The Best Brushes To Clean Your Face, According To Dermatologists

Here's what experts really think about introducing silicone face brushes and internet-famous skin scrubbers into your skin care routine.
Deeply clean your skin, remove blackheads and exfoliate with this handy <a href="" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="vibrational spatula tool" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6205964ce4b0323024684ca1" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">vibrational spatula tool</a>.
Deeply clean your skin, remove blackheads and exfoliate with this handy vibrational spatula tool.

You may have seen those oddly satisfying videos of a blade-like tool being scraped across someone’s nose or forehead, forcing an oily substance onto the blade. The videos and product descriptions suggest that this sonic “skin spatula” could be the next best thing in eliminating clogged pores.

We asked experts in skin if this is really the tool we should be using to fight pesky congestion on our faces.

Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a celebrity dermatologist with La Jolla Laser Derm, said that we should really be focusing our attention on exfoliation when it comes to reducing buildup in pores and preventing acne from forming ― and scraping is actually a form of exfoliation. But there’s a right and wrong way to exfoliate.

“Old skin cells pile up and excess oil blocks our pores, leaving skin looking dull,” Shirazi said. “Exfoliation becomes important as it removes this build-up, allowing for fresh new healthy skin cells to surface.”

She added that when we exfoliate regularly, we may expect to see a minimized appearance in pores, brighter complexions and improved effectiveness of our skin care products, since exfoliation allows them to penetrate deeper.

There are two main ways to exfoliate: physically and chemically, said board certified dermatologist Dr. Brendan Camp of New York-based MDCS Dermatology.

“Chemical exfoliation employs the action of acids on the skin that disrupt bonds between dead skin cells, which allow them to be removed more easily,” Camp said. Common chemical exfoliants include salicylic and glycolic acids.

The skin spatula tools and other skin scrubbers, which fall under the physical exfoliation category, can be convenient and effective options, especially if you wear makeup. You simply use them with your cleanser while you’re washing your face.

However, you can also overdo it.

“When misused, they can cause micro-abrasions, a disrupted skin barrier and, in rosacea-prone skin, they can cause broken capillaries,” Shirazi said.

Both Camp and Shirazi agreed that when it comes to finding the right physical facial scrubber, silicone bristled options are most likely the safest.

“Silicone bristles are non-porous and thus resistant to bacterial build-up. They are up to 35% more hygienic than nylon bristles and sonic (vibrational) technologies in many of these brushes make them more gentle than using a loofah or harsh scrub,” Shirazi said.

So about this skin spatula: The included silicone covers plus the sonic feature can make this a suitable and safe approach to clogged pores; however, the jury is still out when it comes to using the metal “blade” alone. If you want to be on the safe side when it comes to skin scrubbers, keep reading to see some of the ones our dermatologists recommended, plus the proper way to use the spatula, if you choose that option.

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An internet-famous “skin spatula” for clogged pores
This multifunctional skin tool works by using sonic technology to lift dirt and debris when the tool is gently passed along the surface of the skin. It's important, however, that your skin is wet during use, as water droplets formed on the surface of the skin by the vibration help to eliminate buildup in the pores and prevent damage. The four different settings include a positive ion mode intended for deep pore cleaning, a negative ion mode meant to optimize the performance of skin care products, a lifting setting for facial massage and a cleaning setting, which should be used with the two accompanying silicone covers.

Shirazi said that tools like this may be helpful for extraction of closed comedones (clogged pores), particularly on the lip border where you may not want to use chemical exfoliants.
A smart sonic facial brush and massager
"This cleansing brush is hypoallergenic, waterproof and offers different cleansing modes to clean and tone the skin," Camp said of the battery-powered PMD clean sonic facial brush. The sonic technology with this particular brush offers up to 7,000 vibrations per minute to more effectively lift away buildup in pores. The opposite side of the head features a ribbed surface meant to massage the skin and enhance the penetration of products.

Shirazi added that while there is flimsy evidence to support whether or not vibrations help in reducing fine lines or promoting collagen production, they can aid in improving circulation and lymphatic drainage of the face.
A compact silicone facial brush that vibrates
This compact electric skin scrubber can be a great portable option; the ergonomic design makes it easy to hold in the palm of your hand. Camp added that a benefit to this type of brush is that it can be stored in the shower, plus it's a more economical option that the silicone cleansing brush above. This also offers five adjustable vibration intensities and uses a wireless induction port to charge.
A five-pack of highly rated manual silicone brushes for sensitive skin
For a more delicate approach to silicone scrubbers, this ultra soft and flexible manual scrubber can be a good option, especially for more sensitive skin types. It's made from high quality food-grade silicone, and the dense alternating silicone nubs can be effective in lifting away dead skin and debris. One user on Amazon said, "My acne is already calming down and I've only had this thing for a few days. As a person who is on medication that causes horrible breakouts, I can tell you that this little product is a lifesaver when paired with a good facial scrub and moisturizer."

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