This summer, I entered the world of masking brushes. Prior to this I simply used my fingers and thought ‘why would I bother using a masking brush?’
Then I ordered a super cheap one (less than $1) and tried it, just to see why so many people seemed to use them.
Wow, what a difference it made.
I won’t lie and say I always use the brushes, because I don’t. I also won’t say you HAVE to have the brushes. Because you don’t. I also won’t tell you that you need expensive brushes, because you really don’t. But if you are interested in adding brushes to your masking routine, and maybe being a little extra, this might help you out.
First off, there are two main benefits to using the silicone masking brushes.
The first benefit I noticed is that I tend to use less product when I use the masking brushes than when I don’t. While there may be some seasonal swelling or water retention now and again, neither dramatically changes the surface area of my face in a massive way. Yet when I use the silicone brushes, I use less product than when I don’t.
Part of that is because of benefit number two.
And that is less mess. When applying masks with fingers, it naturally gets all over the fingers you are using to apply it to your face. It can also get on the sink and the faucet taps, but mostly on your fingers. The silicon brush has less of a surface area than my fingers. Even though I use a spoon or spatula to get masks out of the jar and start applying using one finger, I usually end up with three fingers covered in mask which I then have to wash off. The silicone doesn’t absorb any of the mask so little is left on the masking brush. In addition, it is easy to rinse off and in the case of peel off masks, you just let it dry, then peel the mask off. Then of course you wash it, but that is super easy with the mask gone.
Now the less than a $1 masking brush I picked up does the job no problem. I am quite happy using it. However I recently received a Cosmedix Brush set in a Boxy Charm. The set is composed of two brushes.
According to the Cosmedix website, the Cosmedix Skincare Brush Set…
Take cleansing to the next level with this embossed brush designed for gentle exfoliation and effective deep pore cleansing. Plus, bring the spa experience home with a dual-sided silicone spatula that effortlessly and evenly distributes product across your face. Use it to apply cream, exfoliator, serum, or masks with ultimate precision and no mess.
The set retails for $25. While you can clearly get brushes for less money, I would say this is not an unreasonable price. There are two brushes so you are paying $14.50 per brush.
Let’s look at the silicone brush first. The handle is tapered and easy to hold. The brush head itself is flat, with an angle and has one smooth side and one textured side.
The angle of the brush is really nice. One of the ways my cheap brush falls down is that the shape of the head is triangular so the points are really hard to get into the crevices around the nose so I end up using my fingers to smooth things over, which sort of defeats the purpose of using the brush.
Not only is the Cosmedics brush angled but the corners are rounded which makes applying masks really easy no matter where on the face you are. The flat side of the brush is perfect for clay based masks. I have been using it this week for my Herbal Dynamics Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Detox Mask and it has been fantastic. I can run the brush over the top of the mask in the jar to pick up product and put it on my face with very little waste.
The textured side is not good for clay based masks but I find it is excellent for gel based ones. Recently I used both the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber mask and the Kiehl’s Calendula Petal infused Gel mask. While both of these masks could be applied with either side of the Cosmedix silicone brush, The textured side does have a purpose. Just before those masks are removed, it is recommended that you massage the mask in a little before rinsing. The textured side of the brush is perfect for this. Just remember to rinse thoroughly, possibly even soaking the brush a bit especially if it is an exfoliating mask with particles, so that you can be sure to get all of the particles out.
The second brush, I’ll admit, I found a little confusing at first. I tried it a number of ways, but none of them seemed to be a benefit to my skin care routine. This second brush is not silicone, but an actual fiber brush with densely backed bristles. The head of the brush is not flat but textured with a circle of round nubbins. The issue I had with it, was that it is very absorbent. If you dip it into a mask or serum, or even a cleanser, it will soak up the product like a sponge, using far more than you actually need to use in one sitting.
However it is useful. The first use I found for it was to loosen dried clay masks. Wet the brush, but remember it will soak up a lot of water so when you first press it to your face be prepared for a release of water unless you squeeze the brush out first, and even then be prepared. It does an admiral job of loosening clay masks without harshly scraping the skin. The texture from the nubbins really helps in its effectiveness.
The second use is for massaging serums into the skin. Do not dip the brush into the serum or you will very quickly lose your serum as it is sucked in. Apply the serum to the skin and then lightly massage it in with the brush. The serum stays on your skin and the brush just helps it absorb.
I have also found that it is very useful if you are using a bar cleanser. While the brush will absorb liquid cleansers just like any other liquid. If you have a bar cleanser like the Erno Laszlo Black soap (which I personally really like) you can wet the brush (which absorbs a lot of water) rub the water loaded brush on the cleansing bar and then apply it to the face.
Not only does it work really well, but it helps contain the mess that the Erno Laszlo Black soap can create with drips (although really, the cleansing bar is worth the drips). If it stays on the dish or other container where you keep your soap then it can’t drip all over your sink. It also helps keep the bar longer as bar cleansers (or any bar soap really) starts to disintegrate when it is wet. The secret to keeping a bar of soap (or cleanser) for longer is to make sure it stays dry when you aren’t using it. Because the brush localizes the water, the bulk of the cleansing bar stays dry. So it lasts longer.
All in all once I figured out the best way to use the second brush in the set, I enjoyed using the brushes and incorporating them into my skincare routines. They are lightweight, but sturdy. Not only do they look good but they perform well.
The brushes may not be absolutely necessary to any routine. There are many other ways to apply product, but they do have benefits. If you are looking to add brushes to your skin care routine, this may be a set you might want to look into. I am quite pleased to be able to use them. I believe my less than a $1 silicone brush will still be used when I do peel off masks as I don’t want to deal with the textured side of the Cosmedix silicone masking brush, but otherwise I will be using these brushes for quite a while.