As a Clarisonic user for years, it befuddles me how I’ve never reviewed this device before!
So this post will be an in-depth review of the device, but I will focus on the differences between the Clarisonic Aria and Mia 2 and also the differences between a few of the brush heads that I have tried.
Related posts: My Skincare Heroes, Evening Skincare Routine: Spring 2014
I don’t want to bore you with things you don’t want to read, so jump to your preferred section by clicking the links below!
- Why Clarisonic?
- Does it really work?
- How to use it?
- Clarisonic Aria vs Mia 2 Comparison Review
- Clarisonic Brush Heads Review
Before we get to the comparison of the two devices, here’s an overview of the Clarisonic device, what it does and how it would transform your skin.
The sonic technology of the devices harness a patented range of sonic frequency to drive oscillation (i.e. back and forth movement in a regular rhythm) between 200 to 350 movements per second. The reason this helps in transforming the skin’s texture and appearance without being too abrasive is because of the “rocking back and forth” movement of the bristles, or oscillation.
Other cleansing devices out there mostly rotate or spin on the skin, causing damage to the skin from all the tugging and pulling in the process. Moreover, some devices out there simply vibrate instead of oscillating, this just does not provide enough deep-cleansing.
Does it really work?
Clarisonic claims that their devices cleanse the skin 6x better than hands alone and that 94% of consumers report softer skin, and 90% report more radiant, glowing skin.
I personally have been a Clarisonic user for years, and I can testify that my skin has always looked and felt better every time I regularly use my Clarisonic. I’m not sure if the radiance and glow is from using the Clarisonic, but I do notice that my skin is always softer and absorbs products better every time I use my Clarisonic. I also notice that my skin is less textured (from congestions and small, skin-colored bumps).
My very first Clarisonic was the original Mia back in 2011, and I purchased the Aria in (around) 2012 – I’ve been a loyal user since. However, I honestly haven’t used my Clarisonic until recently when I was gifted the Mia 2 for review, not because I don’t like my Clarisonic, but I’ve just been extra lazy with my skin ever since I became pregnant (I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant!). Being pregnant with a toddler running around the house hasn’t been easy, so I’ve just been cleansing my skin using my hands since I just want a very minimalistic routine.
I started using my Clarisonic Aria again, regularly for the past two weeks, and my oh my has my skin been missing out! Makeup glides on better, skincare products get absorbed better, and my skin’s texture is so smooth and bump-free!
I honestly really do recommend the Clarisonic devices and understand why it’s the most hyped up and popular cleansing device in the market today.
How to use it?
Assembling the Device and Brush Head
Before you use your brand new device, make sure you charge it for 24 hours before its first use.
If you’re trying to install the brush head, this is what the Clarisonic device without any brush head looks like:
See the three gold studs/pins? Simply align the three notches on the brush head with the three pins on the device, push down and twist clockwise. See below.
Simply do the opposite to take it out.
You can use the device in two ways: as a makeup remover or as a second-step cleanser.
I personally love double cleansing, so I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup (currently using the Banila Co. Clean It Zero, reviewed here, and the Dermalogica Precleanse, featured here) and after I rinse it off, I’ll go in with my Clarisonic. My favorite cleanser to use with my device is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, featured in my My Skincare Heroes post. I’ll squeeze out some product directly on to the brush head and cleanse away!
Clarisonic Aria vs Mia 2 Comparison Review
In terms of the design and look of the device, the Aria is taller and slimmer with a smooth and glossy finish. It comes in white and silver in Australia. My pink one was actually a limited edition color from a collaboration Clarisonic had with Josie Maran for Sephora US.
Mia 2 is shorter and slightly plumper with a textured, slightly more matte finish. It comes in four colors in Australia: white, grey, bubblegum blue and pink (pale, baby pink).
The Aria is more advanced as it has three speeds, thus the three buttons. The three speeds are Delicate (Speed 1, down button), Universal (Speed 2, default), and Powerful (Speed 3, up button).
I personally find that I rarely use the Delicate button and will use the Universal speed most of the time. I will only use the Powerful speed when I need extra exfoliation.
The Mia 2 comes in two speeds, which is an upgrade from the original Mia that only comes in one speed.
Both devices have a 60-second cleansing cycle that is to be divided into 20 seconds for the forehead, another 20 seconds for the nose and chin, and 10 seconds for each cheek.
