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Smackdown: Clarisonic vs. Olay Pro-X Facial Brush

Everyone needs an indulgence now and then, and I can’t think of a better winter mini-break than a facial. But even when I’m prepared to splurge, it’s hard to make time. I can barely fit in a shower, let alone an hour devoted to opening my pores. So if I can do a treatment at home that’s just as good as the pro stuff and saves me precious minutes, I’m all about it.

I bit the bullet and bought a Clarisonic Mia facial cleansing brush, but at a base price of $120, it immediately set off a wave of buyer’s remorse nausea… especially when I started comparing it to the Olay Pro-X.  You can pick that one up at the drugstore, and it sells for less than $30 on sale. So I wondered: Is there a difference? I had two astheticians weigh in. Here’s a closeup:

Olay Pro-x

Olay Pro-X—This brush gives a deep cleaning and exfoliates, so you do get that big glow without the big bill. If you use it regularly, it also seems to help fend off breakouts. The brush attachment spins in a circle, and has two speeds. It runs on a couple of AA batteries, feels light and doesn’t have any bells or whistles. But it does scrub away dry skin and makeup (you’ll see evidence on the brush, trust me) in a way that a towel doesn’t. Plus, it feels great.

Clarisonic Mia 2

Clarisonic—At $120 for the one-speed “Mia” to $225 for the three-speed “Plus,” it costs a lot more. Aesthetician Tami Cook, of Beverly Hills’ Ciel Spa at the SLS hotel, says it’s worth it. “The Clarisonic cleans through brush isolation versus rotation of the Olay brush, which can potentially overstretch pores,” explains Cook. Agrees aesthetician Lara Becker of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, “The brush head oscillates instead of going in one circular direction, which can ‘pull’ on the skin.” The tech: like its inventors’ famous Sonicare toothbrushes, Clarisonic uses ultrasonic vibrations instead of rotations. It works to deep-cleanse, free up blackheads, and help skin absorb pricey creams and serums better. Cook says it cleans six times better than regular washing.

With unlimited funds, I’d say the rechargeable, weighty Clarisonic wins. But if you’d just like to outdo your washcloth, the Olay Pro-X is not a bad way to go. Just be gentle… overstretched pores don’t sound pretty.

Are you a facial brush fan? Let me know in the comments!

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