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Okay, you’ve finally done it - a shiny new Clarisonic cleansing face brush is now finally in your possession. You begged, borrowed, and maybe even stole to get it in your perfectly manicured hands, but...
Well, now you need to decide what kind of brush head you’re gonna use for it. It’s only the reason why you bought the thing, after all.
Softest Touch: Cashmere Luxe Brush Head
The All Rounder: Sensitive Brush Head
The Zit Zapper: Acne Brush Head
Everyday Gentle Cleanse: Delicate Brush Head
Best Makeup Remover: Radiance Brush Head
For An At-Home Facial: Deep Cleanse Brush Head
Help! How do I choose a Perfect Brush Head?
Knowing which brush head to use is a MAJOR KEY to getting the best skin of your life. No exaggeration. There are a few more brush heads available than the ones I’m going to talk about today, but I just want to focus on the ones that fit all the Clarisonic models - a few are exclusively designed for the Smart Profile models, but those Clarisonics cost big bucks. Plus, if you read my last blog post, all of these brush heads I’m going through will fit the brush model that I suggested. If you know, you know. Wink wink.
There is a brush head out there for everyone - I promise. Obviously, which brush head you choose depends on your skin. For example, if your skin is sensitive with not a lot of breakouts going on, you definitely don't need to go all in with a brush head targeted for acne. On the other hand, if you wear makeup every day, you're gonna want something that balances gentle removal while still deeply cleansing every tiny trace of makeup out of those pores.
To help figure out which brush head is perfect for you, first take a step back and look in the mirror and take a good look at your skin. We’re going to figure out what skin type you have in order to tailor your Clarisonic experience to you. If you already know what skin type you have, great! You’re already halfway there.
So what are the skin types, anyway?
There are three general skin types - Dry, Normal, & Oily. It’s totally possible to fall in between categories as well - some people are only oily on some parts of their face and dry on other parts.
And that's not all - to really mix things up, there are also subcategories (I know, it's a lot to take in but I swear this is all gonna help you in the long run.) The three subcategories are Acne-prone, Sensitive, and Dehydrated.
Yes, dehydrated is different from dry! But we’ll go more into that shortly - if you’re looking at this post and feeling completely overwhelmed, take a deep breath and let’s figure out your skin type together.
Okay…. So how do I know what MY skin type is?
Think about how your skin feels about an hour after washing it with a gentle cleanser. If your skin starts to feel a little tight and parched for moisture, you’re probably dealing with a dry skin type. Dry skin lacks oil, while in contrast, dehydrated skin lacks water.
If you find yourself reaching for blotting sheets because you’re starting to get a shiny, you’re an oily skin type. Oily skin types also usually have more visible pores as well - but have no fear, there’s a brush head for that. For some people, your oiliness might be concentrated on your T-Zone - forehead and nose - but if you’re an unlucky one like me, it’s your whole face (thanks, genetics).
You lucky, lucky things with normal skin types won’t feel any excess dryness or oiliness cause you’ve hit the lottery. However, you’re not going to be immune to the next three skin issues that you’ll also need to take into consideration before you buy your perfect brush head.
Errr what about those other three groups you mentioned?
The three sub-groups will need a little bit more reflection about how your skin has behaved in the past - what are things that your skin has done over and over again? For example - persistent breakouts, no matter what you use, mean that you have acne-prone skin.
Acne-prone skin is characterized by annoyingly frequent bouts of congestion, which can appear in the form of blackheads and pimples anywhere on your face. Obviously, this category is a little more self-explanatory than the others, but it doesn't always occur in a bubble - you can have acne-prone skin on its own, plus one or both of the other categories.
If your skin is easily irritated and prone to redness and stinging, your skin is sensitive. It’s susceptible to reacting badly to pretty much everything and needs to be babied to keep it happy.
Sensitive skin is usually a result of using too harsh products for skin, or even just being too rough while drying your skin after cleansing. It’s definitely a trial and error thing, but so rewarding once you’ve figured it out.
Dehydrated skin tends to be super flaky, with almost an insatiable thirst - no matter how much you moisturize, you just can’t seem to get rid of the flakes. Constantly flaky skin is a sign that your skin is lacking in water (not oil) - hence, dehydration. Dehydrated skin also tends to look dull and tired, because it’s lacking in hydration to stay plump and glowy.
Looking at all of the categories, it's entirely possible to be dry and sensitive, oily and dehydrated, normal and acne prone - literally, every combination can happen under the sun. Not everyone is going to fit neatly into a little box with just one or two factors affecting their skin - everyone's skin is unique, but luckily there's a huge range of brush heads to choose from for everyone.
So... Which Brush Head Should I Use?
Okay, here we go - now you know what skin type you have and what you want out of your brush head. I’ve made suggestions for which brush head is going to be most ideal for which skin type, so keep reading if you want to have the best skin of your life. There’s a brush head for everyone out there - seriously!
The Softest Touch: Cashmere Luxe Brush Head
Dry, Sensitive, Dehydrated skin
This brush head is literally like cleansing your face with a cloud woven from baby angel hair. If you think I'm exaggerating, just wait until you use one - you'll never feel anything so soft in your life, other than maybe a baby rabbit (btw, did you know a baby rabbit is called a kit? They’re very adorable!)
