Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Skincare Gadget Craze

Perhaps it's the right age, or the ads I see on TV, or friends who have also purchased and recommended it...but it's finally my turn; I have finally invested in an electronic face cleansing brush!

There are many types of these products on the market now, but the main ones I was looking at, was the electronic face cleansing brush, as well as the facial massager.

Sonic Cleansing Brush or Ionic Gadget for Cleansing & Moisturising?

I was slightly worried as there were many mixed comments on the suitability of these products for sensitive skin, but my friend who has really sensitive skin, has had no problems with the Clarisonic Mia2, so I purchased it too. I also felt that I would have no use for the Hada Crie, because I believe that if I cleanse well enough, my skincare products would absorb better into my skin anyway and leave me with hydrated skin. The Hada Crie has the cleansing function as well as a moisturising function, but I thought that I wouldn't need the extras at such a high price. You are also not advised to use it if you are pregnant or having your period. I will still be talking about the Hada Crie in this post, but the review is based on my sister-in-law's use of the product.

Mia 2 by Clarisonic (from HK$1000~1500)

Key Features:
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Comes with a Brush Head for Sensitive Skin
  • Can be used to cleanse out makeup residue
  • Bristles are easy to dry
  • Uses sonic motion (like the Sonicare electric toothbrush)
  • Two power levels selection
  • Rechargeable: can be used when travelling
  • T-timer prompts
  • Many good reviews on the Internet

The Clarisonic Mia2 comes in a box measuring 19cm(L) x 14cm(W) x 10cm(D).

Inside the box:

Travel Case
White Mia2 with plastic cap
Sample Size Cleanser 30mL
pLink Charger
Sensitive Brush Head
User Manual

The charger attaches to the device magnetically. When attached, the device will vibrate once, and the light will start flashing, and when the Mia2 is fully charged, the light will stop flashing. When you unplug the device from the charger, the device will vibrate twice.

Before using the Mia2 for the first time, it is recommended that you charge the Mia2 for 24 hours prior to using. Like other new toothbrushes that I use, I will soak the brush in warm water prior to use, so that the bristles will become softer when I use them, and will therefore not irritate my skin.

How To Use:

1. Before first use, charge the device for 24 hours.
2. Remove eye makeup by hand
3. Apply cleanser directly to moistened skin or to a damp brush head
4. Push the on/off button to turn on your sonic cleansing system
5. Select desired speed
6. Follow T-TIMER prompts while gently moving brush head in small circular motions: 20 seconds on your forehead; 20 seconds on your nose and chin; 10 seconds on each cheek
7. The Clarisonic will automatically shut off after the cleansing cycle
8. Rinse skin thoroughly to remove excess cleanser
9. For a finer brush to clean the nose, you can remove the inner brush from the brush, and attach to the device.
10. To remove the brush head from the device, just simply put the cap on, then twist counter-clockwise.

Personal Experience:

I purchased my Mia2 from my friend's sister-in-law, who sold it to me for HK$1000, which is considered cheap, as I saw others selling it for up to HK$1500 at other places. Be careful in buying any fakes who sell them for less than HK$1000 though!

For information on how to spot a fake Clarisonic, see here:

I was very excited when I received my device, but since it had to be charged for 24 hours first, I waited patiently for it to finish charging first.

The products that I use with the Mia2 have not changed - cleanser, toner, essence, eye cream, and day/night cream.

Day 1:

I wetted my face as well as the brush head, then applied my usual face cleanser onto the brush head and massaged my face with the device; however, my foaming cleanser became surprisingly foamy and the foam ended up in my nostrils - disastrous! I was too into the foam issue that I wasn't paying much attention to the timer, and when the device suddenly switched off, I was very surprised to see that one minute had gone by way too quickly! I turned the device back on to finish the rest of my face, as well as using it on my neck for a few seconds. I only used Low Speed, and I realised the brush was not as harsh as others claimed it to be, but then again, I did soak the brush in some warm water before using it, so perhaps that made the difference! I did feel some prickly feeling when using the device on my face, but it wasn't too hard to bear, and it did leave my face a little dry and tingly afterwards, but the problem was easily resolved when I applied my skincare products onto my face afterwards.

Day 2:

I realised that I had a small pimple on my forehead, probably because the device cleanses deep down into the skin. I improved the method of how I used the device - I would wet the brush as well as my face, and then squeeze the cleanser onto my palms and create foam with my hands before applying it onto my face. Then, I would use the device and massage it on my face as usual. This new method was much easier as I could control how much foam the cleanser created. I also took out the inner brush from the brush to clean the finer areas around my nose.

Day 3:

I continued using my improved method, but I accidentally pressed High Speed - it felt like a big scrub on my face, and it did leave my face slightly painful and red afterwards. My face also felt very dry afterwards, but also very soft and smooth.

