• Clarisonic Mia Smart

  • Etereauty Facial Brush

  • How We Tested

  • Other Facial Cleansing Brushes We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Face Cleansing Brushes of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    Clarisonic Mia Smart

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Etereauty Facial Brush

    Skip to the full review below
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best Overall
Clarisonic Mia Smart

Our main takeaway: A tried-and-true classic that’s in a league of its own.

Includes: One brush head and one charging station. The Mia Smart is compatible with all Clarisonic brush heads, including the cleansing, anti-aging, exfoliation, and makeup ones.

Settings: Three—Daily Cleanse Mode and Gentle Cleanse Mode, as well as a Smart Mode, which allows you to select whether you’re cleansing, firming, massaging, or applying makeup in-app. LED lights on the brush handle indicate which mode you’re using.

The details: There’s a reason why Clarisonic is a top-of-mind brand for facial cleansing tools. It is the priciest device we tested, but in this case, you absolutely get what you pay for: Nothing else even comes close to the Mia Smart. It’s a souped-up version of the Mia 2, our previous winner that is now discontinued, meaning it has the same great cleansing abilities as Mia 2, but way more features.

Its technology is different—and better—than the competition. The Mia Smart's face brush doesn’t rotate a full 360 degrees on a loop, but rather gently oscillates in a way that feels almost like a vibration. It’s gentle but still leaves the skin feeling thoroughly clean without stripping or irritating the skin. Bristles are soft on the included Daily Radiance brush head, yet the one-minute cycle left my face cleansed and smooth.

If you’re not switching modes, the Bluetooth technology isn’t very useful, but if you have any of the other brush heads, it’s easy to connect your device to your phone and select how you’d like to use the brush. For example, you can select the exfoliating brush head in the app and choose an exfoliation routine that works for your skin (spending more or less time in certain areas of the face). The app is a bit confusing, as there are so many options, but if you take away the “smart” aspect of this brush, it’s easy and, dare I say, fun.

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
Best Value
Etereauty Facial Brush

Our main takeaway: A great budget pick with super-soft bristles and lots of brush head options.

Included brush heads: Five—Two brushes for washing your face, a sponge for makeup removal, a pumice stone for removing calluses, and a large brush for body cleansing.

Cost of one-year ownership: $70

Settings: Two—High-speed for deep cleaning and low-speed for gentle cleansing.

The details: This reasonably priced device is a great economical pick. Its sleek, ergonomic design is the best of the lot, beating even the Mia Smart. The device comes with five brush heads for everything from body cleansing to buffing rough heels, which makes it the most diverse, too. It's the only device to come with a stand to keep the brush head off dirty bathroom counters.

Despite being a fraction of the price of the Mia Smart, it couldn't clinch the top spot for a few reasons. Its technology is very barebones. There is only one-speed setting to get the brush head-spinning 360 degrees, and there are no timer or alerts: You just cleanse until you feel done.

Also, the brush heads aren't the best quality. Even the softest head was a little scratchy on my face, and it showed significant wear after just one use, but my face still felt gently cleansed without being stripped. The buttons are also tough to find and press beneath a rubber screen, but it is a great pick if you want a budget-friendly device with a little more versatility.

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How We Tested

Best facial cleansing device
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Tests

There are tons of face cleansing devices out there, each one with more bells and whistles than the last and with price points all over the map. How can you know which one is worth it? We scoured reviews to find the most-loved devices on the market, and tested each one over a few weeks.

How? The same way you might: I took each brush home and used it to buff my face clean, morning and night with the included cleanser. Unlike the way you may test, though, we re-tested top performers for further evaluation. At the end of each test, we scored the results on a scientifically calibrated rubric to find which cleansing device really is best. I answered and weighted questions like:

Usability: Is it easy to charge the device, and if it needs batteries, are they included? Are the controls easy to press and understand? How noisy is the device? Does it have any special features, like a timer, sanitization, or extra cleansing settings? Does it have numerous brush heads for different types of cleaning or skin types? If it comes with a cleanser, how do you like it?

