Effectively cleanses and exfoliates
Features two different speed settings
Lightweight and portable
Slightly rough exfoliation
Bulky in design
Olay Regenerist Face Cleansing Device
We put Olay’s Regenerist Face Cleansing Device to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Facial cleansing brushes are a great way to upgrade your cleansing routine, offering a level of deep cleaning and exfoliation that your hands alone could never achieve while also managing to be less harsh than a washcloth. That said, I was pretty stoked to test out the Olay Regenerist Face Cleansing Device, a wallet-friendly answer to the Clarisonic (RIP!). Already Byrdie editor-approved, I took this drugstore favorite for a spin, quite literally, over the course of a week to see if it’s truly worth the hype.
However, I have something to admit here: I’ve never used a cleansing brush before. Despite knowing how truly magical they can be, I’ve always felt content with my current in-shower regimen, one that’s simple and tech-free. Would this battery-powered device transform my skin—and therefore my cleansing routine—for good? Read on to find out.
Uses: Deep cleanse, exfoliate, improve skin texture, improve skin care absorption, reduce lines and wrinkles
Price: $25 to $34
Best features: This device features a spinning brush head with two different speed modes to customize your cleansing experience and a water-resistant brush handle that can be used in the shower.
About the brand: Falling under the Procter & Gamble umbrella of brands, Olay is a drugstore beauty favorite known for its anti-aging technology at affordable prices.
About My Skin: Normal-to-dry, and new to cleansing brushes
When it comes to cleansing, I’ve always taken a relatively simple approach. My skin ranges from normal to dry, depending on the time of the year. I swap between gel cleansers, oil cleansers, and the occasional physical exfoliant based on how my skin is feeling. I typically just use my hands to lather up, help remove any makeup, and rinse off, occasionally using for a muslin cloth or a washcloth (very gently, I swear!) when I feel like I need extra exfoliation or help removing stubborn makeup.
While cleansing is, of course, a crucial part of one’s skincare routine, I never wanted to overcomplicate things and never had the desire to stock my shower with fancy tech tools and devices. So, trying out Olay’s cleansing device was new territory for me. Incorporating it into my routine was pretty simple: Every other day, I used it during my morning or nighttime cleanse. While in the shower or at the sink, I would dampen my face, apply a gentle cleanser (currently, I'm loving Herbivore’s Pink Cloud Cleanser) or makeup-remover (Augustinus Bader’s The Cleansing Balm is my new favorite), and then begin the process. First dampening the brush with water, I would run the device over my face for a total of 60 seconds, and then rinse! Easy peasy.
Design: Easy to hold, easy to use
When it comes to the design, Olay did a pretty solid job. It’s comfortable to hold, water-resistant, and battery-powered, making it easy to use at both your bathroom sink or in the shower. There are just two buttons, one to turn it on and one to swap between the two-speed settings. Its plastic body does feel a bit on the cheaper side, which reflects its affordable price point, but it does everything it needs to do. The bristles are made of plastic—not hygienic silicone, like some of the pricier ones on the market—so they’ll need to be thoroughly cleaned in between uses to avoid breakouts.
While I think it’s a perfectly functional design, it’s a little bit bulky. I would prefer a product that’s sleeker in design, such as the PMD Cleansing Brush and the Foreo Luna 3, that doesn’t take up much space in my medicine cabinet or shower caddy—but that’s just my opinion. The more compact, “prettier” cleansing brushes typically come with a heftier price tag.
How to Use: Let the brush do the work
Once your brush head is clicked into the handle and the battery is inserted, you’re ready to go! Dampen your face and apply your cleanser all over. Next, turn on the brush to the speed that works best for you, and move it gently around the face for 60 seconds, letting the brush do all the work—avoid getting too close to the eyes. Rinse your face and the brush head with water, and you’re done.
Olay doesn’t specifically mention how often to use this product, so it really depends on what works best for your skin. Typically, normal and oily skin types can handle daily use of cleansing brush (as long as the brush and speed aren’t too harsh), while dry and sensitive skin types should use one less—about once or twice a week—opting for softer brush heads and slower speeds that won’t cause irritation. I chose to go with every other day since my skin falls between normal and dry.
The Science: An extra boost for dull, congested skin
When considering purchasing a cleansing brush—whether this one from Olay or something more high tech—you might be asking yourself, is this really necessary? Speaking with Dr. Tatyana Nektalova, board-certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology, I got the lowdown on whether or not cleansing brushes are the real deal.
