Vanity + Wearables

Review: Foreo Luna.

Back in November, I wrote an update about my skin and what I’ve been doing to it. I mentioned that I’d had some some concerns about whether my much-beloved Clarisonic could possibly be harboring bacteria even though I’m super-diligent about keeping the brush head clean (and changing it regularly), but it turned out my skin issues were apparently more likely a result of needing a change in prescription medications.

The Swedish company Foreo contacted me shortly after I wrote that post, asking if I’d be interested in trying their facial-cleansing device, the Luna. I agreed to try it out and write a review, which meant setting aside my Clarisonic for about two weeks so I could fairly compare the two and decide which I prefer.


A few basics about each device…

Clarisonic Mia
✚ Retail price $125 (usually 20% off at SkinStore)
✚ Single speed (other Clarisonic devices have variable speeds)
✚ 1-minute cleansing cycle
✚ Must change brush head every 2–3 months (~$20 each)
✚ Must disassemble device in order to clean thoroughly and prevent bacteria growth
✚ Must charge device 2–3 times monthly

Foreo Luna
✚ Retail price $200
✚ Variable speeds
✚ Anti-aging facial massage mode
✚ 1-minute cleansing cycle
✚ No brush head to change
✚ Easy to clean; silicone does not harbor bacteria
✚ Single charge lasts for up to 450 uses (!)

On the surface, the Luna sounds like it would be the obvious winner between the two, right? That’s what I thought, and I was really excited to try it out. Reviews for the Luna on other blogs seem to be universally positive. I felt pretty certain that I was going to LOVE the Luna and be a total convert, and I was looking forward to never having to buy another disposable brush head again.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really happen that way. The first thing I noticed is that the Luna is uncomfortable to hold. The Clarisonic is ergonomically-designed and its contours fit in my hand easily, but the Luna is more like a disc. I felt like I was going to drop it, and even after two weeks of use I couldn’t figure out how to grasp it comfortably for a full minute. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker for me, though. What is a real issue is that the lack of ergonomics extended to the way the “bristles” (silicone nubs, really) made with my face. I had a really hard time maneuvering the Luna over the less-cushy parts of my face, like across my forehead and around my nose. I’ve always really liked the feeling of cleaning my face with my Clarisonic, but I found myself dreading using the Luna.

I would have put up with the discomfort if using the Luna made a positive change in the appearance of my skin, but sadly that was also not to be. Even on the lowest speed, the Luna seemed to be much harder on my skin than the Clarisonic. I don’t know if that’s a result of the ergonomic problems, but my face always looked red and irritated after use. After about five days of use, my skin became terribly dry. By the end of the first week, I was breaking out around the sides of my nose, which is exactly the area I was having trouble cleaning the most — and that’s not a part of my face where I typically have breakouts.

But still, I continued. I know as well as anyone that skin condition is not static, and I wanted to make sure that the negative changes weren’t the result of cold air or hormones or stress or dry heat in my house or whatever. There was no improvement into the second week, and on day 13 I officially put down the Luna and went back to my Clarisonic.

My skin pretty much immediately improved after going back to the Clarisonic. I think the difference really does come down to ergonomics more than anything — because the Clarisonic is so easy to hold and because the bristles easily accommodate facial contours, I naturally have a much lighter touch when I use it. I don’t use it like a scrub brush, I just slowly let it lightly glide over my face. I use the delicate brush heads, and never have any problems with over-cleansing or redness. Yeah, it’s kind of a hassle to have to take it apart and clean it every night (I use hot water and Dr. Bronner’s, then let it dry completely overnight, disassembled), but it’s not the end of the world. I don’t mind having to charge it more often, either. I would love to be able to quit spending $80–120/year (OUCH!) on brush heads, but given the incredibly positive effect the Clarisonic has had on my skin over the past few years, I feel like it’s worth it. Oh well.

I still feel pretty disappointed in myself for not liking the Luna. It’s the same feeling I have about not liking the oil cleansing method or mineral makeup — how come these things that seem to be universally awesome for everyone else are such duds for me? I don’t know. Maybe the problem is me!

Have you tried the Luna? Do you like it?

p.s. The skin care routine I wrote about in November is still working out really well for me. The tip of my nose is perpetually flaky in the winter cold and I’m forever battling dark underye circles, but everything else is about as good as its ever been — and continues to improve.

p.p.s. Um, this is probably obvious, but I feel like I should include a disclaimer just in case: Foreo sent me a Luna free of charge in exchange for a review, but this post is completely my own opinion.

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  • Reply Natasa January 13, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Thank you Anna for your honest review. Thanks to you, I have been using Clarasonic Mia which I got for my BD last May and it’s terrific. My skin condition has never looked better (I am former rosacea suffer) and I’m first time in my life (34yo) getting positive remarks about how super-fresch my skin looks (I couldn’t be happier!). I know it’s not only a Clarisonic credit since I also made some big changes with my diet and I am using exclusively cosmetic with certified organic ingredients and natural essential oils (recomend reading this article: Clarisonic really makes difference at face cleaning and preparing the skin for further cosmetic absorption.

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Glad to hear your skin is feeling better, Natasa. 🙂

  • Reply Stine January 13, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Don’t worry, there is at least one more person in the whole wide world whose skin totally freaked out from the oil cleanse… 🙂 It took me a couply of weeks to calm down the breakout. I am 37 and I do not feel like dealing with breakouts any more.
    I have a similiar brush clean device from a local company, but also here my skin gets irritated when I use it every day. I use it every second day now and it seems like this is a good frequency for my skin.

