There really isn't much similarities between the two products when you think about it. They're actually quite different in many ways that I'm finding it difficult to find what these two have in common. Both tools have pretty much the same intended function, both have interchangeable brush heads and a waterproof body. Another thing that is the same is that both companies recommend replacing the brush head attachments every 3-4 months.
|Left: Sigma Cleansing & Polishing Tool|
Right: Clarisonic Mia
Sigma : Comes in a bulky hard plastic case and includes the tool body and 3 different brush head attachments. When purchased on their website, a free gift (usually the travel size E25 brush) is included.
Clarisonic : Comes without a case. The package includes the tool body, 1 sensitive brush head attachment (with cap), charger and a travel sized cleanser. If bought through their website however, it also includes an additional free gift that varies from time to time. At time of post, the free gift offered is a travel bag and a body serum.
Sigma : Brush head attachment rotates uni-directionally at 2 speed levels as chosen by user.
Clarisonic : Uses sonic oscillation (300 movements per second) which I can best describe as a rapid pulsing motion by the inner bristles. More information on how the technology can be found on the Clarisonic website here. The Mia operates at only 1 speed but the Classic and Plus models operate at 2 and 3 speed levels respectively.
Here's a video demonstrating the difference between a spinning and a sonic oscillation brush head motion as shown on the Clarisonic blog (click here for the full post on their blog):
Sigma : Is operated by 2 AA size batteries. You can opt for rechargeable batteries which is more eco-friendly and economical in the long run.
Clarisonic : Rechargeable using the compact pLink international charger (Mia) or the charging cradle (Classic and Plus).
Sigma : Switches on and off manually without timer. High speed rotation causes product lather to splatter.
Clarisonic : Has an in-built 60 second timer and automatically switches off once timer is done. Does not cause product lather to splatter as brush head does not rotate.
|Left: Sigma Soft Brush Head Attachment|
Right: Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head Attachment
|Left: Sigma Soft Brush Head Attachment (Side profile)|
Right: Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head Attachment (Side profile)
Sigma : Longer bristles with a higher density and larger size. Bristles also cover a larger area compared to the Clarisonic. Brush head attaches via snap connector (push on to snap and pull out to remove). Comes in 3 options -- soft, medium and firm.
Clarisonic : Bristles are less dense and shorter in comparison. Middle portion of brush head is movable (for oscillation motion) while the outer rims are static. Brush head is screwed on to attach and to remove, just push down and twist open. Offers several brush
MY THOUGHTS & PREFERENCE
While I'd initially liked the Sigma tool when I received it, I absolutely love the Clarisonic even more. To begin with, the packaging and construction of the tool was much more favorable to me. I felt Sigma could have packaged the tool in a smaller, more practical case minus the flimsy plastic mould or maybe have it in a waterproof travel bag or some sort. I loved the fact that the Clarisonic brush heads had a protective cap which helps keep the bristles out of harms way. The body of the Clarisonic also feels sturdier and well made but I suppose for the price of the Sigma tool, it's acceptable.
Personally, I felt even with the soft brush head attachment, the Sigma tool was still a bit harsh on my skin compared to the Clarisonic. I felt that the rotating motion made the tool more abrasive as it sloughs of dead skin cells and cleanses and polishes the skin. I noticed redness on my skin every time I used it and for me was not suitable for daily use. The Clarisonic on the other hand left my skin feeling quite clean minus the redness. I also noticed most of my pores minimized within the first week or so of using the Clarisonic that I didn't experience with the Sigma tool. The design of the bristles and brush head also made it easier for me to use the Clarisonic around my nose area compared to the Sigma tool.
I have generally good skin and my friends and family can attest to that. But I do have enlarged pores especially on my cheek near the nose and also my nose area. In addition to that, I was also getting white heads that were slowly developing into black heads in those areas. So you can imagine how happy I was to see an improvement in that respect from using the Clarisonic. I also felt that I didn't necessary need to use a toner too which was odd but good. And because of the changes in my skin texture, the moisturizer that I had been using for months now is no longer suitable for my skin.
I know that at the moment the Mia (US$149) is not available in Malaysia yet and only the Plus model is sold in Sephora KL for somewhere in the RM800 price point. The Plus model is of course has more functionality than the Mia and you can check out the differences between the models here. Still, the basic concept is still the same and the brush head attachments are the same except the Mia doesn't support the body brush.
Now, as for the Sigma tool (US$39), I've decided to use it for body exfoliation. The skin on the body is more resistant and thicker than the skin on the face so why put a perfectly good tool to waste, right? You know, I have half a mind to use the Sigma tool for cleaning bags too for some reason. Hurm... *pondering idea*
So to sum it up, I believe the Clarisonic is almost 4x the price of the Sigma tool but it's an investment and if you have the money or are willing to spend as much, I highly recommend getting one for yourself. I love Sigma and I love their brushes, but this foray into skin care isn't cutting it for me unfortunately.
What I do wished the Mia had is a battery life indicator light. Or maybe I'll just need to get used to the signals at the end of the 60 seconds letting me know that it's running low on juice.