A Cohort Study Using a Facial Cleansing Brush With Acne Cleansing Brush Head and a Gel Cleanser in Subjects With Mild-to-Moderate Acne and Acne-Prone Skin

November 2019 | Volume 18 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1140 | Copyright © November 2019

Michael H. Gold MD FAAD,a Glynis R. Ablon MD FAAD,b Anneke Andriessen PhD,c Vivian W. Bucay MD FAAD,d David J. Goldberg MD JD,e Jeremy B. Green MD FAAD,f Deirdre Hooper MD FAAD,g Stephen H. Mandy MD FAAD,h Mark S. Nestor MD PhD,i Arisa Ortiz MD FAAD FACMSj

aGold Skin Care Center, Nashville, TN

BAblon Skin Institute & Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, CA

cRadboud UMC Nijmegen, Andriessen Consultants, Malden, NL

DBucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics, San Antonio, TX

eSkin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY and NJ, Hackensack, NJ; Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, New York, NY

fSKIN Associates of South Florida, Miami, FL

gAudubon Dermatology, New Orleans, LA

hDepartment of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami FL

IMD, PhD, Center for Clinical and Cosmetic Research, Adventura FL; Center for Cosmetical Enhancement, Adventura, FL

jLaser & Cosmetic Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, UC San Diego, San Diego, CA

Introduction: Acne vulgaris is a highly prevalent skin condition that can adversely affect the quality of life. Acne-predisposed skin is in a state of subclinical inflammation leading to skin barrier dysfunction. A multi-center cohort study was designed to evaluate clinical efficacy and safety of twice daily facial cleansing using an oscillatory sonic brush, acne brush head, and cleansing gel for 4 weeks.

Methods: Subjects with mild-to-moderate acne and acne-prone skin used the cleansing regime after which they applied the skin care products they routinely used. Physician-assessed skin condition comparing baseline versus week 4 using the FDA/IGA scale and subject satisfaction with cleansing efficacy and handling properties of the regime were scored during the last visit.

Results: Forty-six subjects completed the study. Physician-scored skin condition showed a statistically significant improvement in FDA/IGA scores and a significant reduction of inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions comparing baseline versus 4 weeks. Thirty-five (76.0%) subjects had cleared or almost cleared. Subjects similarly assessed their skin to be improved.

Conclusion: Both the physician and subject scores revealed the gentle cleansing routine using the sonic brush to be effective reducing the number of acne lesions, improving skin condition. No adverse events were reported during the study period. The cleansing regime may offer an attractive, safe option for maintenance and treatment of subjects with mild-to-moderate acne and acne-prone skin.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(11):1140-1145.


Acne vulgaris is a highly prevalent skin condition.1 The common onset of acne is in early adolescence, about 85% of those affected have the condition between the ages 8 and 17 years.1 Acne affects a substantial number of adults, particularly women, who are more likely to view it as a disorder that requires treatment even when the condition is mild.1-3 Compared to adolescent acne, adult acne tends to be more inflammatory3 with the involvement of the cheeks and lower half of the face.3 The presence of comedones in adult acne is uncommon.3

Acne can adversely affect the quality of life due to psychological and emotional distress, including poor self-esteem, social anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.4 There is an unmet need for acne information, education, and treatments that provide the best patient outcomes.4

Acne has a complex, multifactorial pathophysiology.5 Acne-predisposed skin is in a state of subclinical inflammation, which may be linked to changes in skin surface pH and disturbances of the stratum corneum.5 Inflammatory events trigger acne lesions and correlate to skin barrier dysfunction.5

The impaired skin barrier in acne may benefit from a gentle cleanser used along with other therapeutic measures. Twice daily use of a gentle cleanser in patients with mild-to-moderate acne demonstrated a reduction in acne lesion counts in clinical studies6,7 without damage to the skin barrier or sebum overcompensation.