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Pretika's knock-off Clarisonic brush -reviewed and rejected

September 11, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments

This week, I rashly took the Nimue Challenge. In comments, Nimue posted the following:

"I have a suggestion: I think you should also try the Pretika knockoff of this device, "Pretika Lightsonic Pulsating Light Therapy" and compare the two.  The Pretika version is significantly, significantly cheaper. Pretika also has a brush which is a knockoff of the Clarisonic brush - again, much cheaper.  I have the Pretika brush.  I think it would be a good idea to compare the Pretika brush to the Clarisonic also."

A knock-off light therapy device seemed potentially risky to me and so I opted to take a look at the Clarisonic-like brush. Posts in other forums suggested that the Pretika SonicDermabrasion was fairly good considering it is about $60, against nearly $200 for Clarisonic. So I sent off for one and as soon as it arrived did a side-by-side comparison of the two.

Before I go into the details of the bake-off, I should say that I love my Clarisonic brush. I use it almost every day on my face before cleansing and on my body with my Japanese charcoal cleanser (due to the latter I no longer get body breakouts). Everyone I know who has bought a Clarisonic on my recommendation is thrilled with its gentle exfoliating and pore unclogging effects.

The Pretika device is lighter, but less solid than the Clarisonic. It has two brushes that are identical. The Clarisonic also has two brushes, one is soft for the face and the other has slightly more resistance when you press down on the bristles and is used for the body. The Pretika purports to achieve the same effect by having two settings that change the speed of brush rotation (or oscilation, I'm not sure). On the subject of brushes, one of the first things that struck me is that Pretika's has fewer bristles. Both of the Clarisonic's are denser and softer.

Clarisonic makes a big to-do about the sonic frequencies that move the bristles back and forth at 300 times per second. It is the speed of the action that makes it effective without the need to press firmly. Pretika, as far as I can see, does not mention speed.

Pretika comes with two skincare products, Hydrating Firming Complex and Microdermabrasion Scrub. I took one look at them and put them straight back in the box. To be fair, they aren't terrible, but there are too many chemicals, particularly in the scrub, that are potential irritants. I'm fussy and not about to take any chances.

I'll be the first person to admit that I am a cowardly wimp with a non-existent pain threshold, so I approached the entire exercise with trepidation. Using the lower power speed (green), I tentatively moved the brush over my forehead, down the sides of my nose and across my cheeks. It was so uncomfortable that I thought I'd got mixed up about the settings so I tried red. Bad idea.

This was an hour ago and I still feel as if I have been sandblasted. After using the Clarisonic, my skin feels clean and soft. The Pretika is much more an exfoliator and it is not for me. It may be appreciated by someone who isn't a dermatological Princess and the Pea. Someone with a thicker skin. Someone not very senstive. A guy maybe. Perhaps I should fob it off onto Jimmy as a small act of revenge for getting me to fall for his Q-Link.

  • June 23, 2013

    by JoAnn

    I have used Pretika for about 3 years. It was on sale and I wanted to try something that might clear up my senior citizen acne & also blackheads that I couldn't clear, even a little, with facial masks! I loved Pretika and used it almost twice daily. Nothing cleared up but my face was soooo clean. I'm now going to try a Clarisonic Mia. It, like Pretika, has one speed. I decided the price was triple what I'd paid for Pretika so I'm testing it. I'll see.
    If you are looking for a clean face, by all means use Pretika. I found it gentle. I believe you'll love it.

  • December 19, 2011

    by nina

    Pretika's brush heads are made of microfiber which does an excellent job at cleaning. Found out at makeupalley that the company has a new softer brush head and they've given out complimentary samples. Contacted them and now they're sending me one too. So, I vote for Pretika!

  • April 16, 2011

    by Katie Reynols

    I bought the Clarisonic from hsn and sent it back it did nothing for me. I still had dull skin and blackheads. I did use it faithfully for a month. I just bought the Pretika sonicmicrobrasion and it is excellent and for the first time I have glowing skin and it really worked on the large pores and blackheads. I have very sensitive and used this with no problems. My skincare worked so much better afterwards. I love the stiffness of the brush. I would highly recoomend this.

  • October 10, 2009

    by susy

    I just bought the Clarisonic. It is great! I have not tried Pretika but from reviews, I get this feeling the "quality" is much lower than Clarisonics. Thicker bristles,which might damage your skin over time I am thinking. I am writing this for anybody else who is trying to decide. Honestly, if you care a great deal abou the health of your skin, clarisonic is the superior choice. It is all in the SPEED and effectively SOFTNESS of the bristle action. TRY IT OUT!! I know you will not be disappointed.

  • June 17, 2009

    by Swati

    Looks like you get the share in $$ from Clarisonic :)

  • June 10, 2009

    by Pam Parker

    I bought the Pretika brush without the scrub or firming products. I use my own skincare products. I couldn't see paying almost $200 for a brush to cleanse my face! I paid $50.00 for the Pretika, and I love it. My skin is looking healthier than ever before. I have fair/slightly sensitive skin, and I use it lightly to wash. I was going to buy the Clarisonic, but I wanted to try Pretika first. I'm glad I did.

  • April 16, 2009

    by Lalita

    How can buy a lawn mower, new gas barbeque, and a sandblaster/cleansing brush for your face all at Home Depot! What isle is the Pretika on? Is it with the chemical cleansers or the sandpaper?

  • September 11, 2008

    by Nimue

    <p>Thank you for the review. Like I said before, I've never tried the clarisonic so wouldn't know how it compares.</p>

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