Considering the number of fancy facial cleansing tools I have tried before, I think there are really great differences among them and want to share which ones were merely vibrating on my skin and which ones truly worked. Not all cleansing brushes are created equal! 🤓
Here are the various cleansing devices I've tried:
- Clarisonic Mia 2
- Philips Visapure (review)
- Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush (review)
- Foreo Luna Mini 2
- Nuskin ageLOC LumiSpa (FAV!)
How To Use A Facial Cleansing Device
Let's get the basics right first!
Theoretically, all facial cleansing devices work the same - first remove your makeup, then apply cleanser to wet skin, and massage along your face in circular motions for a minute or until the device stops.
After years of ill-treating my skin barrier by rubbing micellar water-soaked cotton pads on my skin, I have learnt to be kinder to my skin and wallet. I used 8-10 cotton pads each time, so imagine the amount of money thrown away in a year! Also, with the tugging and pulling of the skin, I was stretching out my skin with friction, breaking down the collagen and creating a loss of elasticity over time. Huge damage inflicted on my skin for years!
With experimentation, I have also come to realize my acne-prone and oily skin isn't a fan of oil-based makeup removers.
So no matter how facial cleansing devices claim efficacy of removing makeup, I always use a gentle yet efficient cleansing balm as first cleanse, and follow up with a facial cleanser and the cleansing tool for a double cleanse.
Your skin type will determine what kind of cleanser and brush head to use and how often you should use it. Normal and oily skin types can eventually work up to using the brush once a day, while dry and sensitive skin types should stick to 1-2 times a week.
In this post, I'll be reviewing the two most recent facial cleansing brushes I've used in the past year. Both have silicone bristles and are more gentle yet more effective at cleansing than previous generation bristles.
The last time I had a facial was years ago because I
have trust issues have built myself a safe and effective home facial regime.
Luna Mini 2 VS ageLOC LumiSpa
Cult-favorite Foreo Luna Mini 2 was my workhorse for three whole years. I never went anywhere without it. It would be the first thing I remind myself to pack for an overseas trip and the last thing I actually do pack, because I would have had to use it when I wake up in the morning.
Even when my Nu Skin AgeLOC LumiSpa arrived, I was reluctant to put away the Foreo. I am sentimental right down to my facial cleansing devices!
At first, I couldn't get used to the Lumispa (fear of change lol) and kept going back to the Foreo. But with that side by side comparison, it became more apparent to me which beauty device reigned supreme in the various aspects of cleansing, exfoliation, massaging, and indication to pressure.
But first, let me share what I like about the Luna Mini 2.
Why You Should Get The Luna Mini 2
It was also such an upgrade from all the traditional brush cleansing devices I used before. These were great predecessors of the Foreo - better than using hands - however even their gentlest brush heads felt slightly harsh on my sensitive skin. That's why I stopped using them.
With the Foreo, my skin feels much cleaner than just using hands and the silicone bristles feel less abrasive on my paper-thin skin.
No Replacement Heads To Be Purchased
I love that the Foreo is an all-in-one device. I was sold on the idea that with the anti-bacterial built-in silicone head, I would never have to buy a replacement nor worry about bacteria breeding in between tightly nestled bristles.
One thing I don't see being mentioned is mold build-up. Maybe I'm a rare case, but mold flourished between the silicone bristles of my Foreo! I was so grossed out I stopped using the device for months. Then one day I decided to dunk the head into a bowl of vinegar and left it overnight. The next morning the gunk was still there and I had to use a toothbrush to get it out. This was when I realized why having a built-in head might not be the best idea.
The reverse side can be used with your moisturizer to massage any areas you’d like to tone, but I never bother.
The Luna Mini 2 is rechargeable with its included USB cable. One hour of charging allows me 6 up to six months of daily use. Amazing! Its need for charging is so infrequent that I kind of panic when I see the indicator blinking because I cannot remember where I left the charger 6 months ago.
- When the battery is low, the indicator will start to flash repeatedly
- While charging, the indicator will flash repeatedly
- When the battery is full, the indicator will emit a steady glow
What I like best about the Foreo Luna Mini 2 is its size and portability; it's the perfect traveling cleansing device to bring along and there are no spare parts to fix.
Small And Portable
The Luna Mini 2 is great for travel, especially if you want to travel light yet don't want to downsize your skincare routine too much. Having a cleansing device is definitely better than just cleaning with bare hands, IMO.
At the same time, I've always felt that the structure of the device makes it difficult to get to certain areas of the face, like the areas between the brows and beside the nose.
To keep it compact, the battery is built inside the head, so your whole hand will vibrate when you use it. Not exactly comfortable or relaxing, but not a major deal breaker either.
If you need to cleanse your face in silence because your baby wakes at the slightest sound (*raises hand), this would be the perfect tool to use in ninja silence mode.
