FOREO Sweden: BEAR vs. BEAR Mini (Comparison Review)

FOREO, the Swedish tech and beauty brand famous for their smart cleansing brushes came out with two newest additions to their tech and beauty family. 

This time around, they pleasantly surprised the biggest tech and beauty enthusiasts (myself included) with two smart microcurrent devices – BEAR and BEAR Mini

I previously did a review on FOREO’s UFO Mini 2 which is a smart mask treatment device that I had so much fun using, therefore, I was ecstatic when their lovely representative reached out once again and kindly asked me to review their newest launch. 

A few days later, BEAR and BEAR Mini were at my door and after playing with both of them for about two weeks, I’ve gathered my thoughts and impressions, and I am going to give you a very detailed review on both devices, similarities, and differences between them as well as a few other bits and pieces I’ve noticed.

But first, let me just start off by telling you a personal story about how much I used to hate and dread microcurrent facials while I was in beauty school.

While I was first studying to be a beautician, microcurrent devices along with a few other electrical treatments was a part of my training program.

And I really liked the other electricals, but I absolutely dreaded microcurrent because I just couldn’t remember the muscles we have in our face and neck.

I was standing in front of the mirror trying to pinch and point at a muscle on my face and neck, but every time I looked back in my notes, I realized I was touching and naming the wrong muscle.

It was so frustrating and it completely put me off using microcurrent devices. 

I was convinced that if my examiner was to tell me to perform a microcurrent facial during the exam, that was it – I’m going to fail my exams. 

Luckily, she asked me to perform a high-frequency facial instead and I absolutely nailed it.

After some practice and a lot of time on my hands, I managed to remember all the muscles in the face and neck, which made me appreciate the benefits of a microcurrent facial to the point where it became one of my favorite beauty devices.

And that’s the story about how microcurrent became one of my favorite facial devices.

Now, let’s get into the interesting part:

What Are The Benefits Of Microcurrent Devices?

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NB: While you’re here, be sure to download my guide showing you the 4 things everyone needs in their skincare routine.

Microcurrent Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (MENS) is described as an anti-aging treatment that helps rejuvenate and recontour the facial muscles. 

There are many different designs of microcurrent machines and devices with their own distinguishing features, however, they all work by the basic principle of sending very weak electrical signals into the body to stimulate an organ called the Golgi tendon organ, which is present in every muscle in the body.

The Golgi tendon organ is a sensory organ located near the end of a muscle and adjoining tendon and it is responsible for keeping the muscle toned and healthy. 

The Golgi tendon organ also acts as a safety mechanism to prevent excessive contraction or injury of the muscle. 

The origins of the microcurrent treatment are medical and it is especially used by doctors to stimulate soft tissue and muscle damage from injury or illness.

Microcurrent devices used to be extremely efficient in the case of treating torn ligaments or Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis), and the device soon started being applied cosmetically due to the benefits to:

  • correct sagging muscles
  • re-educate muscle tone and shorten the fibers of slack muscles
  • rejuvenate the skin tissue
  • refine fine lines and wrinkles
  • reduce double chin
  • speed up the lymphatic flow and drain toxins away to leave the skin looking fresher and brighter
  • lift the eyebrows and overhanging lids
  • lifts the corners of the mouth
  • helps improve smoker’s lines and nasolabial folds

How Often Should You Do Microcurrent Facial?

While it depends from person to person and the strength of the current, you should do microcurrent facial no more often than 1-3 times a week. 

It still depends on the current because devices that are intended for home use are not as strong as electrical machines used in a professional setting.

Therefore, depending on the severity of what you would like to treat, you can set up 1-3 appointments a week with your beautician or use an at-home device 3-5 days a week. 

Devices intended for at-home use will still show results, but you have to use them more frequently than professional ones.

At-home devices are a great option because if you are not a trained professional, I definitely don’t recommend that you get a professional machine cause the experience can be painful if you don’t do the necessary preparation and precaution steps. 

What Are BEAR and BEAR Mini?

The BEAR and BEAR Mini are at-home microcurrent devices that are designed to help tighten your facial muscles through a variety of different current strengths. 

The devices have a super cute and unique silicone design and ergonomic shape that makes them easy to hold and manipulate across your facial contours. 

 BEAR and BEAR Mini will give you a quick, convenient, and efficient treatment at home that will transform your complexion without wasting too much of your time. 

How Do BEAR and BEAR Mini Work?

