image from clarisonic.comStress
Stress and sugar are the two biggest foes for my skin.
I had been washing with regular cleansers for years and applying a host of acne treatments but I still was breaking out. I went on Accutane two times and my acne would clear up for 6 months to a year but my skin would return to it’s regular icky broken out self. It almost seemed worse than it was before I went on the drug. I would get these horrible cysts under my skin. I even tried the Zeno device but it says in the literature that the Zeno does not help with my type of acne. I was resigned to be 50 years old and still have acne. My awful reaction to Benzoyl Peroxide didn’t help matters either. I would turn bright red and my face would swell up and peel. So much for Clearasil and a host of other acne medications. I figured I had tried just about everything for my acne, I had nothing to lose by trying the Clarisonic brush. I can’t quite remember where I heard about it but since I was willing to try anything I went looking for a great deal. Clarisonic Brushes aren’t cheap. They cost about $195. When I bought mine almost 5 years ago it was about $150. I still couldn’t afford it at retail so I went on amazon and ebay to find a better deal. I found one for $115 from a reputable ebay seller and bought it right away. My brush arrived in a few days and as I let it charge for the 1st time I registered it with the Clarisonic Company (on-line). I read all the directions, studied all the manuals, and I was ready to Gee-Oh GO!
Just some background information. The Clarisonic is from the same makers of the Sonicare toothbrush. Since I LOVE that toothbrush, that was a good step towards convincing me. Second, according to the Clarisonic website, “The Clarisonic Skin Care Brush uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth your skin. In just 60 seconds a day, the Clarisonic micro-massage action cleans more than twice as effectively as manual cleansing.” Since I am a huge fan of exfoliation and deep cleansing (due to the waterproof makeup and sunscreens I use) I was pretty much sold.
In order to use my Clarisonic I remove my eye makeup and use an oil cased cleanser to remove all my other makeup. However, the manufacturer claims that isn’t necessary, the Clarisonic can remove makeup for you. That’s all fine and well but if you have ever seen a brush after NOT removing your makeup prior to use, you would use an oil based cleanser too. I emulsify the oil cleanser with a little water and rinse clean. Then I use my cream cleanser. I currently use Bliss Labs Sleeping Peel Cleansing Cream, which has long been discontinued but I have 8 bottles of the stuff in my fridge keeping me set for cream cleanser until 2010. You can use any non abrasive cream cleanser. CeraVe makes a really nice one. Now the company will tell you that you should use their cleansers and other skincare items. 5 years ago when I first got this brush I had heard from Makeupalley.com that the Clarisonic cleanser they gave you with the brush was craptacular, so I tossed it. But 5 years is a long time in the beauty industry. They may have changed the cleanser so I can’t say if it’s any good right now.
I wet my face with warm water and apply the cleanser. Then I wet the Clarisonic brush head with warm water, and turn it on. I gently move the brush in small circular movements across my face. I use it for 40 seconds on my forehead, 40 seconds on my nose, mouth and chin, 20 seconds on each cheek. Two minutes. That’s all I need. Plus there are little beeps that tell you when it’s time to change the placement of the brush. It’s really fool proof. There are other settings (shorter cleansing – one minute, no timer, high/low power, etc.) but I like the 2 minute cycle. When I’m finished I just rinse the brush and place back in the charger.
There are 3 different brush heads to choose from, Normal, Sensitive and Delicate. I prefer the Delicate. I find the normal too abrasive and the delicate too soft. The sensitive is goldilocks. It’s juuuuuuuust right.
So what’s the big deal? Why spend a minute or two of your time with beeps and buzzes and whatnot. Is it worth it?
In a word.
My skin has cleared up significantly since use. I notice that the cystic type acne I one had has diminished and only appears on times when I eat too much sugar, or I neglect using the brush for a few days. My acne does not last as long when I do have the occasional break out, my scars have lightened a bit, my pores have shrunk, and the little bumps on my forehead have almost disappeared. I can’t attest to the ability to diminish fine lines I do feel like my facial lines have gotten a bit worse in the past 5 years, but my skin has also started to turn drier. Perhaps that’s the brush or perhaps that’s just age. I think it’s the latter.
If you have normal skin, slightly combo skin, small to medium pore size and/or no acne I’m not sure if this brush is entirely worth it. I wouldn’t recommend against it, but I’m not sure if spending $195 on a brush for skin that is “normal” with no real issues is a good investment. I have a friend with non acne prone skin that is smooth and on the oily side. She has been using the brush for 1 month with no “super” improvements. Thankfully hers was a gift, but had she purchased, it I can bet she would have returned it already. Personally I am completely jealous of her skin (oiliness aside) and would kill to have it. That’s another story entirely.
One last point before I go, because this review has gotten so long. I want to tell you how excellent that Clarisonic Customer Service is. I registered my brush as soon as I got it. 5 years later Clarisonic had a recall on some brushes made during the time I purchased mine. Clarisonic sent me an e-mail confirming that my brush had indeed been recalled and that if I would confirm the numbers on my brush they would send me a kit to send my brush back in order to be replaced. I received a kit in as little as 2 days from completing the on-line form, packed up my brush and sent it in. The day the company received my returned brush they sent me a brand spankin’ new brush, a free brush head and sent it 2nd day mail. All for free! I was only without my brush for 5 days. This was amazing! Not to mention the free brush heads I received when they came out with a new “delicate” brush and I get minimal e-mails from Clarisonic, maybe one every 3 moths, limited SPAM is even better!
All in all I’m truly delighted
And for what it's worth, had the pink one been available when I bought it, and if I wasn't such a cheapskate and paid the extra money when the company replaced my original I would have gotten the pink one!