I was so intrigued by Daniel’s mention of an ultrasonic “skin blade” (see comments on my microcurrent devices post) that I just had to find out more. It turns out that (in the US anyway) these devices are more usually called skin scrubbers or skin spatulas. Although these appellations are hardly poetic, they don’t have the Sweeney Todd connotations of Daniel’s skin blade. Anyway, blade, scrubber or spatula, what are they?

In some ways, these devices are like the Clarisonic Brush – but without the brush.  By which I mean, they all use "sonic" frequencies that create vibrations that are supposed to help loosen and remove oil, dirt, and cellular debris from pores. The blade or spatula is a stainless steel blade that oscillates (as does the Clarisonic Brush head) and glides over the skin. A flat side can be moved over a cream or serum to help it penetrate.

A company called Bellaire makes the Skin Spatula (the HS-3003) for salons and an at-home device called Ezzi-Peel Ultrasound Portable Cordless Skin Spatula ($249.95), which has been FDA approved. There are several other models on the market, including the SY-088 Ultrasound Spatula ($189.95).

The new Pore-Fector from Bliss ($230) is essentially a device in the skin scrubber genre and, in Bliss parlance, it uses "sonic vibrations" to cleanse the skin. This being Bliss, the Pore-Fector gadget also comes with a couple of unpleasant looking potions. The Detoxifying Facial Toner is an especially lethal concoction of phenoxyethanol, parabens, unidentified fragrance, limonene and chlorhexidine digluconate. How ironic to take debris and dirt off the skin, only to put toxins in.

I am a big fan of Clarisonic and its brush and am curious as to how these blades or scrubbers compare. If anyone else has ever tried them and, better still, have stacked them up against Clarisonic, please let us know.

Ingredients in Bliss Daily Detoxifying Facial Toner:

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Malachite Extract, Methylparaben, Limonene, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sorbitol, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Blue 1 (CI 42090)

Ingredients in Bliss Steep Clean 15-Minute Facial Mask:

Glycerin, Water, Coco-Glucoside, Coconut Alcohol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Park Ii (Shea Butter), Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Zinc Gluconate, Protease, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Subtilisin, Zanthoxylum Alatum Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract, Morus Bombycis Root Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopheryl Acetate, Salicylic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Oleyl Alcohol, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Sulfite, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, BHT Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140).