Skin Care

Facial Cleansing Brushes: Are they worth it?

A newer trend in facial cleansing is battery operated facial cleansing brushes. Now, the brushes have been on the market for a few years but have seen a recent surge in popularity. They feature vibrating heads that are supposed to clean and exfoliate skin better than a wash cloth or by hand. One major question to ask is are they worth it?

Having not used one myself, I searched for accounts of others who have added them to their skin care regimen. The initial reports are very favorable. Users were boasting clearer, healthier looking skin due to the brushes exfoliating properties, quickly removing the makeup and daily buildup.

After daily use over an extended period of time users experienced irritated, red skin and multiple breakouts. Could the facial cleansing brush be causing these issues? After consulting dermatologists users realized it was indeed the brushes. Overuse and poor maintenance can lead to excessive dryness, irritation, redness and sensitivity. However, does this make the facial brushes unusable?

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The answer is no. While breakouts can be caused by overuse and not properly cleaning the brush, there are many benefits. A study done by Lancôme revealed women who used a facial cleansing brush on half their face felt the side they used the brush on was more toned, pores appeared smaller, and skin looked brighter. So far so good for the brush.

In the study women also used a serum after cleansing and were seeing results in two weeks that were normally seen in four. This is attributed to the exfoliating properties of the brush, which effectively removed impurities, dirt and makeup to let the serum better penetrate the skin. The brushes also increase blood circulation. These results were echoed in a study done by Olay.

After reviewing the studies and user accounts there is a definite upside to facial cleansing brushes. However, they are expensive to buy and maintain. Considering the growing number of them on the market this trend is here to stay. There is no use in buying expensive serums and moisturizers if they don’t get where they need to go, your skin. This is accomplished by use of the brush or microdermabrasion, it’s up to you.

If you decide to use the facial cleansing brush, proper maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Most of the issues experienced with them initially was the lack of cleaning the brush. Recommended cleaning techniques include anti-microbial soap and water, soak the head in alcohol for about one minute, and make sure to thoroughly rinse after use. If you have sensitive skin begin by using the brush every other day for about a minute, 20 seconds on each side so you don’t overdo it.

The next question is do you need an expensive brush or will a more modest model work? Research states the less expensive brushes cleanse just as well as the more expensive ones. The advantages to a more expensive brush are higher quality bristles so you don’t have to replace the heads as often, a charger instead of batteries and a timer so you don’t cleanse too long.

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Back to Basics, Skin Care

Back to Basics: The low down on exfoliating

Basic skin care wouldn’t be complete without an introduction to exfoliating. I must confess that exfoliator’s are my favorite skin care product. Exfoliating could be the extra boost you are looking for to complement your daily routine. The best part is: it benefits all skin types!

First, what is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the use of either manual, scrub, or chemical, Alpha Hydroxy Acid, means to remove the top layer of dead skin cells . This prompts the live cells deep in the skin to generate new cells, refreshing the outermost layer. Your skin can fully regenerate in 2-3 weeks.

So, now you may ask why you need to exfoliate if your skin automatically regenerates itself. Exfoliating immediately energizes your skin revealing a more radiant look. It feeds and nourishes from below through increased micro-circulation, circulation of blood in the smallest vessels, bringing oxygen to the top layer to stimulate circulation and regeneration.

If your skin is prone to breakouts exfoliating could be very helpful in clearing it up. Acne prone skin sheds more cells than other types and the dead cells don’t fall away. The cells stick to pores, causing excess oil to build up, ultimately clogging them and creating a breakout. Exfoliating removes the cells causing the blockage and when done regularly, it reduces the likelihood of future breakouts.

Moisturizers, creams and other products are better absorbed by the skin after exfoliating as the layers of dead skin cells no longer block them. This makes the products you use more effective, which is great news for your skin and wallet. Exfoliating regularly helps your skin to be properly moisturized, makeup go on smoother,  and more evenly.

When looking for an exfoliator steer clear of ones the use shells and other jagged, uneven materials. You are looking for smooth, uniform exfoliators so they evenly exfoliate your skin. You should also only exfoliate 2-3 times a week and never on back-to-back days as doing so more often can cause skin irritation. Test the exfoliator on the underside of your arm before use on your face to test for possible reactions.

If this is helpful follow me on twitter @mollybeaupre to learn when new posts are made. If you have questions or helpful suggestions leave a comment below!