9 of the best cleanser brushes for silky smooth skin

Give your pores a deep clean with these handy tools

Best cleanser brushes

by Phoebe Denman |
Updated on

Cleansing is the most important part of your skincare routine, period. Giving your face a good thorough cleanse helps to remove a multitude of sins - pollution, dead skin cells, make-up, excess sebum, all the things that can take away your complexion's glow. But even the best cleansers could use a little help sometimes when it comes to getting deep into your pores.

That’s where cleansing brushes come in.

If you’ve always felt a bit wary of adding a facial cleansing brush to your skincare routine, you’ve officially come to the right place. Facial cleansing brushes are actually very simple to get the hang of, simply grab your fave cleanser, dampen your brush, and sweep it over your face in circular motions. The benefits? Skin that’s much softer, cleaner, and prepped for the rest of your routine. And the good news is, they can get to work with pretty much any face wash. So whether you prefer a hydrating cleanser or a foaming cleanser, you can still get stuck in with a good cleansing brush.

Are cleansing brushes good for your skin?

“Not all brushes are good for the skin,” explains Skin Specialist and Expert Facialist at PMD Beauty, Makensey Sainsbury. “Some are too harsh and cause surface damage and micro-tears into the skin. Facial brushes also have a reputation for harbouring bacteria that will then be directly applied to the skin. So, it’s important to compare brushes when looking to purchase one and go for one that is anti-bacterial and not too harsh on the skin.”

Do cleansing brushes remove blackheads?

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but not all cleansing brushes will remove blackheads. “Removing blackheads is not typical of most cleansing brushes,” says Makensey. “Brushes with spinning heads or harsh bristles will just end up moving the dirt around but not actually cleaning it from within the pores.”

What is the best cleansing brush?

Blue cleansing brush facial massager on a white background with shadow.

A good cleansing brush will do several things – unclog pores, reduce blackheads, and deeply exfoliate the skin. Another thing that selective brushes can help with is firming skin. Makensey gave us a few more details. “If I am buying a cleansing brush, it’s nice to go for one that offers the added bonus of firming the skin. The PMD Clean has a gentle vibration that will make cleansing easier and more effective. There are no harsh or aggressive scrubbing movements needed and the vibration is also clinically tested to help firm and tone the skin too.”

Closer’s best cleanser brushes at a glance:

Best facial cleansing tool:PMD Clean Pro, £165 – Buy now on Look Fantastic

Best for firming: Foreo Luna 4 Smart Facial Cleansing and Firming Massage Device, £269 – Buy now on Cult Beauty

Best for deep cleansing: Brushworks Facial Cleansing Brush, £7.99 – Buy now on Superdrug

Now, let’s stop beating around the bush and get to what you really came here for. Keep reading to find the best facial cleansing brushes.

SHOP: The best facial cleansing brushes

Best facial cleansing tool

For a deep-cleaning, soothing experience, look no further than the PMD Clean Pro. The gentle bristles help to eliminate dirt, excess oil and skincare residue while providing a lifting and firming action to promote more youthful-looking skin.

Tried & Tested by Style Writer Phoebe Denman: "I was surprised at how well this removed my foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick. It felt like it was able to get a good amount of makeup off while exfoliating. It’s a great alternative to facial scrubs or harsher tools for getting some daily exfoliation in without irritating your skin."


  • Gives skin a thorough cleanse
  • Provides lifting and firming


  • Expensive

Best for firming

Silicone cleansing brushes are often more hygienic and gentle than those with nylon bristles, making them great for all skin types – and this one from Foreo is by far one of the best. Made of a soft silicone material that glides effortlessly across skin to preserve its natural elasticity, this tool features 3 different cleansing modes and 5 massage patterns.

Tried & tested by Style Writer Phoebe Denman: "After using this my skin felt noticeably cleaner than when I use my hands to rub my cleanser in. It made my skin feel so refreshed, soft and smooth, and I even felt like the rest of my skincare products absorbed into my skin a lot quicker after using this. As it’s waterproof, the brush is also so easy to clean, just rinse it off and let it air dry."


