I love a good facial cleanser. Obviously. What I’m trying to say is that I really did have a breakthrough moment when I started using a non-foaming cleanser (aka Glossier Milky Jelly) & slowly started to figure out my skin type, what was good for it, & what was not, & that there are, yes! foaming facial cleansers that work beautifully, like the CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam Cleanser.
But I digress. I’ve been properly cleansing my skin for about a year now – when I say “properly,” I mean that I know what type of skin I have (dry/sensitive) & what tends to work best for it. I know which products to stay away from & which ones to hoard like a dragon.
I don’t know if everyone can relate…but remember middle school? Unfortunate time, I know. But for me, in middle school (& the first two years of high school), it seemed like everyone was asking for a Clarisonic for their birthday present or Christmas present. I really was never interested…after all, I don’t even remember what I used to clean my face at that point – probably…hand soap? – so I just kind of shrugged my shoulders. Didn’t seem like a great present for me, but I was happy for those who got them.
Clarisonic was pretty new around that time – hence the hype. As I got older, I started hearing people complain about their Clarisonics (& similar devices), talking about how they actually made them break out worse, how the device was breaking open their skin, etc., etc. By this point, I felt wary enough about them to know: I was not going to be using a device like that on my face. &, after I got diagnosed with my illness, & started immunosuppressive medications, I became even more aware of taking care of my skin – & how I can even infect my own skin by my own body (see here).
My point? I had to be super careful & super gentle with my skin. Not just my face…all over my body! But since the skin on our faces is the most sensitive, I had to treat it with extra caution. So – basically, no Clarisonic for me. Ever.
In November of last year, I started using a charcoal vegetable sponge, only $5 or so at Ulta (you have to change them out every 2 months or so!) & saw great results. People were talking about how charcoal sponges were basically the Clarisonics for those with sensitive skin; that they get rid of impurities without breaking open the skin. Basically, it was perfect for me! Since then, I’ve been using them quite religiously, & I do believe it makes a difference. I use it only once at night (I just cleanse with my hands in the morning) & that seems to do the job quite well. It cleanses gently – but you can feel it doing its job.
Then, just this week, I got a package from Foreo. You probably have seen Foreo’s products in either Sephora or Ulta – you know, the pretty, egg or cylinder-shaped objects, usually in pastel colors. Essentially? They’re electronic charcoal vegetable sponges (with a much higher price point). The intent is the same. The devices have bristles, yes – which I was initially wary of – but the bristles are made of silicone, rather than some sharper material. Basically, they’re very soft & gentle. They’re raved about in Vogue, they’re pretty, they’re small, they’re waterproof…on & on & on.
But. BUT. I’m still skeptical. Because I don’t know if my skin can take this. On the skin of my hand, both devices they sent me feel nice…but on my face? I don’t know what to think yet. Let’s get acquainted with both devices.
Called a “cool & customizable face brush,” the LUNA mini seems like it’s just an updated version of the original. I was sent it in the shade “mint” – cute, kind of like an Easter egg. It has “eight adjustable intensities for a fully customizable cleansing experience,” & “the updated 3-zone face brush is optimized for all skin types.” Again…a bit skeptical. But okay, moving forward. You’re only supposed to use the LUNA on your face for one minute a day. This is both comforting & concerning to me. Comforting because one minute doesn’t seem like a long time – so I won’t injure my skin with micro abrasions. Concerning because…one minute doesn’t seem like a long time….you get my point.
The LUNA has 8 “pulsations” or speeds, so that you can choose the one that best suits you; the one that feels most comfortable. Again, according to the site, the “T-Sonic pulsations deliver the unique ability to remove 99.5% of dirt and oil, as well as makeup residue and dead skin cells, and exfoliate without irritating the skin.” Its touch points come in a variety of thicknesses & textures – all on the same device – so that again, you can choose the one(s) that work best for your skin. This seems pretty comforting. By the end of reading this, I’m less scared than I am eager to try this out. Especially because: “It is extra gentle & hygienic. Even softer touch-points are extremely gentle on the skin; ultra-hygienic silicone is nonporous to resist bacteria buildup; it is 35X more hygienic than standard cleansing brushes”
These are all big, BIG claims. But this is an expensive device. It’s waterproof, has 300 uses on a full charge (yes, it comes with a USB cord) & claims to be “A skincare investment – no replacement brush heads needed (shade at Clarisonic?) two year warranty, & 10 year quality guarantee.” Finally: “Users experienced 97% more deeply cleansed skin, 97% softer & smoother skin, & 87% healthier looking skin.” Again: big claims.
