If you want a clean scrub, the best facial cleansing brushes will give you just that.
We’ve evaluated facial cleansing brushes since 2019. Most recently, we tested 10 popular skin care systems both in our lab and in our homes. Based on its impressive performance, features and accessories, we selected the Essential Skin Solutions Perfect Skin Brushing System as the best facial cleansing brush overall. With two facial cleansing brush heads, a body brush and a pumice stone, it provides full-body skin care that is gentle enough for sensitive skin. It’s also waterproof for use in the shower.
Top 5 Best Facial Cleansing Brushes
Essential Skin Solutions Perfect Skin
The Essential Skin Solutions Perfect Skin Brushing System is a repeat choice for our best pick. It tops our list because it delivers impressive results at an affordable price. It comes with two facial cleansing brush heads, a body brush and a pumice stone to provide full-body skin care for all skin types.
This system is waterproof for use in the shower, and it can be cleaned under running water. The facial brushes and body brush are designed to cleanse and exfoliate your face, arms, chest, back and legs. The pumice stone helps smooth your heels and feet.
Using the facial brushes can help minimize the size of pores, brighten and even skin tone and reduce the appearance of acne scars, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The brushes can also prepare the skin for the application of moisturizers, serums and toners. The body brush helps prepare skin for shaving and for the application of products such as sunless tanning lotions. Brush heads should be replaced every two to three months.
The Essential Skin Solutions System is a rotating facial cleansing brush, so you want to be careful to avoid tangling your hair. Although it has only one speed and intensity setting, it comes with a brush for sensitive skin. The manufacturer advises trying it for less than a minute the first time you use it to see how your skin reacts. While our testers experienced no problems or irritation with this device, it can take a few weeks for your skin to adjust to using any new product. While we preferred rechargeable batteries, the Essential Skin Solutions Perfect Skin Brushing System is powered by two AA batteries that come with your purchase.
- Full-body skin care
- Four brush heads
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Only one speed
- No brush head caps
- Batteries aren’t rechargeable
TMISHION 5 In 1 Electric Facial Cleansing Brush
Priced under $20, the TMISHION 5 in 1 is a great value. It has more attachments and features than most pricier facial cleansing brushes, and its replacement brush heads are the least expensive we found.
The TMISHION cleanses, exfoliates and performs microdermabrasion, and it comes with five attachments – two facial cleansing brushes, a body brush, a crude polish accessory and a pumice applicator. It has a convenient upright stand for storing its handle, but there’s no storage container for the attachments.
While this facial cleansing brush is suitable for all skin types, users with exceptionally dry, sensitive or blemished skin should use caution. Also, it isn’t recommended for people who are undergoing professional microdermabrasion treatments or plastic surgery. You should seek advice from your doctor before using this product if you’re taking a medication that causes sun sensitivity.
The TMISHION has a comfortable grip, and you can tell a definite difference between both the speed settings and the firmness of the brush heads. As with most rotating brushes, take care not to get your hair caught and tangled when you use this product. If you have long hair, it’s best to pull it back first.
The device handle is waterproof, so you can use the TMISHION Electric Facial Cleansing Brush in the shower. It requires four AA batteries, which are not included with your purchase. If you need help with this product, customer service is only available online.
- Five brush heads
- Comfortable grip
- Upright stand
- No container for attachments
- Batteries aren’t included
- Limited consumer support
Vanity Planet Facial Cleansing Brush Ultimate Skin Spa
The Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa is a top performer among rotating facial cleansing brushes. It has multiple speeds, a comfortable grip and three interchangeable brush heads. In addition, it comes with a protective case that makes it convenient to travel with and store.
The Vanity Planet is gentle on sensitive skin. It has a soft cleansing brush for normal skin, a silicone brush for sensitive skin and an exfoliating brush for all skin types. The cleansing brushes are designed for daily use, while the exfoliating attachment should be used only two to three times weekly – and just once a week if your skin is sensitive.
This device has two speed settings, one for daily cleansing and another for exfoliation. You switch the power on and off and change settings by pushing a single button. The Vanity Planet runs on two AA batteries, which are not included with your purchase.
This product is water-resistant and can be used in the shower, but it’s not 100 percent waterproof. This means the handle should not be submerged. The manufacturer recommends that brush heads be replaced every three months, but we found them to show wear much more quickly. Replacement heads cost less than $10 apiece, with discounted pricing on three-packs. The Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa comes in blue, purple and pink.