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Besides the super-sleek silicone design and ergonomic shape, BEAR and BEAR Mini have cute little ears or spheres that gently massage your face through an uninterrupted cycle of T-sonic pulsations that also help boost the effect of product absorption. 

I am no stranger to FOREO’s T-Sonic pulsation system because they are also present in the UFO 2 Mini, therefore, I always enjoy having a mini facial massage while using their products because these pulsations are very relaxing. 

The devices are also based on a patented anti-shock system that uses ultra-smart sensors to scan and measure how resistant your skin is to electricity at a rate of 100 times per second. 

The sensors then adjust the microcurrent intensity automatically in 0.002 seconds (quicker than blinking). 

This system is developed to ensure total elimination of the risk of electrical shock while still making sure to gently target and re-educate (firm) the tone of your muscles.

Which doesn’t happen when you are doing a microcurrent facial with a professional device and this can sometimes be a painful experience, especially if a person that’s not qualified is exercising the procedure. 

Microcurrent facials are generally regarded as uncomfortable treatments because the electrodes pressed against your skin shock the muscle with an electrical current and you can feel it. 

Especially if the power is on and you press the electrodes (or spheres) right on the area where the muscle is – your eye will start to twitch as you feel the current powering through. 

Both BEAR and BEAR Mini can be used with or without the FOREO For You mobile app, however, you do need to register the devices on the app before you can use them. 

Navigating The FOREO For You Mobile App

I already posted this section in my previous FOREO review on the UFO Mini 2, therefore, I am going to post the same guide on how to navigate through the mobile app, since my profile is already registered.

Once you download and start the FOREO For You mobile app, you will be asked to create an account and confirm it via email. 

Once you do that, you can move on to step 2 which is switching your device on by using the button at the back and registering your BEAR or BEAR Mini device by submitting some relevant information like the date and proof of purchase.

This information is requested so that they can activate your warranty, which as you see below lasts for two years from the day of registering the device. 

FOREO-For-You-App

The third and final step is to connect your device through Bluetooth and click the “Search” icon showed on the screenshot with an arrow. 

You are now set and can move on to the next step which prepping your skin for using your devices.

Preparing Your Skin For a Microcurrent Facial

When preparing your skin for a microcurrent facial, there are just two main things you need to pay attention to:

Give your skin a good cleanse.

Before using your microcurrent device, you need to make sure your skin is cleansed. This is important because microcurrent devices help enhance product penetration, meaning that your skin can better absorb what’s on the surface.

Therefore, you surely don’t want any leftover makeup or dirt to be able to make its way into the pores and potentially cause congestion. 

So make sure to give your skin a thorough cleanse and gently pat it dry before moving on to the next step.

Apply a medium.

A medium is a product that creates a barrier between your skin and the electrodes (or spheres) to ensure a painless experience.

The medium could be anything from a gel that contains targeted active ingredients, to a thicker serum that’s not easily absorbed by the skin because the goal is for the medium to remain on the surface as much as possible.

You can also use oil if your skin is exceptionally dry. 

The medium ensures that the spheres or electrodes are able to glide across the surface without pinching or pulling on the skin as well as “neutralize” the potential discomfort of experiencing that first currant as soon as you touch the skin. 

Connecting BEAR and BEAR Mini With The Mobile App

Before starting your treatments, you will be able to download the treatment protocol which is then saved in the app so that you won’t have to download it every time you are going to have a facial.

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After downloading the treatment protocol, you can choose the strength on which you want to use your device. 

BEAR boasts 5 different strength options while BEAR Mini has 3 different strength options. You are also given the option of switching the T-Sonic pulsations on and off. 

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If you choose to switch off the T-Sonic pulsations, you will feel a mild shock as you glide along your facial muscles during the treatment.

Therefore, if you are a beginner, keeping the pulsations on is a good idea because they tend to “mask” the feeling of mild shock that might surprise you at first. 

The last photo is a caution appearing when you select the strongest option and it is just a warning to ensure that you are good to go. 

Explaining The Treatments

BEAR and BEAR Mini are designed to target the muscles in the face and neck and stimulate them with an electrical current in order to keep them strong and toned.

This will, in turn, give you a solid structure and will help any sagging areas become more toned and lifted over time. 

Once you connect the devices with the mobile app, you will be able to see an exact step-by-step video on how to perform your own microcurrent facial.

Below, I will explain how do BEAR and BEAR Mini stimulate different muscles and help you get a little more insight on what exactly you are supposed to do. 

