Cleansing is something we do every day - but sometimes, it's not enough to just use our fingertips.
According to skin experts, facial cleansing brushes, sponges and tools are great at thoroughly removing every last scrap of make-up, pore-clogging sunscreen and everyday grime you may have missed with your hands, and they are especially useful for city dwellers.
Whether you walk to work or exercise outside, micro-particles found in the air in polluted environments are small enough to penetrate the skin and this can lead to all manner of complexion concerns, such as pigmentation and breakouts.
So, step up your cleansing game with one of these babies, because who doesn't want a natural, Insta-worthy glow?
This dual-ended powerhouse makes the chore of double cleansing feel more like a luxury facial. The first step is quite cool: Simply smooth on a cleansing oil and glide the satisfyingly warm plate over your skin to melt away make-up. Then, squeeze a little foaming cleanser and a capful of water into the compartment above the handle. Once switched on, the bristles create a lather that removes the dirt you missed during the initial cleanse. There's also a silicone brush head with smaller bristles to target your nose. Buh-bye, blackheads.
Oh Foreo Luna, how we love thee. Unlike cleansing brushes, this egg-shaped contraption harnesses teeny tiny and ultra-gentle silicone bristles which oscillate back and forth to target every single nook and cranny of your face. The result? Skin that is much clearer, brighter and smoother. If you're prone to the odd breakout or suffer with congested skin all year round, invest and team with an AHA/BHA cleansing formula.
Clarisonic's Smart Profile takes the humble cleanse to clever new heights - really clever. Thanks to the hidden microchip technology, it has the ability to adjust to the frequency required for each brush head - including the new Revitalising Cleanse, a super-soft brush which can purge pores of dirt, oil and make-up 6 times better than fingertips alone - and the new Firming Massage. A bit like a workout for your face, this head firms and tones for a plump, pillowy look and feel. Alternate between them for skin even a supermodel would be jealous of.
Made from an Asian plant, the springy konjac sponge has been a staple tool in the cleansing rituals of beauty journos for years, but this goes one step further. It's infused with bamboo charcoal, which has the knack of making skin feel matte, fresh and just generally cleaner for longer. Paired with a dollop of your favourite cleanser, it'll make 11AM oil slicks a thing of the past. P.S. You can re-use it over and over.
You can expect real, visible pore-shrinking and radiance-enhancing results from this kitsch-looking device by the skin experts at Darphin, which rarely ever needs charging. The cleansing brush head is pretty unique thanks to the combination of synthetic bristles which sweep away grime and the six silicon nubs that mimic the microcirculation boosting technique of the brand's iconic Deep Massage. It's a totally worthy splurge if you like your skin to feel pampered as well as sparklingly clean.
The fancy skincare products currently lining your bathroom shelf? They're less likely to penetrate your skin if it isn't cleansed properly, making those amazing promised results elusive. Enter Nurse Jamie's savvy silicone Loofah. It may look a little bit like perler bead art (Google it for a dose of 90s nostalgia) but the clever ridges work a treat to slough away make-up and dead skin cells for brighter skin that absorbs ingredients better. Simply apply cleanser to damp skin like usual and gently massage it over the face.
Believe us when we say that this is a fast-track to immaculate skin. In twenty seconds to a minute, sonic oscillations and pulsed vibrations ensure no pore is left unturned so you can say a big fat see ya to the grime, oil and dead skin cells that often lead to spots. Oh, and another thing: It's 100% waterproof, which means you can take it into the shower with you - YAS.
This is a fast, convenient and all-round much kinder-to-skin alternative to using scrubs. Whether you prefer a foaming, cream or gel cleanser, all you need to do is soak it through and squeeze, apply a little product to the flat end and work it over the skin. The sponge feels soft but exfoliates away the dead skin cells you can't see, creating a f-l-a-w-l-e-s-s canvas for make-up. Sam and Nic, we salute you.
If you're going to put your trust in any cleansing tool, make it one that has been developed by dermatologists! With a tilted head that makes its way into the hard-to-reach areas, Clinique's cleansing brush is especially brilliant for those with bumpy, rough skin texture and blackheads. After one use, our skin looked and felt a hell of a lot more refined and foundation virtually floated on.
Zensation's sell-out Skin Purifying Revitalizing Device harnesses vibrations and heat of up to 108°F to cleanse, tone, soothe and repair lacklustre skin, but it never feels weird or uncomfortable. Unlike some sonic cleansers out there, the nubs on the silicone head (just one of four interchangeable add-ons) are really short which means it's kind on the skin while unclogging pores. It'll leave your face super-soft, not pink.
Cult for a reason, Clarisonic's water-resistant brush cleanser uses a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second (impressive, right?) to turf the gunk out of pores, leaving skin crystal clear, insanely smooth to the touch and more receptive to skincare products so that they have a better chance at working their magic. Super sleek, the gadget sits really neatly in your hand and gives good grip - even when wet or covered in cream cleanser!
If you find brushes a bit of a faff and your muslin cloths go rock hard after one use (er, ew), this is the next best thing to cleanse your skin with. The sponge is made from natural plant fibres, but don't underestimate its ability to eradicate even the most stubborn sunscreen and make-up or to banish uneven skin texture - it does both immensely well, and we can vouch for that! The addition of calming chamomile makes it great for those prone to redness and sensitivity after cleansing.
This manual brush might not look like much but the finely tapered, plush bristles are absolutely brilliant for gently cleansing and exfoliating the skin, especially around the nose and chin where pores tend to get most clogged - and you have ultimate control when using it. Wet the brush head, pour a little cleanser on top and massage it over the your face using circular motions.