• Clarisonic products will no longer be available after September 30, as the company is going out of business.
  • Dermatologist Dr. David J. Leffell told Insider he wasn't surprised by the announcement as electronic brushes can harm skin when used frequently.
  • Leffell recommends exfoliating once or twice a week, depending on your makeup use and skin needs.
  • You can incorporate an electronic device into your routine if you use it properly, according to dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Clarisonic, once a staple of the skin-care industry, announced in July that it's going out of business as parent company L'Oréal focuses on other brands.

Many shoppers were shocked by the news that Clarisonic products will no longer be available after September 30. They have since snapped up the brand's steeply discounted facial brushes before they're gone.

But not everyone is surprised to see Clarisonic go, and some skin-care experts say electronic tools can actually be harmful to the skin if used incorrectly.

Insider spoke with Dr. David J. Leffell, the Chief of Dermatologic Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and Dr. Joshua Zeichner, an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, to learn more about how to wash your face correctly, with and without electronic brushes.

Here's what the dermatologists had to say.

Electronic face brushes can be harmful to skin if used too often or incorrectly

Speaking to Insider over email, Leffell told Insider that he wasn't surprised by the skin-care brand's announcement because Clarisonic did not have "high visibility in a market that is always changing."

"It was basically a very large, electric toothbrush adapted to skin, with the proposed value being exfoliation," he said of Clarisonic's electronic tool. "That can be accomplished with any number of other approaches that don't involve a brush."

While Leffell said that Clarisonic's devices were created to help people remove layers of dead skin, he added that the tools might have worked too effectively in many cases.

"I was never a fan of electric devices for facial exfoliation due to the risk of overdoing it," he said. "That can cause a form of acne, and generally traumatize the epidermis."

Similarly, Christian Surber, a professor of dermatopharmacology at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich, told The New York Times that he's "never seen scientific data that shows evidence of positive impacts" after using electronic face brushes, and that the tools can actually "abuse the skin."

You don't have to remove brushes from your skin-care routine entirely

Zeichner told Insider over email that Clarisonic's announcement came as "a huge shock" to him and his colleagues because the brand "has become a staple in many people's skin-care routines." Still, he noted that the key to using such products in a "safe and effective" way is to use them "properly."

"The sonic cleansing technologies that most of these brushes use make them gentle on the skin, different from the effects of scrubs or loofahs, which can be much more harsh," he said.

If you regularly use an electronic brush, or are looking to incorporate a similar tool into your routine, Zeichner said you can use the tools with any face wash you prefer. Similarly, he recommends choosing a brush with bristles that will suit your skin type.

"Many brushes have different heads that make them better to treat different skin conditions: softer ones for dry or sensitive skin, and firmer ones for oily skin," he said. 

Exfoliating less often than you wash your face is key for healthy skin

According to Leffell, people should only be washing their face once or twice a day, "depending on their use of makeup." He also recommends that they use an undyed washcloth made from cotton, or a similar tool that's "not too aggressive," to exfoliate.

"Definitely do not exfoliate too frequently," he added. "Depending on the nature of a person's skin and skin-care regimens, no more than once or twice a week is probably sufficient. One doesn't have to exfoliate skin as if they were sanding a piece of wood!"

"It's important to remember that our skin is a remarkable, self-sustaining organ," Leffell added. "The cells are replaced about every four weeks, and gentle washing with occasional exfoliation is all that is needed. Of course, individual needs may vary, so people should experiment to find the best regimen that works for them."

Representatives for Clarisonic and L'Oréal did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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