The Foreo Luna is an interesting concept for skincare. Somebody thought to himself or herself that rubbing a vibrating piece of medical grade silicone across your face would be a great cleansing method. That person was right. This little, vibrating, silicone disc has quickly become my favourite facial cleansing device.
The Foreo Luna mini is a round, silicone-coated, curved disc – mine is purple – with a single button. Unlike other varieties of the Foreo Luna, the colours of the Luna mini do not correspond to any particular skin type. The single button turns it on when pressed once, lowers the intensity when pressed a second time, and turns the device off when pressed a third time. The top third of the disc, or perhaps a slightly larger area on both sides is covered with tiny silicone bristles. The bristles, which Foreo calls silicone touch points, are about two millimeters long, with those on the front being thinner, and those on the front tip and back being thicker. The thicker bristles are supposed to be better for deep cleansing oily skin, while the thinner bristles are intended for cleansing sensitive or dry skin. Gently rubbing those silicone bristles across your face, with most any facial cleanser of choice, will instantly leave you with the softest skin you have had since you were a newborn. Seriously. From the first time I used the Luna mini, I noticed an improvement in my skin texture. It made my normally soft face even softer, and helped clear up some problem areas faster than without it. However, one nagging question remained: how does it work?
Foreo’s website explains that the Luna “is a silicone skincare device that channels pulsations in various intensity levels for facial cleaning and anti-aging.” The device “delivers deep yet gentle facial cleansing via innovative T-Sonic technology.” “T-Sonic” is an abbreviation for “transdermal sonic,” and the device is said to deliver 8000 T-Sonic pulsations per minute. Foreo doesn’t delve deeper into what “transdermal sonic” means, but if those terms are descriptive, we can pretty much figure that out for ourselves.
How it Works:
The good people of Google tell us that “sonic” describes something “relating to or using sound waves.” In short, “sonic” means “sound.” Specifically, it means sound that can be heard by the human ear. “Sonic speed,” or the speed of sound, is about 760 miles per hour, 340 meters per second, or 661 knots. This would explain the buzzing sound the Luna emits when in use. Sound is “ultrasonic” when the frequency of the sound waves is “above the upper limit of human hearing.” “Transdermal” means across the skin. Basically, it seems that the Foreo Luna delivers audible sound pulsations across the skin. According to a Drug Store News article, “[w]hile in cleansing mode, these pulsations create a ‘patting’ motion directed across the skin’s surface, subsequently dislodging dirt and makeup from the pores. Through this tap-like movement, the skin can be cleansed without the rotating or oscillating action of existing bristled devices that might irritate the skin or harm its elasticity due to their pulling and pinching effects.” With this better understanding of the science behind the Luna, I was able to shake the feeling that it is new age snake oil, and fully embrace my favourite new device.
As life would have it, right after I received the Foreo Luna mini, Foreo came out with the next generation, the Luna mini 2. From what I can tell, there are three main differences between the Luna mini and the Luna mini 2: (1) the Luna mini 2 has 8 different speeds, as opposed to the Luna mini’s 2 speeds; (2) the Luna mini 2 has a 1-minute cycle, whereas the Luna mini has a 3-minute cycle; and (3) a slightly larger area of the Luna mini 2 is covered with bristles.
Having used the Luna mini for about three months, I can say that the first change is probably an improvement whereas the second and third changes are neither here nor there. First, I almost always use the highest setting so if the other 7 settings are all lower in intensity, having those options would not add to my experience with this device. Second, I often use the Luna mini for the full 3 minutes. On those days I tend to become immersed in my facial cleansing, lose track of time, and am caught off guard when the Luna shuts off. Ready or not, that is the end of my cleansing session. Other days I feel that 3 minutes is entirely too long and I’ll cleanse my face, rinse the device and shut it off while it is still going strong. If you feel that the 3-minute cycle is too long, it is easy to simply stop the device when you are finished cleansing your face. I would rather do that than repeatedly start new 1-minute cycles. Regardless, this is a ridiculous first world problem, and I am sure that someday Foreo will come out with a Luna mini 3 that allows us to set our own desired time, or choose from a menu of preset time options. Third, a larger surface area of bristles might be nice, but isn’t likely meaningful considering the compact size and design of this device.
Even more recently Foreo came out with an eye massager, the Iris. The Foreo Iris is supposed to reduce puffiness, bags, and other issues that often plague the eye area. The Iris looks like a big, silicone sewing needle with an extra-wide eye. As far as I can tell, it uses the same technology as the Luna. This inspired me to give some extra time and attention to my eye area while using the Luna mini. After all, why bother buying the eye tool if the face cleansing device does the same thing, right? After trying this little experiment and noticing slight results, I read that the Luna mini is NOT recommended for use around the eye area. However, the Luna mini 2 is. Please do NOT use the Luna mini on your eyes. Why risk damaging the delicate eye area of your face? But if you have the Luna mini 2, it is apparently safe to do so. Worst case, if you find the Luna to be ineffective as an eye massager, you still have the option of using it as a facial cleansing device.
Why I Love it:
The Foreo Luna mini has kept my skin incredibly soft, and helped me to get rid of breakouts early and quickly. The device is easily portable and low maintenance. It is supposed to require charging for one hour every five months, but my experience has been that it requires charging for one hour every two months (maybe due to a defect or, more likely, the longer 3-minute cycle). This is great because you shouldn’t need to bring the charger when you travel for short periods, as long as you have charged it within the past month or so. If you do lose your charger, replacements can be purchased from Foreo. Otherwise, this device doesn’t require any replacement parts or batteries, which makes my budget and my inner environmentalist happy.
The medical grade silicone coating makes this gentle device bacteria resistant. It is also waterproof and quite tough, having withstood several drops, both inside and outside the tub, by yours truly. Last, but not least, while the Luna is not recommended for use with certain types of cleansers, it will probably improve your favourite liquid or gel facial cleanser. It increases the effectiveness and efficiency of most, but not all cleansers. The Luna mini’s T-Sonic vibrations will help your cleanser to more thoroughly and deeply cleanse your face. It does this while being fairly mess-free, and cutting down on the amount water and facial cleanser you need.
Why I Don’t Love it:
With the Luna mini you really do have to figure out for yourself how much time to spend cleansing each section of your face and when to move on. The Luna mini pulses every 15 seconds for the first minute. After that there is no further pulsing, and no warning that your cleansing session is about to end. This issue has pretty much been made a moot point with the 1-minute cleansing session of the newer model. But for the longer cleansing sessions of the Luna mini, a more consistent timer would have been nice. Also, the curved shape discourages use of the thicker bristles on the rear of the device. Because the device curves forward, the teeth on the front nicely hug the curves and angles of your face. However, the thicker teeth on the back of the device curve away from your face, thereby covering less surface area at once and making your cleansing session with the larger bristles feel less organic and less efficient.
The Foreo Luna mini is the single skincare device you’ll want to help you achieve a baby-soft, clear complexion. It is great for all skin types. At $99.00, the price tag may not make it the least expensive facial cleansing device on the market, but it is far from the most expensive. More importantly, it is well worth the price. The Foreo Luna mini requires a one-time purchase, is long lasting, and works well. I am happy with my Foreo Luna mini, and would recommend it, without reservation, to anyone considering purchasing one.
Do you own a facial cleansing device? If so which one, and are you happy with it? Have you ever bought a product and found an unintended use for it? Let me know in the comments section below.