    Thank you for your great blog!

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

      I’ve tried oil cleansing several times now and with different recommended oils and techniques, and every time it’s GREAT for about 3-4 days and I get all excited…and then I have *horrible* breakouts. I have dry skin so it’s not that the oil itself scares me, but my skin just cannot tolerate it. (Side note: When I asked my dermatologist about oil cleansing, she looked at me like I was completely insane for even considering it with my skin type, so…I guess that makes me feel better!)

  • Reply L January 13, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Even though I don’t use much in the way of skin care products, I really appreciate the honesty and thoughtfulness of your review. My mother had terrible skin, which both my sisters inherited; I was lucky to get my dad’s “Irish rose” complexion. Mom always had a brush to clean her face; it was an egg-shaped plastic handle with white bristles about an inch and a half long, medium hard. I think she got them at the drugstore. Those brushes are probably no longer available, but the Clarisonic is apparently the grandchild of Mom’s skin care go-to. Glad it works for you!

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 10:28 am

      L, I’ve tried the type of brush you’re talking about (you can still buy them), and I must say the Clarisonic is very different — especially when using the brush heads specifically made for delicate or sensitive skin. The bristles are very soft. Because the device provides its own movement, it’s much easier to avoid “scrubbing” or any abrasiveness. (Lucky you to not need either, but I thought I’d mention that in case anyone else is considering a manual brush…my results have not been good.)

  • Reply Melissa January 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Thank you for the honest review! I know you often talk about how the Clarisonic changed your skin, and it keeps tempting me. I’ve suffered with acne since I was 9 (I’m turning 27 this year), and after a brief period of it being not-so-awful, it’s really terrible right now, and I’m desperate. The Clarisonic gets more tempting every time I look in the mirror.

    I know you have no way of knowing, but I figured I’d ask anyway. I have REALLY easily scarred skin. Tons of pitted acne scars, even though I’ve never picked. Something like the Clarisonic scares me since I have so much active acne, I worry that the brush will cause scarring when it swipes over the pimples I have. This is really my one hesitation with getting it. Do you think that would be an issue, or is the gentle brush head gentle enough that this is a silly concern?

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hi Melissa, I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough time with your skin. 🙁 I know you’re probably tired of this question, but are you seeing a dermatologist? I definitely don’t think the Clarisonic alone is what made the difference for me — I had been using it for more than a year before I went to the doctor to talk about prescription medications. The benefits of the Clarisonic are multifold: Aside from getting my face fully clean, it also stimulates cell growth and, I think most importantly, prepares the skin so it can better receive/absorb any treatments that are applied. Even before I started using prescription treatments, I noticed that creams I’d been using previously became more more effective (even to the point of being overly-effective and quite irritating/drying). It takes a while to figure out what works.

      If you do try the Clarisonic, I would definitely suggest going with the delicate brush heads. They do make a brush that’s labeled for acne-prone skin, but I find it too abrasive. The delicate brushes are very soft, and if you use a light hand (let the device do the work, not your muscles!), I don’t think you’ll have any issues with your skin getting damaged. Like you said, though, of course there is no way for me to know and skin is such a personal thing.

      If you’re able to visit a dermatologist and you aren’t already, DO IT. There’s no reason to suffer if there’s a chance something could work for you. I know how much it wears on self-esteem and even daily productivity to have skin problems.

      Good luck!!

    • Melissa January 13, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Unfortunately, I haven’t had luck with dermatologists. :\ And at the moment, I am uninsured and unable to try again. A lot of my acne seems to be related to my seborrheic dermatitis. It forms a sort of crusty layer on my skin (charming!), so nothing can really penetrate. Chemical exfoliants really seem to irritate my skin, so it seems manual ones (like the Mia) are my next best bet. One of the only things that has helped me is a homemade “toner” made with distilled water and tea tree oil. It really has reduced my breakouts, but I still have the SD issue, which also makes my skin feel and look like sandpaper, and the toner can only do so much. I need exfoliation badly at this point, but as I said, chemical ones (I’m still experimenting!) really irrigate my skin. It’s quite fickle.

      Is the delicate brush the same as the sensitive one? The Mia I am looking at says it comes with the sensitive skin brush. Sorry for the silly question. And this would be perfect timing, as Ulta is also having 20% this week (Friends and Family), and with their return policy, that gives me 3 months to try it out. One of the reasons I’ve hesitated to order it online is the hassle of returning it if it’s not for me, or worrying it will take me 1 day past the 30 day return policies to figure out it’s not helping.

      Thank you for all of the information! And if I do find the funds or get insurance soon and can see a dermatologist, I will ask about the topical you’re using. That wasn’t around when I was still seeing a doctor.

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Melissa, yeah, Aczone has been a real lifesaver for me — and it’s not an exfoliant. If/when you’re able to get back to a derm, ask for some samples. You’ll know right away if it’s going to irritate your skin at all. (Though I can’t even go near tea tree oil, so it sounds like your skin is much more tolerant than mine is!)

      The delicate brush heads are a bit softer than the sensitive ones. There’s not a huge difference, but I prefer the delicate brushes. Not sure if they have to be purchased separately — my initial Clarisonic package (a gift) came with the regular brushes included, which were much too abrasive for me.

      Just an aside, though, the Clarisonic doesn’t really provide much exfoliation. That’s not what it’s meant to do. You may find that the stimulation is enough to encourage cell turnover, though, which would give you good results. I think you’re going to like it…give it a shot!

