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!

9 comments on “Smackdown: Clarisonic vs. Olay Pro-X Facial Brush”

  1. Love my Claisonic 3 speed. Has helped my skin so so much. I splurged because olay hadn’t come out with theirs yet but no regrets!!!

  2. I have the Olay one but don’t use it much. When I do I definitely feel it stretching my skin and that kind of scares me. I would live to read a comparison of why the much more expensive 3-speed Clairisonic would be better than the single-speed one.

  3. I waited (and debated) for years if I should spend the extra bucks for the Clairisonic. I bought the Mia 2 (finally) 3 months ago. I cannot describe how much better my skin looks. I am in my 50’s and look 20 – NO, I’m kidding. I am in my 50’s and my skin looks smoother and more radiant….. What exactly does that look like – how does that feel = does it warrant a $120 purchase??? DO IT. Hard to put into words the benefits, but they’re there. My skin looks BETTER, SMOOTHER, BETTER – good enough peeps.

  4. I was gifted a Mia 2 this past year, lucky me right?
    I’ve used the device quite regularly and can truthfully say that Mia 2 is a great product. Most evident after my regular use is the significant reduction in the size of the pores in my T-Zone area.
    I must note that I do not use Clarisonic’s cleansers, I opt for the readily available Neutrogena blackhead cream (the one with the tiny little exfoliation beads), such a great deep cleanser.

    Sure, the purchase of a Clarisonic Mia is quite the expenditure, but the up-keep of one’s “mug” is worthy of the cost.

    Spoil yourself and rationalize the purchase, you are worth it. Better yet, persuade your significant other that you deserve to be spoiled. Plant the seeds of rationalization in him/her as to your desire to own one and how happy it will make you.

  5. Carley,
    I Agree with many of the estheticians that responded with regards to how and why the clarsonic is a better fit for your skin. A brush can superficially scratch the skin and tear the tissue as well as stretch the skin. I also wanted to voice my opinion with regards to an “at home” facial vs a facial done by a board certified esthetician. I compare it to a dentist, he or she has to professionally clean your teeth and we professionally clean your pores and skin. I have been blessed to help many people with their skin for over 30 years and I see the miracles everyday. If you are ever in Santa Barbara,Ca or Montgomery,Ohio we would love to treat you.
    Lisa Pfeiffer owner Peaches Skin Care

  6. The facial lotion of Oil of Olay does not work for me. I have very dry skin and the only thing that really works is the Made From Earth Vitamin C Moisturizer. I have been using it for 10 years now. The Olive Night cream is very good too.

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