Wait, Should You Be Applying Moisturizer With a Brush?

dual ended brush


Once upon a time, Kylie Jenner shared a (now-deleted) makeup tutorial, in the process revealing an unconventional way to apply moisturizer that got practically the entire Internet in a tizzy. Tweets about the fact that the reality TV star uses a brush to apply her moisturizer flooded the Internet, making made beauty lovers and beauty skeptics alike wonder: Is a brush really the most effective way to apply moisturizer? Have we been doing it wrong this whole time? While not everyone has the means to purchase Jenner's luxe Artis Oval 10 Brush, we wanted some expert advice on whether investing in a similar tool would give us Jenner-worthy skin.

Black woman with pink hair and cucumbers over her eyes
 Caroline Tompkins/Refinery29 for Getty Images

Apparently, we just weren't in on the secret. "Using a brush to apply product to the face is nothing new," reveals dermatologist Snehal Amin of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. "Clarisonic has a vibrating brush that is used to apply cleansers and moisturizers. Barbers have been using brushes to apply shaving creams for centuries. Using a proper brush to apply product to the face helps in a number of ways." Despite the apprehension we feel towards some of the Kylie Skin line, it seems Jenner's more in the know than we were giving her credit for.

Case in point: Amin doesn't just see one benefit of using a brush, he actually let us in on three: "Firstly, our hands, especially under the nails, are not clean. Secondly, the massaging action of the brush is good for the skin. Thirdly, the brush helps apply product evenly over the face." If you've ever experienced patchy, flaky dry skin even after you feel you've applied a ton of moisturizer, you know how important it can be for product to distribute evenly. Odds are, if you've ever had a facial, you've already had a brush used to apply moisturizer to your face.

Dr. Maryann Mikhail of Spring Street Dermatology also loves the germ-busting aspect of using a brush: "Fingers can retain bacteria, dirt, and oils, which you don’t want on your face—especially if you are prone to acne."

But before you rush out to the store to buy the first complexion brush you can see, Amin says there are some key factors you need to look for: "An antibacterial synthetic, nonabsorbent brush would be appropriate for applying moisturizers or cleansers. Make sure the tips of the brush hairs are nonabrasive." As is obvious, Amin also advises you to clean your brush often. For a quick and easy brush clean, we like Artis's Cleaning Pad and Foam ($18).

Although use of a brush for moisturizer isn't something we initially considered, there seem to be quite a few products that promise to help moisturizer penetrate your skin more effectively. From brushes to infusers, there's a huge market out there for things that make great moisturizer even better.

vanish foundation brush
Hourglass Vanish Foundation Brush $47.00
Dermaflash Dermapore $99.00
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream $33.00
dermalogica skin smoothing cream
Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream $69.00
Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Long Lasting Moisturizer $12.00

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