Beauty gadgets are a multi-billion dollar industry. They can be expensive and make amazing claims, but do they work? That’s the key question about Clarisonic Mia Smart. This sonic-ly vibrating face brush is dubbed an ‘anti-aging’ face brush that can help you “stay younger-looking, longer”. That’s a big promise.
What’s the Clarisonic Mia Smart promise?
On the Clarisonic website there’s a list of benefits using this sonic vibrating face brush and its attachments can bring:
- Better & deeper cleansing
- Visibly minimized pores
- firmer feeling contours
- Reduced appearance of eye puffiness reduced
- flawless makeup blending (applicators sold separately)
The promises are big and so too is the price tag; the Mia Smart sells for $229CAD, far more expensive than cleanser, makeup wipes and face scrubs.
How does Clarisonic Mia Smart work?
The Clarisonic Mia Smart is a waterproof hand-held face brush that uses sonic pulsations to better extract dirt, oils and blockages from your pores. The device connects to a companion app to let you manage and upload custom skin care routines. The Mia Smart has two cleansing modes and a Smart mode that lets you swap in different device heads for different purposes; we’ll get to those in a moment.
The device runs on a timer, with small vibrating nudges that help you cleanse your skin more evenly. You can use it in the bath, shower and there’s no worry about getting it wet.
Who should use a smart face brush?
If you have skin concerns like dryness, oiliness, sensitivity or breakouts, you might be able to benefit from a face cleansing brush like this one. I was skeptical, however about trying this device. After all, my face was fine; evenly moisturized, no major complaints, why would I need to change it up, and could a $200 face brush really be a game changer? In the name of technology, I often step outside my comfort zone and try new things so this is no different.
What’s the difference between new Mia Smart and older Smart Profile?
There’s a few minor differences between the new Mia Smart and older Smart Profile, if you’re thinking about upgrading. The Mia Smart has a longer battery life, and it’s a bit more compact. That’s about it. The brush heads all fit on both devices, which is nice. If your older Smart Profile is still working, I’d say there’s no need to upgrade.
Setting up Clarisonic Mia Smart
Inside the box you get the Mia Smart device; essentially it’s a giant handle. There’s a USB charging stand and the brush head, known as the ‘daily radiance cleansing brush head’.
Plug the device in to get it charged up and while that’s happening download the Clarisonic app.
The app can recommend skin care routines for you based on what you’re hoping for when it comes to your skin. I found it pretty basic. You answer a few questions and it recommends a brush head to use.
There’s also a setting that’s made so new uses can minimize the ‘Clarisonic effect’. This has been described by many users who are new to the device. It’s been said to be so effective at pulling dirt and oil from deep inside the skin, that you end up with a major breakout during the first couple weeks of use. Soft Start increases the vibrations gently and gradually so this effect is minimized.
Full confession: I’ve been using a Clarisonic daily since I first got one about three or four years ago. I use it for cleansing and applying my makeup with a special foundation brush. I find it cleans well and the makeup application is flawless. More on that in a bit too. Since the brush vibrates, it doesn’t scrub, it doesn’t feel too vigorous. It’s not all that different from using one of those vibrating toothbrushes. You can use whichever cleanser you prefer, meaning you can stick to your regular skincare regimen if that’s your thing, or you can choose one of Clarisonic’s cleansers for the full “Clarisonic Method”.
Basic cleansing with Clarisonic Mia Smart
Using the included daily radiance cleansing brush head, twist it into place on the handle. Wet the brush with water and add your cleanser or beauty product and wet your face too. Then turn on the brush and press it gently to your face.
Clarisonic recommends starting on the forehead, then doing your nose, chin then each cheek. The brush will actually make a kind of double vibration to nudge you to the next area of your face.
Then rinse your face, and rinse the brush.
Other Mia Smart heads & attachments
There are several other attachments for your Mia Smart and they are priced individually from about $30 to an eye-watering $80 for attachments like the Sonic Awakening Eye massager. I’ll detail the ones I tried specifically but there’s other brushes too from ultra gentle cashmere to a Firming head too.
Daily radiance cleansing brush head (pink)
This is the basic brush head that’s included in the package. It’s soft and fairly gentle and meant for daily use.
My experience: I like this brush. I find it soft and gentle on my skin and it does a good job of day to day cleansing.
