When I saw that Sigma had brought our their own facial brush I was pretty excited and once I had my Clarisonic I knew it was only a matter of time before I would pit them against each other.
It's almost impossible to truly compare these two products like for like because well.. they're not the same thing, however I can give you an overview of each so that when (if) the time comes for you to make a purchase you can make a more informed decision.
First of all lets compare the two on a basic "what does it do?" level before getting in to results etc.
The Sigma Cleansing & Polishing Tool
It require 2xAA batteries (I'd suggest rechargeable)
It has no timer
It is supplied with 3 heads
It can be used on face & body
It's water resistant
It has 2 speeds
The brush head spins in use
There is no colour choice available
The Clarisonic Mia
It retails for £120 here
It retails for £120 here
It is rechargeable (UK charger supplied)
It must be charges for 24hrs for every 20mins use
It has a 1 minute timer
It is supplied with one (sensitive) brush head
Replacement brush heads can be purchased for £21 here
This model is designed only for use on the face
This model has only 1 speed
The brush head vibrates in use
There's a wide variety of colour options
Now I've been using the Clarisonic for 2 months and so it's difficult for me to say 100% that the Sigma brush has done something special that the Clarisonic hadn't already begun but I believe that the brush you choose is very much dependent on what you require it to do.
When I first used my Clarisonic I was pretty disappointed not to feel any smoother than when using my Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser. I've never felt that it made my skin any softer than regular exfoliation but there are other benefits to it's daily use. It claims to 'prepare your skin for increased absorption' which allows your skincare to penetrate more deeply and I do believe the products I've been using have been more effective since I began facial brushing. It also claims to even out skintone as well as reduce pores, fine lines and wrinkles. I think it did do something to my pores early on but I haven't seen much improvement since a week or two in. My skin tone has improved but is that the brush or is it the daily gentle exfoliation? Where wrinkles are concerned I'm not quite there yet but it's definitely something I buy into as I get closer to 30.
The Sigma brush is very different. It spins against my skin rather than vibrating and after the first time I used it my skin was remarkably smooth. I should mention I used the firm brush head which I wouldn't recommend doing more than once or twice a week (not at all if you have sensitive skin) but I'm an impatient kinda gal and I loved the instant results. I used it on my chest, arms and back and felt the same immediate smoothing effect. This would be a great tool for all you fake tan addicts out there or those like me who are just suffering from rough, dry winter skin.
Since then I've been using the soft brush head every day and I am really impressed. I am someone who can't exfoliate enough and never feels clean without a good scrub so this is definitely more what I was looking for when I got my Clarisonic. The Sigma unit does feel cheaper and I am concerned about what happens if I drop it in the bath but at almost £100 less I can live with it!
As I mentioned at the start of this post you cannot truly compare these two brushes like for like. The Clarisonic I'm sure is doing something special deep down in my skin but for those of you that were expecting serious exfoliation.. it might not be for you. I will continue to use it because I have it and who knows.. maybe this time next year my pores will be invisible but if I lost my Mia tomorrow I doubt I would repurchase it. I will definitely be adding in my Sigma a couple of times a week for a good scrub and I will use it as my regular body polisher for sure.
In summary if you want gentle exfoliation I would recommend a muslin cloth, these are inexpensive and don't necessarily need to be Liz Earle. I'm currently trialling Superdrugs own hot cloth cleanser (£5.99 here) and it seems to do the trick. If you want super duper smooth skin I can't recommend the Sigma brush highly enough for the price! It does come from the US so postage is around £11 but it still only works out at £36 all in which is really not bad (and still cheaper than UK sellers). Lastly if you're looking for something a little swankier and willing to invest in your skin then I'm quite sure the Clarisonic will work some magic in the long run.
Each of these methods leave my skin clean and makeup free so it really is just down to your skin and what you think it will respond best to.
I'm very interested to hear your own experience with facial exfoliation whether they be from a scrub or one of these hi-tech gizmos. If you've used any of the products mentioned please let me know! What works for me won't work for everyone so more reviews are always helpful for readers!
Don't forget that Sigma currently have 10% off purchases until 28/02 using code LOVE2012 here
They also just launched 3 new brush heads called 'spa solutions' which is definitely next of my Sigma wish list!