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Beauty: the new sonics

The principle of sonic facial brushes is the same as for sonic toothbrushes – both claim to offer more thorough cleansing than manual methods (six times cleaner, manufacturers say). For years, Clarisonic ruled the market, but recently several rivals have appeared. Some are a straight rip off or poor man’s version (and why not?), others are made primarily by brands who should stick to making moisturiser not machinery. But some, like Clinique, have made some good tweaks on the original, notably a smaller head, which navigates into every nook, a much lower price (now £79), and an upper deck of bristles specifically designed for deep pore cleansing.

I use a sonic cleansing brush – usually the Clarisonic Aria (£149) – just two to three times a week, and suggest that anyone of any skin type follow a similar pattern of use. This is partly because I don’t like any brush in conjunction with oils or balms, which are by far the best cleansers. There simply isn’t enough slip and friction unless you use a face wash, of which I’m no fan.

So, as much as I love both my Clinique and Clarisonic, and like Magnitone’s £49 version, I could live quite happily on flannels alone. I strongly believe a £1 terry face cloth satisfies any real cleansing need. But what is highly creditable about sonic brushes is that they make people cleanse. I’ve heard many people claim miraculous results, then discovered their previous skincare routine was nothing to write home about. Whether it’s the financial outlay, pleasure in use, fresh sensation or a combination of all three, sonic brushes convert even the most slatternly users to twice-daily cleansing, and I am all for that.

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