Friday, September 30, 2011

Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System vs. Clarisonic Skincare Brush

Olay as part of their Pro-X line, recently put out their version of the motorized skin care brush, a gadget made popular by the high end brand Clarisonic. I have personally been using the Clarisonic now for the past 3 years and so was interested to know how the Olay version stacked up to the Clarisonic. The Olay brush was sent to me for review by Olay, the Clarisonic Skincare Brush was purchased.

As with any good comparison, it's helpful to look at the stats:

1. Price - this is where the most dramatic difference occurs. Olay's brush retails for approximately $34.99 CA, which is a whopping 84% cheaper than the standard Clarisonic ($218.00 CA). As well, Olay's version, being a drugstore purchase goes on sale every now and then. In fact London Drugs recently had it on sale for $24.99 CA. The best you can do with the Clarisonic is purchase it when Sephora has 10 or 15% off for Beauty Insiders/VIB's. In addition the replacement heads for Olay's brush are approximately $9.99 CA, while a single replacement head for the Clarisonic is $25.00 CA.

2. Brush Head Size - The head of the Olay brush measures1 1/4" in diameter, while the Clarisonic measures 1 9/16".

Clarisonic Skincare (top), Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush (bottom)

3. Body Size - The Olay systems body is about 5" long, and 1.5" wide, which makes the tool feel on the small side in your palm. The Clarisonic's body is about 7" long and 2.5" wide, which makes it feel on the medium large side.

Clarisonic Skincare (top), Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing brush (bottom)

4. Power - Olay's system is powered by 2 AA batteries (which are included), while the Clarisonic is fully rechargeable by the included wall charger.

5. Speed and Programs - Olay's brush has two speeds and one way of moving which translates into the brush head simply rotating either slower or faster. The Clarisonic has a built in timer which tells you how long you should use the brush on different areas of your face, and two different types of motion - some areas of the brush rotate while others oscillate back and forth.

6. Claims 


"Designed by a team of dermatologists along with Olay, the Advanced Cleansing System is as effective as a system sold by skin professionals for nearly $200.* (system with normal/dry cleanser) Professionally and clinically designed to cleanse 6 times better** (than basic cleansing), the Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System also sets your skin up for supersonic anti-aging moisturization. ( Helps maximize the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your anti-aging moisturizer.)†"


"The sonic frequency moves Clarisonic's soft, gentle brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and skin surface. Here are some of the benefits this revolutionary skincare tool delivers: removes makeup six times better than traditional methods, clears pores and reduces the appearance of pore size, cleanses so thoroughly that skincare products absorb better and creates noticeably healthier looking skin."

The Verdict

Please bear in mind this is my opinion based on my experience only. I have no scientific way of verifying a) the standard claims of either brand, and b) my own observations. That being said here are my findings:

1. Both brushes made my skin feel smoother and better exfoliated than normal cleansing (washing with hands only). I do find that my skin feels the smoothest after using the Clarisonic.

2. The Clarisonic definitely has more "guts", that is to say the brush head moves much faster and with greater power than that of the Olay tool, which means more exfoliation. The Olay brush seemed very slow and weak in comparison to the Clarisonic.

3. The Clarisonic, with it's larger brush head covers a greater area than the Olay brush, which again contributes to greater exfoliation.

4. When I cleanse with the Clarisonic, I do notice that other skincare products I use are absorbed better. The best example of this is with the Differin XP Gel I use. Differin XP can cause slight peeling and I feel like this exfoliating action is far greater after cleansing with the Clarisonic (as opposed to hand washing).

If you want a tool to help you clean and exfoliate your skin beyond regular washing, the Olay brush is a good place to start. It definitely provides more thorough cleansing and exfoliation than washing with hands alone. In my opinion, the Olay Pro-X brush offers good value and is practical in its affordability. However, having used both, I cannot say they are equivalent tools. The Clarisonic, with it's oscillating head and greater power, gives my skin a polish the Olay brush didn't. To put it another way - the Olay Pro-X brush achieves cleansing and exfoliation beyond washing with hands, but I think you could get close to the same level of cleaning if you diligently used another exfoliating tool, such as a microfibre cloth or a manual cleansing brush. The Clarisonic, in my opinion, offers a thoroughness of cleansing that would be impossible to get with any other type of manual exfoliation. 


  1. Thank you very much for your review! I was on the fence about buying the Clarisonic Mia and came across the Olay Pro-X brush while researching it. Now, I'm not sure if I should purchase the Clarisonic Mia, or the Olay Pro-X. I was wondering If either of these brushes will help with acne, and if so, which is better? Or are these brushes not very helpful for acne? Thank you! :)

  2. Hi Anon

    Unfortunately, I'm not a dermatologist, so I can't say if either brush will help with acne. Both brushes provide exfoliated cleansing, which in some cases can help clear up pimples if lack of exfoliation is the root cause of the problem. If you suffer from cystic or widespread acne, I recommend you consult your doctor or dermatologist before purchasing and using either product.

    Good luck!


  3. Thank you-this was the most useful review on the internet! I was debating between the too (price of course). After your fabulous comparison, I decided to made an investment and buy Clarisonic. Thanks again! Great job!

  4. When you said Olay sent you their brush I thought for sure you would say it was as good as the Clarisonic. But you didn't! It's great to find a site like yours with real reviews. PS - I received the Olay brush as a gift and I have to agree that it's not as good as the Clarisonic (I use my bf's whenever I can). Thank you.

  5. I have combination skin, slightly sensitive. I found the Clarisonic brush to be too harsh for my skin. I purchased the sensitive skin brush tip. It still irritated my skin after several use. The regular brush tip made my skin red and painful. Based on your review,I think I should try the Olay brush since it is much weaker. Thanks!

  6. For me there is no comparing the two brushes! The Clarasonic is a sonic brush while the Olay is simply a spin brush, two very different brushes! The Clarasonic has an acne brush that I use which is very gentle on the skin and won't irritate, for those with sensetive skin. I've had my Clarasonic for 4 years & have never had any problems with it, it's worth the investment!

  7. Thank you so much for the review! I live in canada too and I am meaning to get either one of these. I don't know if I should get the Clarisonic since it's expensive. How did you find about using them to clean blackheads or minimize pores? I also have tiny little pumps on my forehead (which are all over my forehead). I don't know which one should I get...any ideas?

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