Best facial cleansing device
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Subjective: How does your face feel after using this device? Is it noticeably smoother and cleaner, or does it feel dried out and irritated?

Storage: Is it easy to clean the device to prevent bacteria from spreading between uses? Does it come with a case to sanitarily store brush heads? Does the device come with a mount or holder to keep it off germy counters or shower shelves?

Waterproofing: Does the device run without issue in the shower? Can it be submerged in a bucket of water for 30 seconds, so you can wash it repeatedly without worry?

Cost: We also measured each device’s true cost for a year of ownership. While the handle should last a while, brush heads across the board are recommended for replacement every three months. We calculated the expense of four normal replacement heads, and added that to the initial investment of the device itself. While these estimates didn't impact scores, they’re important to consider before buying.

Other Facial Cleansing Brushes We Tested

Foreo Luna mini 2

Our main takeaway: Great technology that gets overshadowed by its inefficiency in cleaning.

Included brush heads: The device has two sides, one with thin bristles to gently clean sensitive skin, and the other with thicker bristles for more intense cleansing.

Cost of one-year ownership: Just the initial $139, no refills needed.

Settings: Eight levels of vibration intensity.

The details: The technology of this device is near-flawless, so it’s unfortunate that this vibrating, silicone brush is one of the least effective cleansers we tested.

Here’s the good: The device is easily charged, transported, and stands up on end for convenient, sanitary storage. Its silicone bristles are much more hygienic and economical: You never have to replace brush heads. It has a timer and LED lights to alert you when your cleansing cycle is complete, auto shut-off after three minutes, and a memory function that remembers your preferences.

Unfortunately, none of that matters if the device doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. It vibrates instead of oscillates, so your face won’t feel clean or exfoliated after use—just stimulated, if anything. Like we’ve found with other FOREO devices, the face of the device is too big, so tight corners and narrow patches of your face get neglected.

It’s also uncomfortable to hold. Since there’s no handle, your hand gets full of soap and water, and the vibrations are irritating. If the technology of the LUNA were packaged in another device, it would be a slam dunk. Until then, skip it.

Vanity Planet Spin for Perfect Skin

Our main takeaway: A forgettable, middle-of-the-road device that’s neither great nor terrible.

Included brush heads: Four—A daily cleansing brush, an exfoliating brush, a large body brush, and a pumice stone.

Cost of one-year ownership: $70

Settings: Just one—on and off.

The details: This device is a pass for us—you're better off with the better performing (and less expensive) Etereauty. This device has just one setting and the brush head twirls skin a little during cleansing. Even the bristles on its softest head are too abrasive, and the motor seems to struggle a bit when you press it to your skin. It didn’t leave my skin feeling as soft or clean as the Etereauty or the Mia Smart, and it lacks a timer or any alerts.

While this is definitely not the worst device we tested and can generally get the job done, it also didn't stand out in any capacity.

Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing System with Facial Brush

Our main takeaway: A glitchy, weak device with a very harsh brush head.

Included brush heads: One cleansing brush head.

Cost of one-year ownership: $43

Settings: Two—High-speed for daily deep cleaning and low-speed for gentle exfoliation, and an included exfoliating cleanser.

The details: Leave this Olay device at the drugstore. It took a lot of trial and error to even turn on the device, and when I pressed the brush to my face, the motor struggled immensely and slowed down. The brush head is rough and feels too abrasive, even on the lowest speed setting.

Its poor design twirled my skin and spun my nose uncomfortably, and the included cleanser left my skin feeling tight, irritated, and visibly red. Lastly, it lacks a timer for efficient cleaning. There are really no redeeming qualities, here.

Meet the tester

Jessica Teich

Jessica Teich

Former Editor


Jessica covered lifestyle and beyond at Reviewed. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times and The Boston Globe.

See all of Jessica Teich's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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