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Does anyone else remember when Clarisonic face brushes first came out? I’m sure you do. As far as I was concerned as an acne-riddled teen, I needed one YESTERDAY.
It would be the answer to all of my problems!
My skin would be clear!
My face would be free of the scourge of acne!
But, I'm also sure that I wasn't the only teenager to have their dreams dashed by the fact that the Mia cost a cool couple hundred bucks (which I didn't have). Eventually, I forgot about it and moved on to other things to obsess over (like MySpace and RAZR flip phones. Don't lie - I know you remember!)
But now that I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and with a little bit more coin in my pocket (and still with a couple of zits on my face), I’m revisiting the idea of picking up one of the Clarisonic face brushes. It’s a skincare investment, you know? They’re supposed to be the best face brushes out here!
There are a lot of skin cleansing brushes and toning devices available on the market right now (literally so many that it’s overwhelming) but I think I’m gonna stick with the OG, aka Clarisonic. There are literally zillions and zillions of Clarisonic brush reviews (by REAL people, by the way!) all agreeing that these are the best cleansing brushes and that their lives are basically incomplete without them.
I wanna treat myself - and I know that you wanna treat yourself, too. But with that decision comes a lot of research - there are now 6 (!) Clarisonic brushes to choose from, and it’s important to pick the one that’s absolutely perfect (and is gonna give you the best return of investment in the form of clear, glowing skin). But if you’re anything like me, you’re sitting there reading this post and thinking “Which Clarisonic should I buy?”
After hours and hours of research and reading what feels like a zillion Clarisonic brush reviews, let me share exactly why I think the Clarisonic is the best facial cleansing brush out there and which one I think is the best.
Clarisonic Mia 1 Facial Cleansing System
Clarisonic Mia 2, 2 Speed Cleansing Brush
Clarisonic Mia Fit Facial Cleansing System
Clarisonic Alpha FIT Men's Facial Brush
Clarisonic Smart Profile Uplift 2-in-1
So, What Do Face Cleansing Brushes Actually Do?
They clean your face like it's never been cleaned before. For real. It's all a very refined and patented process which I actually think is really freaking neat. The bristles that make up a Clarisonic brush head oscillate from side to side, giving your skin the ultimate deep cleanse from within by flushing out all the gunk stuck in the pores. If you're still kind of confused (like I was!) then you might find this little slow-mo video quite illuminating.
There’s a popularly believed myth out there that the brushes spin and rotate in order to leave your skin squeaky clean - this isn’t how it works at all!
This oscillating motion is what makes the cleansing brush SO amazing at getting rid of every eensy-weensy speck of dirt and makeup off your face. I know that this is gonna sound crazy, BUT it gets your face six times cleaner than using your hands. SIX TIMES!
I actually can’t even imagine that, to be honest. Just thinking about it makes my face feel absolutely grody when I think that my skin could actually be six times cleaner, despite my super intensive double-cleansing makeup removal routine. I thought I was being thorough, I really was.
But that's not even the best part! Because Clarisonic brushes are some of the best and most intensive deep cleansing brushes out there, they leave your skin in tip-top shape for whatever you have planned next. Excess dirt, skin cells, and makeup are melted away to help your skin maximally absorb any skin care treatment you decide to do next. It literally supercharges anything you put on your skin because it is so freaking clean. Your skin is also left impossibly smooth, making it the perfect base prep for makeup. Flaky skin, oversized pores, and breakouts, begone!
Wait - Aren’t Facial Brushes Super Harsh?
No - in fact, Clarisonic facial brushes are gentle enough to use on an egg yolk. Yup - a good old egg yolk. Don’t believe me? Check this out:
Clarisonic themselves state that their product isn’t a facial exfoliating brush, but they do agree that there’s a physical element involved in how deeply it cleanses pores. Okurrrrrr…..
Despite it not technically being a face exfoliator brush, Clarisonic overuse has basically the same symptoms as over-exfoliation - dry, rough, red and flaky skin.
If your skin is ANY of these four things, you’ve overdone it - fall back! Overdoing it usually comes down to user error - too frequent use, not enough liquid on the brush head, and too much pressure are the common denominators. I know, I know, it’s super exciting once you’ve got a new skincare goodie and you want to use it ALL THE TIME. But when it comes to something as powerful and effective as a Clarisonic, moderation is truly key. Start out with the softest brush heads and only use it a few days a week until you’re sure that your gorgeous skin can handle it!
You should be barely touching your face with the brush head and applying hardly any pressure, just letting the brush do its heavenly work on your face. A lot of people also under-use their cleanser and water with the Clarisonic brushes - the oscillating action also relies on what Clarisonic calls "fluid force", which is basically the brush flushing the crap out of your pores with the help of water and cleanser. If you don't have enough water on your brush, you're gonna have a bad time and irritated skin.