While some choose to use a cleansing brush every (or almost every) day, she recommends them as more of a once-a-week treatment. “Exfoliating weekly with a cleansing brush can give your skin an extra push when it’s feeling dull and congested,” she says. “I wouldn’t suggest using one on a daily basis, as it can be too harsh. For some people, it can be a happy medium between using just hands (which I suggest for daily cleansing) and a washcloth. And I never, ever recommend using a washcloth!” As we know, exfoliation can also help our skin better absorb products, which can boost the benefits of the rest of your skincare routine over time.
How does one know what kind of brush is right for them? Nektalova says you should choose based on your skin type. “Silicone bristles (which are offered by some higher-end brands) may be a better option for people with sensitive skin,” she says. “Some brush heads have antimicrobial properties which are great for people that are acne-prone.” She also doesn’t think that a variety of brush heads or speed options are necessary, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to splurge on a fancy, interchangeable device if a drugstore option offers a simple product with a single strength that works for you.
The Results: Soft, exfoliated skin
After the very first use, I noticed a major difference in how much cleaner and smoother my skin felt post-cleanse compared to when I use my hands, though not so clean to the point where it felt stripped.
My skin was baby soft and had a much brighter appearance that lasted throughout the day.
In terms of makeup, any trace of foundation or raccoon eyes was gone—although I had to gently work away mascara with my fingers since the brush isn’t meant to be used on the eyelids.
It was a little less gentle than I expected it to be, however. My skin usually isn’t sensitive to physical exfoliating, but I did feel like the bristles were slightly too rough for me. I played around with pressure and opted to only use the low speed, but each time I used it, my skin would feel (though never look) a bit irritated afterward. I think I would continue to only use this once a week, treating it as more of an exfoliating treatment than part of my daily cleansing routine. Regardless of how often it's used, it 100 percent works!
The Value: A great price point
I think the Regenerist Face Cleansing Device is appropriately priced. The product is listed at $34 but, you can find it on sale for around $25, and it includes the device and one replacement brush head. It got the job done and gave me the results I was looking for. Sure, it’s not overly fancy like some of the silicone cleansing brushes out there, but you’re getting what you pay for.
My skin isn’t very sensitive to physical exfoliating, but I did feel like the bristles were slightly too rough for me.
Similar Products: You’ve got options
Liberex Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush ($35): Similar in price to Olay’s cleansing brush is the top-rated Liberex Sonic Vibrating Facial Cleansing Brush. For just a couple more bucks, this egg-shaped cleansing brush system offers all the bells and whistles. First, it features three different modes, as opposed to Olay’s two: a light massaging mode, a mid-speed exfoliating mode, and a stronger, deep cleansing mode. Each mode uses a smart timer function which decelerates slightly every 20 seconds to remind you to move on to a different area of your face, and automatically turns off after one minute so that you don’t overdo it. It also comes with three different interchangeable heads: a deep cleansing brush, a softer brush for sensitive skin, and a silicone brush head for relaxing exfoliation and massage.
If you’re looking for simplicity, Olay is a solid product, but if you’re looking to get a bit more bang for your buck, Liberex is the obvious choice.
PMD Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device ($100): If you’re looking for something a bit more luxe, PMD’s Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device is a sleek option that boasts both deep cleansing and anti-aging benefits. The brand’s SonicGlow technology offers four different modes that reach an impressive 7,000 vibrations per minute, operating at a frequency that can help lift, firm, and tone the face. Made of silicone, its bristles and body are: ultra-hygienic, odor-resistant, antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and waterproof—so no need to worry about accidentally doing more harm than good. Plus, the head never needs to be replaced, making this guy a one-time investment.
Overall, the Olay Regenerist Face Cleansing Device is a pretty solid budget-friendly cleansing brush. It’s easy to use, powerful and left me with smooth, glowing skin. Just be wary if you’re on the sensitive side, as the bristles might be a little rough on your skin.
- Product Name Regenerist Face Cleansing Device
- Product Brand Olay
- SKU 075609194672
- Price $25
- Weight 5 oz.
- Product Dimensions 3.75 x 2.75 x 5 in.
- What's Included 1 facial cleansing brush handle, 2 brush heads, 2 AA batteries