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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Facial Brushes: Yes or No?

Over the past several years I have had many clients ask me what I thought about the Clarisonic facial brush. As with many things in the skin care world that are hugely popular, I tend to go against the grain. Therefore I can say that I am not a fan of facial bushes in general, the Clarisonic brush included. This particular brand just has a good marketing and advertising budget, because in reality—it’s just an electronic brush. Recently a client wrote and asked: 

What’s your take on the Clarisonic skin brushing machine? Good for skin? Irritating to skin? I’m having a mixed reaction and wondered what you thought.

As I said, I am not a fan of brush machines for use on the face. I don’t use one in my facials (lots of aestheticians do), and I don’t recommend them for my clients’ home use. Here is an excerpt from my 2nd book, Skin Care A to Z, that explains my opinion in full.

Facial Brushes

The sales clerk at my department store told me to start using a facial brush because it would reach into my pores to clean them better.
Facial brushes do have the ability to reach down into the pores. Therefore they can cause damage, like particles in scrubs. Presumably, the reason you are using the brush in the first place is for exfoliation benefits, yet you can exfoliate in other ways without causing harm to your skin.

Of course it depends on the actual brush and what type of bristles it has. Perhaps there are some facial brushes that won’t cause any harm to your skin, but why use them? They harbor bacteria, they can cause irritation, and then there is the potential to “reach into your pores” and do some real damage.

Use brushes on your body if you want to—this skin is far less susceptible to irritation than on your face. But bottom line, I don’t recommend using these brushes on your face.

HOT TIP: Brush your teeth, not your face.


With all that said, if you absolutely love using one of these electronic brushes (or even a manual one), then use it! However, if you feel irritation, that is your skin telling you it is not liking that kind of abrasive activity. Your skin will usually let you know if you shouldn't use something on it. At the end of the day, if using a brush is the only way you have to exfoliate your skin and you like it, then by all means use it. Just take care and be aware of how it may be affecting your skin.

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