The 12 Best Facial Cleansing Brushes for Every Skin Type

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Best Facial Cleansing Brushes
Sephora/ Amazon/ InStyle

While using a facial cleansing brush may not be a necessary step in your skincare routine, it certainly has many benefits. On top of providing an effective clean, facial cleansing brushes can be "used to help remove every last trace of makeup, oil, and debris on your skin," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist. "They also help decongest the skin by getting rid of dead skin [and] they get your skin cleaner than if you just use your hands."

With so many brushes available though and the options ranging from electric, manual, silicone, and bristle, it can be tough to discern which brush is best for your skin needs and concerns. That's why we tapped Dr. Jaliman for her expertise and evaluated some of the best brushes on the market based on their bristle type, speed settings, and features. The PMD Clean Pro Gemstone Cleansing Device rounded out the top of our list because it is infused with real Rose Quartz and uses heat technology on top of providing a deep clean.

Ahead, the best facial cleansing brushes, according to an expert.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: PMD Clean Pro Gemstone Cleansing Device

PMD Clean Pro RQ - Smart Facial Cleansing Device

What We Love: It features real rose quartz stone to reduce inflammation.

What We Don't Love: It's a little heavy.

This silicone-bristle smart device uses over 7,000 vibrations per minute to cleanse, lift, and firm skin. The bristles are gentle yet effective, so the chances of the device drying out the skin are minimal and it is safe to use on sensitive skin. It also uses ActiveWarmth heat technology and a real rose quartz stone for an even more soothing experience. The brush is battery-operated as well, so you don't have to clear up space for a charging dock.

Bristle Type: Silicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 4 | Extra Features: Heat technology, rose quartz infusion.

Best Value: Olay Regenerist Facial Cleansing Brush

Cleanse Silicone Face Scrubber and Cleanser

What We Love: It's great for minimizing the look of pores and acne.

What We Don't Love: The speed is slow.

Whether you're new to cleansing brushes or you're just looking for a wallet-friendly option, this facial cleansing brush by Olay really delivers. Dr. Jaliman calls it a "no frills cleansing system that gets the job done." It removes stubborn makeup, gently exfoliates, and gives a deeper clean than using your fingers or a cloth. While it may not have the bells and whistles of a more expensive model, the two cleansing speeds do just enough to get the job done.

Bristle Type: Plastic | Number of Speeds/Modes: 2 | Extra Features: Rotating head

Best for All Skin Types: Foreo Luna 3 Smart Facial Cleansing Brush

FOREO LUNA 3 App Smart Portable Facial Cleansing

What We Love: It's antimicrobial and provides an impressive 8,000 sonic pulses per minute.

What We Don't Love: It's expensive.

While old-school cleansing brushes come with nylon bristles, modern versions, like this one from Foreo, rely on silicone to remove dirt and debris. According to the brand, silicone is super hygienic, gentle on the skin, and durable. Fun fact: Foreo brushes also never need to be replaced due to bacteria, which Dr. Jaliman says makes them "much less expensive in the end." Since silicone is non-porous, bacteria buildup — that unpleasant odor that appears out of nowhere after a few months of using a sinkside cleansing tool — won't occur. As for the brush itself, it uses T-sonic pulsations to sweep away dirt and debris. With 16 different pulsation intensities, the brush allows you to customize your cleanse with each use. There's a different color for each skin type, so choose accordingly: purple for sensitive skin, blue for combination skin, and pink for normal skin.

Bristle Type: Silicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 16 | Extra Features: Bluetooth compatibility, charging cable

Best Electric: NågraCoola Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush

NågraCoola Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush

What We Love: It has an anti-aging massage head on the reverse side.

What We Don't Love: It requires a wall plug or USB port to charge.

If you love to just sit back, relax, and let a brush do all the work for you, then this electric cleansing brush is for you. It tackles a variety of skincare concerns from acne to anti-aging and it works well on all skin types. It features a silicone head on one side that gently works to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells and an anti-aging massage head with five different intensities on the reverse side for wrinkle-prone areas. It comes equipped with a charging cable and it is available in four pretty colors. Continuous use is sure to make your skin appear both brighter and firmer and it only takes three minutes to complete a full treatment.

