Should We All Be Using Those Spinny Facial Brush Thingies Now?

You could! But there are these things called hands that can clean your face, too.


I like to think my skincare routine is decent — I exfoliate, cleanse and moisturise often. But it still feels inferior whenever my girlfriend whips out her grandiose mechanical spinning facial brush.

These brushes promise to make cleansing and exfoliating more effective, especially for people who wear makeup on a regular basis, which should theoretically result in less acne and altogether more radiant skin. But does that mean I too should invest in one, or is my manual skincare routine adequate? The experts seem to suggest that less is usually more, in this case.

“These brushes are fine every once in a while,” says dermatologist Anthony Rossi, who goes on to explain that people tend to over-exfoliate their skin by using these brushes too often — and using them in combination with another exfoliant, too — a phenomenon that can cause redness and roughness. “Using them once a week, or once every two weeks, is okay as long as you moisturise well,” Rossi adds.

While my girlfriend says her spinning brush does a good job of removing makeup, she too is sceptical of its other skin-improving promises. “I like it because I can be sure that whatever makeup was on my face is gone after I use it,” she says. “But in the past, when I had more issues with my skin, it didn’t necessarily make any drastic improvements to my complexion.”

Similar to warnings about over-exfoliating, my girlfriend also cautions about potential sanitation problems with these brushes. “I do know that the brush heads can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so it’s important to clean and replace them,” she says. Two dermatologists interviewed by HuffPost echo this notion, adding that you should regularly clean the brush with soap and water or alcohol. One of them even says to “place it into the microwave for a few seconds” to kill any unwanted bacteria (although, soap and water seems like the safer option). Unfortunately, when you consider that humans are terrible at replacing and cleaning things in a timely manner, this build up of germs becomes a real concern, and one that can result in serious breakouts.

In conclusion, then, since I never wear makeup and rarely dunk my face into random barrels of mysterious ooze, my insecurity about my routine — and more importantly, the absence of my own imposing spinning facial brush — seems largely unwarranted. Remember, whatever the circumstances, no matter what kind of magnificent battery-powered tool your girlfriend whips out, your trusty hands can hold their own, too.