In this article we will talk about Facial Cleansing Brushes – how they work, what they do and if an electronic facial brush is worth its purchase. Or are they just another marketing trick of the beauty industry? 🙂
But that is not all – we (my two friends and me) tested three popular electronic facial brushes by Olay, Braun and Philips. The costs from these three brushes are in different categories, but they all work the same way.
In addition, all three brushes are waterproof and therefore can be used in the shower – that was our basic requirement.
Which facial brushes were tested?
Our three candidates were:
1) Olay ProX Advanced – the facial brush with the lowest price in our review
- Waterproof and therefore can be used in the shower
- Has relatively soft bristles
- Available starting at $39.90
2) Braun Face 820 – mid-range facial brush with integrated epilator
- Facial epilator and cleansing brush combined
- Has relatively hard bristles
- Available starting at $99.00
3) Philips PureRadiance – the most expensive model in this article with a lot of gadgets
- Premium brush with sound wave technology and battery power
- Many different brush heads can be purchased and used
- Available starting at
Why did I start using a facial brush?
I have somewhat of an oily skin which needs care every day. If I don’t care for it, it feels tired and tends to impurity.
I also wished that my skin’s pores could be smaller – but show me one woman, who is happy with her pores. It seems to lie in our nature. 🙂
I love facial peels. I mainly like fruit acid peels, which have the same effect as visiting a beautician. Mmhh! What a fresh feeling, it directly rejuvenates the skin. But a peel needs time – you can’t use it in-between. And they also can’t be used on a daily basis, because that would damage and irritate our skin.
That is the main reason why I searched for an alternative to peels. I needed something that guaranteed a fast treatment for daily use and is skin-friendly as well.
Then I found out about electronic facial cleansing brushes. My first brush was this low-priced device, but it didn’t convince me completely. That’s why I concluded that I needed to buy a few brand’s electronic facial brushes and compare them.
I hope this article will help to answer your question, whether an electronic facial cleansing brush is really useful.
How do facial cleanser brushes work?
Let’s keep it simple – an electronic facial brush works like an electronic toothbrush.
Depending on the model it has rotating or oscillating bristles, which massage and cleanse the skin. This intensive cleansing removes dead skin parts (dander), which are often a cause for pore blockage and are responsible for impureness. The treatment takes about 60 seconds (depending on the brush model).
You use your common cleansing products – for example cleansing gel or milk. With a facial cleansing brush you are able to apply your cleansing products evenly and therefore have a better and deeper effect. So far how it works theoretically.
Our next question to be answered is: Who should better NOT use an electronic facial brush?
Possible side effects of a facial brush
I think that the following should be considered for a treatment with a facial cleansing brush:
- You should not exceed the specified treatment time. The excess skin dander is gone after a certain time. The brush will start to damage the healthy skin layers if you use it for too long.
- You should prefer gentle cleansing products. After the treatment with a peeling product you should also let your skin regenerate about one week.
- The electronic facial brush should only be used once a day even if you use gentle care products on oil basis.
- The skin under your eyes is three times thinner and therefore much more sensitive than the rest of the face – you should be careful with the battery powered facial cleansing.
- Worth a Read: Our Best Eye Serum Review
- If you tend to have distinct acne you should better contact your dermatologist before using a facial brush.
- If you have overly sensitive skin or already damaged skin, you should not use a facial brush. If you still want to use one, I recommend you to test it on a small area of your skin and wait if it reacts.
- In any case I would start off with a low intensity of your cleansing tool and observe your facial skin especially in your beginning phase.
- The facial brush head should also be washed on a regular basis and changed every three months.
Three selected facial brushes being tested
The moment of truth – which electronic facial brush could convince? I will start with the low-priced model and move up to the more expensive ones.
First: Olay ProX Advanced
The Olay ProX is a rotating facial brush – that means its bristles rotate. They don’t move back and forth but always in the same direction. Just like a small ventilator.
The brush is battery powered and has two buttons, with which you can regulate its speed. You can choose from two rotation speeds.