Bristle Type: Sillicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 5 | Extra Features: Anti-aging massage head, charging cable

Best Manual: e.l.f. Cleansing Duo Face Brush Dual-Sided Cleaning Tool

e.l.f. Cleansing Duo Face Brush Dual-Sided Cleaning Tool

What We Love: It is gentle yet effective.

What We Don't Love: There are no vibrations or different speeds.

This manual facial cleansing brush from e.l.f comes recommended by Dr. Jaliman, who says it works well on any skin type. "One side has super soft bristles for gently cleansing your face and [the] other side has flexible silicone ends that will help you achieve a deeper exfoliation and promote facial circulation via massage," she says. And if you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, you can simply be more gentle as you cleanse. Since the dual-sided brush is manual instead of electric, there aren't any vibration or rotation settings to change — it all depends on how you scrub.

Bristle Type: Silicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 0 | Extra Features: None

Best Scrubber: Innerneed Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush

Cleanse Silicone Face Scrubber and Cleanser

What We Love: They are the perfect size for travel and easy to clean.

What We Don't Love: The finger holes are very small.

If you're looking for a tool to amp up your beauty routine but you're not interested in investing in a high-tech device, these popular silicone face scrubbers by Innerneed are for you. On one side, you'll find little silicone nubs to massage your face and clear out pores, while the other side has a convenient grip for your fingers. You can even purchase a set that comes with a larger size to scrub your entire body. The scrubbers are made from high-quality food grade silicone as well, which makes them easier to clean and gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.

Bristle Type: Silicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 0 | Extra Features: None

Best for Sensitive Skin: Tao Clean Orbital Facial Brush and Cleansing Station

TAO Clean Orbital Facial Brush and Cleansing Station

What We Love: It comes with a 3-in-1 cleaning, drying, and charging station.

What We Don't Love: There is no massaging element.

When you're dealing with sensitive skin, picking any ol' cleansing brush won't do. Thankfully, this Tao Clean facial cleansing brush features soft bristles that aren't too soft or too firm and gently cleanse skin without irritation. There are two settings, 'super-clean mode' and 'sensitive-clean mode,' and a built-in timer so you won't overdo it. The best part about this system is the ergonomic handle and patented docking station. After cleansing, return your brush to the dock, which dries your brush to eliminate mildew and uses a UV-C lamp to kill germs. This may be one of the most tech-advanced options on the market.

Bristle Type: Nylon | Number of Speeds/Modes: 2 | Extra Features: Charging and cleaning station.

Best for Anti-Aging: ReFa Clear Facial Cleansing Brush

ReFa CLEAR Facial Cleansing Brush

What We Love: It has super soft bristles that move in all directions.

What We Don't Love: The head needs to be removed and cleaned after each use.

The ReFa Clear is a great option for mature, aging skin because it features 3D sonic ion technology that moves bristles in both vertical and horizontal directions, along with vibrations to deep clean. Another unique feature of the brush is its varying lengths of super fine bristles. The tapered bristles conform to the skin for the closest cleanse possible. Trust us, no clogged pores here. Plus, we love how gentle this sonic facial cleanser brush is on aging skin. Although the price is steep, the pillow-soft bristles are ideal for anyone looking to target aging concerns and there is no pulling, tugging, or irritation.

Bristle Type: Plastic | Number of Speeds/Modes: 3 | Extra Features: USB charging cable.

Best for Oily Skin: Ecotools Facial Cleansing Brush

EcoTools Cruelty Free and Vegan Portable Facial Cleansing

What We Love: It gently exfoliates and absorbs oils.

What We Don't Love: The bristles shed easily.

This tiny facial cleansing brush is great for pulling excess oil out of pores and buffing away dead skin. We love the compact size, which makes it ideal for packing in your gym bag or taking it along on your weekend travels. You won't find any buttons or modes on this device, as it's manual, but this allows for applying as much or as little pressure as you'd like. And like all of Ecotools' products, this brush is PETA-certified, which means it's cruelty-free and vegan.

