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I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of insane how advanced and futuristic skin care technology is these days. There’s quite literally an at-home version of any salon treatment that you can think of - hair removal, evening out skin tone, getting rid of acne… Anything.
But if you’re anything like me, what I love the most about profesh treatments is how deeply cleansed my skin and how clear my pores are after a really good facial. Frankly, there’s nothing that looks and feels as satisfying as a deep pore cleanse - all the gunk is cleared out of them and your skin looks amazing. Am I right or am I right? Your pores are tiny, your skin is glowing… It’s the best feeling in the world.
BUT, because the future is now, I can have that incredibly satisfying deep pore cleanse right at home.
How, you ask? With any of the ultrasonic, deep cleansing face brushes at my (and your!) disposal - all of these nifty high tech gadgets guarantee a deep clean which can rival any spa level pore cleanse. There’s literally a deep cleansing facial brush for every skin type!
Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing Brush
Foreo Luna Face Exfoliator Brush
Foreo Luna 2 Personalized Cleansing Brush
Foreo Luna Mini 2
Michael Todd Soniclear Elite
Michael Todd Soniclear Petite
What Do I Need to Deep Clean My Pores?
There are the OG Clarisonic deep pore cleansing brushes which I've talked about previously - they have a huge variety of brushes and brush heads to choose from for every skin type. If you want to check out which of their targeted pore brushes that I think is the best, have a little look at my previous posts.
A notable contender to Clarisonic is Foreo, a Swedish company with a pretty freaking impressive stable of ultrasonic cleansing tools (they even have a toothbrush!). All their brushes are made of high-grade silicone, so there's no need to change brush heads. Their brushes are also easy to sterilize between uses, so unlike the Clarisonic brush heads, you can share a single device between multiple people.
Michael Todd has ultrasonic cleansing brushes that definitely look very similar to a Clarisonic deep pore brush, but they claim to have the only patented anti-microbial pore brush system out there. I personally remain slightly skeptical of this claim - however, they’ve packed in heaps of other features like multiple cleansing speeds and a massage pulse speed. Like the Clarisonic system, this pore cleanser brush also has a plethora of different brush heads to choose from, making it perfectly customizable to every single skin type. Sounds good, right?
Using a cleansing brush as a deep pore cleanser is really only half of the equation - I’ve got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to help you get your best deep pore cleanse ever right at home. It’s basically the ultimate at-home deep pore cleansing treatment - I’ll go into how to clean out pores with a method that’s perfect for every skin type!
What I love about these methods is that you can do a few of them together - such as steam your face, then use mask afterwards, or incorporate each one individually in your skincare routine. Whichever way you choose, you can be sure that you’re giving your pores a really deep clean.
How To Deep Clean Pores: My Top 3 Tips
Tip 1: Steam Your Face Beforehand (For Dry/Normal/Oily Skin)
Ideally, you'll want to do this to a freshly cleaned, makeup-free face. Steaming is a great way to help loosen any clogs hiding deep inside pores. You could use a face steamer like this one, but if you don’t have one of those handy, a bowl and a towel will do - all you need to do is boil a jug of water, pour that into a bowl, and lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head to ensure that the steam is directed at your face.
You should be close enough to feel the steam, but far enough for it not to be burning your skin. You should do this for 10 minutes, max - while steam is amazing for helping to deep clean pores, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
At this point, you can go over your face again with your deep pore cleansing brush of choice and a gentle cleanser and go on with your routine as usual, or you can apply a treatment such as a sheet mask or wash off mask.
Tip 2: Use A Pore-tightening Mask (For Normal/Oily Skin)
Like steaming, you should only be using any mask or treatment on a perfectly clean and dirt-free face. You can do this after steaming for extra pore-cleansing power, otherwise prepping your skin by using a deep cleansing brush beforehand is fine.
The masks that I prefer for this method are clay masks, which naturally suck up any impurities that are hanging around in your pores. Use your mask for the recommended time, then go in with your fave deep pore brush to remove it - it will be so much gentler and less messy than using your hands, with better and brighter results. Any wash-off mask will do fine - just be sure to use one that DOESN’T have any scrubby particles in it, as these can not only rough up your skin but your deep cleaning brush too. The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay mask is perfect for this - it sucks gunk out of your pores like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s worth noting that sensitive skin types may not do so well with a clay mask right after deep pore cleansing - if you lean on the sensitive side, opt for a nourishing sheet mask which can also help minimize the appearance of pores by plumping and hydrating skin.
Tip 3: Double Cleanse with a Gentle Oil Cleanser (For Dry/Sensitive/Oily Skin)
Okay, this method is going to sound a little crazy, especially if you’ve never heard of an oil cleanser before. I know - applying oils to your face sounds directly counter-intuitive to cleansing the skin - won’t they clog up my poor pores?
Well first off, we’re not going to be using any regular old cooking oil. Like, ew. Oil cleansers are perfectly formulated to remove makeup and dissolve excess oils because of the scientific principle of like dissolves like. In this case, oil dissolves oil. They’re incredibly effective at deep cleaning pores because they can get right in there and dissolve any clogs, and are designed to cleanly emulsify and rinse away without leaving any pore-blocking residue. I personally love this one from Hada Labo, an amazing Japanese brand - it’s formulated to be used with all skin types and is fragrance-free.