    • Emily January 13, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Melissa – I have sebhorreic dermatitis and also perioral dermatitis, both give that “crusty” look you’re talking about. I have found that anything exfoliating (scrubs, acids) make it worse – including the clarisonic, unfortunately. I use cerave face wash and face lotion, and it has been great. I think once I have it completely under control, I will attempt to go bank to the clarisonic once or 2x a week, but only on the parts of my face that aren’t susceptible to the dermatitis. Dermatitis is your skins way of telling you it’s over stimulated – you need 2-3 months of super gentle cleansing and no exfoliating! (And for me, once I got the dermatitis under control, my cystic acne was much better too!)

      Also, I’m a product junky and used to change products on a whim – I think that made things worse. Now I just stick to the same old routine and resist all new sparkling packages of cleansers and moisturizers that promise me fab skin!!!!

      Good luck!

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Emily, thank you for chiming in! I have no experience with seborrheic dermatitis, so I can only speak to my own lame skin problems. 😛 (I can’t use Cerave products without getting horribly clogged pores…just goes to show you how different everyone skin is!)

      Have you tried the delicate brush heads on yours? Might be worth a shot since you already have the device. I totally understand the product junky issues, too. Sticking with the same (boring) products for a long time has really calmed my skin down.

    • Melissa January 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Oh, rats. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your experience! Oddly, I am very gentle and simple when it comes to skincare these days, yet still I have these issues. (I cleanse with Dickinson’s foaming cleanser, use my homemade “toner” once a day, and use SebaMed gel to add some moisture.) It’s better than it has been previously, until I try to exfoliate. What to you use to exfoliate? Nothing? When I can get my SD on my scalp under control, it’s not bad on my face, but lately it’s been flaring up constantly, and my face is a mess. It’s quite the annoying skin condition, especially when you have acne (and so many acne treatments make the SD worse).

      Anna, I also get terrible clogged pores from Cerave! It’s so frustrating how unique everyone’s skin is, and how it truly is trial and error. Lots and lots of error. And I’m sorry for hijacking your comments section!

      Probably against my better judgement, but I am going to give it a go. My skin is so bad at the moment that I don’t see too much harm in trying. Maybe I’ll use it 2-3x a week instead of daily.

      Thank you both for the very helpful input!

    • Emily January 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Melissa – I’ve been really lucky with the SD for the past 6 months. I had always used the corticosteroids the derm prescribed (for SD and scalp, and dermatitis on my face – although not for the perioral dermatitis – it makes it flare up). But I realized that whenever I used the steroids on one part of my face/scalp, another problem would crop up somewhere else. So I stopped using steroids. I also started washing into my hairline with the crave morning and night (my SD was bad at my hairline on my face) and that helped tremendously. I think right now I’m just in a lucky down period for everything. But I do feel like I’ve benefited from finding a product that works for me. For shampoos I use really mild shampoos – same as my kids use. Occasionally I will use H&S or desonex or one of those. But I haven’t needed anything else for a while.

      Anna – interesting about the brush head! I will check to see if mine are sensitive, or delicate. I have a feeling they are sensitive. I’m willing to give it another try for sure! But I’m a little nervous about it – I’m nervous about disrupting the equilibrium and breaking out with cystic acne again. I was very lucky as a teen and had very little acne… it’s just my adult years that have been a challenge! Thank you so much for these posts, they are so helpful.


    • another melissa January 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Just wanted to chime in to say that I have found that the Clarisonic helps greatly with my cystic acne. I use it once or twice a week with Noxema or diluted Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil soap (depends on how dirty my face feels). BUT, if you have white heads, I could see it potentially irritating your existing acne.
      Anyway, good luck, Original Melissa! I think it is really a matter of trial and error. I spent over 10 years talking oral antibiotics and using retinoids…only to eventually discover that using basic facial cleanser and moisturizer actually gives me my clearest skin. It really is an individual thing.

  • Reply Carina January 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Hi Anna! How often do you use the Clarisonic? I’ve read that sometimes breakouts are caused by too-frequent use. Thanks for the honest review!

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Hi Carina, I use the Clarisonic once a day, at night. You can see my whole skin care routine in this post:

      I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to any of this, honestly. One person may be able to use the Clarisonic twice daily, another may have to limit themselves to two or three times a week, and I’m sure there are others who (like me with the Luna) can’t use it all.

  • Reply Aimee January 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Hi there! I’ve been using the clarisonic for a while now and love it. I don’t really love having to spend money on replacement brushes however. I haven’t really noticed a loss in their usefulness over time, but I guess it’s a hygiene thing? So, crazy question, have you ever tried cleaning the brushes in the dishwasher? It should sanitize them, right?

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Aimee, I think it’s a hygiene thing, yes. I do notice that after a while the bristles tend to get worn down (like a toothbrush), and I would assume that once the nylon is abraded that it’s more susceptible to harboring bacteria. I don’t write the date on the brush box or anything, though — I just change it when I feel like it needs changing. Based on how frequently I’ve had to purchase new brushes, that seems to be between 2–3 months for me.

      I don’t have a dishwasher, so I can’t comment on whether it’s effective. Do dishwashers truly sanitize, though? Seems like they wouldn’t actually get hot enough. I know you can sterilize sponges in the microwave, though…maybe that would work? I guess it’s probably best to test that out on an old brush, haha.