The Mia2 is waterproof, so I usually use it in the shower, and then I wash the brush head with some soap before rinsing it out with warm water. I run my fingers between the bristles to get the water out before capping on the lid. I also press the brush against my towel a few times to get rid of any excess water. I leave my device overnight to dry, and sometimes I will plug it back into the charger so that it dries faster. Note that although the Mia2 is waterproof, the charger is not, so you must dry your device completely before charging it.

It is recommended to change the brush head every 3 months for hygienic reasons. My friend, who has the Clarisonic Mia, explained to me that the brush head does become yellow afterwards, and if you really bother to scrape the bristles, you'll see some pink remains - is that our dead skin?

I feel that I am okay with using the Mia2 everyday at Low Speed, but as for High Speed, as it is more of a scrub, I guess I could use it only once a week or even less. If my skin feels too dry during the winter, I may consider using the Mia2 less frequently, but it's not a problem now.

Since using the Clarisonic Mia2, I have realised that my skincare products absorb more quickly into my skin, and that my skin feels smoother and softer. With cleaner skin, my pores also look smaller too!

Hada Crie CM-N8800BF by Hitachi (around HK$2000)

My sister-in-law (Grace) purchased this recently and has been using it for a few weeks already. As I am pregnant, I am unable to use this product, so I will be posting based on her review. Please note that this model is equivalent to CM-N820, but the plug is a HK plug instead of the two-legged Japanese plug.

Key Features:
  • Made in Japan
  • Pore Cleansing & Moisturising
  • 3 Operating Modes: Cleansing, Moisturise, and Mask
  • Titanium Head: Prevent allergy
  • Dimple design which let you use thicker toner
  • Can use your regular toner, lotion, and mask
  • AC/Rechargeable: can be used when travelling
  • 3 power levels selection
  • Auto-stop Function

Inside the box:

White Hada Crie unit (I have already capped on the cotton pad)
Hada Crie holder
2 cotton rings to keep the cotton pad in place (one is already placed on the device)
Summary Card (in Japanese)
User Manual

How To Use:

1. Before first use, charge the device for at least 8 hours.
2. You must remove all makeup before using this device.
3. There is a contact plate (for ion induction) at the back of the device, and you need to wrap your hand around to device to "complete the circuit" in order for your device to work.
4. Push the on/off button to turn on your device.
5. Push "MODE" to select what you want to do: Cleansing, Moisturise, Mask.
The default setting is at Cleansing.
6. Push "LEVEL" to select speed. For first time users, it is advised to use the lowest speed. The default level is at Low.
7. If you are on the Cleansing Mode, place a cotton pad on the titanium plate and snap the cotton ring over it. Slowly soak the cotton pad with your toner, and massage onto your face.
8. If you are on the Moisturise or Mask Mode, there is no need to use a cotton pad, in which case, you just add the products directly onto your face, and massage with the device.
The way to massage is to either glide the Hada Crie onto your face, or by making circular movements on your face.
The way to glide the Hada Crie onto your face.
9. Place the device on your face and it will start vibrating.
10. The device will turn off automatically after 5 minutes.
11. Do NOT wash the device with water as it is not waterproof!

As I was unable to test it on my own face, Grace turned the device on and asked me to hear the vibrating sound it created when she placed the device on her face - yes, it does vibrate!

Her Personal Experience:

Grace Cheung, the winner of the Miss Asia Pageant 2007, now works as an artist/actress at Asia Television Limited. She travels quite a lot, and skincare therefore plays a very important part to her - she applies heavy makeup nearly everyday, and she must make sure that she cleanses her face very well as well as keeping it completely hydrated. She has very dry and sensitive skin.

Grace purchased the Hada Crie from Broadway Electronics for HK$2000, and she uses it every evening before going to bed. She has tried all the modes and levels of the device, but says that she uses all the modes in order most of the time, but sometimes without the mask function.

Cleanse: Cotton pad is required to clean with a toner.
Moisturise: Can use the device directly with essence or moisturiser.
Mask: Can use the device directly with a paper mask or gel mask.

You may need to experiment with the types of cotton pads to use. The below photo is of a thinner type of cotton pad, which ripped quite easily. You should look for a silkier type of cotton pad for better results.

A used cotton pad after the Cleansing Mode.

Each mode completes its course in 5 minutes, and the device will automatically stop when the time is up. Grace finds that five minutes is too long for cleansing, as she usually only takes three minutes, but she usually needs six to seven minutes for the essence to absorb completely.

Unlike the Clarisonic Mia2, the Hada Crie is not waterproof, so you cannot wash the device with water, but instead, Grace wipes it with alcohol after every use.

After using the device, she has felt that her face feels more clean, moisturised, and soft.

These products are both very popular on the market recently, especially the newest version of the Hada Crie which has the warm and cooling functions. If you really care about your skin, and is willing to invest in products like these, I can assure you that they are really worth the price! If you do a Google search, you'll see all the other great reviews on these products too! I hope you enjoyed reading, and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below!

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