An oil cleanser, in my opinion, is the best deep pore cleanser out there for sensitive skin, but works well for all skin types, too. When paired with the perfect pore cleanser brush, they can yield some pretty freaking amazing, baby butt smooth results.
Now that we know all the best tips and tricks for perfectly cleansed-and-clear pores, let’s stack up a few of the best-selling deep pore cleansing brushes on the market against each other - each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s great that there are sooooo many options available for every single skin type. Your pores will thank you!
Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Comparison:
1. Clarisonic Mia 2 Cleansing Brush
This is without a doubt my favorite sonic cleansing brush, but I think she’s got some stiff competition!
There’s no denying that the Clarisonic Mia 2 is insanely effective yet incredibly gentle at deep cleansing pores, but she’s not the only one. What I think really sets this brush apart is the huge array of brush cleansing heads that you have to choose from for the best clean for your skin - the kind of clean that your pores will thank you for. I don’t think this is a brush that anyone will be disappointed with!
The Foreo Luna is Foreo’s first offering of an ultrasonic cleansing brush - it’s portability and form factor are quite different in a super cool, space-age kind of way. Each brush is color-coded for a specific skin type, and you’ll see that the bristles are differently designed for each skin type to help achieve your best clean ever! It has 8 different ultrasonic speeds to intensively and super effectively clean delicate pores.
What sets the Luna (and all of Foreo’s facial brush offerings) apart is that the bristles are built into the brush, meaning that you don’t have the same flexibility to switch between different pore cleansing brush heads for your skin, like with a Clarisonic deep pore brush.
The built-in bristles totally save you money and reduce waste in the long run because you don't have to keep buying new brush heads and throwing away the old ones. The silicone bristles are a total breeze to clean and you can actually use one Foreo Luna for multiple people - perfect for couples whose bathroom counter space is at a premium.
3. Foreo Luna 2 Personalized Facial Cleansing Brush
The next step up from the original Luna, the Luna 2 has some pretty neat upgrades - it’s got something like 40% more actual bristles on the cleansing side which speeds up the entire process.
Idk about you, but I’m all for fast-forwarding - it means I can get out the door quicker, and also get to bed quicker (After properly removing my makeup, of course - not removing your makeup before bed is a cardinal sin of beauty. Don’t do it!). There’s also more massaging anti-aging ridges on the back side of it to get even more oomph out of your serums. Cleansing AND anti-aging? Count me in!
It gets even better - the Luna 2 now has a whopping TWELVE speeds to choose from for a perfect deep cleanse - you’re spoiled for choice! There’s no way the Luna 2 won’t leave your skin gorgeously radiant and blemish free.
4. Foreo Luna Mini 2
I am ALL about great things coming in small packages. The Foreo Luna Mini 2 packs a punch for such a small device. About two-thirds of the size of the full-size Foreo Luna, the Mini 2 still manages to have almost the same amount of bristles, PLUS extra bristles on the back of the device for an intensive deep clean without compromise.
The only drawback is that it's one size fits all regarding skin types - unlike it's larger sisters, the Mini 2 only comes in one bristle configuration. It's perfectly fine if you're on the normal to the oily side of the skin spectrum, but if you're drier or a bit sensitive, you'll prefer the finer bristles on a Luna or Luna 2.
5. Michael Todd Soniclear Elite
The Soniclear Elite without a doubt the largest pore brush in this lineup. It's large and in charge, and is equipped with 6 speeds to totally customize your cleansing experience. The main advantage that these brushes have over their competition is their patented anti-microbial brushes.
Like I said before, I'm personally skeptical of this claim, but at the same time, I understand how important it is that any tool or pores brush on your face needs to be as clean as possible to avoid causing breakouts and clogged pores.
The brush bodies also come in heaps of different colors and prints, which I think is super fun and a great way to brighten up your skincare routine.
6. Michael Todd Soniclear Petite
The Elite brush’s baby sister, the Soniclear Petite has almost everything the Elite does but repackaged into a smaller brush. The smaller brush only has 3 cleansing speeds and no massage functions, but that’s perfect for the gal who needs a basic yet super effective deep cleansing brush at a wallet-friendly price point. It also comes in heaps of super fun prints and patterns to brighten up your bathroom counter!
To my eye, the Soniclear Petite resembles the Clarisonic deep pore cleanser brush quite a lot, but I guess there are only so many ways that you can design a facial cleansing brush without it getting repetitive.
What’s the Bottom Line?
All of these devices are freaking amazing, salon-quality deep pore cleansers that are gonna give you the gorgeous skin of your dreams, especially when combined with my tips and tricks for getting every little clog and speck of dirt out of your pores.
If I didn’t already have a Clarisonic Mia 2, I think I’d be picking up the Foreo Luna Mini 2 - I think it comes with so many amazing features crammed in a small package. I also really love that once you’ve bought it, you don’t need to keep buying new brush heads - saves you money AND the environment. Win-win!
If you’re looking for the most budget-conscious option, the Soniclear Petite is a great choice - if you don’t mind having to keep purchasing new brush heads over the course of its life.
To be fair, none of these will disappoint anyone looking for a super effective and incredibly satisfying deep pore cleanse. Do let me know if you grab one and try my pore-cleansing tips - your pores will thank you.
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!