I’ve never been much of a high-maintenance girl when it comes to washing my face. I’ve been using the same cleanser for almost two years, and some nights, I don’t even wash my face or (gasp!) take off my makeup. Of course, all of that changed when I received the amazon.com) from the company to test out. This hand-held rechargeable device promises to give you a natural, healthy glow with two minutes of use twice a day, every day. I used the one for sensitive/normal skin.
The Claims: Cleansing and Anti-Aging
The Foreo Luna is, at its most basic level, a Clarisonic competitor. It uses the same T-Sonic™ Technology to clear your pores of impurities, reduce the causes of blemishes, and refine the texture of your skin. But what makes the Luna different its use of 13,000 non-abrasive “touch-points” coated with silicone. Thus, it’s advertised as more hygienic than the Clarisonic brush heads, which need to be replaced once they start showing wear and tear (Foreo).
Additionally, the Luna also provides users with two modes of experience: cleansing and anti-aging. The cleansing stage is experienced first; users apply the cleanser of their choice to wash away makeup, sweat, and oil, rinsing their face once the Luna has indicated the first minute is up by emitting three short pulses. The user then switches from the stand-by mode to the anti-aging mode, applying the opposite side of the Luna to wrinkle-prone areas for another minute. Again, the Luna will emit three short pulses, prompting the user to shut off the device. The level of vibration can be adjusted at each stage as per the user’s comfort (Foreo).
On paper, the Luna sounds great… but what does the research behind the device say?
The Technology: T-Sonic™
To understand how the Luna works, we have to look into T-Sonic™ Technology. According to the Foreo website, T-Sonic™ Technology consists of transdermal sonic pulsations that will supposedly change your skin within three days. This is the same technology utilized by the Clarisonic.
According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, it is incredibly difficult for us, as humans, to manually clean the skin in a consistent fashion. The effectiveness of my regime, for instance, is entirely dependent upon my level of energy at the given moment. Inspired by sonic toothbrushes, researchers (and the lead developers of the Clarisonic system) applied the sonic technology to skincare. The Clarisonic brush uses sonic speed oscillation to loosen inelastic comedones from your skin, leaving you with a clear, clean visage. Think of it as a standardized, mechanical way of exfoliation (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology).
Despite the technology’s popularity, there’s a lack of independent research involving it. For instance, author of the above-mentioned study Kenneth Pilcher helped to develop the Clarisonic. In another Clarisonic-sponsored study, researchers found that the technology was able to dislodge makeup (foundation) similarly to the way that sonic surgical instrument cleansers remove debris from reuseable injection needles and liposuction cannulas (Cosmetic Dermatology).The research surrounding the technology mostly focuses on Clarisonic, which has a brush head. The Luna, however, is covered with soft, silicone-coated nodules. There’s no research on the effectiveness of these regarding cleansing abilities, but it seems as though they would be comparable to the brush but without the abrasiveness. Of course, this is my speculation, so I’m interested to see what upcoming research would say on the subject.
The Method: Silicone-Coated Nodules
Foreo promises that the Luna is more hygienic than the Clarisonic due to the nonporous silicone coating. Silicone, on its own, doesn’t have any antimicrobial effects; bacteria and fungi will grow without the addition of photocatalytic oxides (Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology), so it’s difficult to know how hygienic the Foreo Luna is compared to the Clarisonic.
The Effects: Anti-Aging
Foreo promises that using the opposite side of the Luna will deliver anti-aging benefits due to its low-frequency pulsations, but the research is lacking. For comparison, I looked into potential anti-aging benefits of facial massages, but again, the research is minimal. In a pilot study involving 21 women aged 30-50 years old, a facial massage for 20 minutes showed an increase in facial blood flow, temperature, and elasticity (Journal of Medical Technology and Physical Therapy).
Another study involving a robot programmed to mimic movements of a facial massage measured the dynamic properties of 86 people aged 20-75. Results showed that facial treatments and skin care products could help skin recovery some of its lost elasticity (Ergonomics).
There isn’t enough information to confidently declare that facials are good for their anti-aging benefits, so I’m unsure if this anti-aging side of the Luna is effective. I’d love to see actual research on the Luna, specifically its claims on anti-aging since there isn’t really comparable research at the moment.
Overall Rating: 60%
After using the Foreo Luna for about three to four weeks, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my skin. Blemishes still occasionally occur, but they typically disappear a lot faster when I’m using the Luna. I’ve seen pimples disappear the very next day. The pulsations and the silicone touch-points exfoliate my skin without sensitizing it, resulting in smoother skin. Luckily, Foreo makes a sensitive skin Luna if you’re worried about the technology.
My hesitation in the full four-star recommendation comes from the anti-aging side and the price. There’s no research to suggest that the anti-aging side works, so I’d recommend going with the Luna Mini, which is a little cheaper at $139 (amazon.com) (compared to $199 for the regular Luna), which cleans your skin but doesn’t have the minimally researched anti-aging add-on.