Pros: Choice of Two Texture Sides, Water-proof, Inexpensive, Widely Available
Cons: Refill Cost, Cannot Use Own Cleanser, Parabens
Now that Oprah has selected the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush as one of her Favorite Things, it has accordingly disappeared off retail shelves and has been back-ordered well into the New Year. If youre wondering what to do until the UPS truck arrives in March, or if you have already decided that the purchase price was better spent on your car payment or your childs future education, I offer you a more accessible toy from the people that brought you the Campaign for Real Beauty.
The Dove SkinVitalizer is a daily cleansing tool that was designed to provide more effective yet accessible cleaning options to women who further found the chore of daily face washing to be tiresome and boring. Each SkinVitalizer consists of a plastic handle and an oval shaped area where the Cleansing Pillows are attached. It runs on a single AA battery (Included) and is entirely waterproof making it suitable for shower use. On the backside of the handle, there is a silver foiled Dove Logo and a split rubberized button that turns the unit on and off.
The SkinVitalizer comes with sample Cleansing Pillows in Gentle Exfoliating: for all skin types and Energy Glow: for uneven skin. Each pillow has two sides; a soft quilted side for general cleaning and a textured side for exfoliation.
Cleansing with the Dove? SkinVitalizer removes dirt, oil and makeup that manual cleansing leaves behind. Additionally, the SkinVitalizer brings the results of a spa to womens homes.
* Its light facial exfoliating removes dead skin cells to expose younger, healthier-looking skin.
* Its gentle vibration invigorates and energizes skin to leave it looking younger and more radiant.
Directions for Use
First you take a fresh Cleansing Pillow and place it on the oval part of the SkinVitalizer, with whichever side you want to use facing up. The oval part is covered with tiny textured plastic almost like a micro velcro so the Cleansing Pillow will stay firmly in place by itself. You run the Cleansing Pillow under water, adjusting for how much lather you want; then turn the unit on, and work it in circular motions across your face.
The SkinVitalizer does not spin like a brush but instead delivers a soft pulsating massage that is actually pleasant albeit a bit ticklish sometimes around the nose. The pre-added cleanser only has a faint neutral soap scent and seems gentle enough for most skin types. The lather is also light, but there will be visible bubbles when it is working on the face.
The SkinVitalizer is also designed so that the pillows extend beyond the rubberized outer edge of the oval base, allowing you to get into those nooks and crannies along the side of the nose etc. The quilted side is soft and gentle, suitable even for sensitive skin, while the textured side is rougher like those teardrop shaped scrubbers better suited for non-sensitive skin and spot exfoliation. You can use both sides of the pillow in one wash, simply by turning it over and it should stick even when wet.
The Cleansing Pillows will probably be effective for light and maybe moderate make-up wearers, with the disposability being a plus so there is no worrying about stained towels etc. Personally I hate to waste things so I often will use the gentle side for washing my face, then save the more textured side for exfoliation in the shower, finding that there is more than enough soap for one use. Dove will officially recommend that the pillows be thrown out after a single wash for hygienic purposes.
The Dove SkinVitalizer does a good job of general washing and the ability to spot focus in areas resulted in better skin appearance especially in problem areas. Overall skin is smooth and soft, probably due to the high level of glycerin in the cleanser as well as the additional exfoliation. After awhile I would even say that my skin appeared brighter, due to the increased circulation provided by the massage. This makes sense, because in other beauty cultures, facial massage is the prescribed treatment for skin, stimulating the cell's natural ability for re-growth and strength rather then slathering on a number of products promising only a temporary fix. Although not put forth by Dove, you could probably use the handle alone for a weekly facial massage over a thin washcloth or by simply pressing and lifting, rather than using circular motions so as not to scratch the face.
The one note of improvement I had has surprisingly been addressed with newer retail packages coming with a simple plastic stand similar to the ones that come with non-disposable razors. Although I just turn mine over and balance it on its backside, it would be nice to have the stand to keep the SkinVitalizer neatly stored and out of water that might pool by the sink or tub. (For this reason it is a good idea to remove used pillows, so they do not become waterlogged and mushy)
Pricing and Availability
The price has dropped and I generally see this product retailing at around $10.00 in the beauty aisle of big box stores and pharmacies. For the past several months, the Dove website has also had a promotional coupon that saves an additional $3.00. A box of 14 refill pillows will generally cost between $3-4 and should be available at the same location.
At one twentieth the cost, the SkinVitalizer is not going to replace the Clarisonic or Micro-dermabrasion. With the final price being a little more than you pay and widely available wherever you buy toothpaste however, it is a pretty cheap gadget that will most likely give you better results than hand washing alone. The minimum energy expenditure and the ability to stay comfortably upright might also mean more frequent and diligent washing, especially on those exhausted nights when you might otherwise (*gasp) collapse into bed without washing your face. With long term use, it is also likely that the massaging feature will cause improvements in overall skin tone and appearance.
The SkinVitalizer is recommended for busy individuals, those who know their cleaning habits arent up to par, those who like beauty gadgets, those who want to combine exfoliation with their washing, or those who would like to try an affordable beauty treat.