All about cleansing brushes

I’ve tried a few, but I reckon the Clarisonic Mia 2 is still the best facial cleansing brush… ever. I’ve owned my Clarisonic Mia for over five years and it still works like a dream.

There is a new model now available in 2020 called the Clarisonic Mia Smart 3-in-1 but I personally don’t think it’s worth the extra price. Yes, there is an app which allows you to upload customised skincare routines, but it’s just as easy to use the regular Clarisonic Mia on a customised basis too (just use the brush where you need it for however long you need it!)

However, like any cleansing brush, even the Clarisonic Mia isn’t perfect and there are a few things to bear in mind.

Do cleansing brushes really work?

The Clarisonic Mia claims to remove up to 89% more makeup and grime than ordinary cleansing alone. My skin sure feels like it’s had a deep, yet gentle, exfoliation. My Clarisonic Mia is really effective at getting rid of dead skin cells and excess dirt from living in a polluted city. It’s the best way I know for cleaning up and preventing blackheads.

The issue is that a lot of the grime gets trapped in the brush so it’s essential to keep the brush attachment clean. Otherwise you’re basically washing your face with a bacteria laden brush.

For this reason, and because I can be a bit of a clean freak when it comes to skincare, I wash my brush after every use and give it a really, really good clean every month (I use my Clarisonic once per week maximum).

best cleansing brush 2020

Are cleansing brushes good for the skin? 

I love my Clarisonic Mia and my skin feel prepped for my skincare routine afterwards. I only use it a maximum of once per week though, and I use the sensitive type brush head attachment.

Even with the sensitive type brushes the Clarisonic can still strip my skin. I have dry, psoriasis prone skin and overusing the Clarisonic can wreck my pores.

The same applies to oily and combination skins too. Overusing any cleansing brush can strip the skin of its natural oils which act as a defense against pollution and other stresses. Go too heavy on the cleansing and your skin will produce more sebum to compensate for the over zealous brushing… which can mean build up and spots.

How often should you use a cleansing brush?

For me personally using the brush once per week, or even once every two weeks is enough.

If you’re in doubt, try facial cleansing once or twice per week and take it from there.

It also depends on the model of brush, the brush attachment type. Some models also offer different cleansing programs from deeper exfoliation to gentler cleanses.

How else do you deep clean your face?

As well as facial exfoliation brushes, there are other simpler and cheaper ways to deep cleanse.

One way is to precleanse. I love Dermalogica’s PreCleanse – a gentle, light oil which gently traps dirt away for the next cleansing step. It’s great for all skin types, including sensitive, dry and oily and can be used every day.

Another method is to use a cleansing muslin cloth and gentle lather. Like cleansing brushes it’s essential to wash these after every use or you’re basically washing your face with your own dirt. I wash with muslin cloths intermittently and when travelling. Call me a clean freak, but I hand wash them separately rather than use the washing machine as I don’t like the ide of ‘bacterial laundry soup’.

Is a facial cleansing brush really necessary?

I love my Clarisonic Mia. It’s a nifty little gadget and great for now and again when my skin is congested. However, it’s not as essential as a good skincare cleanser to suit your individual skin type.

Also bear in mind that the attachment brushes can work out pricey. The sensitive brush attachment I use costs £26 GBP / $35 USD a pop, so they’re not cheap. Having said that, I change my brush only once every two months. (Clarisonic recommend every three months).

Cleansing brushes are a quick and super convenient way to deep clean. However if you’re not sure you want to invest, then a good pre cleanser, exfoliator or simple muslin cloth could work just as well for you.

Clarisonic Mia 2 - best cleansing brush 2020

Tips for using your cleansing brush:


  • Give chemical exfoliators such as BHA, PHA and AHA’s a miss. These products already act like an exfoliator.
  • If you have sensitive skin or are prone to redness, rosacea, eczema or psoriasis, stick to using the cleansing brush once per week maximum. The brush does remove dead skin cells, but facial brushes can be a bit harsh, even with sensitive brush attachments.
  • I find it works best to work my cleanser into a lather on my face first and then use my Clarisonic, rather than apply product directly to the brush. And go easy on the cleanser – the brush will work more of a lather, so a little goes a long way.
  • Be careful which brush attachment you go for. The standard brush attachment which comes with your purchase might not be right for your skin type. If other brush attachment models are available, try sensitive type attachments first and take it from there. You can also test the brush on your inner forearm first before it using on your face.
  • If your brush doesn’t come with a timer, be careful not to overdo the cleansing. Over cleansing can leave your skin raw and sensitive. A maximum of one minute (for the full face) should do the trick.
  • Consider a model with easily available brush attachments. If you’re living in a country without access to replacement heads, or they’re super expensive, then the brush is pointless. Check the voltage power supply for your country too.
  • Wash your brush head after every use. Give it a really good wash every month. Replace the brush head every couple of months or every month if you use the brush more regularly.

Shop for cleansing brushes and accessories

Clarisonic sensitive brush head
Clarisonic Mia 2 cleansing brush
Dermalogica PreCleanse
Pai Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser
Dermalogica special cleansing gel
Clarisonic sensitive brush head
Clarisonic Mia 2 cleansing brush
Dermalogica PreCleanse
Pai Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser
Dermalogica special cleansing gel
Clarisonic sensitive brush head
Clarisonic Mia 2 cleansing brush
Dermalogica PreCleanse
Pai Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser
Dermalogica special cleansing gel




This is not a sponsored post. This is my personal experience of cleansing brushes and the Clarisonic Mia 2 in particular.

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