Clarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X

Many moons ago, I was the happy owner of an Olay Pro-X Facial Cleansing System. Then, in late 2013, I upgraded to a Clarisonic Mia 2. Before I took the leap, I searched for a good, in-depth review of both systems so I could gauge whether or not it was worth bothering to shell out the money. I found a lot of, “Well like Clarisonic is just, you know, better. And it’s rechargeable. And sonic…but the Pro-X is nice if you’re on a budget!”

So, since I have experience with both, let’s pit the Clarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X. Be warned, this is a very text-heavy post.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Olay Pro-X
Price $150 $30
Power Rechargeable w\ induction charger AA batteries (included)
Included Heads 1 1
Brush Head Price 1 for $27 (multiples cheaper) 2 for $12 (Amazon)
Included Cleanser 1 oz Clarisonic Gel Cleanser

.68oz Exfoliating Cleanser

Personally, I wasn’t impressed with either included cleanser so that much wasn’t important to me, but the investment in the Clarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X is very different. The initial output is higher, and the heads are more expensive. I buy packs of four once a year at a discounted price and try to find a decent promo code (like at least 20% off that) and stack it with a great cash-back offer from eBates. Batteries, on the other hand, aren’t cheap – I recommend investing in a set of reliable rechargeable batteries to offset that cost.

Let’s look at the devices themselves:

Clarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X (Olay pictured left) - backClarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X

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More Info: Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

Olay Pro-X

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System - back

I have written about the Olay Pro-X before, and, as promised, wanted to deliver a more-robust review. You will notice that the images depict some slight discoloration at the “seams” of the device – we have hard-ish water, but I assure you it is clean, just well-used. I do not approve of sharing photos of filth. Here is the back of the device, complete with logo on the battery cover. The larger of the two grey buttons is the power button, the smaller is the speed control. The Pro-X has two speeds: normal and gentle. This device does not have a timer like some higher-end devices do, so you are advised by Olay to time yourself for about a minute.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System - side

Here’s a profile shot of it to give you an idea of the thickness. The Olay Pro-X is a small, lightweight device – fairly travel friendly. The bristles are bent because I was not careful enough about letting it dry after its last use. They snap back with no complaints after your next use. Though other devices position the buttons on the bristle-side of the brush, it is no more difficult or inconvenient to use, given the device’s small form-factor.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System - front

There’s nothing interesting on the “front” side of the device except the brush head itself. Olay currently only offers one brush so far (not counting the sponge thing for their Microdermabrasion stuff – but that is new-new, and I have not tried it), and the bristles are pretty long and soft. I have had no issues with them on either speed – but then again I do not have sensitive skin. If you have, or suspect you have sensitive skin, start on the lower speed juuust in case. While using it, if you apply too much pressure, the bristles are so soft that they have a good bit of “give” to them – so don’t mash it up against your face or you will just make your bristles wonky and you’ll be wasting your time.

Olay Pro-X - brush head removed

Pro-X brush heads are not overly expensive to replace at $7-8 for two. Olay did not include any guidelines on how frequently to replace them, but I wound up doing it every 3-4 months, at the same time I changed my toothbrush’s brush head. Popping the brush head off is easy – hold the device, grab the plastic “back” of the brush head and gentle pull free; it pops right off. Doing so reveals the pentagonal post it sits on that is rotated by the motor and really does all the work of this device.

Olay Pro-X - back of brush head

This is the back of the brush head. Nothing exciting here, really – let’s move along. In fact, let’s move along to the most infuriating, ridiculous part of this contraption: replacing the batteries.

“Hi!” it says. “I’m the Olay Pro-X! I’m a friendly little critter until I start behaving sluggishly and you have to replace my batteries. Then I am a horrible fiend!” It’s okay, friendly reader. I’ve been where you are. I had to look it up, too, because I was about to bash it off the counter because while it obviously has to open somehow, it is not obvious how.