  • Reply Lynn January 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m a fellow Clarisonic Mia addict. It has completely changed my skin in less than a year- can’t beat that. I’ve never thought to disassemble and clean the unit though, I just made sure it would dry out between uses and to change my brush heads. Any recommendation on where I can find instructions to disassemble it?

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Lynn, I should have been more clear. By “disassemble,” I just meant that I remove the brush head from the device before cleaning both parts. I then leave it to dry completely with the brush head removed.

  • Reply susan January 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Totally appreciate your honesty Anna, it’s refreshing! I love my Clarisonic and this is a great reminder to change/clean the brush head…thank you!

  • Reply beth January 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I have very sensitive skin, which is also combination and acne-prone with my monthly cycle. I love the Luna — it did break out my skin at the beginning, but i realize that it has to do with the type of cleanser i use. A foaming cleanser will dry out my skin too much in combination with the Luna. I use Wild Carrot Herbals Burdock root cleanser and together with some argon oil and willowbark+aloe spot treatment, my skin has never been happier!

  • Reply Kathleen January 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Neither is a product is be interested in, but I love that you give real reviews. Other blogs I read never give anything but glowing reviews and it makes me doubt everything they say. I love that here I know I’m getting an honest opinion.

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Hah! Well, yes, this is true. This is the first time I accepted a product in exchange for a review, and I only did it because I’d been really curious about the Luna and had been thinking about buying one (based on the rave reviews from other bloggers) already. It’s possible no one else will ever ask me to review something ever again, but that’s OK — what’s the point in having a blog if you’re going to lie?

  • Reply gracie January 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I love these posts Anna! I like an english beauty blog, Vivannadoesmakeup. She has loss of youtube vids and I mostly really like her because she is a sap (I don’t know if you use that term in the US!) and she reviews products honestly. She has a newish ‘not worth the hype’ series, it’s good. Do you have any plans to do any organisational posts? You must be good at it with two homes! closed down & I am in withdrawal!

    • gracie January 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I just looked at my comment, she is not a sap I mean! Har, har.

    • Anna @ D16 January 13, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I don’t know her, Gracie, but I’ll look her up — thanks!

      I’m afraid I’m an organizational disaster, unfortunately. My best advice is to take everything on your computer’s desktop and put it in a folder called “misc,” and then your desktop will be clean-looking! Does that help? (Benita is the queen of organizing, it’s true…)

  • Reply Hannah January 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Anna, I super love your blog and honesty. I have a mia and everytime I have used it I have broken out. I just bought two new heads though, so am going to try again (after reading this post) with a softer cleanser. My skin gets the occasional breakout on my chin (which means I have lots of discolouration there).

    I also love all the DIYing on your blog 🙂

    • Cay January 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I know that the whole “purging” debate, whether your skin has to get worse as it expels all of the bad stuff before it gets better when you change your skincare regimen, is controversial, but it definitely happened to me when I started with the Mia. My skin got worse for about two to three weeks (but it was pretty bad to begin with, so I already had the foundation and concealer routine down 😉 ), but then it suddenly just stopped and got SO much better. If you can stand it, I’d recommend sticking with it for a little while. Skin takes about seven weeks to fully regenerate itself, so to see the full effects of a new product/tool, it’s usually around a two month wait. (Obviously, though, the Clarisonic doesn’t work with everyone.)

      Also, it sounds like you are on the right track with a very mild cleanser! The brush head does enough on its own so that you don’t need anything too heavy-duty.

  • Reply Cait January 14, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Wow, I am seriously impressed with your diligence in cleaning the clarisonic and replacing the brush heads. I don’t even want to tell you how long my last brush was on before I changed it!

    I use my clarisonic every morning in the shower and I love it. My mom loves it as well, and was even able to cancel a minor procedure to have a cyst removed from her cheek because it sloughed off on its own after a few weeks of daily clarisonic-ing.

    I just want to put in a good word for the Somme Institute skin care line. I use their 3 core treatment products (exfoliating pads, serum and vitamin A cream) morning and night, and my skin has never looked better. I use Philosophy’s Real Purity and Josie Maran’s moisturizer with SPF 40 since they are basic and reliable for me. Into the Gloss and Man Repeller both have enthusiastic write-ups on the Somme line I suggest checking out if you are interested.

  • Reply Cheryl January 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

    I just got a Clarisonic in part due to your raving review. I LOVE it. I’ve only been using it for a few weeks but I can already see the difference. Here’s to hoping my 29th year will be one without breakouts.

  • Reply Janine January 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you so much for your honest review.

    Also, I think it’s cool that Luna is open to having negative reviews put out there. I respect any company that is willing to be real with consumers. Knowing WHY this product let you down is super useful to me, because I have different skin and what has been disastrous for you might work for me. Those nubs? Super bad for you. Those nubs for me? Might be useful if I’m looking for a tool that will do an incredible scrubby exfoliation.

    Also, I thought this review was really well written.

    • Anna @ D16 January 14, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks, Janine! Glad you liked the review. There really isn’t anything a company can do to prevent negative reviews, though, is there? I don’t mean this as a criticism of Foreo in any way, but this is MY blog—they had absolutely no say whatsoever in what I was or wasn’t going to write. They sent me the device and that was pretty much the end of the interaction. (Just so it’s clear, I wasn’t paid to write a review. Other than the device itself, there was no compensation. If I’d been offered payment in exchange for a positive review, I would have declined it. Never once did it occur to me to ask whether it was OK for me to write a negative review!)