What Are the Different Types of Clarisonic Brushes?
Clarisonic currently has 6 face cleaning brushes in their current livery - Mia, Mia 2, Mia Fit, Alpha Fit, Smart Profile, and Smart Profile Uplift. They all have hugely different benefits and features for every single lifestyle.
Which Clarisonic is best for you is going to depend basically on the cost and difference in features between all of them. The smaller ones like the Mia and Alpha ranges are perfect for just the face, while the Smart Profile ranges have options for brushes that can be used on the body for glowing skin from head to toe.
Let’s go through them all together, shall we?
Clarisonic Mia 1
Even though it’s the oldest facial cleansing brush in the current Clarisonic lineup, the Mia 1 still has a huge fanbase of people singing its praises. And why shouldn't it? It's completely waterproof so you can bring it in the shower (maybe it's just me, but isn't it the perfect shape for an in-shower microphone?).
It does only have one speed, which is a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. This is the perfect face exfoliator brush for someone that wants to get the job done, and done WELL, without any extra bells and whistles. What’s not great however is the lack of a stand for it to keep it dry and save space around your bathroom sink. I mean, you could always get one separately but it’s always WAY better when these things are built in.
Clarisonic Mia 2
The big sister of the Mia 1, the Mia 2 has a few little tweaks to make the best cleansing brush even better - who knew it was possible? In addition to being waterproof like her predecessor, the Mia 2 has two speed settings AND a timer to help make sure that you're not over cleansing (and on the flip side, neglecting) any part of your face and neck.
Of the two Clarisonic Mia brushes, the Mia 2 is a little bit pricier than the Mia 1, but it's up to you whether or not the additional upgrades are worth shelling out the extra dolla dolla bills.
Clarisonic Mia Fit
Perfect for the girl on the go, the Mia Fit fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. You can take it anywhere - straight from the office to the gym, or even packed away in a carry-on for a quick weekend away. I LOVE the idea of the USB charger for convenience! The USB charger does double duty as the stand as well, saving space on bathroom counters.
I feel like this was made for girls like me - I’m always travelling and I love the idea of ANYTHING that takes up less weight in my bag, and this get someserious brownie points for not needing a wall charger and being so compact to travel with.
Clarisonic Alpha Fit
I know what you’re thinking - what difference could there possibly between the Alpha Fit and Mia Fit, right? Aren’t they the same, except for the fact that the Alpha Fit is repackaged in manly colors so men don’t feel de-masculated by a) using a facial cleansing brush & b) using a brush in the lovely shade of “Clarisonic Pink”?
That’s where you and I are dead wrong, my friend. The Alpha Fit has a slightly different oscillation timing and settings to deal with the typically tougher skin that men have, as well as facial hair. It’s the ultimate pre-shaving tool that every guy should have in his gym bag.
Clarisonic Smart Profile
This baby is one serious multitasker. It’s way larger than the previous Clarisonics, and that’s because it can do almost everything. EVERYTHING. It’s compatible with brush heads designed for use on the body, so it’s the ultimate cleansing brush for smooth, healthy skin from the top of your head down to your impeccably manicured toes.
Along with the standard waterproofed body and exchangeable heads, where the Smart Profile Clarisonic brush REALLY stands out is all the extra settings that it has. It has FOUR speed settings, including a “turbo boost” setting that cleans skin 11 times better than hands. You read that right.
Y’all, I can’t even begin to explain how pathetically inadequate my cleansing routine feels right now. However, I’m not 100% that eleven times as clean is really necessary - but it is a luxury.
So which Clarisonic comes out on top?
It’s really hard to choose the best of the best because ALL of these Clarisonics are amazing face brushes in their own right. It’s a really close one, but I think that you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Clarisonic Mia 2.
It really hits that sweet spot of price and utility for the average gal like me or you - it’s not so pricey that it’s gonna make your wallet weep, but it still has just enough bells and whistles to make the extra coin worth it. The best part is that your face wash routine is perfectly timed for you, and a delicate setting means you can tone down the power if needed - that’s a serious win for me.
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Here’s to good skin days ahead!
Check out our other articles about choosing (and using) a face brush:
What’s The Best Acne Brush? 5 Best Facial Brushes, Compared
Top 6 Best Clarisonic Brush Heads in 2018, Reviewed & Compared
The Best Clarisonic Cleanser to Use With Your Facial Brush: 5 Top Picks
Choosing Your Deep Cleansing Brush (+ Full Guide to Pore Cleansing)
About the author Stephanie Morin
NYC-based beauty and skin care blogger, Stephanie delivers a healthy dose of practical tips for some serious skin care inspiration!