Review of the Clarisonic Mia Facial and Body Cleansing Brush

Note: This post is for guys too. I know that there are some of you out there that actually like to have nice skin, contrary to popular belief, but don’t want to look like you get facials or to wear makeup ;) This is apparently a big-seller for men, and a lot of guys buy the device and buy a second one for their wives or girlfriends!

I am a huge skeptic of devices like microdermabrasion facials at home and other devices for the skin, particularly because I loathe carrying that stuff around if I rarely use it and I only do it because I spent a fortune on it.

I also don’t get a lot of acne from my earlier years, mostly due to the fact that my diet has changed drastically — I try to eat as natural foods and as unprocessed as possible, cooking from scratch and avoiding things in a frozen box or can.

I’m thinking of never going to a restaurant again.. or at least, only going to sushi places from now on where the food is raw.

I rarely get acne now, and when I do, I know it’s because something I ate outside somewhere, had some additive in there that gave me essentially what is an allergic reaction in the form of a pimple, because my body couldn’t process it.

So when I heard about the Clarisonic At-Home Facial brushes, I was thinking:

PFFFT! $100 – $200 for a device that is nothing more than a glorified washcloth? You’ve got to be joking.

….until I bought it.

My reasons for buying it was unrelated to my face, and more that my body was starting to experience some throwbacks to eczema problems.

I was seeing a lot of layers of dead skin pile up, and using scrubs or brushes were either not doing enough for my skin, or scrubbing them red and raw (also not good for my skin).

When I heard about this Clarisonic brush that could be used on the body and on the face in the shower, I was curious.

I don’t believe in that “sonic cleansing power” stuff, but I tested it in Sephora, and I liked that there was a moving, whirring section in the middle of the brush so that I don’t have to try and move a static brush around in a circle to mimic its effects.

WHAT CLARISONIC MODELS ARE AVAILABLE

  • Clarisonic Plus = $225
  • Clarisonic Classic = $195
  • Clarisonic Mia 2 = $149
  • Clarisonic Mia = $119    <— the one I chose of obvious reasons ;)

WHAT ARE THE OTHER DIFFERENCES?

  • Clarisonic Plus = 3 speeds, not as portable as it comes with a charging stand, can use the Body Brush head
  • Clarisonic Classic = 2 speeds, not as portable as it comes with a charging stand, can use the Body Brush head
  • Clarisonic Mia 2 = 2 speeds, portable, cannot use the Body Brush head
  • Clarisonic Mia = 1 speed, portable, cannot use the Body Brush head

WHY I CHOSE THE CLARISONIC MIA (ORIGINAL)

  1. It was $119 and the cheapest of the bunch
  2. The brushes are the same as on the higher-end Classic & Plus models (I felt them up)
  3. The motors are the same too (sometimes smaller models are made with cheaper parts)
  4. The ‘Mia’ is quite portable and travel friendly (the higher-end models have a huge charging stand)
  5. It’s slightly smaller than the higher-end models, but only in the length of the handle, not much else
  6. It only has one speed, but frankly, Fast vs. Normal vs. Slow felt the same to me
  7. I didn’t need extras like timers, speeds and so on, if it would be $50 – $106 more expensive (ouch!)
  8. Any brush can be used with it except the body brush, but the ‘normal’ brush head works fine on the body

The brush is pretty compact, as pictured beside my compact digital camera case:

This is the brush on the device itself. The little black bristles and the white section in the middle, rotate. The outer bristles don’t, which keeps in the water from spraying all over your bathroom and face.

THE COSTS OF A CLARISONIC MIA (UP-FRONT & FOREVER)

It costs $119 USD to buy it, plus taxes, but it doesn’t stop there!

The brushes are around $25 each, to be replaced every 3-4 months (like my electric toothbrush), but you can buy them in twin-pack deals for $40, which works out to $20 per brush head.

Now, each brush head has to be separate. One for the face, one for the body (makes sense, actually… I’d use ‘sensitive’ on my face, ‘normal’ on my body).

They recommend using the facial brush twice a day and replace it every 4 months. I plan on using it once daily at night, and replacing it every 8 months, then.

They recommend using the body brush every day and replacing it every 2 months (twice as long to cover your body). I plan on using it every other day (or less as not to irritate my skin), and replacing it every 6 months.

I am not a fan of being obsessively clean.

Read: The Great Unwashed and our Obsessive Cleanliness

So $20 per brush head, because I like deals and if I can stock up when they go on sale or discount or something, I will.

