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Review: Clarisonic Mia vs Neutrogena Wave

25/03/13 Update: I have released a follow-up to this post.

Time to talk vibrating.

I must admit that I am jumping on the bandwagon a little later than everyone else (I've always straddled the line between Late Majority and Laggard...), but better late than never!

And now that I've tried it, I must say: I just can't get enough.

Now let's talk about cleansing.  (=P!)

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System - Blue vs Neutrogena Wave Original Vibrating Power Cleanser 

Neutrogena Wave (since I tried it first):
It's a tiny little ergonomic handheld device - very cute; very pink; very girly.  It's battery-operated and comes with 14 refill pads that you use once and throw away.  The pads already come loaded with cleanser and there are a few different kinds to choose from when you purchase refills.  The on/off button does exactly that; there aren't any beeps to time how long you've been working.  Fantastic price - I got mine at Wal-Mart for about $10 CAD

My experience?  I used it twice a day, and I used up about 13 pads so...six days, give or take?  Immediately after using it my skin felt nice, but there was a harshness from the cleanser that I didn't like.  After that first time I used lathered up my own cleanser onto my face before using the Wave.  There was something weird about the device though - it didn't really feel like it was doing anything.  It was vibrating and whatnot, but it didn't feel like it was cleaning.  After I rinsed, my face felt smooth, so I figured it was just me.  I think it did help my cleanser and moisturizer sink in a little better.

Clarisonic Mia:
Another handheld device, but this one has more of a handle so you're not gripping the head behind the vibrating surface.  Comes with a charger -- takes about 18 hours to fully charge and holds a charge for about 20 minutes (10 days if you use it twice a day).  The indicator lights let you know when you're finished charging.  Unlike the Neutrogena Wave, the Mia operates with a refillable brush head, so the bristles oscillate on your skin, instead of a pad.  The on/off button will start a one-minute cycle, and pressing it mid-cycle will pause the vibrating for 30 seconds.  I got mine from from a seller called DermaDoctor for about $130 including shipping and the exchange rate.  I haven't yet bought refills, but I'll let you know when I do!

My thoughts?  After using this for the first time, I realized what was wrong with the Wave.  The Wave, at best, exfoliated my skin.  After using the Mia, my skin was soft, but it felt clean.  Like all the crap from my pores had been lifted and that was the reason it was smooth - not because the entire top layer of my skin had been taken off.  I have to look at my watch to measure out 20 seconds and 10 seconds depending on the area of my face, but that's not a huge deal since I don't really use mine in the shower.  I feel like this cleanses so well that I don't have to apply as much moisturizer or treatment after because it absorbs so much better into my skin.

In the end, I think they're both viable options - if you don't want to shell out $139 CAD retail for the Mia, the Neutrogena will be just fine.  You'll get that same smooth-skin effect.  I would recommend it if your pores aren't that big and your skin doesn't break out that easily - even with the regular refills, it's still cheaper than the Mia if you purchase everything at full retail price.  However, if you're really looking to deep clean your pores (maybe you get cystic acne, your pores are enlarged or what have you), the Mia is a decent option, considering the fact that you'll probably use it for some time.  Also bear in mind that you use a lot less product with the Mia since it foams up cleansers so much better and helps your skin take full advantage of any post-cleansing products.

Let me know what you decide to try, or if your experiences are different from mine!


  1. So want a Mia!! I'm treating myself for my Birthday.

  2. Wow, I like the Neutrogena a million times better. I feel like the Clarisonic is just spreading bacteria all over the place.

  3. @Anonymous I wash mine everytime with antibacterial soap and rinse it with 99% alcohol every few days to keep it clean!

  4. I like the neutrogena so much better too I feel it does better for my skin and the clairsonic is harsh on my skin!

  5. i think mia does the cleansing job way better than any other i am just getting a mia.nice blog.following you visit mine.

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  8. My sister had a facial last night at Coldwater Creek and they used the Clarisonic on her face (not sure what model it was) but anyway, she called me today and said her skin never felt so clean and smooth. We are both thinking of purchasing one. She is probably getting one for her teenage son as well since he is proned to acne. I will let you know what we both think once we purchase it and try it out. Thanks for all the postings. Very helpful!

    1. I'm so glad it helped! Would love to hear about your experience, please don't hesitate to update me on Twitter or via email!

  9. I was also curious on both. I currently use the Neutrogena Microdermasion System (around $20) and have been very pleased with it. It leaves my skin very soft. I use it only 1 to 2 x a week. I also tried the Wave but did not feel it really did much. At 51 I don't use any cover up and people constantly are complementing on my glowing complexion and lack of wrinkles (no botox or other cosmetic procedure have been done.) At this point, its hard to justify spending so much more on the Clarisonic system. Thanks for your viewpoint.

  10. I have both the Mia 2 and the Neutrogena Sonic. I use the Mia 2 on my face and I specifically use the Neutrogena on my chest and arms where I have age spots and some damaged skin. I am using a mild exfoliator with the product, and I am having very good results. The Mia 2 definitely cleans well, but is much more expensive and the brushes need changed every 3 months; The pad itself on the Neutrogena Sonic doesn't seem effective unless you use an exfoliator, but using that, I have had good results; I would say buy them both! Save the Mia 2 for the face!....It is a real treat... where as the Neutrogena with an exfoliator is the Work Horse and inexpensive!

  11. Based on your review, I think Mia is more dependable, however, if you want a cheap yet an OK cleanser, Wave is good.
    ~Pauline @neutrogena philippines


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