Pros: IT WORKS. Gentle, feels great, reasonably priced, just absolutely wonderful. Unisex.
Cons: Battery compartment's slightly hard to open but is so to make it waterproof.
Ok, so without revealing too much about my age, I'll just say that I'm old enough to know that 40 isn't "old" anymore. ;)
Especially over the last couple of years, more so in the past year, I noticed a few changes in my skin. The first, was a noticeable dulling. Despite more permanent healthy changes in my diet (more fruits and antioxidants) I wasn't seeing that "boost" in my skin tone that I usually did when I was eating right. That disturbed me. But I chocked it up to a temporary thing and continued doing what I had always done to my face: washing with soap and water (excluding the 2-year jaunt I had with Olay daily facials + Neutrogena Visibly Firm night cream - which was wonderful, until they stopped carrying NVF anywhere within a 427 mile radius of me!) When NVF wasn't available on the shelves anymore, I lazed out and stopped doing anything but soap and water. (Our hot climate negates ordering NVF online - it arrives melted.)
The second change I noticed this year was dryness.
Thirdly, and fourthly, I guess, I saw an increase in uneven skin tone (previously and happily I had never even really known what that was) and an increase in pore size (sexy!)
Ugh! What IS this aging business? Unacceptable, I finally thought!
So over the last few months I've been dabbling into the world of "beauty" products, trying to find a few life lines.
It is a jungle out there. I could have gone mad just from reading the reviews alone! Too many products, too little time. Some had had wonderful experiences with a product, others had had no result. I don't have a huge beauty budget, so I held back from buying something for fear it'd just wind up in the garbage, like products from my some of my previous attempts at achieving youthdom - which even include a few from my dermatologist. :-/
But then I stumbled across the Olay Professional Pro X Cleansing System. I hadn't even considered a brush cleanser like this, but it immediately appealed to me. Most reviews were positive, consistently, another plus.
I lucked out and found it at my local warehouse store, which, for $29, included the brush, a replacement brush, 2 AA batteries, and a full size of the cleanser you're supposed to use with it. I couldn't wait to try it!
The brush unit itself is about 4.5 inches long, with about a 3.5 inch handle, which is nicely shaped into a thick oval and fits very comfortably in the palm of your hand for use. The brush attaches to the end, where it "clicks" into place per instructions, but mine came with one brush already installed on the unit, so I'll have to take their word for it until it needs replacing.
The brush is about the size of a silver dollar in circumference, and I would guestimate that the bristles are a little more than a half inch long. What will wow you, is their softness. Way softer than any toothbrush bristles you could envision, and more like the feel of a little soft paintbrush of nylon bristles. On the disc, you get five circular rows of these friendly little cleaners. The brush disc really is SOOO soft!
The only bugger about this thing was getting the battery compartment open - which is located in the bottom base of the handle. However, there's a reason it fits on so tightly, it's virtually waterproof after you close it, and the instructions say you can use it daily in the shower. So win some lose some. But it will be challenging if not impossible for anyone with hand weakness etc. to open it up, so plan on asking for help if you fall into that category! Instructions say to wobble the base bottom back and forth while pulling simultaneously, and once I got the hang of that trick, it did come off.
To use, instructions say to wet face, then wet brush, then before cleansing, use the wet brush on your face just a little (I used warm water for all this, though instructions don't say you have to). Squirt a dab of the exfoliating cleanser into your hand, and massage it onto your face. I did exactly all of that and I was immediately impressed with the exfoliating cream that had come with my unit. It is a translucent gel-like substance, filled with super tiny cleansing crystals/beads, which were a nice surprise, and which were extremely gentle (as was the cleanser itself) on my skin. I used my fingers and went round and round my face several times, just because the experience was delightful. You can feel the tiny crystals working to gently slough off dead skin.
Then, per instructions, I turned on the brush and began cleansing my face with it. I find it most effective / soothing to go in a circular motion the whole time I'm using it, as opposed to just running it all over your face. The circular motion plus the gentle action of the bristles really gives you a relaxing spa feel as you're using it. I was in heaven! Shocked too! It was such a delight to encounter a product that was so successful - as all products should be!
The directions say to use the brush for about 60 seconds, and that's a good target, but I'm sure I went over. The brush has two power speeds, low and high, and I disagree with the other reviewer here who said the slow speed is useless - I found it very helpful to turn it down to low when I was using it in areas semi-near my eyes (instructions say not to go anywhere near your eyes, which is understandable, you don't want a bristle popping in there on accident!) But by putting the speed on low, you also help prevent any flying little droplets of cleanser from coming near your eyeballs. I also liked the slower, more gentle speed when I cleansed the area around my lips, by pursing them together and tucking my actual lips in my mouth, and gently running the brush over the surrounding skin.
Someone else online someplace had mentioned it getting caught in their hair during use, but this for me was not a problem, despite the fact that my hair typically eats things. What little flyaways did get into the brush got nothing more than a gentle shampooing :) .
As I said, I am sure I went over the 60 second recommended cleansing time, I was honestly having too much fun and really just delighted in the surprise of how much I liked this thing. But your face will let you know when you're done - when I started feeling the bristles just a tad more than I should I knew it was time to stop the show. To rinse, you simply rinse your face (again, I used warm water), then rinse the brush (well), and then apply the wet brush (per instructions) to your face to help rinse all of it off. I did all of the above and then re-rinsed with just water again, and patted dry.
Well, the fun didn't stop there, because as I looked in the mirror, I was amazed!!! Oh yes - this thing took what must have been layers of dead skin cells off of my face! I swear I looked at least a year younger, the dullness - gone, uneven skin tone - improved, and my whole face just looked brighter. Brighter than it had in a while! From just ONE USE!
I am a careful person. I don't typically jump on bandwagons or yell hooray or boo at every little thing. But I am officially giving one big hooray to this little wonder!
How much do I love it? Well, right now as I type this review, I have literally HIDDEN IT from my gadget freak husband who I know won't be able to wait to get his beastly man paws on it! And - not even kidding around, I am absolutely going back to the store (as soon as time and money permit) to buy 2 more units. One for him, and another for ME because I intend to have a backup! I have learned that sometimes, when you find a favorite thing, it gets discontinued for no apparent reason, and I'm not taking any chances. Or, the company cheaps out and starts making an inferior product. So yes, I'm getting a spare! :)
A few additional notes, I have always had very sensitive skin, especially on the face, when it comes to any kind of cream or beauty product or even foundation, which has made my hunt over the years that much more challenging. I am ecstatic to say that not only did the brush not hurt my skin in any way shape or form, but the gentle exfoliating cream (Olay) that came with it was exactly that - gentle and exfoliating. I intend to use this product at least every other day.
Now, if I could just scare up some Neutrogena Visibly Firm Night Cream, I'd be all set!