Is this the cleansing brush, 2.0? We road test a silicone powered cleansing and skin softening tool to see if it left us radiant, or red in the face…

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Cleansing brushes  were the talk of beauty town a few years ago, and it’s fair to say that of the many gadgets, gizmos and potions in the skincare market, they sure do split opinion. Some swear by them for a deep, thorough cleanse at the end of the day, or a few times a week for exfoliation purposes, while others maintain that they damage the skin barrier, cause inflammation and generally don’t deserve a spot in your bathroom. It’s a contentious issue, but cleansing gadgets are also evolving beyond the brush. Enter the Ageloc Nu Skin Lumispa . Not a catchy name, granted, but the silicone headed, ‘dual-action skincare system’ does away with potentially bacteria-harbouring bristles and claims to improve everything from clarity to skin texture to radiance (always a tricky yardstick is radiance). Let’s give it a whizz.

What is it?

A rechargeable, waterproof, handheld electric skin cleansing device with two different silicone heads- “normal” and firm. Said heads rotate at different frequencies with the intention of cleansing and exfoliating. Each cleansing session lasts two minutes- the device pauses every 30 seconds to indicate that it’s time to move onto another area of the face, and in the manner of an electric toothbrush, it pauses and vibrates at you if you’re going a bit too gung ho, for instance scrubbing, applying too much pressure or generally attempting to hoover your face. Just as the silicone heads are meant to be less abrasive than bristles, so the Lumispa wants you to take it gently in terms of actual action. Each silicone head is easy to clean, quick to dry and lasts for three months, and for your significant expenditure ( £192.99 ) you’ll get a cleanser on order too. Which is just as well because WHOA there.

Who is it for?

People who can afford it for starters, but otherwise if you love the idea of a cleansing brush but hate the bacteria-festering element or bristles that come on too strong, this is a far superior buffer, and the fact that it shuts off if you’re pressing too hard helps to ensure that you don’t take your face off in the process of dead skin cell sweepage. It does deliver a deep clean feel and smoother skin texture post at-home spa session, but I would avoid if you’re suffering with irritation, a compromised skin barrier  or cystic acne - a double cleanse  with a warm flannel is the answer here rather than self-administered electro-facials. Also, please don’t feel that you need to use the cleanser supplied. If you’re going to buzz your face, choose the cleanser that’s right for you , not one randomly prescribed with an electrical product.

In short, this is kind of like a Foreo silicone cleansing brush, but more powerful, dynamic and with more cleansing and exfoliating “options”. The brand recommend using it twice daily, but I cut this right back to three times a week and it worked well for me- a light touch left skin soft, not aggravated, and my skin drank up serum and moisturiser afterwards. Just don’t skimp on washing the head and drying it properly after use. Otherwise you’re definitely doing more damage than good. The device also proffers to reduce the appearance of pores, but I can’t say that I noticed this effect in a month or so’s testing period. I’d say stick with your liquid exfoliators if temporary pore shrinkage is on your agenda (unfortunately all manner of factors affect pore size, and pores grow larger with age ).

The verdict

If you’re in the cleansing gadget camp and have the funds, I’d choose the Lumispa over a cleansing brush any day, and it does slough off grime quickly and effectively while leaving skin soft and brighter as promised, but within my routine, I’m not sure I need it, and would be concerned that if my skin were anything less than healthy (I’m going through a good skin patch currently *touches all the wood*) that it might make things worse, not better. Basically, I’m halfway on the fence, but the steep price point is a dealbreaker for me- I’d rather invest in some efficient exfoliants, stock up on flannels and book a facial.

Ageloc Nu Skin Lumispa , £192.99,  available online .