BEAR 

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BEAR is the big sister of the duo and the device is intended to give you a full facial while also being able to target smaller areas. 

The treatment lasts a little over 2 minutes and can be done daily without taking too much of your precious time. 

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These are the muscles that are being worked on during the above presentation:

Risorius is a muscle of facial expression which arises in the fascia over the parotid gland and it inserts onto the skin at the angle of the mouth. 

It is a narrow bundle of fibers and it is broadest at its origin, however, it varies in size and forms. 

The risorius is responsible for lifting the corner of your mouth when you smile, therefore, it is one of the muscles that tend to sag quickest. 

With gently pulling BEAR across the risorius, you should feel a gentle tingling and twitching in the corner of the eye when you get close to it. Don’t be afraid of this, it simply means that you are doing the right movement. 

Zygomaticus is a muscle of facial expression which draws the angle of the mouth superiorly and posteriorly to allow you to smile. 

It is found just above the risorius and while you are toning this muscle with the BEAR you shouldn’t feel the eye twitching like the risorius, however, the slight tingling sensation is a sign you are doing your treatment right

Procerus is the pyramid-shaped muscle extending from the lower part of the nasal bone to the middle area in the forehead between the eyebrows, where it is attached to the frontalis muscle.

Its location allows it to pull the skin between the eyebrows down and once this muscle starts to sag, you will notice wrinkles across the bridge of the nose and vertical lines known as a “furrows” or frown lines. 

You will feel a slight tingling sensation in your forehead as you glide BEAR over your procerus muscle, meaning that you are doing the treatment right. 

Frontalis or the “frontal muscle” covers parts of the forehead and the skull. Frontalis is the muscle that helps you raise your eyebrows which is an action that leads to the formation of fine lines or deep-set wrinkles.

While gliding BEAR over your frontal muscle, you will feel a strong tingling sensation in your hairline and if this is too uncomfortable for you to handle, you might wanna turn down the strength a little lower, however, if you can handle the initial discomfort, it means you are doing your treatment the right way. 

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The masseter is the muscle that runs through the rear part of your cheek from the temple to the lower jaw on each side. Its function is to help you close your jaw while chewing.

When toning the masseter with BEAR, you will be able to achieve a more “snatched” jawline over time.

BEAR Mini

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BEAR Mini is the compact version of the duo and while still fully efficient, it comes with a few minor differences from BEAR.

The treatment lasts 1 minute and 40 seconds, meaning it can be done daily without taking too much of your precious time. 

BEAR Mini is also a targeted treatment intended to tone muscles in smaller areas, mostly working on the lower part of the face.

The Mini device would be an ideal option if you have Botox in the upper area of the face because microcurrent devices aren’t compatible with Botox due to the risk of moving it around. 

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Orbicularis Oris is a complex of muscles in the lips that encircles the mouth. It is a sphincter of circular muscle, but it is actually composed of four independent quadrants that interlace and give only an appearance of circularity.

Orbicularis Oris closes the mouth and it also helps pucker the lips when smoking and kissing. This often contributes to the vertical lines above the upper lip known as “smoker’s lines”, which can be improved with microcurrent treatments. 

While gliding BEAR Mini over the complex of muscles, you will feel a very mild tingling sensation and in some cases – a metallic taste in the mouth. 

This is nothing to be afraid of and it means you are doing the treatment the right way. 

Depressor Labii is a facial muscle that helps lower the bottom lip and often contributes to fine lines in this area. 

The muscle itself isn’t very sensitive and if you happen to feel a tingling sensation or a metallic taste in your mouth while using BEAR Mini, this will be very negligible in strength.

Using BEAR and BEAR Mini Without The Mobile App

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Both BEAR and BEAR Mini can be used without the mobile app or without even having the Bluetooth turned on. 

To use them manually, you just need to press the power button on and hold it for a few seconds until it lights up. 

To increase or decrease the strengths, you just need to press the power button on and keep pressing until you are comfortable with the strength. 