- Durable protective case
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Available in three colors
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
- Brush heads show wear quickly
- Batteries not included
Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleansing System
The Clarisonic Mia 2 uses sonic oscillation technology to cleanse your face. It has a comfortable, balanced grip, and the bristles of its brush heads are soft. Its patented cleansing system provides 300 micro-massages per second that are reported to be gentle enough to leave an egg yolk intact.
This device has a rechargeable battery that provides 80 to 100 minutes of use when fully charged. The charger attaches magnetically to the handle and has universal voltage. When the battery is low, the brush head pulses and an indicator light flashes.
The Clarisonic Mia 2 provides the best user experience of any device we tested. It has an integrated one-minute timer that allocates 20 seconds for your forehead, 20 seconds for your nose and chin and 10 seconds for each cheek.
You can pause your cleaning cycle for up to 30 seconds without disrupting the timer. This facial cleansing brush can be used in the shower, but its handle shouldn’t be submerged. Priced at $$$ (MSRP), it is the most expensive product we tested. It is available in lavender and pink.
Pros: Excellent user experience
Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Starter Kit
The Neutrogena Microdermabrasion Starter Kit comes with an applicator, a monthlong supply of Rejuvenating Puffs and two AA batteries. It is recommended for use three times weekly in place of an exfoliating scrub.
Potential benefits of this system include brighter, smoother and firmer skin, along with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles. You use the device by placing a puff on its Velcro applicator and then moistening the puff. It foams as you apply it to your face.
This product is waterproof, so it can be used in the shower. However, it is not designed for use on sensitive skin. t comes with 12 disposable Rejuvenating Puffs, and a 24-pack of new puffs is available for less than $20. While the Velcro has a solid initial hold, our testers wondered how well it would wear over time. Also, the handle may feel too small if you have larger hands.
Pros: Comes with 12 Rejuvenating Puffs
Cons: Handle may be small for larger hands
Why Trust Us?
Now in our fourth year of reviewing facial cleansing brushes, we’ve learned a lot about what makes these products such an important part of a woman’s beauty routine – and why men are increasingly enjoying their benefits as well.
Like many consumers, we weren’t familiar with the advantages of facial cleansing brushes before we started evaluating them, but we’ve since become strong believers in their ability to more effectively remove makeup, debris and impurities from your face than your hands or a washcloth. We’ve also experienced the advantages of using them as effective exfoliation tools.
”Facial cleansing brushes are fabulous, and I recommend them to all of my patients,” said Dr. Kachiu C. Lee, assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University and the director of the Laser and Aesthetics Center in Providence, Rhode Island. “Throughout the day, environmental pollution, dirt, facial products, and natural skin oils can work their way into our pores. A facial cleansing brush is absolutely necessary to remove these products that could be clogging your pores.”
During our most recent review of facial cleansing brushes, we researched a list of more than 30 products and narrowed it to our 10 favorites. Then, we acquired the brushes, evaluated them in our lab and tested them personally at home. This gave us valuable insight on both the benefits of using facial cleansing brushes and on which attachments are most useful. From face and body brush heads to sponges and pumice stones, we tried them all.
How We Tested
Before we ordered and acquired any of the 10 facial cleansing brushes we tested, we researched them in detail to record product specifications and study consumer reviews. We also reached out to manufacturers and skin care specialists to learn which features to consider most carefully and how to use the brushes properly.
Once we received, unpackaged and photographed the brushes, we examined them individually to get a feel for their handle grips, power sources and settings. We then took them home for hands-on testing.
To achieve the best results, manufacturers of facial cleansing brushes recommend using their products for several weeks. This lets your skin adjust to a new, more thorough cleaning system that may cause initial outbreaks and irritation as your pores release impurities. It also gives your skin time to experience the benefits of improved circulation and collagen production that using a facial cleansing brush can provide.
While our testing schedule didn’t accommodate using each brush for a full month, we did spend enough time with each one to get a feel for its handle comfort, durability and cleansing settings. We also used each attachment and experimented with several types of skin cleanser.
During our personal experiences with each brush, we compared settings, exchanged attachments, and changed or charged the batteries. We used facial brushes at the sink and tried body brushes in the shower. Before switching from one brush to another, we gave our faces several days of recovery time. This mitigated the possibility of our experience with one brush skewing the test results of another.
After we finished testing all 10 brushes, we compiled our notes and rated the products based on MSRP, price of replacement brush heads, performance, features, and warranty and support. Such an extensive testing process gave us confidence in our reviews and helped us make solid product recommendations.