Like I said. This is an expensive device. No two ways about it! So, with my sensitive, immunosuppressed, infection-prone face, I’m going to use the LUNA on my face for a week (unless it gets me hospitalized, in which case I’ll stop) with the cleansers I usually use (the Glossier Milky Jelly & the CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam Cleanser) & see what happens. As a side note, you can use whichever cleanser you like with this device – I’ll be using the ones I always use because there’s no sense in switching it up! Because this is an expensive device, I’m going to be tough on it. I’m specifically going to see if it’s a worthwhile investment for people with suppressed immune systems – & if it is, I will sing its praises to the heavens to all of you, & throw away my charcoal sponges with bliss. If it isn’t, I will let you know. It seems to me that Foreo is pretty invested in the hygienics & effectiveness of its products; whether that’s true, only time will tell! On to the next device.
Yeah. You might be having the same thoughts I had. No, it’s not that. This is meant to…massage your eyes, or the areas around your eyes. Mine came in “petal pink” (cute, very millennial) &, like the LUNA, has a 2 year warranty & a 10 year quality guarantee. It doesn’t say whether its waterproof, but if it works similarly to the LUNA, I would guess so (however, I don’t see the need in massaging your eyes in the shower…so…).
Reading through this, what this device seems to be is an electronic version of a jade roller: it’s inspired by lymphatic eye massages (originated in Asia, which is also where the jade roller originates), & is supposed to decrease puffiness around/under eyes, decrease dark circles & bags, reduce crows-feet & fine lines.
I am 20 years old, so I can’t really say much about the fine lines (I don’t have any yet…unless they’re so fine that I can’t see them) but I do have an issue with under-eye puffiness. I have dark circles, but that’s because I’m anemic – I’m not sure if the IRIS will help my dark circles, since they’re from anemia. However, I don’t mind my dark circles – I actually kind of like them! – so what I’m looking for here is a decrease in under-eye puffiness, which the IRIS is said to do 3.5x more effectively.
Again…big, big claims here. & expensive devices.
Both the LUNA mini & the IRIS are $139. That is objectively expensive. & I didn’t pay the price for these devices! So, when I use these devices, I will constantly be reminding myself of their cost, as well as evaluating their effectiveness. I’m specifically trying to see, like I said, if either or both of these devices are gentle yet effective enough for sensitive (immunosuppressed) skin.
I have a few friends who purchased the smallest version, the LUNA Play Plus, which is not able to be recharged, though it can be used with batteries – so in a sense, it is rechargable. (??) It’s $49, much cheaper, obviously, as well as smaller. My friends who’ve purchased this version basically did so to see if the larger version would be worth the while. I’ve heard good things, even great things – but their skin types are different than mine, so I do have different things I’ll be looking for. Basically:
- Will it get rid of texture/impurities/clogged pores better than my cheap charcoal sponge?
- Will it be gentle (yet effective) enough for my sensitive skin?
- Is a product this expensive worth the investment? Does it do everything it claims to do?
I received these devices today in the mail; they’re currently charging. I’ll be using them tonight for the first time – one minute each, just like the manual says. I will check back in one week with an extremely honest review. Are these worth the money? Are they both worth the money? Is just one worth the money? We’ll see. Until then!!!!
Visit foreo.com if you want to read even more in-depth product claims/product reviews. Overall, both of these devices have, for the most part, 4.5 to 5-star reviews. Everyone seems pretty happy, even thrilled! But the real question is: will I be? -S