Have you been curious about Clarisonic, the line of sonic skin-care gizmos that promises to transform all skin types? I know I was. But as it’s priced from $139 Cdn ($119 US) for the Mia model, up to $259 Cdn ($225 US) for the Clarisonic PLUS, I wanted to know first: Is Clarisonic worth the investment?
But after both hearing a friend rave about the Clarisonic’s cleaning efficacy, and receiving an in-store demo, I decided to bite the Clarisonic bullet. Or, more accurately, have my husband bite it. With the help of some not so subtle hints on my part, I received the Clarisonic Mia 2 for my wedding anniversary this past February.
Here’s what I’ve found:
Ease of use
Once you assemble the Clarisonic (an easy process), you need to charge the handle for 24 hours.
To keep the device working well, you should clean it weekly, removing the brush head and using warm soapy water to wash both it and the handle.
The Mia 2 (as the name suggests, the model has two speeds) works basically like the other models. You begin by removing eye makeup by hand, and then wet your face and the brush head with warm water. Apply non-abrasive cleanser (so your skin isn’t over-scrubbed with the brushing action) to your skin or the brush head. (My system came from Sephora and included a one ounce trial size of Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser for normal/oily skin.)
The Clarisonic Mia 2 features a timer that indicates when it’s time to move on to the next part of your face. You do 20 seconds on your forehead, 20 seconds on your nose and chin, and 10 seconds on each cheek.
Clarisonic claims to clean your skin six times better than washing with your hands alone. While I can’t vouch for that number, I will say from the first use I was astounded at how soft my skin felt (and my skin is naturally pretty soft).
With repeated use I also think my complexion seems more luminous.
How does it work? The manufacturer advises that Clarisonic cleansing systems use a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to help remove impurities and prevent product build-up.
Beyond cleansing, Clarisonic also claims to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and also to improve skin tone. After a few months of semi-regular use, I can’t really see any difference in my fine lines, but I can testify to improved skin tone.
One of the ways Clarisonic says it helps with the appearance of maturing skin is that with the more effective removal of makeup and other skin debris, the skin is better primed to absorb topical treatments.
I’ve also used Clarisonic a few times on the backs of my hands, and have found it an effective softening treatment.
As I mentioned, I was impressed with how soft my skin was after using Clarisonic only once. But I also noticed something else.
About a day later, there was a small breakout around my chin. And the next time I used it, there was another zit around my nose. (I can connect this to Clarisonic because while I have my skin woes, breakouts aren’t usually among them.)
After commiserating about this with my friend, the Clarisonic fan, and hearing: “It’s something you just have to get through and it will stop happening after a while,” I decided to use the device less frequently.
While Clarisonic advises you can use it up to twice a day, I use mine now about three times a week.
I also did some online research on Clarisonic-related breakouts, and found that there is a purging process as the device gets rid of impurities. I guess it’s not unlike what often happens after facials.
So, I would suggest not cleansing with Clarisonic right before an important event.
Additionally, the brush head that is standard with most cleansers is the “sensitive” model, but, when I replace it I may go to the “delicate” version. (As for the line’s “normal” and “deep-pore” brush heads; I think only the hardiest of skins should apply.)
The reason I may switch brushes is what happened last week after getting my brows waxed. My somewhat sensitive skin often gets red around the forehead when getting my brows done, but last week that intensified to an abrasion between my brows.
The makeup artist doing the waxing asked if I had recently had a skin treatment and the only thing I could point to was the Clarisonic. She said the device’s exfoliating effect was akin to removing a layer of skin, making it much more vulnerable to waxing. So be sure to lay off on the Clarisonic several days before any facial treatment.
(In full disclosure, I think my mishap was due partially to operator error. When I reviewed the user guide while writing this, I noticed a line for the first time advising to keep the brush head flush to skin, and avoid pressing too hard. My aversion to manuals has come back to hurt me. Literally!)
The bottom line on this facial cleanser
Clarisonic is definitely not cheap (in addition to the price of the device, brush heads should be replaced every three months, at a cost of $29 Cdn each, or $45 Cdn for two).
But when you consider that a spa facial costs upwards of $100 and usually has only a temporary effect; I believe the long-lasting results of using Clarisonic regularly make it a good value.
Is Clarisonic worth the investment? If maintaining a clear, youthful complexion is important to you; I believe Clarisonic qualifies as a skin- and money-saver.