Why are we here? These devices look nothing alike, so they should be completely different? Well, we are here because they are marketed the same way and to the same crowd. But, you're right, they are different. Not so much that you would need both of them in your collection, but enough to fill different gaps in the market.
Foreo Bear and ReFa Carat Ray Face are two completely different beasts. The Bear is capable of giving you salon-level results, while the Carat Ray brings microcurrent to the table as an afterthought. Still, ReFa makes for a good choice for those who can't use microcurrent devices for health reasons. But if you can, Foreo Bear is a better choice.
Before we start, remember that I have a bit of a Foreo bias, though it will not influence the information below. So, let's check out what these devices do, what makes them different, and which may be a better choice for you.
A Quick Microcurrent Recap
With a recent boom in home microcurrent treatment devices, it gets a bit difficult to separate marketing from facts. Microcurrent IS an effective way to boost skin's ability to heal itself and reduce puffiness, while home devices rarely pack enough of a punch to tackle contouring and other more advanced benefits.
To use one of these devices, you have to start by applying a water-based cosmetic product (a simple Aloe Vera gel will do). You can't skip this step because you need something to act as a conductor. And yes, you can use most of these gadgets over sheet masks (unless the manufacturer states otherwise) for a 2-in-1 treatment session.
During treatment, the device releases a small amount of electric current: strong enough to give your skin cells a wake-up call, but weak enough not to electrocute you. However, it can still be unsafe and give you an unpleasant zap. Make sure to remove all jewelry before each treatment and check with your dentist first if you had a bridge, implants, veneers, or other work done.
These devices are completely unsuitable for those who have metal plates or a pacemaker installed.
Foreo Bear range is quite unique and stands out in the ever-growing field of home-use microcurrent devices. The mini is a nice little addition to anyone's routine, but the big Bear is a proper gamechanger.
At its highest intensity level, the Bear is as powerful as commercial devices that your esthetician or dermatologist is using. On top of that, the device also features Foreo's signature T-Sonic technology that boosts the treatment by providing additional stimulation.
If that sounds a bit scary, there's no need to worry. Both devices are equipped with the patented Anti-Shock System. It measures the skin’s resistance to electricity and automatically adjusts the level or current as you glide the device over it.
If you want to read about the differences between the Bear and the Bear mini, check out this article here.
The Bear range was released with a special hydrating serum, but the devices will work with any other water-based product you already own and love. And both devices connect with the app that will teach you how to use them and help you find them if they get misplaced.
- Two device options for multiple types of treatment.
- The big Bear packs as much of a punch as salon-grade devices.
- Both devices connect to an app that can teach you how to use them correctly and get the most out of them.
- Smart anti-shock technology that protects you from unpleasant zaps.
- An additional boost from T-Sonic technology for an even more effective treatment.
- If you had extensive dental work done, higher intensities of the big Bear are useless to you.
- As compared to ReFa, it doesn't provide the most comfortable grip (might not be suitable for people with disabilities).
ReFa Carat Ray Face
Okay, let's get something clear: the ReFa is primarily a massage roller. You've probably seen these before — they have two rotating heads that either glide over the skin or slightly pinch it (depending on the direction of the rolling). What makes the ReFa a bit more special is the solar charging panel that turns the Sun rays into a gentle microcurrent.
Now, the type and level of the microcurrent you can expect from this device are suitable for general skin rejuvenation and boosting the effectiveness of serums and sheet masks. It will not be able to address the issues caused by gravity and fascial muscles weakening.
That being said, the other aspects of this little tool still make it worth your time. The type of lymph drainage you can achieve with this roller will provide both instant and long-term results. Correct rolling can temporarily smooth the lines between your brows and nasolabial folds. Long-term care can make those temporary effects more permanent, plus slow down the appearance of deep wrinkles and overall improve your complexion.
And since this guy is a multitasker, that means that you can use it to massage your scalp, neck, and décolleté area. You can also use it for cellulite treatment on your legs, arms, and buttock, however, I find that I like slightly bigger massagers for this job since they need fewer passes.
The contact points are coated with titanium, so they should be safe to use for most and easy to disinfect. The treatment/massage is generally straightforward and foolproof, and you can see what that looks like here.
- Solar charging, so no need to remember to bring your charger.
- Can be used on any part of the body.
- Multifunctional: from lymph drainage and muscle stimulation to even cellulite care.
- It's easy to adjust the treatment intensity by switching the position of the handle or the direction of rolling.
- Gentle microcurrent suitable for those with dental implants.
- Very weak microcurrent.
- Not suitable for faces with strong contours. And actually harmful for people with hemophilia or those who bruise easily.
If you need a good kneading massager with a side of microcurrent then the ReFa is a good choice. It also doesn't have to be recharged at all — just leave it on a window sill once you're done with the treatment.
But, if you want all that microcurrent goodness, the Bear is the way to go. The mini is good for lymph drainage and overall skin rejuvenation, while the big Bear is capable of delivering salon-level results. And all that with smart technology that prevents the device from discharging too much electricity and giving you an unpleasant zap.
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