Facial cleansing with a sonic brush-A review of the literature and current recommendations

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Jun;18(3):686-691. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12906. Epub 2019 Apr 15.


Introduction: Skin cleansing is important for removal of dirt, debris, and sebum and plays an important role in reduction of pollution-induced skin aging. Cleansing is an established part of treatment recommendations and procedures in dermatology. Different methods for facial skin cleansing are established but recommendations on use of special devices are not fully integrated into clinical practice.

Aim: We review the current literature on sonic cleansing to demonstrate that a gentle and effective cleansing routine using a sonic brush followed by appropriate additional methods for rehydration and skin protection may improve both inflammatory conditions including acne vulgaris and skin damage associated with overexposure to exogenous light and pollution.

Methods: A working group of experienced clinicians managing facial inflammatory skin conditions convened for a meeting. The panel reviewed the literature surrounding sonic brush cleansing and discussed clinical questions aiming to optimize facial cleansing outcomes.

Results: The panel agreed there are increasing concerns over the rise of atmospheric pollution globally and its impact on health and skin aging and that cleansing in combination with nonspecific skin care is able to support physiological microenvironmental skin conditions including pH levels on the skin surface, barrier function, and hydration.

Conclusion: Cleansing poses a challenge in balancing debris removal while avoiding excess sebum removal, thereby maintaining an intact stratum corneum barrier. The sonic brush may offer a safe and effective treatment for various conditions.

Keywords: facial cleansing; mechanobiology; oscillatory sonic brush.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy*
  • Face
  • Humans
  • Skin Aging
  • Skin Care / instrumentation*
  • Skin Care / methods
  • Ultrasonic Waves*