It is the smallest facial brush in our article. It is really handy and the brush head is rather small. That way you can also get to areas that are difficult to reach.
The Olay massaging brush has an implemented natural pressure protection – if you press the brush harder on your skin, the brush will lessen its rotation. This protection decreases the risk of skin reddening. The skin’s protection is also is increased by the soft bristles. That’s why the Olay ProX is most of all suitable for beginners.
The facial brush by Olay completely fulfils its purpose. After three weeks of daily treatment the skin is fresher and more elastic. The brush is pleasantly quiet and is easy to store because of its small size.
The electronic face brush by Olay is rather low priced – you can purchase it for about $39.90 .
The Olay facial cleansing brush has no alternative heads – for example with different functions or varying bristle hardness degree. It is a product most suitable for beginners, in both, price and function. The spare brush heads are rather cheap – one pack of two can be bought for $9.99 . You should change the brush head all three months with daily use.
Conclusion to the Olay ProX Facial Cleanser Brush:
- The Olay facial brush is a low-priced beginner tool and a good investment for those who are interested in electronic facial cleansing.
- Soft bristles and missing alternative heads could be listed as critique – but that is why it is a beginner’s item and should not be credited with negative points.
- This electronic brush definitely has a good price-performance ratio – in spite of being low-priced the brush still fulfils its intended use.
Second: Braun Face 820
The manufacturer wanted to set a new path for products like the Electric Facial Brush Braun Face 820. They combined a facial cleansing brush with a facial epilator. Was that really a good idea?
Face cleansing function
First, we tested the cleansing brush. The first thing we noticed is that the Braun Face 820 is louder than the Olay brush. Even the bristles are clearly harder, as a beginner you really need to take care to not press too hard on your face.
The cleansing brush is rotating – it works in rotating movements. Compared to the Olay ProX, the Braun does not move in only one direction, it works in slight left-right rotating movements. These so-called micro movements are more effective than the rotation in one direction. The skin cleansing is said to be more effective, but of course the difference isn’t that big.
Braun’s Face 820 epilator head is really strong and has more than 10 small openings, with which the fine facial hair is pulled out. It is possible to change the rotating movements of the epilator head. You can get a better result for both facial halves with these different rotating directions.
The epilating head rotates about 200 times per second. With these fine motor skills even very short hair is supposed to be removed – we are talking about hair with approx. half millimetre length. That’s quite a promise!
While testing our epilator we found out that it is the most useful for bigger areas of facial skin – most of all the chin and upper lip. Unfortunately the epilator wasn’t precise enough for the area around the eye brows and we still needed to work with tweezers.
If you want the treatment with the epilator to be less painful, you should cool the parts you want to epilate beforehand. That way the skin’s sensitivity will be reduced. After your treatment you should use a calming cream. Really suitable is hydrating skin care with hyaluronic acid products.
The Braun Face 820 is in the mid-price segment and can be bought for about $99.00 . The backup brushes should, like the Olay ProX, be changed every three months (for daily use).
Conclusion to the Braun Face 820 Facial Cleanser Brush:
- Braun’s Face 820 is an average priced tool which combines facial brush with an epilator. It is especially suited for those who don’t want to have many tools lying around.
- Compared to the Olay ProX, the Braun Face has clearly harder bristles and finer micro movements. This combination results in a more effective facial cleansing.
- It is easy to overdo it as a beginner. You need to be careful how hard you press it against your skin and how intense your treatment shall be.
- The epilator head is mainly used for bigger skin areas – it won’t give you a perfect result with your eyebrows.
- If you don’t need an electronic epilator you are better off with the much cheaper Olay ProX. That brush has the better price-performance ratio.
Third: Philips PureRadiance
The Philips PureRadiance is a rather expensive tool. But it is not only manufactured in better quality than its rivals, it even differs technically.
As the only tool in this article, the Philips PureRadiance is the only facial brush based on sound wave technology: In addition to fine rotating movements, the brush even pulses.
With this, the pore-cleansing as well as the skin’s microcirculation, will improve. We could confirm the Philips VisaPura’s better massage and cleansing function in our test.
