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Sonic Youth — The FOREO LUNA Emerges As The Latest Revolutionary Skincare Gizmo

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I’ve been more of a ride-or-die chick when it comes to my Clarisonic Mia 2 facial cleansing brush than I’ve been in regards to nearly any man I ever dated (except for my amazing hubby, of course!). So when I started testing out the FOREO LUNA ($199 at Foreo.com), the newest sonic technology-powered facial cleansing system, I felt intense pangs of guilt, as if I were stepping out on my oh-so-loyal Clarisonic. Turns out I’m as fickle as the weather because, within two weeks of using the LUNA, my conscience was no longer plagued with guilt.

Now, both the FOREO LUNA and the Clarisonic Mia operate using similar principles: primarily, the notion that sonic pulsations can yield a deeper cleanse, better unclogging pores, removing makeup, dislodging any dirt and bacteria from the surface of the skin, exfoliating any dead surface skin cells, and revealing a smoother and more radiant complexion. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The Clarisonic famously relies on brush heads with fibers of specific lengths and densities depending on the user’s skin type and main concern (the Deep Pore brush head, for instance, features three rings of bristles, with the most dense fibers located at the core). The fibers generally feel soft against the skin, even as they oscillate furiously to remove any impurities from the skin. That said, there’s two drawbacks to these brush heads: one, it’s necessary to invest in a new one every three months, which can prove costly and which can also be a bit of a headache for those of us with already packed schedules and a billion reminders on our smartphones and computers; second, even if you rinse the brush head thoroughly after every use, there’s a possibility that some of the bacteria and grime it so efficiently removed from your skin remained adhered to those hair fibers (not unlike what happens with sponges and loofahs). To address all of these concerns, then, the FOREO folks decided to create a cleansing device without standard brush fibers, instead incorporating silicone, rounded, nub-like, mini touch-points that are 100% waterproof and nonporous, thereby proving more hygienic. Not only are these silicone touch-points less likely to absorb dirt, oil, and bacteria, but they don’t need to be replaced after a certain period of time (score!).

So how exactly does one use the modern-looking LUNA? Well, first you want to wet your face and lather on your favorite cleanser. Next, you can run the rounded tip of the LUNA device, the section with the concentric, upward-turning arcs comprised of silicone touch-points, over a hint of water. To get ready for some cleansing action, press the rounded power button at the bottom center of the device. For a truly deep cleanse, press the “+” button to increase the pace of the sonic pulsations channeled through the silicone touch-points and press the device’s textured top half against your skin. Use upward motions when cleansing your neck, chin, jaw line and cheeks, then side to side while cleansing the area underneath the eyes (you can press the “-” button to lower the intensity of the pulsations when cleansing this more delicate area) , up and down the bridge of the nose and the sides of the nostrils, and, sideways (from the center of the forehead to the temples) when cleaning the top area of the face. FOREO recommends devoting 30 seconds to cleansing the lower half of the face, 15 seconds to the forehead, 8 seconds to the nose, and 8 seconds to the under-eye area. Now, unlike the Clarisonic brush, the FOREO LUNA won’t automatically shut off after 60 seconds have elapsed so you’ll need to monitor how much time you spent washing each area of your face and manually shut the device off when finished. Not having a timer is a slight drawback but, after a few times using the device, you’ll develop a rhythm and wind up automatically spending the recommended amount per area without any timer being necessary. Once you’re done cleansing your face, you can rinse your face and run the LUNA under some water. All done!

In the decidedly unglamorous video above, I demonstrate how to use the device, so make sure to check that out!

Initially, the cleansing experience with the FOREO LUNA is not entirely pleasant. Whereas brush head fibers tend to feel pretty gentle (well, after two or three uses, when they become less stiff and start feeling softer and more flexible), the silicone touch-points can feel a bit abrasive — particularly since the sonic pulsations feel all the more intense, making your face throb a bit. That said, you soon become accustomed to the sensation and, after a week or so of using this device, you won’t think twice about the pulsations.

One of my favorite things about the FOREO LUNA is that it takes up very little counter space and looks modern and even sculptural, improving the look of your bathroom rather than adding to any clutter. I’m also impressed by the battery power — I’ve been using the device for almost two months and haven’t had to charge it yet! According to FOREO, every time you charge the device, it will last for about 450 uses — and, thus far, the claim appears to be true.

And here’s another reason to love the LUNA: it actually does double-duty as a facial massager with anti-aging benefits. See, if you turn the LUNA around, you’ll notice it features linear ridges. Well, these aren’t merely decorative. They’re actually designed to boost circulation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. To accomplish this feat, you simply want to set the LUNA to the lower frequency and press the tip of the device against any areas where visible aging signs turn to emerge: in between brows, along the outer corners of eyes, along the brow bone, at the corners of the mouth, and so forth. Within 12-15 seconds, your mini massage will be complete.

Now, I can’t say I’ve seen too much of a difference when using the FOREO LUNA on its anti-aging mode, but I have been quite pleased with the  LUNA’s cleansing powers.

Will it make me forget all about my Clarisonic? I’m not there just yet — especially since I like the gentle feel of the Clarisonic’s Sensitive brush head — but anything is possible!

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