West Houston Dermatology

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At Home Sonic Brush Cleansers: What The Patient Should Know

Technology and lower price points for manufactured goods are making it easier than ever to obtain certain tools used by one’s aesthetician and/or dermatologist.  These products include ultrasonic cleansing brushes such as Clairsonic’s Mia.  Though these products are usually of benefit to patients for keeping their skin optimally healthy and aesthetically pleasing, there are things patients should consider or often forget.  The benefits of sonic brush cleansing of the face include removing more debris and makeup from the skin so that anti-aging products and moisturizers may penetrate deeper and be more effective.  However, both Dr. Mahoney and the aestheticians at West Houston Dermatology see patients make mistakes in using a sonic brush, which can cause skin problems.  Though manufacturer’s instructions may advise otherwise, it is best to use the sonic brush only two to three times per week at night.  Overuse of this product can cause skin irritation in some patients or even lead to increased breakouts.  Though the sonic brush looks like a mini Scum Buster (a popular bathroom cleaning tool), the face is not a porcelain tub.  The skin is an organ, and the skin on the face is especially delicate.  Pressing down too hard with the brush can irritate the skin.  The sonic pulses do the work with this tool, so it is only necessary to gently apply the brush to the face.  This is also true of cleansers used with a sonic brush:  one should not use a gritty cleanser with the brush, but a gel or cream cleanser.  In addition, the brush heads for sonic brushes need to be replaced about every 60 days, as well as kept dry and clean after each use.  Otherwise the brush may be infusing the skin with bacteria and mold.  Finally, one should consult his/her dermatologist before using a sonic brush if he/she has active acne.  Overall, the use of a sonic cleansing brush is of benefit to the patient’s skin if used appropriately.  Cosmetic dermatology and medical dermatology patients who have questions about at-home devices are welcome to discuss their use with any of our aestheticians or Dr. Mahoney.