      Also, just a quick note: The Luna does not provide any exfoliation, scrubby or otherwise. Those nubs are soft and they don’t rotate, they just sort of vibrate. Think of it as a facial massage more than anything. If you’re looking for incredible exfoliation, this is not the product for you!

  • Reply Karoline January 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I don’t know if you have already tried this, but I have noticed an improvement in my skin since I started taking the Udo’s Choice oil blend daily, so I figure I should pass the recommendation on. My skin hasn’t been THAT bad, but I was getting frustrated that I kept having break-outs and/or dry spots even as I turned 28, and none of the skin care routines or diet changes I tried really changed things. I went to a health food store to look for any vitamins that could help, but the salesperson recommended this oil blend instead.

    Basically its an organic blend of seed oils (100% vegan) providing fatty acids like omega 3, 6 and 9, which apparently is good for like …everything. It doesn’t taste good (I have 2 spoonfulls every morning, ugh!), but it’s not as bad if you take it with a glass of juice, and almost unnoticeable if you mix it into a smoothie.

    Anyway, my skin feels smoother, it isn’t dry or very oily, and best of all no big break-outs since I started using the oil! I’ve had a few spots, but nothing like before. I also use the Huile Prodigieuse on my face at night, after having read your recommendation of it, and I love it! The smell, ah, SO nice! So thank you for that one! 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 January 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      I’ve been taking Udo’s for years — no change in my skin, unfortunately, but it’s good for my health otherwise. 🙂

  • Reply Jen January 16, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Adding to the echo chamber, I know, but thank you so much for your honest review. This isn’t particularly fair of me, I guess, but I have to wonder if other bloggers don’t give negative reviews because they’re invested in continuing to get free stuff/sponsorships and fear repercussions if they do negative reviews. Anyways, I appreciate that I’m going to get straight talk from you.

    I’ve been dying for a Clarasonic in the hopes that it will help clean out the gook from the pores on my nose (nothing, not even those strip thingies, but squeezing works), but just can’t afford to splurge right now, even with 20% off. Some day. I’m also currently trying to find a relatively gentle but effective chemical exfoliator that doesn’t cost a lot. I have a lot of discoloration and rough skin on my chin from not horrible, but fairly regular monthly break outs, and I’m very self conscious about it. If you or any of your readers have recommendations, I’d appreciate it. I’m a little overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information and reviews a google search brings up!

  • Reply hanna January 16, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Hi Anna! I had to cope with Acne too since I was 16, now I’m 36. And finally I’ve found the cure for healthy and good looking skin. If you have bad skin, it’s a sign that your body is in a great disbalance. First you have to stop eating white sugar and stop drinking milk. Then you should take Chlorella a green algae that helps your body and liver to detoxify. Bad skin is a problem of your inner body so nothing that you do on the outside of your skin will really help.

    • Anna @ D16 January 16, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Hi Hanna! I know your comment comes from a good place and with kind intentions, so please don’t think I’m trying to be dismissive or disrespectful in this response. It’s absolutely not true that “nothing that you do on the outside of your skin will really help” when it comes to acne or anything other skin condition — that’s just completely false. Topical medications are effective in treating countless medical conditions, acne among them. I’m a perfect example of this! After YEARS of trying to change my diet with the hope that my skin would magically clear up and getting no results, I gave in to prescription medications and the results were quite literally life-changing. I really don’t have breakouts anymore. There is no one cause for acne, and there’s no one solution, either. I am glad that the changes you made were effective for you, but please understand that this will not be the case for everyone.

      Just for the record, my refined sugar consumption is at a minimum, and I have gone through long periods of time eliminating it completely from my diet in the past. There was no change in my skin as a result, just as there was no change when I eliminated gluten, etc. Your suggestion that I stop drinking milk is a little funny, only because I am totally vegan and have been for years. 😉 So you see, these things don’t work for everyone. Acne is a very complex disease that really isn’t all that well understood, and I do think it’s important that we acknowledge there is NO “cure” and keeping it under control is a very, very personal thing.

      Also, as a side note, long-term use of chlorella has a bunch of potential side effects, and should not be used by anyone with an autoimmune disease (this includes me!). There is also zero scientific evidence that it does anything at all to “detox” the liver, cure cancer, or any of the other miraculous things its proponents claim it’s capable of. If you feel it’s working for you, that’s great, but I’d be very careful about blindly suggesting that people put faith in its efficacy.

  • Reply Catbird Farm January 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Anna, it seems to me Clarisonic should step up and supply you with free brush heads for life after all the great free publicity they get on your blog! 😉

    • Anna @ D16 January 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      HAH! I don’t think that’s going to happen, but if a box of 500 brush heads were to magically appear on my doorstep, I’d be pretty psyched!

  • Reply Kelly January 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I finally bought a Clarisonic last month. I am 37 and have been fighting acne since I was 20. Your original post about your skin (and subsequent posts) convinced me to spend the money on it. I was on oral antibiotics for several years but became tired of the side effects. I was concerned about the fact that I would periodically have to change to a stronger antibiotic when one would stop being effective. Maybe I should go back to my derm because it sounds like there are new and better medications available.

    In November I started using a daily glycolic acid peel (Peter Thomas Roth Un-wrinkle pads – cut in half because they are pricey. There is another brand called Nip and Fab that is considerably less expensive and I may try it next.)
    The improvement was dramatic and quicker than I expected. Then I added the Clarisonic and my skin has been so much clearer, softer and smoother. I hope the good results continue, but I know from long and painful experience that improvements are often temporary.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Acne is often thought of an a temporary teenage issue, but that isn’t always the case.