Choosing the Best Facial Cleansing Brush for Your Budget
Facial cleansing brushes come in many shapes and styles. We reviewed brushes that clean with sonic vibration, brushes with rotating heads and hybrid products. We also considered brushes designed for daily cleansing, products with an exfoliating focus and multipurpose devices with several attachments.
Because skin type is such an important consideration, skin care professionals recommend that you research which type of brush might work best for your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you want to find a brush that provides deep cleaning results without causing irritation. If you’re looking for microdermabrasion, a more rigorous product might work best. What matters most, however, is using the brush as directed. If you have special skin care needs, including acne, speak to your dermatologist before choosing a device. Although it didn’t make our top 10, the Proactiv Deep Cleansing Brush is specifically marketed toward people who have blemishes.
We reviewed facial cleansing brushes ranging in price from $11.99 to $199. While the most expensive product we reviewed, the Clarisonic Mia 2, earned our highest marks for ease of use and cleaning performance, you can purchase a high-quality device for less than $200. Before you start shopping, think about your skin care goals and the accessories you consider most important. Then, you can look for the best product for your budget. As you research, it’s also a good idea to consider the cost of replacement brush heads and batteries.
The best facial cleansing brushes are easy to use and provide excellent cleaning performance. Even if you’ve removed your makeup prior to using the device, you’ll notice that the brush lifts and removes additional debris and impurities from your face.
Keep in mind that some facial cleansing brushes have rechargeable batteries, while others require two to four AA batteries. Also, you’ll notice diminished brush performance if you don’t replace brush heads as they wear. While most manufacturers recommend replacing brush heads every two to three months, the best indicators of a facial cleansing brush’s performance are its results.
“You can tell if you have a good brush by the results on your skin,” Dr. Lee said. “Do you see a healthy glow after using it? Or do you see more redness and irritation? Do you notice that your skin is clearing up? Or do you notice that it’s actually clogging your pores more and giving you acne? The results of the brushes speak for themselves.”
When you purchase a facial cleansing brush with multiple speed settings, you can customize its cleaning intensity to your skin type. On a related note, we recommend identifying in advance whether you’re primarily looking for an exfoliation tool or a product that’s safe for sensitive skin.
“Look for a brush that fits your needs,” Dr. Lee advises. “There are firmer brush heads that can provide a deeper clean to tougher skin and gentle heads that can be swapped out for sensitive skin. Facial brushes also come with different speeds, which relates to how fast the brush head turns. Finding one with multiple speeds allows you to be more gentle on sensitive areas and more aggressive on areas with rough skin. Also, look for a brush handle that is waterproof. Most brushes are battery-powered, and you want to make sure that the case is waterproof if you need wash the brush handle.”
While each of the facial cleansing brushes we tested is water-resistant, the best products are 100 percent waterproof. This means you can safely wash them under running water and use them in the shower or bathtub as well.
Most facial cleansing brushes come with both a standard brush head and a softer, more gentle brush for sensitive skin. You can also find brushes that come with attachments such as exfoliating heads, pumice stones, sponges and body brushes.
The best facial cleansing brushes include a storage or travel case. A select few products also have a charging station or upright stand to help keep your bathroom counter organized.
Warranty & Support
If something goes wrong with your facial cleansing brush, it’s nice to have support options available. Most products come with manufacturers’ warranties of a year or two, and many include moneyback guarantees.
Nearly every manufacturer and distributor of facial cleansing brushes provides customer service by phone or email, and live chat is becoming more common. Some companies also offer support by text and Facebook Messenger.
Acne & Sensitive Skin
If you have acne-prone skin, an exfoliating cleansing brush could help. These brushes clear away dead skin cells, an excess of which, combined with oil, can lead to breakouts. That being said, you should always use a new cleanser pad every single time you use the brush. This will prevent the spread of bacteria or unwanted oil buildup. The downside to using a cleanser brush if you have acne is that it could cause you to break out more initially as the dead skin cells are cleaned away, leaving more fragile skin underneath.
Most cystic acne sufferers shouldn’t use facial cleansing brushes, as it can cause the breakout to spread. Cystic acne is often itchy or painful and occurs when the infection is deep in the skin. Using a cleanser brush on these areas can cause a cyst to burst, which in turn usually causes the infection to spread. Therefore, you should spot test any facial cleanser and brush you buy before you use it on your full face. This is good advice for anyone, not just those with acne or sensitive skin.
Whether you’re prone to breakouts or not, it’s important to keep the brush head on your facial brush clean. Clean it after every use with warm water, and if you can still see any makeup, use a mild soap to get the brush back to its appropriate color. Once it’s clean, simply pat it dry with a cloth.