BEAR and BEAR Mini Comparison

BEAR and BEAR Mini are two very useful at-home microcurrent devices and although I enjoyed using both of them, here are the few differences I noticed:

Differences Between BEAR & BEAR Mini

BEAR has 5 strength options while BEAR Mini has 3

BEAR has stronger T-Sonic pulsations than BEAR Mini

BEAR is larger than BEAR Mini

BEAR is intended to work on larger areas while BEAR Mini targets certain areas

Specific Contraindications To Using BEAR and BEAR Mini 

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While microcurrent is a treatment known for its many benefits, due to it involving an electrical current to operate, here are a few instances when you shouldn’t be using the BEAR and BEAR Mini:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have electronic devices implanted (i.e ICD or pacemaker)
  • You are undergoing chemotherapy
  • You carry ECG (electrocardiograph) or other fixed medical electronic machinery
  • You have Botox, fillers, facial implants, metal screws, and prosthesis
  • Pustular (inflamed) acne and sunburn
  • If you are taking medication that relaxes your muscles
  • Cancer

FOREO Serum Serum Serum Review

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FOREO was kind enough to gift me their Serum Serum Serum so that I can pair it up with the BEAR and BEAR Mini. 

The Serum Serum Serum is a micro-capsule-infused formula rich in antioxidants as well as essential skin nutrients that mimic our natural acid mantle and strengthen the skin barrier. 

The intelligent formula is designed to sink deep into the skin and help keep it hydrated, and healthy-looking. 

Ingredients

The Serum Serum Serum is another product that surprised me pleasantly. Since the product is being marketed to serve as a medium for the microcurrent facial, I expected it to be basic.

However, I love the fact that it is packed with moisturizing and replenishing ingredients that are excellent for the skin and you may very well use this as a part of your daily routine instead of just using it as a part of the facial. 

Besides three types of the skin-smoothing and plumping hyaluronic acid, the serum also boasts some extremely beneficial ingredients such as glycerin, propanediol, panthenol, urea, and squalane to mimic our natural sebum and make sure the skin is kept lubricated and moisturized.

But all that aside, here are the two ingredients that caught my attention: 

Xylitol

This ingredient belongs to a moisturizing complex called Aquaxyl that is intended to not only moisturize the skin but to harmonize the skin’s hydrous flow. 

This means that it can optimize water reserves by increasing the essential NMFs (natural moisturizing factors) to prevent water from evaporating from the skin and it also helps improve the skin barrier with increased lipid and protein synthesis. 

Diglycerin

Diglycerin is the big brother of glycerin that has a larger molecular structure and an increased ability to prevent water from evaporating from the skin. 

Meaning, it can keep the skin moisturized for longer than glycerin which happens to absorb into the skin fairly quickly. 

Scent

The serum is pink, therefore, when I first saw the color, I kinda expected it to have some scent, at least something sweet and sugary like candy floss.

However, the Serum Serum Serum doesn’t have added fragrance and it smells like absolutely nothing.

Consistency

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The consistency of Serum Serum Serum is a thick gel, therefore, a little goes a very long way with it and one pump is enough to cover your entire face if you want to use it as a part of your skincare routine.

I personally prefer two or three pumps when I am using the BEAR and BEAR Mini because I don’t want it to absorb into the skin mid-facial. 

My Final Thoughts On BEAR and BEAR Mini

I am a huge fanatic when it comes to beauty devices and I have reviewed several on my website already.

I firmly believe anyone could benefit from using beauty devices and as a professional, I have seen mesmerizing results that back up this belief. 

My experience with using BEAR and BEAR Mini was very pleasant, and although I am used to stronger microcurrent machines used in a professional setting, I think everyone deserves the chance to be able to have this treatment done from the comfort of their own home. 

BEAR and BEAR Mini are preventative devices, therefore, it’s good to have either one of these in your arsenal to help defend your muscles from sagging prematurely and making you appear older than you are. 

Microcurrent devices will not stop wrinkles from ever appearing but paired with a great skincare routine, they truly give meaning to something we should all strive to achieve and that is to age with grace. 

Side note: I have been informed that the famous manufacturer of cleansing brushes Clarisonic has shut down and FOREO took the initiative to gift all Clarisonic users $39 credit for their LUNA range purchase. 

If you are one or know a Clarisonic user, don’t let them stay without a replacement brush! Head over to FOREO’s website and get more information on how to claim your coupon.

2 thoughts on “FOREO Sweden: BEAR vs. BEAR Mini (Comparison Review)”

  1. Lovely and thorough review!! Thank you. If you are budgeting, do you think the mini is a good option? Or do you think it’s better to save up and later buy the Bear? (If could just buy one)

    Reply
    • That depends on the results you want to achieve. The BEAR is definitely stronger than the BEAR Mini so I see it as more worth it. I understand they had a huge sale on Black Friday so perhaps another one is coming for Christmas? Maybe you can keep an eye on that 🙂

      Reply

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