The Clarisonic is often touted as one of the greatest innovations in skincare. But the idea of using a brush to cleanse skin is nothing new. Bailey was already selling one of such brushes at the end of the nineteenth century.
Simply called Bailey’s Rubber Complexion Brush, the flexible device had soft and flat ended cylindrical teeth that were supposed to be gentle on the skin, giving a radiant glow without irritating it. An advertisement that appeared in the October 1890 edition of The Chemist and Druggist Supplement described it thus:
“Used with a little soap in the daily ablutions, the gentle friction of this brush makes the skin beautifully soft and smooth, effectually eradicating all blemishes, blotches, wrinkles, coarse linens, &c, and entirely superseding the poisonous cosmetics and face-washes now in use. It is simply invaluable for bathing the delicate skin of infants and children.”
Of course the company also sold the soap, which retailed at $0.10, while the Rubber Complexion Brush would have set you back $0.50. The company also sold a wide range of brushes, which included toothbrushes and the Bailey’s Rubber Bath & Flesh Brush, which promised, by opening up the pores, to throw off “the waste which the body sends up to the surface” and improve circulation.
Bailey also claimed their brushes were more sanitary than “bristle brush sponges or wash-clothes that absorb and retain the filth from the bath and become sour.” Their brushes, they promised, were always clean and could be used by the whole family.
Would you have used them?