The downside of the Foreo Luna Mini 2 is that while pulsations last for 60 seconds with pauses in between to indicate a move to other parts of the face, the pauses are SO SUBTLE that I would have to pay really close attention, be 100% focused on catching the vibrations and pauses. It can be quite stressful coz I don't want to overuse it on my sensitive skin. I want my 60 seconds to be as stress-free as possible; I don't want to think or tune in to anything else except the blank state of my mind. It's the only time I get to zone out, let me have it!
Sometimes when I zone out during the cleansing and don't manage to catch the pause, I would spent too much time on one area, resulting in overuse. Sometimes I underuse. Maybe this zoning out thing is just me.
Pulsations will pause three times in succession after 60 seconds to indicate the end of cleansing routine. These successive pulses are more apparent, but I have gone on for longer because I zoned out too much. Luckily, the Foreo will switch itself off after 3 minutes to prevent overuse.
Frequent overuse did dry out my skin, making it feel tight after each use. You know, that kind where you will make funny facial expressions because your skin just feels so glued together, and not in a good way.
One thing I'm grateful to the Foreo for is it acted as a lactation massager to clear the blocked milk ducts when I had mastitis. This is a great tip for any breastfeeding mum who is experiencing clogged ducts! After Googling on how to remove those painful blocked ducts, I almost went out to buy a vibrator, but realized I already had a great vibrating device! So I used the vibration of the Foreo to loosen the ducts during a hot shower and also while pumping.
I believe it was the pink that ultimately made me click 'buy'.
Summary for Foreo Luna Mini 2
- Comes in various colors
- Fully waterproof
- Different intensities to choose from
- Long lasting battery life
- Helps to clear blocked milk ducts
- Whole device vibrates
- Unable to deep cleanse certain areas of the face
- Unable to change in-built silicone head
Now, moving on to why the LumiSpa will be your best purchase of the year.
Why You Should Get The LumiSpa
As mentioned in the beginning, I was a little reluctant to switch to the LumiSpa. BECOZ NO PINK. Haha! Kidding. Maybe a little not.
To be honest, it took me about a week to get used to the LumiSpa, but once I did, I was so grateful to finally have this in my life! Why didn't I know about this earlier! What rock have I been living under??
Nu Skin AgeLOC LumiSpa can be purchased at a discount (around 30%) when you join as member (at no extra cost).
The ageLOC LumiSpa definitely feels weightier in my hand, like a grown-up version of something. Like graduating from a toy phone to a real smart phone, that kind of feeling. Maybe that's why my baby likes to play with my phone. Why go back to toy phone when the real deal is better?
Unlike the Foreo which vibrates throughout, the only part that vibrates on the ageLOC LumiSpa is the head, making it easier to handle and you can fully experience the relaxing massage for the entire two minutes.
Revolutionary Oscillating Action
It is a rechargeable, waterproof, handheld electric skin cleansing device that gently and effectively cleanses away dirt, oil, makeup, pollutants, and toxins through its counter-rotating, pore-tightening action oscillation.
Some facial cleansing devices vibrate, some spin. The ageLOC LumiSpa vibrates, spins, and has TWO silicone heads that rotate at different frequencies and in opposite direction of each other to deliver a deep clean feel. So your skin gets cleansed and exfoliated at the same time.
LumiSpa is made to be used in the shower so don't worry about electrocution or anything like that because it's waterproof, but still, follow the safety instructions.
It felt pretty weird the first time I used it since the way the silicone heads move delivers a sensation I've never encountered. Now I actually love the stimulating and massaging experience and look forward to cleansing my face with the device at night.
Antimicrobial Silver Coating
The soft silicone treatment heads are embedded with antimicrobial silver and are more hygienic, less abrasive, and easier to clean than bristle heads.
The Gentle treatment head is great for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. The Normal treatment head is the standard choice and is designed for most skin types. And the Firm treatment head is for those who want the most 'aggressive' experience. I think if you have a thicker skin barrier, this would be best, but I think most people are pretty comfortable with the Normal head. Don't use the Firm treatment head if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin!
To get the best and most hygienic results from the treatment heads, it is recommended to change them after 3 months.
Do you NEED to strictly change them every 3 months? If you are after the benefits from the antimicrobial silver coating, then yes. Personally, to stretch my dollar, I'll change it every 6 months.
Additionally, after how I witnessed mold grow on my Luna Mini 2, I prefer to have the option of changing the head. The LumiSpa replaceable heads can be purchased individually or in a pack (30% off with free membership).
Safe For Daily Use
Err on the cautious side if you have sensitive skin and avoid using facial cleansing devices too often. Here are 3 things to try if you have sensitive skin. If you have oiler skin they can be particularly useful as pores are more prone to clogging.
There is significant difference in terms of texture and smoothness when I use it and when I don't.
The device is safe and gentle enough for use twice daily, but because my skin is highly sensitive and I have to be extremely careful not to aggravate it, I use it on alternate nights and follow up with zapping my acne with a high frequency machine.
I know a lot of people who start using cleansing brushes want to use them every day due to its convenience and results of better cleansed skin. But for most people, that tends to be a bit too harsh, so unless your skin is used to being cleansed by a facial cleansing device daily, I would suggest starting with 3 nights a week first.
