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

Read more…

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream

I received a sample foil of the new Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light to Medium recently, and because I was feeling kind of blah but not blah enough to break out my foundation, I ripped the sucker open to slap it on my face. This is the first product I have written about that I did not bother to research before slapping it on my face – crazy. I felt like living on the edge, I guess. I had no idea what kind of marketing or claims were associated with this product other than that it is new, it is from Olay, and it is listed as a BB Cream.

Here’s what the Olay site has to say:

Finish your daily beauty regimen with the all-in-one solution with 6 skin-perfecting benefits:

• Refreshes skin instantly
• Brightens for a radiant glow
• Evens tone with a splash of sheer color
• Hydrates for 24 hours
• Smoothes for softer feeling skin
• Protects against UV damage with SPF 15
• Infused with essence of honeysuckle and white tea

As far as my experience (which, again, occurred before I checked the product out) – the contents of the foil packet felt light on the pads of my fingers and was easy to apply – smoothing it on and blending it out was easy with just my fingers thanks to the light consistency. Though it looked pretty opaque when squeezed from the packet onto my fingers, I found that it was actually quite sheer as I applied it to my face. Using my lighted mirror as well as varying mirrors and levels of lighting, I tried (and failed, fortunately!) to see any lines where the color was showing or off – although I did not see any harsh lines, this did pull a warmer on me than my skin actually is.

Although the Fresh Effects BB Cream’s packaging says that it is, well, a BB Cream, it then indicates that it is a, “skin perfecting tinted moisturizer.” The distinction is important – although a lot of popular Western brands are trying to cash in on the BB cream market, most offerings are not really BB Creams, and are typically just tinted moisturizers with the addition of sunscreen – meaning they are not actually alternatives to foundations and so forth. This product, though it felt nice going on, is entirely too thin to be a true BB Cream.

The first trait of this product that struck me, though, was not how light it felt, how easily it applied, or how sheer it was – it was the scent. As it turns out, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream really means, “Olay heavily perfumed BB Cream.” If you are familiar with the fragrance used in Olay’s Quench line of body washes, lotions, etc. — it is that scent, or something very close to it. I’m indifferent to the scent as a body product but for the love of cats why would you add that to a face product and not warn people? Not thrilled with that aspect at all, especially as I started sneezing shortly after putting it on. I do not have any known allergies (unknown-unknowns, etc) to anything in this stuff, but I abhor strongly scented products that are designed to linger on my face (i.e., moisturizer, foundation, etc).

Because I only had a foil pack, I don’t have any pictures for you, so we’ll live with a stock photo.

Now, to tackle the claims:

Refreshes skin instantly – The fact that it feels moisturizing is quite nice, and that may be what they mean – but something like this should not be applied onto anything but freshly washed skin that shouldn’t already need refreshing.
Brightens for a radiant glow – I do not feel that it brightened my complexion but it does leave a dewy finish, but doesn’t appear to be shimmery like some products boasting radiance have.
Evens tone with a splash of sheer color – The product does have sheer color, but if you have anything other than light splotchiness, you may want something heavier duty like a Korean BB Cream or straight-up foundation because this is little more than a tinted moisturizer.
Hydrates for 24 hours – Nope. Not in the winter, anyway. Beyond that, do not forget that this, and products like it, are cosmetics. Wash your face before bed!
Smoothes for softer feeling skin – Immediately after applying, my skin did feel slightly softer than before I applied, but otherwise my skin felt normal throughout the day.
Protects against UV damage with SPF 15 – It is true that this product contains sunscreen, but like any sunscreen it is recommended that you reapply. Don’t be that person reapplying tinted moisturizer without removing the old layer, okay? It will not be flattering.
Infused with essence of honeysuckle and white tea – Great, I like both of those things – unfortunately neither of those were what the smell is. White tea has antioxidants, but I can’t imagine the concentration in this product is high enough to combat a thing.

This is by no means a bad product, but it is important to recognize it for what it is – a tinted moisturizer, not an actual BB Cream. If scented facial products do not bother you, Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream is available online and at drugstores for between $10-14. Between the dewy finish (not cute for me, I have some pores that were a little obvious) and the smell that I just could not get past, I washed it off when I got home and will not be purchasing a full sized tube.

Disclosure: Hey! There are some affiliate links in here, thought you might want to know. There’s more info on the About page.

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.

Read more…