Coming clean: need-to-know’s about face cleansing brushes

Friday, 30 May 2014

Face cleansing brushes including the Clarisonic

The face cleansing brush is still relatively new to SA, but has reached major success in the US and UK. Here, we share everything there is to know about this headline-making beauty tool.

What is it?
The cleansing face brush is exactly what its name suggests – a hand-held brush designed for use on your face, to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. The majority of them have a rotating function, and either take batteries, or they come with a charger. Some come with a variety of brush heads to attach to the front (depending on the function you want), and some also have speed settings.

How does it work?
When the brush is switched on, the brush head rotates. The idea is to gently move it around your skin in circular motions – almost like you would use an electric toothbrush. The fine bristles oscillate and penetrate the pores, removing dirt and acting as an exfoliator by removing dead skin cells.

What are the benefits?
When used correctly, there are various benefits to using a cleansing face brush. Firstly, it increases cell-turnover rate by exfoliating off dead skin cells, and stimulating collagen production. Increased collagen means skin is firmer and younger-looking for longer.

It removes oil and dirt stuck in clogged pores, making it great for anyone who suffers from blackheads and breakouts.

Overall, it provides a deeper cleansing experience and exfoliation in one, plus it eliminates the transfer of germs from your hands onto your skin.

Are there any cons?
Unfortunately yes, however, most of them can be avoided. When used too regularly, the brush can leave skin red, sensitive, dehydrated and irritable. It’s recommended you start off using it once a week, and then gradually move on to using it every second day or every evening.

Dermatologists have warned that you are likely to get a breakout after using it for the first few times – this is simply the skin’s way of reacting to something new. It should settle down after about two weeks.

You have to wash the brush regularly, as bacteria can grow and cause a build-up which often results in acne.

Where can I get one?
At the moment these brushes are very difficult to come by in South Africa. The most famous ones are from the Clarisonic range, and Olay has launched one as well. Both of these are available on If you shop on international sites like eBay, you’ll find them there too.

If you prefer to see the brush before you purchase, you can try the BABOR Sonic Cleansing Brush, which is available at selected salons and spas.

As their popularity rises overseas, we’ll hopefully be seeing more of them here soon.

Have any of you used a face cleansing brush before, and if so, what was your experience?

Other articles you may be interested in:
The most reviewed cleaners of 2013
Different cleansers for different skin concerns
Cleanse it!
Acne 101
Is it better to exfoliate wet or dry skin?

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. RoseAngel

    The clarisonic brush range is now available at selected stutterfords stores.
    Best investment for my skin ever. I wish I could put up before and after pics here to show you how this changed my skin. I have them because I wanted to see if it works and it really does

    4 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    I would love to own one as I suffer with breakouts!

    5 years ago •

  1. TJK

    I’ve seen the manual ones before… maybe I should just begin with that uber gently….

    5 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I tried a brush from The Body Shop but I found it was way too harsh for my skin so I stopped using it.

    5 years ago •

    1. Mark Parr

      How much do these brushes cost and can I purchase a cheaper one.

      5 years ago •

      1. BeautySouthAfrica

        Hi Mark. Please be advised that depending on what brush you purchase the price can range between R900 & R2000 for the electronic version. You can purchase a manual face brush from as little as R50 at the Body Shop.

        5 years ago •

        1. Mark Parr

          Thanks for the tip. I will try the one at the Body Shop. I have noticed that Pseudo-Kate states they are harsh but I suppose all skins are different.

          5 years ago •

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