Hello everybody, and a very belated Happy New Year to you all! (With apologies from The Ed; I'm only after now getting around to posting this!) I've been meaning to write a review of my Clarisonic Mia for quite a while now. I had heard a few rave reviews from others about how amazing this wonderful little gadget is, and I was intrigued by the term "facial sonic cleansing", and I wanted one. Knowing it was a bit on the pricier side than I'm usually happy about spending on my face, I was deterred, but one day when shopping in Debenhams with my husband I came across a lovely boxed set at the Lancôme counter which included the Clarisonic Mia2, a pLink charger, a travel case, a sensitive brush head, a small tube of Clarisonic cleansing gel and a full sized tube of Lancôme Gel Éclat (which I've reviewed already over here), all for a bargain-busting €149... sure why not so (Mr. ArtyMama insisted, sure he's great so he is).
I'd like to describe this as a beautifully designed compact little device (which it is), although it can also look suspiciously like an intimate massager when charging beside my bedside locker (sorry, practically everything in this paragraph will have a double meaning for you now). It is waterproof so I use it in the shower every morning, though it is safe and gentle enough to use twice a day apparently. There are different brush heads that you can buy to fit the handle but the sensitive head is the one that is recommended for most.
There are two speed settings, normal and low, but I always opt for normal. Using it is beyond simple; you squeeze a tiny pea-sized amount of your favourite foaming cleanser onto the damp brush head, turn it on and hold the brush head flush against your skin (pressing it in will reduce the effectiveness as it impedes the motion of the bristles) while moving it around in small circular motions. The Mia2 is set with a one minute timer for a thorough cleanse, and to ensure each area gets the right amount of time it will pulse momentarily to indicate that it's time to move on to the next area.
I probably recommend (as did I) that you start out on your forehead for twenty seconds, then twenty seconds on your nose and chin, finish off with ten seconds on each cheek and simply rinse your face when the cycle has finished. Afterwards my skin feels utterly cleansed, soft, smooth, massaged and recharged. My skin absorbs serums/moisturisers I use afterwards far better too. Obviously a device like this should never be used on your delicate eye area and eye makeup should always be removed first. It purports that it cleanses six times better than manual cleaning and I believe it - if I'm ever staying away from home, washing my face the regular way never gets my face feeling quite as sqeeeeaky clean. I might have to start carrying it with me (and it's so discreet it would easily fit in my huge bag, just perhaps finding it afterwards would be the problem).
The sonic cleansing system resonates at a frequency of three hundred movements per second which, according to my calculations, is pretty goddamn fast. This works right into the pores and claims to improve your skin's elasticity as it massages. Yes, there's no doubt that it's expensive, €149 for a face cleansing device is nothing to be sniffed at, and then there's an additional €26 per replacement head after that every (recommended) three months to take into account too (I've been using mine for about four months and it still seems to be in perfect nick). There are different heads depending on your requirements, such as Delicate, Deep Pore, Normal or Body, all €26 each.
Price aside, I love it. I could now never go back to the way it was before, manually cleaning my face like a mere mortal! My skin feels fantastic after using it and that to me is worth it. There are cheaper versions out there, I've seen similar devices on various special deals websites for €25 or so and to be honest, having not heard anything about them, I have no idea how they stand up to the Clarisonic. I would be very interested to hear about any of your experiences in the comments section. I would highly recommend this though. It's like I've restored my skin back to its factory settings!