I am just going to start by saying that I consider the Clarisonic Mia to be one of my favourite beauty investments of all time.

When asked to compare it to another extremely similar product, it was both exciting and yet hard to stay objective. But I truly have taken each cleansing brush and compared it to the other, as if it was my very first time using one.

I have used them on alternate days. I have used them simultaneously on opposite sides of the face! I have considered practicality, weight and structure. This review is impartial, and long considered. I have been using the brushes side by side for over a month now.

The Clarisonic Mia

It costs £120.00. It is the smallest of the brushes in the Clarisonic range. On their USA website, the brush is available in seventeen different colours!! Any electrical product on the market is a huge success and a huge seller if being produced in that many colours.

Per minute of usage, patented sonic frequency has this amazing little brush pulsing 18000 times – 300 times per single second. It feels incredibly gentle on the skin- a deep vibration- that stimulates circulation, and cleanses away make up 6 times more effectively than with hands alone. I love that it gently curves its way into every little nook and cranny of the face. It never leaves my skin feeling scratched, irritated, or raw.

The standard brush comes with a sensitive brush-head. I have never tried, and now have no desire to try the normal brush head, the sensitive brush works perfectly well for me. It is a compact sturdy little machine that is fully water proof. It is smaller, and yet heavier than the Rio Sonicleanse, 250 grams to be precise. It is a one speed machine!

It also comes with a trial size Clarisonic Hydro Cleanser.

I wrote a blog about the Clarisonic Mia back in January, so for any more information on it, or advice when first using it, here is that blog.


The Rio Sonicleanse

Priced at a much more affordable £49.99.

It is a slightly bigger and noisier brush, it beeps and bleeps, when turned on, and when it is time to move the brush onto the next area of the face. The Rio Sonicleanse offers 10,000 sonic brush pulses per minute – so nearly half of the Clarisonic’s. So far it comes with no other option than a standard brush-head – I would very much like to try a senstive version. The Rio has two speeds, as oppose to Clarisonic Mia’s one speed. The Rio also comes with a spare brush head – which is a really nice bonus, as both brushes if used daily, need their brush changed approximately every 3 months. I find you can get a little longer out of a brush head if washing it properly – I use hot water and Bobbi Brown’s ‘Conditioning Brush Cleanser’ .

It removes make up more effectively, it cleanses deep into the pores. Removes dead skin cells, and leaves you with brighter, fresher skin.

I feel that the Rio Sonicleanse’s brush doesn’t work quite so nicely around the face, it feels a little more that it sits on the surface and isn’t quite as easy to use around the nose and jaw line because the brush is less flexible.

Although the Rio is water resistant, from reviews and instructions, I believe that this is a different thing to waterproof! Don’t drop it in the bath, or leave it under running water.

It has a more traditional charger than the Clarisonic’s – as demonstated in the video – the Clarisonic’s charger clips neatly onto the front of the unit – which makes it compact and a perfect travel companion.

My verdict

Using both brushes on the skin simultaneously, the Clarisonic feels slightly more gentle, and get gets in and around the nose and chin more effectively. I feel that it really hugs the curves of the face. It is also significantly quieter than the Rio whilst doing so – only relevant when you have a sleeping loved one just through the door who keeps telling you to be quiet – a comment I have never had whist using the Clarisonic!!

Both brushes cleanse more effectively than with hands alone. They both will leave you with cleaner, brighter skin. Don’t be surprised if you have a few extra breakouts in the first few weeks of using a cleansing brush – you are cleansing deeply – and it will pass. Products that you apply after the cleanse will be more readily and effectively absorbed into the skin. Both brushes need charging approximately once a week.

If you can’t justify the expense of a Clarisonic, but do like the idea of a cleansing brush, then the Rio will do a perfectly good job. It just isn’t quite as slick, compact, and perfect but for far less than half the price it is a good alternative to have on the market.

Links to buy –

The Rio Sonicleanse is priced at £50.00 http://www.very.co.uk/riosonicleanse (currently £40.00)

The Clarisonic Mia is available in Space NK, but is also available with free delivery worldwide for £120.00 on http://www.feelunique.com/clarisonicmia

If you live in the USA – you lucky people – the Clarisonic Mia is $120.00! Not everything American made is always cheaper in America – Stila for example – but the Clarisonic is, significantly so. http://www.sephora.com/clarisonic


12 Comments on Clarisonic Mia vs Rio Sonicleanse Cleansing Brushes

  1. Don’t forget if buying from Europe though the import tax! It’s always a nasty shock on delivery! I did consider buying a USA one but just the adaptor and the tax made it easier to get in UK. But if in USA that’s a great plan x

  2. Hey susie, im definitly considering getting one of these but I just wanted to ask is it more of a cleansing tool than an exfoliater or would you say it does both? Just wondering because i’ve been told that its not good to scrub or exfoliate the skin everyday as the skin is a protective barrier and scrubbbing it alot can damage this? Love the blog by the way I check it everyday 🙂

    • Well it definitely doesn’t exfoliate as a scrub does although it does remove dead skin cells and grime effectively, and no you you shouldn’t scrub daily, although there exfoliants you can use daily such as Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant. I use this once a day- not twice. You just need to judge on your own skin, but they are recommended for daily use.

  3. On a completely different topic, where did you get the jumper you’re wearing in the above youtube video Susie? I want it!!!

  4. I bought a clarisonic Mia after reading your review on it, I love it! Have had lots of compliments on my skin since using it. Have seen a definite reduction in blackheads, possible reduction on the lines on my forehead (though that could also be due to array of anti ageing products bought and used since the clarisonice is meant to make them absorb better) and skin has a glow about it not seen since my early 20’s. I also use the sensitive brush (have normal skin) and can see no reason to change brushes.

  5. I waited well over a year to buy the Clarisonic. I watched every youtube review available, and read every article I could. Re-read your original posting, and ended up ordering one from QVC. For those in the U.S., it was a specialty price with a free full size bottle of Philosophy Purity cleanser, also was available on their easy pay plan…..no extra charge, the product arrives immediately but you can space out paying for it (no interest) across 3 months or more depending on the deal you find!.

  6. I just wanted to say having seen your blog and having tried both the machines, that I totally agree with your verdict. A sensitive brush would make a huge difference to the Rio machine, otherwise not much to choose between them.

  7. hi susie amy – glad to have found your blog. i just purchased a rio (after my mia died inside of 2 years) but i’m not sure i’m happy with it. can you confirm the head does not spin? if i remember correctly the mia brush does spin? many thanks!

  8. Great article, as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant interested in competitors comparable products, and hear what other bloggers/consumers think.
    Great blog…I love the MK Skinvigorate cleansing brush and have found the MK brush heads gentler than the sensitive brush heads of the Clarisonic. Thanks

  9. Hi Susie
    A great review, with proper comparisons! I wonder if you have tried the Magnitone Pulsar too? Any ideas how that compares to the Clarisonc?

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