Tested on animals:Yes
Olay made quite a splash in their magazine ads comparing this battery-powered cleansing brush to a competing version that sells for $200. Although the ads didn’t name names, there’s no missing that they were comparing their inexpensive cleansing brush option to the Clarisonic brush, the “classic” version of these kinds of brushes that sells for, you guessed it, $200.
What really surprised us was that Olay was right, up to a point; the performance and ease of use of their 2-speed facial cleansing brush works to an extent like the Clarisonic brush—at a fraction of the cost. Regardless of the speed you choose (low or high), the Olay brush is easy to operate and maneuver around your face. Some may prefer a larger brush head, but most should find this adequate (but use caution around your eyes).
Unlike the Clarisonic and similar wannabe devices, Olay’s version has a very soft brush head that spins rather than vibrates. As a result, you get gentle yet thorough cleansing that helps ensure all of your makeup is removed. You simply need to move the brush around your face, apply light pressure, and let the powered brush go to work. Most people will find this far more gentle than the Clarisonic, and gentle is a good thing.
The problem with Olay’s brush is that it is flimsy and the brush speed is lackluster (many will find it too slow). The brush head we tested was bent and was used up in about three weeks. That means you’ll have to replace the brush head more frequently, an extra unexpected expense.
Getting all your makeup off is essential to waking up with better looking skin and avoiding breakouts, and these cleansing brushes can help, but choosing among them isn’t easy. We still believe that a soft washcloth with a gentle water-soluble cleanser is a great way to make sure you get all your makeup off at night, but these brushes also are an option, although none of them are quite up to the task when it comes to being gentle and practical.
Keep in mind that a cleansing brush works only on the surface of the skin and it doesn’t take the place of a well-formulated BHA exfoliant (salicylic acid) or an AHA exfoliant (glycolic or lactic acid), both of which work beyond the surface layers to reach sun damage and clogged pores. You’ll find such products on our Best BHA Exfoliants list.
- Inexpensive compared to the competition.
- Enhances the results from cleansing, leaving skin smooth.
- Easy to operate and store (travels well, too).
- Great for ensuring you get all of your makeup off each night.
- Can help reduce the occurrence of blackheads when used along with a well-formulated BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant.
- Can be used in the shower or at your sink.
- It’s tempting to overdo it with devices like this, and that can leave skin feeling dry and tight, even if you’re using a gentle cleanser.
- The brush head doesn’t hold up well.
- The battery-powered motor for the brush loses energy fast.
Olay sells brush head refills for their cleansing brush. You should replace the brush head when the bristles become frayed or show extensive signs of wear or discoloration, which will happen fairly often if you use this brush to remove makeup daily.