Tested on animals:Yes
With the name Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, Clinique is clearly marketing their first cleansing brush to those who have or are considering the similarly named Clarisonic Cleansing System. The question is how does Clinique's version measure up? The short answer is their Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush is a disappointing entry into the cleansing tool market. While it's not a harsh tool—its brush head is actually quite gentle—this isn't comparable to the Clarisonic and ends up being overpriced because it doesn't perform as well as its competitors.
First, we should state that whether a cleansing brush is of value to you or not is a personal choice—they can be considered splurge products rather than a "must-have". While they can absolutely help cleanse skin, the result isn't that much different from using a soft washcloth with your cleanser or the occasional use of a mild cleansing scrub, if that's your preference.
Those considering the splurge on a cleansing brush should be concerned about the brush's gentleness, durability, and features, as the right combination of those factors can make the investment worth it.
Getting back to Clinique's cleansing brush, for just under $100, you get the waterproof brush unit (which recharges on the charging base included with the kit) and one brush head. There's a single setting for the brush, and it runs for 30 seconds before shutting off—Clinique recommends using it for this time period at first, then gradually building up to two cycles (for a total of one minute).
The egg-shaped brush head has flat-edged bristles, and Clinique currently offers only one brush head option—there aren't multiple choices as you would find with the Clarisonic systems. To Clinique's credit, though, the bristles are luxuriously soft and would be suitable for most anyone (except those with exceptionally sensitive skin). Clinique sells replacement brush heads for $26.
Clinique advertises this device's brush head as having anti-microbial technology, but they don't specify how or what that means, so you're more or less just going to need to take their word for it. That's not a con per se, for example, most toothbrushes don't boast antibacterial technology, but it's worth mentioning as the "anti-microbial" claim sounds interesting given the "Purifying" part of its name—a word that's ultimately meaningless. (We reached out to Clinique for more information and the rep we spoke with couldn't explain it beyond stating it was "Swiss engineered and dermatologist developed" in other words she had no idea and nor do we.)
Where the true disappointment arrives is in the execution: The devil is in the details because although Clinique claims to use "sonic technology", they're not referring to the same type of technology used in brushes like the Clarisonic. This is important to note as you may be attracted to the price difference of $90 for Clinique's tool versus the $200+ of the Clarisonic Classic Cleansing System.
The actual bristles of the Clarisonic brush head vibrates at exceptionally high speeds (300 oscillations, or back-and-forth movements, every second), and design and timing of this the movement is unique to the tool.
Instead of high-speed sonic oscillations, Clinique's brush delivers a waterproof vibrating tool with a brush head attached to it. When you turn it on, the entire unit vibrates—with no particular emphasis on the brush head—resulting in a somewhat uncomfortable approach to washing your face at the sink, (the vibration of the entire tool tends to spray water everywhere).
Ultimately, Clinique's "sonic brush" is little more than a noticeably inferior knockoff of the Clarisonic—meaning you get less Prada and more Prado—and it isn't a bargain at any price. If you remain tempted by Clinique's price, we'd recommend checking out the Clarisonic Mia 1, which costs about $10 more than Clinique's version yet is far and beyond the better-quality product.
- Waterproof so you can use it in the shower.
- Easy to operate, and transports well.
- Helps cleanse skin, boosting the makeup/oil removal of your favorite cleanser.
- Soft brush head that would work for all skin types, save for the very sensitive.
- Expensive for what you get.
- Advertising may convince you this is the same technology as the Clarisonic, yet it's not.
- The entire tool vibrates loudly, which is uncomfortable to use (not to mention your significant other may wonder what's going on in there).
- Can spray water everywhere because of how it works.