Sex

Can you use your facial cleanser device as a vibrator?

We mean, you can... but should you?

By Mahalia Chang
Hands holding vibrators.

Have you ever stopped to consider the somewhat eerie similarities between your facial cleansing device and your favourite vibrator? We bet it's something that's been keeping you up at night, too.

We mean, they're both nicely shaped, usually in a soothing pastel colour, you rub both on your body in various locations, and both bring you happiness in different forms (cleansing device = well exfoliated skin; vibrator = orgasms, win win).

Conclusion: They're super similar.

But are they similar enough to get mixed up? Maybe even accidentally on-purpose..?

Refinery29 pointed out this week that some conspicuously-shaped facial cleansing devices are sometimes being used for purposes more sensual than just scrubbing dead skin cells off your mug.

Foreo's Luna Play, a popular skincare choice, that features a two-texture surface and "channels T-Sonic™ pulsations through soft silicone touch-points for deep and gentle cleansing," has found itself the centre of the raging 'skincare or sex toy' debates.

But even though it stimulates your skin, doesn't mean people can't use it to stimulate other things, right?

A freelance writer told Refinery29, "It's a straight-up vibrator that Foreo slapped some Koosh ball bits on. It's like a soft, cuddly version of a classic bullet, with the perfect, mellow vibe intensity." Another Twitter user quipped, "Foreo is just a $200 vibrator that they want you to rub all over your face."

(To be completely fair, you can grab a basic Luna Play for about $65.)

Of course, using a battery-powered beauty device to get yourself off every once and a while isn't totally unheard of. Cheeky beauty deviants have been using electric toothbrushes, face massagers, detachable shower heads and body exfoliators to masturbate with since those products came onto the market.

"People are creative, and have long used all manner of household items — from toothbrushes to washing machines — for sexual purposes. Generally speaking, your facial cleanser will be a safe item to use on other parts of the body, but it is best to leave the hairdryer just for your hair!" Lauren, a spokesperson for sex toy shop Nikki Darling, told Cosmo.

Anna Lee, a spokesperson for sex toy retailer Lovehoney, told us: "These compact cleansing tools come in perfect hand-held sizes, an array of alluring, friendly and non-intimidating colours, and styles that are unobtrusive and inconspicuous. In some cases, they're even crafted from the same materials as the most luxurious vibrators. The Luna Play, for example, looks like the kind of cool gadget you'd want just so it could sit on your bathroom shelf. This clever design, and its claims of giving you gloriously glowing skin, is probably the reason for its popularity.

"If these gadgets can work their magical wonders on our delicate faces, it's no surprise that some people have been tempted to retire the old electric toothbrush and see what these devices can do for their downstairs areas."

However, at this point we've (mostly) graduated out of the 'uncontrollably horny and must do something about it right now' stage of our teens, and are now more liable to use actual sex toys for — you know — sexual activity.

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But that's not to say that, if you ever found yourself in a pinch, that your facial cleanser would be unsafe to use.

"If you have been considering using a beauty product to get off with, just take the usual sex toy guidelines and apply them to your beauty product — is it made from a body safe material, like a silicone or a hard ABS plastic? Has it been thoroughly cleaned first with soap and warm water? Is the toy free of sharp or easily breakable parts? If the answer to these types of questions is yes, then go ahead and get to know your beauty product a little more intimately," says Lauren.

Anna Lee says: "It's important to understand that these facial cleansing devices have not been designed with your genitals in mind. While the vibration might feel nice down in your nether regions, it will never have the same climatic impact as a vibrator that has undergone years of careful planning, production and testing to ensure it's as stimulating and satisfying — and as safe — as possible."

But what has really got us scratching our heads is the hard-to-miss similarities between vibrator designs and facial cleanser designs. Sure, there's similar functionality requirements for both — both need to be made out of a body-safe material; need vibration levels that feel good; and both need to be cute enough to tempt purchase — but are the visual parallels really that necessary?

Foreo's Luna Play is unmistakably akin to several other vibrators like the Lelo SenseMotion, the Minna Limon Squeeze and Unbound's palm-sized Bean (editor's note: when this particular sex toy landed in the Cosmo offices, its super-soft silicone and cute plump shape prompted several out-of-the-box thoughts, including: "If you told me to put this on my face, I definitely would").

Foreo's Luna Play, left; and the Minna Limon Squeeze, right.
Foreo's Luna Play, left; and the Minna Limon Squeeze, right.

Foreo's IRIS magenta pink eye massager, which promises to reduce signs of crow's feet, dark circles and bags, could be mistaken for a "Screamin' Demon" vibrator in a under-the-cover-of-darkness fumble.

Lauren confesses these similarities don't go unnoticed in the sex toy industry, either.

"The minute that I saw the German-made pressure wave stimulator, the Satisfyer, I immediately thought it resembled the Clarisonic Mia!" says Lauren.

"Which makes sense, when you think about the ergonomic considerations that are given to products that we use on the body — how they are held, where the buttons are placed, whether or not it fits easily into a beauty bag for your carry-on. You're going to end up with some similar outcomes."

"We also see some crossover into beauty with personal lubricants — many silicone or oil-based lubricants can do double duty as an anti-chafing balm or for taming those flyaway hairs, often without the high price tag of a salon product.

"And of course, there are products like the Foreo range, which are straight-up designed by the same people who brought Lelo (a high-end sex toy company) to the world. Take a look at a Lelo vibrator —even the buttons and branding is all-but-identical to the Foreo range (there is even a product named Iris in both brands).

"Go right ahead and use your Foreo as a vibrator (with your favourite water-based lubricant), because essentially that is what they are!"

Just make sure your 25% glycolic acid wash cleanser has been thoroughly washed off before you direct it down under, please.