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August 29 2014

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Beauty Throwdown: Battle Skin Brush

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It was bound to happen. Clarisonic’s signature face brush had gone years without any other brands daring to knock off its design. But now, beauty behemoth Olay has ventured to do just that, trimming more than $100 off the price tag in the process! As a recent convert to the church of face-brush loyalists, I thought this new development warranted some brush-on-brush evaluation, so without further ado, meet the contenders: the Clarisonic Mia and the Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System.

I opted to test-drive Clarisonic’s newer Mia style, versus the classic, because its smaller design is more comparable to Olay’s version. With that in mind, let’s talk size. Delicate types will gravitate toward the Olay, but those of you with big ol’ man hands like me will probably prefer the heft of the Clarisonic. And because the Clarisonic brush head has a greater circumference, it simply covers more territory.


But good things do occasionally come in small packages, and performance-wise, Olay definitely doesn’t disappoint. The bristles are durable but pliable enough not to irritate my sensitive skin, and the brushing action is as powerful as its pricier predecessor. The Olay brush rotates, while Clarisonic’s oscillates (the outermost sphere of bristles doesn’t move), but both manage to provide a micro-massaging action that thoroughly exfoliates and cleanses—six times better than traditional hands-only methods, according to clinical trials by both brands.

The other differences aren’t that noticeable, to be honest. Olay’s brush has two speeds; the Mia, only one (it should be noted that the Clarisonic original does have two). The Mia turns off automatically after 60 seconds (20 for your forehead, 20 for your nose and chin, 10 for each cheek), while the Olay has to be shut down manually. And while the Olay runs on batteries (which I must point out were not the easiest thing to install), the Mia has a universal charger.

Bottom line: If size matters, then opt for Clarisonic; if performance is more important, either will satisfy.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, $30, at drugstores; Clarisonic Mia, $149, at www.clarisonic.com.

 

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