Because I do not have extra arms, I couldn’t really show you ALL of this and take a picture. So I’ll walk you through it and hopefully this picture will help. With the “back” of the device facing you, firmly grasp the body of the device in one hand. With the other, place your forefinger and thumb on the bottom battery cover. I find it easiest to brace my thumb against one side and my finger against the other, kind of how I have shown here. Pull down and to the right (a rocking motion sometimes helps!), and this it will pop open. Be careful until you have the hang of it – you don’t want to apply too much force lest you break it.

Olay Pro-X - how to open

Once you have triumphed, it will look like this. The bottom piece comes off completely, and there ARE battery guides to show you which side should be positive-up, etc. The Olay Pro-X takes AA batteries and comes with a standard pair of alkalines. After they died, I switched to rechargeables. Swap your batteries, and the cover snaps right back in place without problems. This was my only substantial complaint about this device.

This device is waterproof and does have a rubber O-ring to protect areas from water exposure. I stored mine in the shower and had no issues aside from a little discoloration. With daily usage (one time per day), I got about 4-6 months out of a set of batteries – not bad, all things considered. I never felt that it was too harsh on my skin or that I was over-exfoliating (I hear people tend to overdo it with higher-end devices). I’ve used different cleansers with it without issue (though I wouldn’t use this to OCM). Its maintenance is not costly if you go with rechargeable batteries and watch for sales on brush heads. I would caution against using this device on the thin, delicate skin in your eye area; the Olay Pro-X cleans manually via spinning the brush head. The spinning motion could tug a little on the eye area which most now know is inadvisable.

In summation, it is a nice entry-level skincare brush with few bells-and-whistles. A welcome upgrade from a washcloth, it would make a thoughtful gift for someone into skincare, who wears makeup, or someone who perhaps struggles with acne. They are available for $20-30 in most drugstores, mass-retailers (Wal-Mart, Target), and online via retailers like Amazon, drugstore.com, soap.com, and others.

Disclosure: This wasn’t sponsored! That said, some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I will only ever tell you that something is awesome if I tested it myself and believe that.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

I developed an interest in taking care of my skin before I was particularly interested in makeup, hair, etc. I’ve had a routine for ages; it has changed over the years, and I periodically look for ways to improve it. After all, your skin does not indefinitely remain the same, so taking care of it should change along with it.

I heard about Clarisonic several years ago, but was astonished (and offended!) by the price tag. At that time, they did not have the Mia and Mia2 models, so it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$250 … for a face brush. My mind was blown – bloggers who I felt were otherwise trustworthy sang its praises. I honestly thought they had lost their minds.

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

Then, Olay came out with the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System (always with the long product names…). Smaller than any Clarisonic on the market (still!) and at a much less frightening price-point ($30), I grew interested in it. Better cleansing than my hands can deliver? Gentle exfoliation? Hot damn! A friend picked one up before I did and expressed happiness with its performance so my interest was piqued.

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Skincare Basics

Splash Rinsing. No one actually does this.

I wish there was a study or survey with data regarding average budgets or amounts allocated to beauty expenses. Unfortunately, it would never be accurate because we, as people, do not want to admit our own vanity. Or perhaps you’re willing to admit to it, but not to its extent.

Many people dole out for cosmetics to cover up and hide what they perceive to be imperfections. I would be willing to bet, however, that most spend more money on things to hide what they feel they need to rather than improve it. Skincare is neglected because, unlike slapping concealer on your face when you feel you need it, taking care of your skin is a daily effort. No amount of makeup is going to, “fix,” poorly cared-for skin – not even high end ones, don’t let the girl at the counter suggest that (be a skeptic!). Clean, well-cared for skin looks and feels better, ages better (who can argue with that?) and takes less effort to, “dress up,” if you will. I have also found that there is this thought that taking care of your skin = huge expense – not so. You don’t need to go drop cash at the Clinique counter or on Murad. My entire routine is readily available online, in various drugstores, and in mass merchants.

After the jump is a peek into my skincare basics and current routine. It isn’t costly, it isn’t very time consuming once you establish a routine. For reference, my skin is normal/combination T-Zone/non-sensitive.

Read moreSkincare Basics