It's super velvety, perfect for cleansing the most delicate and reactive skin. It's also designed not to tug and pull at your delicate skin, minimizing any risk of creating further irritation. It's perfect for dehydrated skin because of its uber gentle, non-stripping action.
However, because it’s basically a brush made out of 100% organic butterfly kisses, it’s probably not what you’re looking for if you need a brush head that’s going to do double duty as a makeup remover and cleanser.
The All Rounder: The Sensitive Brush Head
Normal, Oily Skin
Perfect for double-duty as a makeup remover and deep cleanser: most people won’t go wrong with the Sensitive brush head. This is actually the default brush head that Clarisonics are shipped with, and it’s easy to see why.
It does everything that Clarisonic brush heads are known for and it does it well. It'll remove your makeup and cleanse your skin 6 times better than your own two hands (this fact still blows my mind), leaving your skin fresh and clean for the rest of your skincare routine.
The Sensitive brush head is suitable for most skin types that don’t have any other issues to treat, such as dehydration and extreme sensitivity, the lucky ducks.
The Zit Zapper: The Acne Brush Head
Normal, Oily, Acne-Prone, Sensitive Skin
Let’s get something straight here - one of the super common misconceptions about acne is that you can literally scrub it off of your face. Wrong, wrong, WRONG. You can actually make acne a whole lot worse by being too harsh on your skin, so it’s incredibly important to use something that works alongside your skin, instead of overpowering it.
That’s where the Clarisonic Acne Brush head ticks all the boxes - it’s specifically designed to gently yet effectively target any little zit, bump, or breakout on your face without throwing your skin completely out of whack. Its mild yet efficient cleansing action removes every speck of pimple-inducing makeup on your face and gives your pores the thorough cleanse that they deserve.
It's also going to perfectly prep your skin to absorb any acne treatments that you use in your routine, basically making them hyper-effective and setting you on the road to clear skin in no time.
The Everyday Gentle Cleanse: The Delicate Brush Head
Normal, Dry, Sensitive, Dehydrated Skin
If you’ve been using the Sensitive brush head but are finding that it’s still just a little too much for your skin, this is the brush head for you. It does exactly what the Sensitive brush head does, but is designed to be used on even more delicate and reactive skin.
There’s no compromise with how clean this leaves your skin, either - this baby cleans just as deeply as the Sensitive brush head, but can do it without running the risk of extra redness and irritation. Win-win!
The Best Makeup Remover: The Radiance Brush Head
Normal, Acne-Prone, Sensitive Skin
This is the brush head that’s going to be your new best friend when you remove your makeup at the end of the day - it melts away even the most high-coverage and long-wearing makeup. Uh-huh, you read that right. Your fave Estée Lauder Doublewear foundation is no match for this little beauty!
The importance of proper makeup removal is overlooked far too often, which I think is frankly a little bit sad - just washing your face with facewash absolutely does NOT cut it! The Radiance Brush head will melt away all of your makeup in under a minute, leaving your skin fresh, clean, and absolutely glowing. What more could you ask for?
The Best For An At-Home Facial: The Deep Cleanse Brush Head
Oily, Acne Prone Skin
Okay - all the other brushes compared to this one have been small fry. This is like, the big daddy heavyweight brush while all the other brushes have been flyweights, (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) but what I’m trying to tell you is that this brush head shouldn’t be underestimated.
While it's incredibly effective at buffing away congestion and shrinking your pores, it's important not to get carried away with a brush head as powerful as this one. Ideally, it should be used in tandem with a gentler brush head - the gentler one for everyday use, and this one as a weekly treatment.
It’s perfect for giving your skin a spa-quality treatment at home - it’llreally deep clean your pores and smooth your skin, prepping it for the week ahead. My tip is to use the deep cleansing brush head, then use a deeply hydrating product like a sheet mask for some next level hydration and glow!
And the Absolute Best Brush Head Out There is....
Okay, absurd hypothetical situation time - if I were stuck on a desert island and could only choose one Clarisonic brush head to bring with my hypothetical solar panel-powered Clarisonic, which one would I choose?
*drum roll please*
... The Delicate Brush Head. I think I’d be hard pressed to find anyone disappointed with the Delicate brush head.
- It’s gentle. Like, really gentle. Unless you have an issue such as eczema, psoriasis, or rashes on your face, it’s not going to flare up any irritation.
- It deeply cleans, without compromise - while the Luxe Cashmere brush does make a compromise of effectiveness for comfort, the Delicate brush head still delivers the same deep clean as all of the other brush heads.
- It does everything - this isn’t even an exaggeration. It’ll take off your makeup in a flash and cleanse your face till it’s as fresh as the day that you were born. Even if you are treating an issue such as acne, dehydration, or sensitivity, it’s going to leave your skin in the best possible state to treat that issue - clean & happy.
Everything about the Delicate brush head is a win in my book, and I’m sure it’ll be a win in yours too.
Here’s to good skin days ahead!
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About the author Stephanie Morin
NYC-based beauty and skin care blogger, Stephanie delivers a healthy dose of practical beauty tips for some serious skin care inspiration!