  • For the face: Replace every 8 months= ~$30/year
  • For the body: Replace every 6 months = ~$40/year

I am looking for a final upkeep cost of about a maximum cost of $70/year in brush heads, if my assumptions above are correct.

I’ll have to try it for a year and keep track of my expenses in my budget.

WHAT COMES IN A CLARISONIC MIA BOX

  • The Mia
  • Charger
  • Small bottle of some face polish stuff (you can use any cleanser you have, however)

I think the higher end ones look sexier because they come with different face polishes in larger sizes, but all that frou-frou for extra money is not my cup of tea. Couldn’t care less, I don’t bother with the products given, I only want the brush.

I haven’t even used this face polish thing..

DID THE CLARISONIC MIA COME IN ANY OTHER COLOURS?

Yes. In these ones below:

The classic/standard pastels looked ugly, so I just chose plain ol’ white.

It looked the most normal.

CAUTION: Do not buy the black or grey ones in the store, if you ever come across them.

I know for a fact that they use different dyes in the plastics for the colour black (and very dark grey), which compromises the plastic and makes it more brittle/vulnerable.

Stick to any colour but the very darkest like black or grey.

They also had patterns (leopard at the time), but it was another $10 extra on top of the $119. I think the other darker colours (above) are ‘limited editions’, and must cost more money.

I was NOT (and still am not) willing to pay $10 more for another colour or pattern. Who is really going to see it? :P

USING IT

Waiting 24 hours for it to fully charge was agony, but absolutely necessary to make sure the battery doesn’t get ruined (ALWAYS fully charge your electronics properly before using it).

On the very first day of using it, I felt immediate results. My skin was softer, the layer of dead skin was sloughed off and by the end of the week, I was hooked.

One minute sounds like a long time to be rubbing stuff on your face, but frankly, it isn’t. It goes by so quick, sometimes you think: wait, I needed another 30 seconds!

I just lightly swipe it across my forehead, down the sides, onto my cheeks, on my nose, ending at my chin. By the end of that, depending on how slow or fast I go, I am pretty much done.

Then I just rinse my face, pat dry with a towel and apply my moisturizer.

To clean the brush, I run it under water, hold the handle tight and flick it dry.

One thing I will say is that you must use the brush twice a day.

I stopped for a day or so (only used it at night for 2 nights), and my skin was really unhappy. I broke out a little, and it was like my skin got used to using the brush in cleaning it, that if I stopped, my skin got angry.

Now, I just use it twice a day and my skin has never looked or felt better. I’m amazed and I’m not convinced a washcloth and rubbing it in circles on my face would have done the same thing in the same amount of time.

I could definitely use a washcloth, but I’d take 3 minutes longer to try and mimic the inner rotating brush.

ALL of my moisturizers, serums and lotions absorb a lot better now.

The minute I put on two drops of my argan oil on my face, it disappears almost instantly. That has NEVER happened before, I usually have time to rub it all over my face from one place and spread it around, but now, I have to dab oil on every part of my face before rubbing it in.

As for the body, you can do the test I did. I put the Normal brush head (Body Brush won’t fit, it’s too larger for the Mia), and you scrub one arm. Then you wash both arms and apply lotion to both.

Immediately, I could see the arm that was brushed, absorbed everything immediately. Even BF felt a difference when I tested him (he’s a super skeptic) and told me immediately which arm wasn’t absorbing the lotion as well.

MY QUICK PROS & CONS

PROS

  1. It actually works and my skin feels much better with all those dead cells sloughed off
  2. It is only 1 minute to wash my face really effectively
  3. My products work better — my lotions absorb better rather than sitting on my face like a layer

CONS

  1. Replacing the brush I really hate removing and replacing the brush because it’s unwieldy. You have to snap it on and twist, and the twisting part is hard because there seems to be nothing to grip on the brush to get it on the brush body itself.

2. The charger falls off easily because it isn’t snapped on or a cup of any kind. It’s two little connectors that you have to place carefully on the device, and make sure you don’t touch or move it accidentally.

3. Obviously, PRICE. Ick to the pricetag, but I am not willing to compromise on quality to be cheap, because I heard lots of reviews that the other imitation brushes DO NOT WORK as well as the Clarisonic and people waste $30 – $50 more by trying to be too cheap.

 RECOMMENDATION

BUY. IT. (Preferably on sale if you can score that some how)

The hype is to be believed.

I spent the money, choked on spending it, and am still not loving the price tag, but now I am not going to spas to get my face scrubbed, exfoliated and cleaned.

I’m going to use this brush twice a day, forever.

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About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.