Bristle Type: Recycled plastic | Number of Speeds/Modes: 0 | Extra Features: None

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Proactiv Charcoal Facial Cleansing Brush

Proactiv Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush

What We Love: It's very detoxifying and the bristles rotate 360 degrees.

What We Don't Love: It can be messy to use.

Proactiv is a go-to for busting breakouts, and this facial cleansing brush is no different. The brush features long bristles with 360-degree rotation that truly sweep pores clean. The bristles are infused with charcoal, a detoxifying powerhouse that deep cleans skin to reduce blemishes. Unlike other brushes, Proactiv recommends only using this brush once a day for a clearer complexion. Another plus to note is that the brush can stand on its own without a dock, which limits bathroom countertop clutter and makes storing it a breeze.

Bristle Type: Charcoal-infused nylon | Number of Speeds/Modes: 2 | Extra Features: 360 degree rotation

Best With Charging Stand: Caytraill Facial Cleansing Brush

Caytraill Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush

What We Love: It gets deep into clogged pores and comes with a magnetic charging stand.

What We Don't Love: It can be difficult to turn on.

Thanks to rotating magnetic beads, this facial cleansing brush is a great choice for anyone who loves a good face massage. It also has four vibration modes and a silicone brush head, but one of the best parts about it is the magnetic charging stand it comes with. It's so easy to leave it on the bathroom counter charge and it will always be ready to go when you need it. Plus, the device is waterproof, so it's safe to take in the shower.

Bristle Type: Silicone | Number of Speeds/Modes: 4 | Extra Features: Charging stand, rotating magnetic beads

Best Rotating: Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Facial Cleansing Brush System

Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Elite Patented Face & Body Antimicrobial Sonic Skin Cleansing System

What We Love: It's antibacterial and can be used on both the body and the face.

What We Don't Love: It doesn't stay charged for very long.

This sonic cleansing brush from Michael Todd Beauty uses sweeping motions to rid skin of dirt and grime. While it may not be measurably more effective than pulses and other vibrations, sometimes it just feels like it's doing harder work, which can be satisfying while you cleanse. The rotating brush also helps draw out oil and debris instead of just sloshing it around your face. The brush itself is waterproof with six speed settings and two brush heads. What really sets this model apart from the rest is the built-in antimicrobial protection guards on the bristles that keep odor and bacteria at bay for up to six months, making this the perfect option for those of us that tend to procrastinate. Plus, it comes with a removable brush head that is specifically designed to exfoliate your entire body.

Bristle Type: Nylon | Number of Speeds/Modes: 6 | Extra Features: Removable body brush head, charging cradle, charging cord

What to Keep in Mind

Bristle Type

When it comes to bristles, the two most common options are silicone or nylon. Which bristle type you go with will depend on your skin type and skin concerns, but Dr. Jaliman recommends silicone because the material is easy to clean. They are also gentler and may be a better choice for sensitive skin types. Nylon, on the other hand, provides better exfoliation if that is your main goal. She also notes that you should "make sure the bristles are sturdy enough to get the job done, but gentle enough that you don't irritate or inflame the skin."

Speed Settings

Many brushes boast more than one speed or massage setting, which is ideal as it offers more control over the intensity. If you have sensitive skin or are just looking to have more control and customization, opt for a brush with multiple speeds ranging from gentle to powerful.

Extra Features

The phrase 'the more the merrier' definitely applies when it comes to extra features and many facial cleansing brushes include tons of bells and whistles like different massage heads, charging stations, multiple massage modes or speeds, and more.

Your Questions, Answered

What does a facial cleansing brush do?

Along with getting a deeper clean, there are tons of benefits to picking up a facial cleansing brush. According to Dr. Jaliman, using one of these devices will exfoliate your skin, which "help[s] your anti-aging products penetrate and work much more efficiently." Facial cleansing brushes also have a massaging aspect that helps to promote circulation in your face, she notes.

How do you use a facial cleansing brush?

One of the most important things to remember about how to use a facial cleansing brush is to be gentle. "Place a nickel-size amount of face wash on your brush head or device, and in circular motions, gently massage the product in," Dr. Jaliman says.

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