On those nights that I don't do a physical exfoliation with the LumiSpa, I do a chemical exfoliation and leave the active ingredients on overnight. If you're experiencing sensitivity or irritation from over exfoliation with direct acids, here are some useful tips on how to calm down irritated skin.
Because I don't use it twice everyday as recommended, I only have to charge the device once a month.
Will Never Overuse It
The first thing the LumiSpa made me realize was that I had been wayyyyy too harsh on my skin with the amount of pressure I applied with the Foreo. I mean, since the Foreo simply vibrated, there was no knowing how much pressure was optimal and I seriously overdid it - for years!
Remember I mentioned how the subtlety of the pauses from the Foreo meant that I was constantly overusing the device on one area of my face? The Nu Skin ageLOC LumiSpa will give you NO CHANCE to overdo anything on your skin.
The pauses are so obvious that you WILL move the device, and when too much pressure is applied or the speed of movement is too fast for it to give that area a good cleanse, it will basically retaliate by humming mm-mm-mmm LOL. The device will pause briefly every 30 seconds to prompt you to move from one area of the face to the next.
The cleansing duration of the ageLOC LumiSpa is two minutes, which is an extra minute longer than the Foreo Luna Mini 2, but it does not dry my skin out. In fact, my skin feels baby smooth and soft after each use. What I love is that when it's time to stop at the end of two minutes, it literally shuts off by itself. No more guessing 'errr, was that the three successive pauses?'
When it comes to cleansing devices, I want one that is gentle, efficient and doesn't require me to think.
Summary for Nu Skin ageLOC LumiSpa
- Fully waterproof
- Only the head vibrates, makes for a relaxing experience
- Skin gets cleaned and exfoliated at the same time with 2 rotating heads
- Different antimicrobial heads for different skin types
- Auto shut off after 2 minutes to prevent overuse
- Need to change brush heads - optional
- Buy at retail price
- Buy at member price
Must You Use The LumiSpa Cleanser?
Like Foreo, Nu Skin recommends the use of their ageLOC LumiSpa Activating Cleanser. I have not used any of Foreo's cleansers, and did not know they had their own range of cleansers until I wrote this post. I am, however, using the LumiSpa Activating Cleanser which can be purchased individually or as part of a Starter Kit.
There are 5 treatment cleansers for you to choose based on your skin type:
- Normal to combination
- Acne prone
I would say that you do not have to feel compelled to use the dedicated Foreo or LumiSpa cleansers, but most people advocate using the ageLOC LumiSpa Activating Cleanser with the Nu Skin cleansing device because it is:
- Formulated using Nu Skin's proprietary ageLOC ingredient blend to maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier.
- Optimally designed for LumiSpa to maximize the skin perfecting and cleansing benefits of the device - revealing healthy, bright, youthful looking skin.
Because the cleanser was made to work hand in hand with the facial cleansing device, personally, I feel there is a difference when I pair the device with the cleanser rather than not. The cleanser must be of certain viscosity, density and must not foam in order for the LumiSpa to do its magic. The LumiSpa must have enough of a grip with skin to clean it without stripping away skin's natural moisture balance.
Then again, don't ever feel like you need to buy everything from one brand - that's one of the biggest skincare myths out there.
Can ageLOC LumiSpa Cleanser treat acne?
The ageLOC LumiSpa was not designed to treat acne; however, ageLOC LumiSpa Treatment Cleanser (Acne) is a mild formula designed for acne-prone skin. It is called ageLOC LumiSpa Treatment Cleanser (Blemish Prone in Singapore).
This cleanser contains 0.5% BHA (salicylic acid), which helps peel away the surface of the skin so that new and more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. BHAs can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. If you need a more potent form of BHA, I recommend Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliator - the best in the market.
For acne-prone skin, use the Gentle head and Treatment Cleanser (Acne/Blemish Prone). For sensitive and acne prone skin, use the Gentle head and Treatment Cleanser (Sensitive).
So, LumiSpa or Luna Mini 2?
To be honest, if their price points were very different, I would probably go for the cheaper one because I am a cheapo. 😜
But the decision becomes a no-brainer when the LumiSpa delivers far superior results than the Foreo, is a more powerful, dynamic and efficient machine in cleansing and treatment, yet doesn't cost that much more than the Luna Mini 2.
No, strike that.
If you are sign up as a member, you get 30% off, which makes the LumiSpa CHEAPER than the Foreo!
I used to think that Nu Skin is a luxury skin care brand with sky high prices. But now I know that you don't need to pay sky high prices for a piece of luxury in your skincare routine.
I am not a dermatologist, esthetician, or medical professional. BforBunBun.com is a space for me to share product reviews based on my personal experience and/or research, not to diagnose. My reviews should never be a replacement for guidance from a medical professional.
This post is not in collaboration with any brands. All my reviews and opinions are based on my own experience with the products, which may not work the same for everyone. Some of the product links above include affiliate links. Using the affiliate links helps to support my work (at no extra cost to you). So if you've found the information on my blog useful, this is a small way to support it. Thank you! =)