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|
|Power||Rechargeable w\ induction charger||AA batteries (included)|
|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:
Pardon the dingy back of the Olay Pro-X – I have hard water, but it is definitely clean. You can see that the Olay Pro-X is far smaller than the Clarisonic – shorter and thinner, with a very gradually widening handle as compared to the semi-hourglass shape of the Clarisonic Mia 2’s handle.
The power and speed controls (power on top, speed on bottom) are on the back of the device; I felt that this was a little awkward because I tend to toggle such controls with my thumb which is not at the back of the device during use.
In contrast with the Pro-X, the Mia 2’s controls are on the front – this allows for more comfortable use and operation of controls. Surrounding the control buttons is an oval of LEDs – these LEDs indicate multiple things: charging, low battery, power (on), and pause-mode. Also unlike the Olay Pro-X, the Clarisonic Mia 2 is seamless – you never need to open it to swap batteries. It stays cleaner and you aren’t at risk for damaging the internal components (due to a bad seal or something).
On that note, the chart above mentioned that the Mia 2 is rechargeable. It comes with a magnetic induction charger that secures to the front of the device below the controls. Not bothering with batteries is nice but keep in mind that if you don’t pay attention to the device’s notifications, you may have it die mid-use and have to wait to recharge it (instead of just throwing a fresh set of AAs in). I prefer not to mess with batteries and am happy to wait for it to charge via AC power, but that is something worth knowing, depending on your lifestyle.
Bells-and-whistles wise, well, the Pro-X doesn’t really have them. It is a simple, straightforward device. When you power it on, it stays on until you turn it off. The Mia 2, on the other hand, features a timed, one-minute cycle with vibration prompts to move to another area of your face – 20 seconds on your forehead, 20 seconds on your nose and chin, and 10 seconds on each cheek – and it turns off at the end. If, at the end of your cleanse, the battery needs to recharge, it will vibrate to prompt you to do so.
The heads, too, differ – the Olay Pro-X head is raised from the surface; it affixes to the handle by snapping into place; the brush spins, so this is ideal. The Mia 2 head is inset a bit more and attaches to the handle with a twist-lock mechanism, securing it in place; since it uses vibration rather than spinning, it doesn’t need to be able to move as much. Furthermore, look at the head size – the entire Pro-X head is about the same size as the inner-bristles (inside the black ring) of the Mia 2; personally, I’m a fan of the greater cleaning area.
I found that I had to replace my Pro-X brush head (whose bristles are longer and have more, “give,” to them than the Clarisonic Sensitive head) every three months with once-daily use; by the end of the third month, you could really tell they were wearing out. Clarisonic recommends you replace your brush head every three months, but I can comfortably get four months out of it without significant wear. On top of that, there’s only one kind of Pro-X head, but there are multiple varieties of Clarisonic brush heads – normal, sensitive, delicate, acne, and more (including some, “luxurious,” ones that I haven’t tried).
Putting the Clarisonic Mia 2 vs Olay Pro-X in terms of efficacy – the Mia 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of the Pro-X in terms of cleaning. Both feature two speeds/intensities, but the vibration is far more effective in removing makeup, dead skin, whatever else is on your face than the manual rotation of the Pro-X. That isn’t to say that the Pro-X is useless; it isn’t, far better than your hands or a facial sponge/non-powered brush, but still. Keep in mind, too, that keeping a rotating product in one area of your face may tug on your skin if you aren’t paying close attention as you cleanse. That said, it isn’t as if you’d switch from using one one day to using the other the next and have someone noticed, “OH MY GOD, this change is extreme, did you upgrade to a Clarisonic?” No – the difference is there, but it occurs gradually.
If you want to upgrade from using your hands or a non-powered brush but still want a simple, basic solution, save some money and get the Olay Pro-X. Having tried both, though, I appreciate the extras and find that my skin is improved since then over use of the Pro-X, so I’m happy I upgraded. If I had to do it again, though, I’d get the original Mia and save money.