I write about chemical exfoliants a lot on this blog, but once in a while it's nice to have a good old fashioned scrubdown. For whatever reason I never got into the whole cleansing brush (e.g. Clarisonic) craze, so I'm just experiencing their wonders for the first time now. A good old fashioned scrubdown for your face, but really, really gentle. Sounds OK. I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Michael Todd Soniclear Cleansing Brush—has it converted me to the way of the brush? Read on to find out!
Product description from the Michael Todd website:
"Cleaner skin begins with a cleaner brush™. SONICLEAR is the first ever sonic skin cleansing brush with built in antimicrobial protection against stain and odor causing bacteria. Sonic cleansing can create a breeding ground for microbial contamination when skin cells, makeup and moisture residue combine with bacteria that cling to the brush bristles between cleansings. Traditional rotary and sonic skin cleansing systems don’t offer protection against bacteria, so the team at Michael Todd set out to find a solution. After extensive research and testing, we found a way to incorporate safe, effective and durable antimicrobial technology into the brush heads at the time of manufacture. The result is SONICLEAR, a revolutionary sonic cleansing brush that thoroughly cleanses the skin and then protects itself against microbial contamination leaving the brushes cleaner, fresher for longer."
More about their antimicrobial technology:
"The secret behind SONICLEAR's germ fighting abilities is its exclusive LIFE™ antimicrobial product protection. SONICLEAR combines LIFE's patent-pending organic antimicrobial technology with another EPA registered LIFE antimicrobial to render microbes unable to reproduce and interfere with their uptake of nutrients. Safe, effective and long lasting, the antimicrobial product protection in SONICLEAR doesn't wash out or wear off so the brushes stay cleaner, fresher for longer."
One of my biggest hesitations in using physical cleansing tools is the possibility of bacterial growth, so I appreciate that this is an issue they've addressed. You can throw a regular old washcloth in the washing machine, but it's harder to get at the crap living between your brush bristles. Mmm, crap. Have I mentioned yet that the brush handle is waterproof? That means you can bring it in the shower with you. Which is totally what I've been doing.
The Soniclear starter kit is regularly priced at $149. Here's what comes in the box:
One cleansing brush, one charging dock + power cord/supply, one facial brush head, and one body brush head. You can buy replacements for all of the components on the Ulta.com, should you so desire. They do recommend changing your brush heads every six months, because whether a gang of microbes has gathered on the bristles or not, they will get worn out eventually. Replacement heads are $25 each.
Note: See how I've placed the brush in the charging dock with the bristles facing forward? DON'T DO THAT. I took these photos before I actually used the brush, and the brush actually needs to be facing the other way to charge. I'm real smart, huh? Anyway, there are indicator lights on the back side of the brush so you can tell whether or not it's charging. Here's a closer look at the controls on the front:
The top button controls allow you to scroll through the various speed/intensity levels and the bottom turns it on and off. There are six different speeds, which are indicated by the lights situated right above the controls in the following patterns:
- 6th speed (face top speed): Both red lights on
- 5th speed (for face): Top red light on
- 4th speed (for face): Bottom red light on
- 3rd speed (for body): Both red lights blinking
- 2nd speed (for body): Top red light blinking
- 1st speed (low speed, for body): Bottom red light blinking
The brush will beep at various intervals (depending on the setting) to remind you to move it to a different part of your body/face. Kind of like an electric toothbrush! The handle automatically detects which kind of brush head is attached and adjusts the available speed choices accordingly.
Here's a closer look at the brush heads:
Both heads are quite soft. Neither of them irritated or over-scrubbed my skin, even on the highest setting. They're also quite easy to remove and replace.
I've never owned a Clarisonic brush so I can't do a direct comparison, but my understanding is that the Clarisonic brushes rotate and vibrate while the Michael Todd brush just vibrates. At least that's what I've been told. Let me know if I'm wrong in the comments!
As a non-cleansing brush user I was concerned that I would find the bristles too harsh, but they're really not. I'm not sure I'd use this on my face every single day since I do perform other types of exfoliation (chemical) and I don't want to overdo it, but it really does get the job done nicely. Soft, cleansed skin that doesn't feel aggravated or squeaky-clean. I was also pleasantly surprised by the body brush function—it scrubs without giving exfoliation "rugburn" (which I totally have done to myself with a washcloth, yipes.) In case anyone cares, I used this with my usual everyday cleanser (CeraVe Foaming) and it worked perfectly.
Other thoughts... I like the physical design of the brush too. It's not too heavy, and the rubber grips on the sides helped prevent me from dropping it on my foot repeatedly in the shower. Hooray!
Overall I think the Michael Todd Soniclear Cleansing Brush is a very nice device, and priced in a reasonable way (on par with Clarisonic, at least).
What do you think of the Michael Todd Soniclear? Have you ever used a cleansing brush?
Disclosure: The cleansing brush featured in this post was provided to me for review purposes, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I did not receive any other form of compensation. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.