  • Reply Raven1025 January 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    After many recommendations, including yours, for a Clarisonic, I finally decided to give it a go. I had tried the oil cleansing method, and it worked okay for me, but I occasionally would miss an evening and my skin would get all gross right away. With my narcolepsy (it turned out my blog title wasn’t just a clever name), I sometimes crash without doing all the things I should first, including washing my face. It didn’t work for me to do it in the mornings, so to keep my skin under control, I had to give it up.
    I get frustrated when I find something I like, and then it stops being made. Neutrogena made an amazing pore and acne cleanser, and my skin was making great improvement, then they stopped making it. I was using a fantastic night serum from Avon, and they stopped making it. So, I get nervous to find things I love only to have them vanish. I’ve been using lots of Mario Badescu products lately, and they seem to help. I just hope they always make my favorites! Now, I’ve added the Clarisonic Aria. I inherited really awful pores. I get cystic acne, and have huge blackheads on my nose, which started to spread outward to my cheeks. I’ve been using the Clarisonic for two weeks now. I use the pore brush heads, which feel surprisingly mild considering many of the pore cleansers I’ve used. For the first ten days, I was using the deep cleaning setting on the device. It really dredged a lot to the surface! I have actually been able to de-gunk some of the worst pores, which is really satisfying. I’ve now switched to the middle setting, as the heavier one started to feel harsh as most of the gunk had come out. My skin is looking a lot brighter, and the areas that used to be red/inflamed are starting to fade.
    Every year older I get, I keep hoping that maybe my skin will chill out, but alas it doesn’t. It seems unfair to get wrinkles, and still have to deal with acne!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Sounds like we have very similar skin, Raven. I used MB products with great success for a while, too—eventually they stopped working for me, alas. I’ve had my Clarisonic Mia for several years now and have never looked into the other products in the line, but now you have me curious about the Aria!

      (By the way, my grandmother had narcolepsy for her whole life. Such a difficult and misunderstood disorder! Big strides in research made in the last few years, though—I hope you’re doing OK.)

    • Raven1025 January 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      The Aria is a little larger than the Mia, but smaller than the Plus. The Plus has the body washing option, but I’ve read reviews that because of the size, it can be hard to get along the sides of the nostrils. Since I’m not worried about using it all over, and I really need to get all those nooks and crannies of my face, I went with the Aria. So far, so good! I don’t know how much the extra settings matter, but I do notice a difference between them. I also like the stand, so I know it’s sitting and drying, and not getting any gunk where I don’t want it. Most people I know that have one have a Mia, so I had to cross my fingers a bit on whether the extras were worth it.

      I’m doing okay with the narcolepsy, thanks for the well wishes! I didn’t know how misunderstood it is until I found out I had it. I would not have thought that was my problem when I went to the doctor! I’ve learned a lot in the last year. It’s a process in dealing with it, and there are definitely constant adjustments.

  • Reply melissa January 26, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for all the wonderful and honest posts about your skin. I am back to using my Clairsonic after reading your last post about your skincare routine. I use mine with Exuberance’s Balancing Facial System and things are better than they’ve been in the past. (I’m also limiting my gluten and dairy intake.)

    I wanted to pass along this tip: I purchased three delicate brush heads on Amazon today from a company called OrganicMed for $10.99 with free shipping! There are two good reviews on them on Amazon so far. When I get them, I will let you know if they are amazing enough to try! 🙂


  • Reply Rebecca February 25, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Your review is very helpful for me in choosing to own a Luna or not. I own a Clarisonic Plus and ever since I haven’t changed my brush (used daily for a year now) because they are too expensive. I dry the brush and then spray alcohol after each use. Clarisonic may have cleaned my skin better and exfoliated, but I don’t see improvements of my skin at all except slightly glow occasionally. My black & white heads never decreased and the occasional acne still presents (with or without use Clarisonic).

    So yea, maybe Clarisonic is not for me, and for hygiene purposes I’m going to give Luna a try. I have relatively small hands and hope it won’t slip and drop (do people really rinse their soapy hands from applying cleansing gel to grab on the machine? If I’m in a hurry I know I won’t =)) I don’t have sensitive skin like you either, and I hope Luna works for me.

  • Reply Christina April 8, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I couldn’t disagree with your review more. I own both the Clarisonic Mia and Luna (both self-purchased from Sephora’s online store) and I will never, ever, go back to Clarisonic. The nylon bristles, even on the gentlest brush heads were too damaging for my skin and caused me to break out in the WORST cystic acne all along my jaw line and between my eyebrows. Thankfully, most of that has cleared up now but I’m still recovering from all the red/purple marks that it left behind as of October/November of last year. I do agree that the Luna is a little more difficult to maneuver along the less fleshy parts of the face (like right between the eyes) but seriously, you couldn’t figure out how to hold this comfortably? Hold it like a taco; thumb on one side, fingers on the other. My skin looks soooo much better using the LUNA and I can actually use it to clean my face twice a day (not possible with the Clarisonic!). The silicone touch points are far more gentle than Clarisonic’s nylon bristles and they’re hygenic. Do you have some sort of agreement with Clarisonic? It’s such an inferior product on so many levels; I just can’t comprehend. Anyone who’s uncertain about which one to go with should just purchase from Sephora. They sell both and they have a super generous returns policy (which I’ve rarely used in the past but the few times I have it was no questions asked, full money back – even on big ticket items). Try it out for yourself. This review hardly seems legit.