Sensitive Skin Brush head (blue)
Same as above but the bristles are even softer for those with sensitive skin.
My experience: This brush head is just a bit softer than the other brush; I didn’t feel a huge difference in them.
Sonic Exfoliator (orange)
This bright orange silicone rubber brush is designed to scrub and exfoliate without the need for an exfoliating cleanser, says Clarisonic. It’s also supposed to minimize the look of pores & signs of lines.
My experience: I was looking forward to trying this brush. I found its domed shape a bit pointy, and the bristles took a bit of getting used to. But man, was my skin soft and smooth after using it, particularly if I used a gentle exfoliator too.
Sonic Awakening Eye Massager
This brush makes a lot of claims:
- After 1 week – visibly reduce those puffy under eyes with cooling massage
- After 8 weeks – less visible crow’s feet fine lines and under eye wrinkles
- +10% firmer feeling skin around the eye contour in 8 weeks
- Automatically connects to App with Mia Smart
- Always gentle, as tested by Ophthalmologists and Dermatologists
My experience: This was actually a nice feeling. The two round metallic nubs on the brush head are angled so you can get them around your eyes. The cool metal is supposed to reduce puffiness. With this head you get a timer that lets you know when it’s time to switch eyes, and if you feel the vibrations are too intense, you can set it to gentle.
Did I see reduced puffiness or a reduction in fine lines? I’d say not in the short time I tested it, so I’ll have to update this post down the road and share any long term observations.
Sonic Foundation Makeup Brush
Clipping this long bristled foundation brush into your Mia Smart lets you apply and blend makeup for a flawless look.
My experience: I’ve been using one of these for years and I find it’s the absolute best way to blend my foundation and any contouring naturally and without smudges, smears or visible brush strokes. You do need to keep it clean, wasing it in warm soap and water or makeup remover about once a week for best results.
Battery Life and Charging: Clarisonic Mia Smart
If you’re using the brush for just a minute or two each day, you should be able to get at least six weeks of use and up to four months before you need to recharge the battery. As I’m still testing this part out, I’ll reserve judgement on that for now and just say Clarisonic says you get 100 minutes of use per charge. The promised battery life is a bit longer than what was offered on the old Smart Profile brush.
What does a doctor say about Clarisonic?
A couple years ago when I first tried the Clarisonic brush, I asked my dermatologist about the device, looking for a professional opinion. Dr. Kristina Zakhary did some research on my behalf and found the sonic skincare brush was developed to enhance and provide consistent skin cleansing while preventing the skin from becoming “compromised,” or irritated.
The technology to clean the skin with ultrasonic waves originated from your dentist. If you’ve had any kind of dental cleaning in the last 10 years, you’ve probably had them use that skull-piercing ultrasonic device to scrub plaque off your teeth. The same technology (minus the brain-draining squeal) is used by Clarisonic on your skin. The brush is designed to work with the skin’s own elasticity providing rapid “oscillatory flexing,” as Dr Zakhary explained it. By oscillating at sonic speed the net result is skin debris becomes loosened and detached and can then be removed from then skin.
“I can with good confidence say I’d recommend to use it. I don’t see a downside. Cleansing depends on diligence and technique. This is a consistent and nonabrasive method.”
There’s not a lot of actual research out there about the effectiveness of these devices, but dermatologists recommend using them one day on and one day off so as not to overwhelm your skin.
Overall review: Clarisonic Mia Smart
I’m a Clarisonic convert. I love how the brush cleans and exfoliates my face. I feel like a new woman every time I use it. I’ve been enjoying the new brush heads and feel like they work well. I also love the makeup brush for appying my makeup every morning.
Downsides? That Clarisonic effect is very real for some users, but it does go away for most users. I have noticed on my old Smart profile that the battery no longer holds a good charge for as long, but that’s normal for most rechargeable batteries. I also miss the old shower stand that came with my Smart profile; it was a nice place to keep it handy. The Mia Smart wither needs to Stan in a drawer or plugged in, and I’m all out of outlets in the bathroom.
I can definitely recommend the new Clarisonic Mia Smart face brush for cleansing, exfoliating, and makeup. The other attachment s are also nice to use although the jury is still out on the anti-aging and wrinkle reducing properties.
*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using this link.