Pros / The brush head of the Clinique Sonic System features antimicrobial technology, and specialty brush heads are available separately.
Cons / Liquid spatters when you turn the brush on, and other facial cleansing brushes have more balanced handles.
Verdict / The Clinique Sonic System has an angled, antimicrobial brush head that is easy to snap on and pull off. We like its rechargeable battery and charging stand, but its performance falls below average.
The Clinique Sonic System has an MSRP of $89.50, but you can find it for much less at many retail outlets. It has an angled, brush head that features antimicrobial technology. The brush head is easy to snap on and pull off, and replacement brush heads cost $27 each.
Along with its standard Purifying Cleansing brush head, the Sonic System has specialty brush heads available that you can purchase separately. These include an Extra Gentle Cleansing brush head, an Airbrushed Finish Liquid Foundation sponge head and an Acne Solutions attachment.
Rather than having rotating brush heads like many facial cleansing brushes, the Clinique features sonic oscillation technology. The Clarisonic Mia 2 and Conair True Glow also use this technology, but the Clarisonic Mia 2 is the more advanced model and it rates higher for user experience. The Clinique earned only a C+ for user experience in our tests.
“The Clinique isn’t as comfortable to hold, and its bristles aren’t as soft as the Mia’s,” one tester said. “Also, the weight of the Mia feels more balanced.”
Another disadvantage of this brush is that liquid spatters when you turn the brush on. We learned quickly that you should shake off excess water before activating the brush, and it’s best to apply cleansing solution directly to your face instead of to the bristles.
The Clinique Sonic System has one speed setting. Many brushes have two or three settings to let you customize your cleansing cycle to your skin type. Rather than requiring AA batteries like most of the devices we reviewed, this one has a rechargeable battery that provides three hours of operating time on a full charge. You should charge the device for 24 hours before first use, but consistently storing it on its charging base will deplete its battery life. It has a charging indicator, and power will decrease when the battery needs to recharge. You should fully deplete and recharge the battery every six months to preserve battery life.
Like each product we tested, this facial cleansing brush can be used in the shower. To keep it clean, you should rinse the brush head after each use. At least weekly, you should also wash the handle and wipe the charging base clean. Clinique’s recommended cleansing time is a one-minute cycle, but the company recommends starting with just 30 seconds at a time until you are used to the system. Over-cleansing can irritate your skin.
This facial cleansing brush has a two-year warranty, which is above average. Many facial cleansing brushes have manufacturers’ warranties of one to two years, and some have none at all. If you need support with the Clinique Sonic System, you have four options – phone, email, live chat and text messaging. Clinique is the only manufacturer of facial cleansing brushes we’ve seen that offers customer service via text.