    • Anna @ D16 April 8, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Christina, it’s one thing to have a different experience with a product than someone else, but you’re totally off-base with your nasty accusations here. I’m glad the Luna is working for you—I had a horrible experience. I’m sorry the Clarisonic didn’t work for you—I’ve had a great experience. Everyone’s skin is different. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, I’m sure the Luna is better for some people, and I know there are plenty of people who don’t like the Clarisonic. I can only speaking to my personal experience, not yours or anyone else. Likewise, you can’t speak for anyone but yourself—and certainly not for me.

      (And no, I don’t have an agreement with Clarisonic—the company that manufactured my discontinued, 4-year-old device—to accept competitors’ products for review while still voicing my concerns about the hygiene factors of the Clarisonic and the exorbitant prices of their brush heads. That sounds like a really shitty agreement for them and for me!)

  • Reply kitsune-chan April 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I’m glad I finally found an honest review or two out there about the Luna. I totally agree every person’s skin type is different and they all should have different tools available to them. I have them both also.

    I have a Clarisonic Pro, and have used it off and on for a couple of years now. I hate the fact that you have to replace the expensive brush heads, and it seems like an unhygienic tool. It seems cumbersome, and heavy, as well as a pain in the neck to travel with. There were so many things I didn’t like about it but it did the job well. I do admit though, its great at cleansing, and exfoliates well. Despite the cleansing power, I still felt like searching for something else. I purchased an inexpensive silicone facial pad at Sephora and started using that. I thought, if the Clarisonic had that soft silicone pad, that would be incredible!

    After searching on the internet, I found the Foreo. My prayers have been answered! I researched it, and mostly found such positive glowing reviews. Last week I actually read some negative reviews about the Luna’s mediocre quality, and issues with “slipping” silicone on their website. I didn’t want to believe anything negative about the Luna, so I just ignored it to difference of opinion. (BTW, I checked today, and those negative reviews have been taken off. A little surprised.) I was very close to ordering the Luna on their website, but then it became available at and I purchased it right away.

    I was so excited to receive it in the mail. My excitement was dampened a little when I opened the shipping box and saw the Luna’s box wrapped in stryofoam paper taped up with a “Made in China” sticker. Yes, I know virtually every item is made there now, but theres the Apple iPhone Made in China vs. Cheap imitation Made in China. It still was a disappointment as Foreo is a Swedish company. When I opened the sleek packaging, I was a little stunned to see the thin cheap looking white charger and the charger port hole looks like it would rust quickly. I was also disappointed in the weight of the Foreo (very, very light) and also the thickness of the silicone covering the device. I guess I expected a little thicker silicone, not so thin. The area where the button is, the silicone appears so thin that I wondered if after repeated use if it would wear or tear. It just feels like a lightweight toy to me, and not that I don’t think that its a good cleansing device- it is exactly what I wanted. It’s just that I believe for the price of $200, the quality should be there. I think it is way overpriced for the quality. I was embarrassed to show my husband, who listened to me wax poetic all week long about the new Luna, and when I got it, he was surprised that I would spend so much money on something that felt flimsy and fragile. The design is beautiful, and the Luna in pictures, looks amazing. But up close, you can see and feel the little flaws. Its like beauty beer goggles!

    I think the Luna is a great gentle little device, but definitely not for the price. It’s great for sensitive skin, and the hygiene factor is a huge positive. The quality for the price is a big con for me. On the flip side, the Clarisonic is fantastic at exfoliation, waterproof, sturdy, and is very ergonomic in the hand. Yet the constant purchase expense of brush heads, and the multiple pieces to air out, and the worry of hygiene risks….They both have their pro’s and con’s. But, to each his own!

    I really, really, really wanted to like the Luna, but if I am going to spend money, I want to feel like I am getting my money’s worth. The idea is amazing, the form factor is beautiful, everybody loves theirs. I also feel kind of disappointed that I’m not on the Luna bandwagon. Its kind of like dating someone that EVERYONE thinks is fantastic and amazing, but actually you’re the only one that thinks that they’re just… ok.

    I’m still a little baffled why no one thinks the Luna feels so flimsy?

    Anyway, I applaud your review, I thought it was very honest and real. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures about the Luna.

  • Reply Kay July 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Good to know that I’m not the only one. I’m experiencing the exactly same reaction you had after using foreo luna, my skin becomes extremely dry with redness on my cheeks, it seems I’m the only one having problem amongst my friends.
    I have used it for 5 times only, once a day. Does that mean I’ll have to switch to clarosonic?! Just spent a fortune on foreo luna….

  • Reply Catherine September 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    The FOREO is such a useless product. It’s a silicone vibrator and there is NO difference in sensitive, combination skin or normal modes–changing the types of bristles at the top doesn’t make it suitable for your skin type. There’s no science behind this. This is not a beauty miracle. You are better off buying a cleansing solution, moisturizer, face mask, etc than using a silicone vibrator on your face. I was so disappointed in this product. Don’t buy this. Honestly, if you can’t wash your face well with your own two hands, NO product can help you. However, if all you want is a face massage, then I suppose you can use this. Or better yet, just buy a real vibrator then at least you will have other uses for it. FOREO is a scam and beautiful packaging aside, their product is utterly useless.