The vibrating effect is definitely a reasonable and effective complement to the facial brush concept. Even though the Philips has an extra function it still stays pleasantly quiet – at any rate a lot quieter than the Braun Face 820 facial brush.
The Philips VisaPura has a so-called “skin zone timer”. The whole treatment time of 60 seconds is split in three intervals with each 20 seconds for each facial part. This function is really useful. You might know it from electronic toothbrushes. Though, it can happen that 60 seconds are not enough to clean the face properly. I often expand the suggested time limit a bit.
The Philips PureRadiance is the only brush in our test with a rechargeable battery. You don’t need to change batteries anymore. One battery charge lasts about 30 treatments – so if you use it on a daily basis that would make one month.
There’s one hitch, you need to plug in the brush upside down. That way the brush head won’t dry over night, because it is in its charging station. The best solution to this problem is to take off the brush head and dry it separately while charging.
The manufacturing of the charging station can’t be compared to its classy brush. Its design is really simple and the construct is a bit shaky. I think the manufacturer tried to save at the wrong end. In any case did the charging station not match my expectations for such an expensive face care product.
The Philips PureRadiance has many different facial brush heads, so you need not worry about not having alternatives. The manufacturer provides many different heads, which can be purchased separately.
The manufacturer provides the product with a brush for normal skin by default. If you reorder your brush heads you can either choose harder bristles + peels or softer bristles + sensitive skin. We did not try the deep pore cleansing brush in our test – this brush is said to combine bristles of different hardness degrees in one.
There are a lot of different brushes to choose from for the Philips PureRadiance. The device itself can be bought for about and is the most expensive facial brush in our test.
Conclusion to the Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleanser Brush:
- The Philips PureRadiance is a costly care product, which can convince in technical details and manufacturing as well as the design.
- Compared to the other two models in our facial brush test, the Philips especially convinces with its sound wave technology and a large variety in brushes. So any skin type can get a good result with this device.
- In my opinion the only potential improvement for this product is how to dry your brush head as well as the manufacturing of the charging station. But these are only side issues – the Philips PureRadiance has convinced with all essential points for a good facial cleansing brush.
- Every person needs to decide for themselves if the high price for every extra function and brush is justified.
Which Facial Cleansing Brush is the best in our review?
3rd place: Braun Face 820
Braun’s facial brush has convinced us with the cleansing and massaging function, but could not win us over with its epilator. It could not meet our expectations. Braun’s Face 820 main use is a facial cleansing brush, but the price is much too high. Olay’ Regenerist costs about half of Braun’s Face 820 and works just as fine.
In our eyes this combined concept has potential though. If the manufacturer changes and improves the epilating head, we will definitely try and evaluate the next model update for the facial cleansing brush by Braun.
2nd place: Olay ProX Advanced
Olay’ Regenerist mainly sticks out because of its outstanding price-performance ratio.
This brush is our first choice for price-conscious buyers, who don’t need any extra functions and brushes.
The range of functions is not fully comparable with the more expensive models, but in the face of the low price it should be more than acceptable.
1st place: Philips PureRadiance
This premium brush by Philips has convinced with its concept and manufacturing. This device is the first choice for those, who like to invest more money and want to profit in a long-term. Like every product with higher price and good quality, you can compensate the price with a long product life.
Nevertheless, I would like to emphasise that you also could be happy with the Olay ProX for a fraction amount of the Philips price.
My conclusion: Does the purchase of an electronic facial cleansing brush pay off?
- We have tested three different facial brush models in our article, which were considerably different in their functions and prices.
- Our unanimously conclusion is: Electronic facial cleansing brushes are a comfortable and effective alternative to peels and manual facial cleansers.
- But they are not mandatory – after all you can also have enough fun with the manual facial cleanser brush by Shiseido, which has been around for ages: *CLICK*
- But what is really needed? For example we don’t need a tablet or a flat screen TV. But those are things which make our live easier and things which are fun to use every day.
- Maybe you will soon make your daily skin care routine more comfortable and effective with an electronic facial brush. Please leave your thoughts as a comment for this article – that would be great!
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