I use active ingredients – can a face brush harm my skin?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Is it dangerous to use an electronic face cleansing brush (like the Clarisonic) if you are using a retinol night cream? I don’t want to cause any damage to my skin.


Dr Graham Duncombe from Skin & Health Renewal responds:

“If you are already using a good retinoid in your night cream, that product is already speeding up your skin cell turnover and keeping the epidermis nice and compact. I therefore would not advise the use of an exfoliating device on top of that, as this could cause excessive exfoliation which comes with its own set of problems. It may result in sensitivity or inflammation which will in turn cause pigmentation and this is not a good outcome at all. So I would not advise this. If you really want a deeper exfoliation, rather have a peel that is compatible with the products you are using, and make sure you follow the correct prepping procedure to stop your retinoids in time and then re-introduce them slowly again after your treatment as per the protocol for the peeling procedure (which your therapist or doctor needs to explain to you).”

Have a question for Dr Duncombe? Ask him here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
The three best new face brushes
Would you try a pulsating face brush?
Are electronic face brushes safe for all skin types?
Three reasons why you have to try dry body brushing
Coming clean: Need-to-knows about face cleansing brushes

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  1. Pseudo_kate

    This is actually the reason why I haven’t bought a face brush because the products I am using are quite active. Plus, I am happy with my skin based on the products I am using, there’s no point in trying to overdo things.

    3 years ago •


    I have very sensitive skin so thank you for pointing this out.

    3 years ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    I was considering buying myself a face cleansing brush. After reading this article I will not buy one as I have sensitive skin.

    3 years ago •

  1. Remona Engelbrecht

    There are such mixed reviews on whether to use face brush or not. To some it is the next best thing since sliced bread. I feel one needs a degree in science just to understand all the new beauty creams and ingredients.

    3 years ago •

  1. Mark Parr

    There are so many of these face brushes. I have the Sorbet and the Clinique but not sure which is the best.

    3 years ago •

  1. Felicia Cheyanand

    This is really helpful!!! I do have sensitive skin and at least now I know what not to do.

    3 years ago •

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