  • Reply Jacki J November 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, I thought I would write a review as I have also used both the Clarisonic Mia and the Fore Luna Mini.
    I used to love my Mia and it worked really well with my slightly sensitive skin. I combined the Mia with a cleansing balm from Elemis and it worked perfectly. My love affair with the Mia ended when after only 1 year it abruptly stopped working. I was furious as it was out of warranty by 1 week!!! the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that they do it on purpose to make you buy every year.
    After reading about the Foreo and its much better warranty I decided to take the plunge. I thought the price was a tad dear but i’m based in Oz so I picked it up at that had a discount ( tip for any fellow Aussies ) I liked the packaging it was like I was buying an Apple product and the unit is certainly smaller than the Mia. My experience in using it didn’t start great . The first time I used the Foreo along with my Elemis Cleanser I had a minor rash and redness. This didn’t seem right so I put it down to using the Foreo for too long. The next time I only used it for the recommend time and it worked well. Takes a bit of getting used to but all in I think i prefer it to the Mia but I suppose its a question of taste.

    • Anna @ D16 November 16, 2014 at 2:55 am

      Hi Jacki, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy—I’ve had my Clarisonic Mia for four years now, and it’s still going strong.

  • Reply mary November 27, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Let’ s be honest for a minut here! This is the first bad review for foreo luna! She is payed by clarisonic to make a statment!

    • Anna @ D16 November 27, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Yes, let’s be honest for a minute here! You are out of your mind, Mary. Clarisonic don’t have a fucking clue who I am. (Do you think I’d still be using a 4-year-old Mia that I got as a gift from a friend if they did?)

      We’re talking about face-washing devices here. Get a grip on yourself. And if you want to see other negative reviews, scroll up in the comments here, and check Makeup Alley. A lot of people love it, but it’s not for everyone. WHO CARES? If you like yours, good for you!

  • Reply mary November 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Ok. My conclusion is that you are right and so am I in liking the luna! I suppose that happens with different people who have different types of skin! What I love you may not, and so on… I retract my comment before 😉

  • Reply Nancy December 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I bought the original Clarisonic and have tried it with both the delicate and cashmere brush heads, without a lot of success. Sad — it’s a quality product but the thing has probably been used fewer than fifty times in all these years. Still, I REALLY wanted to try the Luna. Sephora ran out during the sale, so I ordered one from Amazon at the amazing price of $99. HUGE mistake, I’m afraid. It arrived (from China via the Netherlands?) in a box with a customs declaration of $10 USD! The pink is garish, hardly the soft petal pink from the Sunbird video, and several of the cleansing points are damaged. I am not at all convinced it actually has a sonic feature, but it sure does vibrate. Oh, and the serial number had already been used! So I am in the process of trying to get my money back through Amazon. It is certainly disappointing to read that the real thing seems just as cheap at this probable knock-off!

    • Anna @ D16 December 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Ugh, that sucks! 🙁

  • Reply Nancy December 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

    It sure does Anna, but I have to hand it to Amazon. I told them exactly what I told you and they refunded my money overnight.

    And here’s what’s so damaging about fake products : I don’t think I really want to buy a Luna sight unseen now. My longing for it has been fulfilled! I don’t think I’ll risk the $199!

    I still can’t get over how real the box and authenticity card and everything seemed. But China is a country where they make fake eggs, for crying out loud!

  • Reply Shelly February 15, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Hello! Thank you for writing this article and giving your honest feedback. I was wondering if you would be willing to try SiliSonic? SiliSonic is the first sonic facial brush with interchangeable silicone heads. I believe you will be happy the innovative ergonomic design. It comes with two heads (cleansing and massaging), battery operated and is only $49.99. Please let me know if you would like more information.

    • Anna @ D16 February 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      No thanks, Shelly! I’m happy with my Clarisonic and am not interested in experimenting further with my skin. Thanks for the offer, though.

  • Reply Male November 30, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    So i’ve been using the Luna Men for a couple of days and my skin is breaking out awfully, it’s greasy all day. I don’t know what is happening. I’ll try it for a week and then i’ll go back to the Clarisonic, which seem a lot safer.

  • Reply Laura May 1, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Hello – I just wanted say thank you for this review.

    In case it helps, I have dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin and use a Pumice Cleanser with a topical prescription lotion, Neocutis serum and nightly moisturizer, and EltaMD sunscreen – not advocating, just for reference. I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia for about 2 years with great results and recently tried the Foreo, which was recommended by my dermatologist. I got the larger and more powerful version of the Foreo. It seemed to work great for the first week, but then my cystic acne started flaring up. I also had a lot of redness, irritation, and itchiness — though I kept at it with the Foreo for another 2 weeks to make sure. I’ve gone back to my Clarisonic Mia and things have immediately calmed down. I’m still experimenting in using the “anti-aging” side of the Foreo 2-3 times a week. Perhaps it helps? Not the harsh silicone bristles?

    I found the same thing as described in your post. I’m not sure why, and would have loved to begin using the Foreo with less expense on brush heads and potential for a more hygienic product (though, you can just clean and change brush heads on Clarisonic), but the Foreo was ultimately just a loss. As you’ve said, everyone’s skin is different. If anyone has very sensitive and acne-prone skin with success in using the Clarisonic, I would agree to be cautious with the Foreo. Hope that helps and thanks again, Anna.

  • Reply Matilda October 19, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Hi I have been debating whether or not to buy as a clarisonic. I have used a clinique Sonic Brush system and it is fantastic however after 3 years it has died., I suffer from Sensitive dehydration pigmentation skin which in sometimes can be oily and my pigmentation has nearly cleared. Thanks for the review I might check out clarisonic.

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