Realistically, not everyone can afford a Clarisonic. Even the Mia at the lower end of the scale retails at £120; for a face cleaner, more than a weekly food allowance is a little extortionate. Maybe when I've got a well paying job these beauty luxuries can be treats, but for the time being I have to find affordable alternatives.
After a search on eBay (for 'facial brush') I came across lots of plastic-handled 'manual' versions for a couple of pounds, including this Origins one. I could only find them as part of gift sets in the UK (here), and only really here for America, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. I believe the Boots Botanics facial brush was very popular (Fee posted on it here), but it appears they've changed the brush, and it looks a lot like this Origins one for about £4 more. I would link you to it, but unfortunately Boots.com seems to be down, and has been for days - and I can't put this post off any longer whilst waiting for it to reappear!
Firstly, I like the fact the whole thing is plastic; no worrying about damaging any wood or natural bristles, and it tends to dry pretty quickly. It's easy to keep clean too, and I like not having muslin cloths thrown in the washer every 2 days. I just run this under hot water, swish the bristles around and leave it to dry out. The bristles are soft, yet firm, meaning they don't bend and flatten when I'm cleansing, but don't hurt my face either. However, I'm not sure if the bristles are a little too long, as I tend to spray face wash all over the place if I really get into it! But since I'm either in the shower or over the sink, this doesn't bother me too much.
I only use it for a few minutes as I don't want to slog away my whole face, but straight away I noticed the difference. My skin is less red, less spotty and less oily; overall, it looks really radiant and healthy. The skin around my T-zone seems to be tightening up, the pores are less obvious and that seems to be linked to less oil production too. I've heard that skin brushing also allows products to be absorbed more easily - which also seems to be the case with me too. Even after the first day I was surprised at how good my skin was looking, so I'm looking forward to doing an update a few months down the line!
Finding the right face wash seems the hardest part about the brush cleansing. Some are not foamy enough, some are too foamy, some are too drying, some are too creamy.. For the moment I'm just using up the masses of face washes/cleansers I already have, then I'll look into buying a good, mid-foamy, brush friendly one! (Maybe Cetaphil or Soap & Glory?)
Overall, using the brush has been incredible for me. I have medication to help with spots, but using this brush has done more for my skin than medication has done for quite a while! (This is also the reason I'm not giving you a face photo; my skin is not lovely to look at!) I was previously using Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish system, and still love it so much I will go back to using it half the time in the long-term. But for now, I'm very happy using my manual facial brush! Personally, I don't really think it really matters what brand of brush you use. As long as you're brushing your face (although it sounds ridiculous..), your skin will look radiant. Although when I finally have a little extra cash I might treat myself to an electric brush - just for the convenience, of course!