing + Toning Brush: Best budget facial cleansing brush 

Price: £70 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Reasonably priced skincare tools often fall short of the mark, but this beauty from Magnitone delivers all that it promises. The Vibra-Sonic BareFaced 2 gently buffs away impurities, with 13,000 pulsations per/min leaving a clear canvas that’s ready for skincare. This brush comes with an antibacterial brush head to clean and protect the skin, as well as a silicone skin-toning head designed for use after cleansing.

The BareFaced 2 uses sonic oscillations and pulsed vibrations across three cleaning modes that include Sensitive, Deep Cleanse and Tone It Up. The lightweight, fully waterproof design scores extra bonus points for allowing use in the shower, and the 20-second zonal timer makes easy work of evenly cleansing your T-zone, chin and cheeks, and neck. The results speak for themselves: polished skin that looks visibly clearer and healthier.

Specs – Pulsations: 13,000 per/min; Settings: 3; Brush heads: 2; Rechargeable: Yes

2. Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush: Most powerful facial cleansing brush

Price: £120 | Buy now from Amazon

Clarisonic has been synonymous with facial cleansing brushes for more than a decade now, and not to be outdone by recent launches, its cult classic Mia brush receives a makeover. By far the most powerful tool in our roundup, the Mia 2 uses a patented sonic frequency of over 300 movements per second to draw out nasties hiding deep in pores. With a sleek, waterproof design and a micro-massage motion that’s a real treat for tired, lacklustre skin, the Mia 2 looks as good as it feels.

Our thoughts? If you’re looking for a super-deep clean that’s up to six times more efficient than using simply your hands, the Mia 2 is the best of the bunch. Those with sensitive, easily irritated or acne-prone skin should proceed with caution: the tool is powerful, even with the sensitive brush head, and could irritate delicate skin.

Specs – Pulsations: 300 per/sec; Speeds: 2; Brush heads: 1; Rechargeable: Yes

3. Foreo Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Massager: Best facial cleansing brush for different skin types and mature skin

Price: £169 | Buy now from Feel Unique

Oily, combination, mature or sensitive – everyone’s skin is unique and requires individual care and attention. With this in mind, Foreo has developed a line of cleansing brushes that aim to treat different skin types. The Oily tool features large touch points to target congested areas; Sensitive uses small, delicate bristles to care for easily irritated skin; Normal and Combination include a mixture of the both. The Luna 2 even has an anti-aging side with low-frequency pulsations to help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

The Luna 2 delivers 8,000 pulsations a minute across 12 speed settings with T-sonic technology for a personalised cleanse. The tool is made from hypoallergenic silicone, which is more hygienic than standard nylon-bristled cleansing brushes and easier to clean, too. Overall, the Luna 2 doesn’t come cheap but you get a lot of bang for your buck. 

Specs – Pulsations: 8,000 per/min; Speeds: 12; Brush heads: 0; Rechargeable: Yes

Buy now from Feel Unique

4. Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush: Best facial cleansing brush for all skin types

Price: £85 | Buy now from Clinique

Need a facial cleansing brush that will remove dirt without irritating the skin? The Clinique Sonic System was developed by dermatologists to deliver a deeper clean than your fingers could achieve while remaining gentle on your skin. Suitable for all skin types, the Sonic system weeds out pollution, dirt and impurities that can settle deep in our pores, whilst also removing makeup and sunscreen residue in hard-to-reach areas.

The Clinique Sonic System sports a tilted brush head with two types of bristles for a precise clean. It’s fully waterproof and comes with a brush head cover and charging base. At just £85, we think the Clinique Sonic System makes an excellent affordable addition to your skincare regime.

Specs – Pulsations: 300 per/sec; Speeds: 2; Brush heads: 1; Rechargeable: Yes.

Buy now from Clinique

5. Foreo Luna Play Sonic Face Cleanser: Best facial cleansing brush for travels

Price: £29 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

All good things come in small packages and the Foreo Luna Play is no exception. No bigger than a cotton pad, the dinky Luna Play makes a great carry-on companion for taking on your travels. It’s available in a multitude of colours, sports a waterproof, ultra-hygienic silicone design, and features Foreo’s signature cleansing zones to target normal and congested skin. Don’t be fooled by its mini design, the Luna Play is just as mighty as its big sibling above, delivering a powerful 8,000 pulsations per minute.

Costing just £29, the limited-use tool will last for 100 1-minute uses, lasting 3 months provided it’s used once a day. Note that if you’re looking for a rechargeable device to add to your skincare regime, the Luna Play may not be for you.

Specs – Pulsations: 8,000 per/min; Modes: 2 Brush heads: N/A; Rechargeable: No

Buy now from Cult Beauty

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