I remember, a few years ago now, the moment I first got sent a cleansing brush. Covering beauty for quite a while, it was the first one that crossed my desk and I recall trying to figure out what the heck was. A vibrator? A massage device?
The rechargeable device was introduced to me as a high-tech cleansing brush, designed to increase youth-activating blood flow, increase collagen and remove up to six times more bacteria than a manual scrub.
And while I'd like to say it had me sold, I'm not going to lie... I pushed it into the pile of "I'm never going to use this."
So there it sat, in my beauty cabinet, a one-hundred-and-something dollar beauty device that promised me the best skin of my life, that I didn't use.
We all know the importance of cleansing - it's the cornerstone of your skincare routine: not only does it remove make-up, dead skin cells, pollution and excess sebum, but it helps maintain your skin's natural glow. And let me be the one to tell you, that this cute gadget packs a double-whammy of skin-saving benefits, and while it took me a little while to figure that out - hope fully you'll be convinced by the end of this article.
How do they work?
Most of these devices are shaped like a tamagotchi, with silicone bristles. While the bristly/bobbly side boosts the pore-purifying effect of your cleanser by reaching all the nooks and crannies your fingers cannot, the other helps your moisturiser absorb into the dermis and promotes skin circulation to leave skin feeling plumper and boost collagen production.
But why can't I just use my hands?
Of course you can, and when I'm not in the mood I definitely do, but think of this device as a way to clean deeper, get your blood flowing and allow your moisturiser to sink deeper into your pores. A cleansing tool also makes the process easier, especially if you live in a polluted city or wear lots of make-up.
What about a cleansing bristle brush?
Another great choice, these brushes are great for people with more oily skin who require a deeper clean (and not for those who are more sensitive).
It's important to note that the tightly bound fibres of a bristle can actually be a breeding ground for bacteria when moist and warm post-use, so it's incredibly important to clean them properly (no cleansing doesn't count), and dry them properly.
Are cleansing brushes good for your skin?
Speaking to Women's Health, Aesthetic doctor and founder of the illuminate skin clinic, Dr Sophie Shotter, explains that: 'cleansing brushes, when used properly, can deep clean the pores. They can also stimulate better circulation and improve lymphatic drainage.'
She does caution that: 'but this is only when used properly, as otherwise they can actually push make-up and environmental pollution deeper into the pores and cause more skin problems.'
How often should you use it?
'It’s important to tailor the use of your cleansing device to your skin type - start out by using it a few times a week. If you’re wearing heavy make-up, I would recommend removing this first with make-up remover and a reusable cotton pad before grabbing your cleansing device.' advises Lucy Dawes, Senior Consultant at Pulse Light Clinic.
So which are the best ones? We profile our 6 faves above.