Friday, May 23, 2014

Spinning Brushes to Clean Your Face, a review of these home devices

Home microdermabrasion, spinning brushes (Clarisonic, etc.) are very popular right now.  Even the ProActiv info-mertial acne treatment system, added a spinning brush to their line.  So what is the deal with these brushes? Do they work?  There are a handful of mostly biased studies on home microdermabrasion devices, published by the manufacturers of these devices that show exfoliation and mild improvement in texture and tone of the skin, but not the more significant improvement seen by stronger in-office procedures like Clear and Brilliant, Chemical peels, Fraxel Restore.  Gentle exfoliation is helpful to improve acne, melasma, brown spots, and even fine lines/wrinkles.

Some patients of mine have reported that their acne or skin got worse after using the brush.  A possible reason for this, is that they are supposed to exfoliate and are often paired with exfoliating cleansers, so it is possible that acne that was deeper down in the dermis may begin to surface in the first few weeks of treatment.  I would recommend not judging the brush until you have done a trial of it for at least six weeks.   In addition, I have heard concerns from other dermatologists that the brush is grinding dirt and bacteria deeper into the skin and this may trigger more inflammation and acne.  There is just not enough data to support or dispel that notion.  So, until there is, I suggest pre-cleansing prior to using your brush with an exfoliator.  For example, washing with a gentle liquid cleanser like Cetaphil or CeraVe before starting the microdermabrasion routine.
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