  • Gives skin a good glow
  • Made with super soft silicone bristles


  • Expensive

Best for acne-prone skin

Featuring ultra-hygienic silicone bristles that pulsate 7,000 times per minute, this waterproof brush will transform your skin. The surprise winning feature is the massage setting, which is total bliss for stressed-out skin.

Customer review: "This is incredible! I have struggled with adult acne since I was 30. Once I found this cleansing brush combined with PMD face wash, toner and moisturiser, my face has way fewer cysts and when a spot does come it now goes away much faster. I am so grateful for this tool!"


  • Made with ultra-hygienic silicone bristles
  • Comes with 4 customisable massage settings


  • Not much direction for use is given on packaging

Best for deep cleansing

Brushworks HD Facial Cleansing Brush earns top marks in our book for its dual-sided brush that combines the gentle touch of ultra-soft bristles on one side with the exfoliating power of silicone bristles on the other. If you’re looking to try a cleansing brush for the first time, this is the perfect option: its affordable price point makes it an easy investment.

Customer review: "I use this face brush every single day, it really helps to get all of the makeup and dirt out of your skin. It’s perfect for exfoliating, and I use the soft bristles of the brush for applying serums and oils to my face. You need this – it’s a life saver!"


  • Works well to give skin a deep cleanse
  • Dual-sided design


  • May need replacing more often than others

Best budget facial cleansing brush

This tool works with your favourite washes to achieve a deep clean and a brighter, refreshed complexion. It comes with a dual-sided brush to gently exfoliate, massage and cleanse skin. You might expect results this good to cost a fortune, but you can snag the brush for under £8!

Customer review: "The brush is amazing quality. The bristles are super soft and kind to the skin, and they’re also extremely dense, making it perfect for giving your skin a deep cleanse."


  • Gives skin a deep cleanse
  • Affordable


  • Doesn't come with a case

Best manual facial cleansing brush

This deep cleansing brush has bristles made from 350,000 silky-soft fibres that are so fine they can target even the most difficult to reach areas. With its super soft bristles, this brush is intended to gently fight blemishes, exfoliate dry patches, and lift stubborn impurities.

Customer review: "I use this everyday with the Tea Tree Face Wash and my pimple problems are gone. My skin is clearer and brighter, and blackheads and whiteheads are gone. It’s a magical little face cleansing brush, it removes all your imperfections very gently."


  • Works well to fight blemishes
  • Fine bristles can target hard to reach areas


  • Harder to clean

Best massage tool


The gentle vibration speeds made this one a winner for us. The silicone bristles make it hygienic and easy to clean, as well as feeling super soft on skin.

Customer review: "I have been using this for 2 weeks and my skin has been so much smoother. It’s also helped with tightness and dryness."


  • Lightweight
  • Easy for travelling


  • Cleaning makeup residue from the brush takes a bit of effort

Best for glowing skin

For less than £20, this tool gives you a spa-like experience in your very own bathroom. Gentle enough for sensitive skin, it has just the right massaging effect to create a soothing moment. Continued use will help boost radiance as well as improving smoothness and clarity.

Customer review: "Finishing Touch Flawless Cleanse is my new favourite tool. I use it nearly everyday, and my skin is visibly softer since I’ve started using it. Luckily, it’s also rechargeable and waterproof. Offering a deep cleanse and massage in one, it even saves me time on my skincare routine."


  • Gives skin a deep cleanse
  • Durable


  • Some users say they wish the massage mode was a little more powerful

Best for smoothing

Made with antibacterial bristles, this cleansing brush-cum-facial massager works to give skin a deep cleanse, leaving skin feeling brighter, tighter, and more vibrant. It also helps to lift and tone the complexion whilst wobbling impurities out of pores thanks to the 13,000 vibrations per minute it emits.

Customer review: "I love the cleansing power and exfoliation that it gives me and having that squeaky clean feel after my daily cleanse. It keeps my skin looking its best! I can put other products on after my cleanse knowing that they’re able to do their best work."


  • Comes with 2 different heads for cleansing and toning
  • Silver ions on the bristles means that bacteria can't feed and grow


  • Having to wash both brush heads after every use is more time consuming
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