They both have a “pulsing timer” function in that it beeps and pauses after each section so that it notifies us when the time is up for each section.
Charging and Drying
One thing I love so much about the Aria, which I think makes it worth the extra bucks, is the fact that it comes with a USB charger and a drying stand.
Best thing is, you can insert the charging magnet into the drying stand so that you can dry and charge your device at the same time! (See photo) You can also plug the USB cable into your computer, how handy is that?
However, the Aria doesn’t come with a protective travel case like the Mia and Mia 2. The Mia 2 comes with a white case so your device is well protected when you travel, but the charger it comes with isn’t a USB-enabled one.
I think the Aria is much more suitable for people who only seek to use the device at home, and the Mia and Mia 2 for people who would like to be able to bring their device traveling.
Once fully charged, the Aria has a battery life of 30 minutes/uses (60 seconds per cleansing cycle), and the Mia 2 has 20 uses (also 60 seconds per cleansing cycle).
Which one’s better?
It’s all a matter of preference, needs and budget.
Aria is better for:
- Use at home because of the convenience of having the drying and charging stand.
- Both gentle cleansing and long-wear makeup removal as it features an additional speed (Speed 3/Powerful).
Mia 2 is better for:
- Travel because it comes with a protective travel case. The size of the device is also shorter than the Aria.
- People who don’t need Speed 3/Powerful.
I personally like my Aria better because of its extra features, and especially the drying and charging stand. I also like it better for its slimmer grip.
I honestly rarely travel with my Clarisonic device just because they’re rather bulky, but I’m looking forward to trying the Mia Fit because it’s much smaller and more travel friendly!
Brush Heads Review
Here are all the brush heads I’ve tried so far!
I personally have dry skin but somehow my favorites are the Acne and Luxe Cashmere brush heads. I thought I would like Delicate the most! Read more about each of them below:
Sensitive Brush Head
Ideal for most skin types, including sensitive and combination skin.
This is the default brush head that all the devices come with. So anyone who purchases a device will get a chance to try this brush.
The softness of this brush head is in between the Delicate and Normal, so it’s not too gentle that it feels ineffective but it’s not too abrasive either, which is why I think this is the default brush head that comes with all devices. It seems to be the safest for all skin types!
Luxe Cashmere Cleanse Brush Head
A dynamic dual-layer design for full facial cleansing.
This is seriously the softest brush out of the bunch, and it literally feels like rubbing soft “cashmere” on your face! This is amazing for not just aged skin but people with dry skin or thin, sensitive skin.
It’s slightly more expensive than the other brush heads because the bristles are much longer.
Delicate Brush Head
Extra-gentle and plush, designed for delicate skin prone to irritation and dehydration.
Meant to be for delicate, sensitive, fragile and dry skin, this brush head is softer than the Sensitive Brush Head but definitely it isn’t as soft and plush as the Luxe Cashmere. I feel like this would be what the Luxe Cashmere might feel like if it had short bristles.
Normal Brush Head
For clear, unblemished skin without sensitivity.
This is my least favorite brush head but just because it’s not suitable for my skin type. This is the least soft out of all the brushes I’ve tried, that’s all I can say because I’ve only used this once only to test it. It was way too abrasive for my dry, sensitive skin.
If you have skin that’s free of any issues, this would probably suit you!
Acne Brush Head
This is the brush head I’ve been using for the past few years. It’s not available in Australia just yet, so I usually purchase mine in bulk whenever I go to the States.
The softness of this brush is in between the Sensitive and Normal, so it’s very effective at cleansing the skin but is not as abrasive as the Normal brush head.
I used to struggle with acne, specifically congested pores that result in skin-colored bumps on the skin, and this brush head is perfect for my acneic skin back in the days. My skin is currently smooth with no acne or bumps at all, so I’ve been happily using my Luxe Cashmere brush head because my only skin issue is dryness, but I will definitely resort back to this brush head if I ever have bumpy skin again.
So how do you normally cleanse your skin? Do you utilize the help of any cleansing device?
Let me know what your favorite is!
Disclaimer: The Clarisonic Mia 2 device and some of the brushes were generously provided by Clarisonic Australia for review, however all opinions expressed are unbiased and of my own. No payment was received for this review. Some links may be affiliate links.