Thursday, January 13, 2011

A review of the Clarisonic and who should get it

For my birthday last year, my hubby wished to impress me with how well he knew me, so he went on my computer and flipped through my browsing history (not exactly legal but oh well). He came across a lot of articles about the Clarisonic, and thought that I must have wanted this fashionable skincare gadget and so got me a pink one.
I had in fact only been interested in the Clarisonic and was trying to convince myself that it was just another extremely overrated gadget. I was deeply surprised to get the real thing and was pleased to actually be able to use it and resolve the mystery around this little gadget that everyone has been raving about.
It turns out that I was never able to tell whether it was pure hyper, and could only understand that this works extremely well for a certain group of people, and is useless or even harmful for others. After a trial period of six month or so, I was glad to give it to one of my aunts when she asked for it.
In this article, I will try to express to you the findings of my research and my experience of using it. I also hope to give you a clear understanding of who (in my opinion) this lovely gadget is appropriate for.

Overview: As you may already know, the Clarisonic is a cleaning device, that works as a vibrating (or sonic) facial brush. One is supposed to use it in conjunction with a cleanser daily for around 1 minute.

Sellpoint (purpose): The purpose of the Clarisonic is to help the user get a deeper cleanse.

How it works: The idea of the Clarisonic brush is similar to a sonic toothbrush. The bristles of the brush move back and forth or around at a very fast rate (I believe 200 times a second) such that you cannot really see it moving visually, but can certainly feel the movement on the skin. This vibration motion is supposed to open up pores so that the cleanser gets out more of the impurities. 

Misconceptions: This does not remove makeup and should not replace your makeup remover. This is a very common misconception because the clarisonic's website itself claims that it "removes makeup 6 times better than a regular cleanse". However, it should be noted that this claim is made to demonstrate how well the Clarisonic cleanses, rather than lead users to use it as a makeup remover. 
Don't get me wrong. The clarisonic probably cleanse well enough so that you cannot see any more facial makeup on your face, so that if you use a toner on a cotton pad to swipe across your face, you'll see the cotton pad clean. HOWEVER, this is not something one would want to do. Using the Clarisonic on a dirty face full with makeup would mean a possibility of driving impurities into the pores, which can cause clogged pores or acne.

My experience with the Clarisonic: First of all, I think it might be helpful to mention how I use it. I wasn't wearing much makeup at the time when I started using the clarisonic, so I tried to get my face as clean as possible with just water in the shower. And then I use a foaming facial cleanser and massage around until my face is covered by foams. Then I turn on the clarisonic and use it on various parts of my face (forehead 20 seconds, cheeks 10 seconds each and chin 20 seconds). 
After using the clarisonic, my face felt incredibly clean. The pores seemed really small and moisturizers I used afterwards sunk right in. However, this is where the benefits ended. On the downside, my face felt really dry after cleansing, so dry that I don't feel comfortable opening my mouth until I apply moisturizer. I always do user toner and moisturizer after cleansing, but it was never "necessary", just a protective measure, because I think if a cleanser dries me out to the degree that my face felt dry without moisturizer, it isn't worth using. This is what the clarisonic did to my face. This may not be a con per se, since it just means that the Clarisonic really cleans well. The clarisonic asks the user to user a more gentle cleanser with the clarisonic than they usually use. However, my cleanser was already one of the gentlest I could find, so I couldn't switch down to a gentler version, so it was definitely a con for me.
In addition, I broke out after using the Clarisonic for the first three days. I know some people call this a "purging" process, a process in which the pores purge out all the gunk because the Clarisoonic cleanses so well, and prevents further breakouts. I cannot agree with this theory, or at least, I do not think it applies to me. I have not broken out for 3 months before using the clarisonic, so it stands to reason that there should not be anything to purge. However, I was not extremely surprised by the breakout because I know it takes the skin some time to adjust to new products, and this may cause breakouts. The breakouts got better after the second week and stopped at the beginning of third week.
By the time I stopped using the Clarisonic, my skin had got used to the deep cleansing so that it does not feel dry after cleansing and I got no breakouts.
Many people may want to ask: why did you stop then? Well, I don't think my skin received any major benefits from using the Clarisonic and therefore, I don't think it was necessary for me to use it anymore. In addition, I found out that my skin got used to this deep cleansing such that regular cleanses do not clean my face well anymore, and I get bumps whenever I do not use the Clarisonic. I realized this is a dependency on the clarisonic, and so eased out of using it gradually. I experienced breakouts when I first tried to stop using the Clarisonic, but a month later, my skin was back to what it has been before using the Clarisonic and while using the Clarisonic (between month 2 and month 6).

Who is the Clarisonic for: This is just my personal opinion, and it is generalized (I realize there can be many exceptions), so if you do not fall into the range of people I will describe, but you love the Clarisonic, please continue using it. :)

  • People with Really Oily Skins: And I have to elaborate that this means people who really have oily skins. Many people think they have oily skins because they have acne, and use less moisturizer or more drying products on their face, which causes their skin to become dryer, and then overcompensate by producing oil, which leads to further breakouts. 
  • People with pores that are prone to be clogged
  • People experiencing loss of elasticity in their skin
  • And just in general, people for whom regular cleansing just don't cut it
Overall: I did not like the Clarisonic because it did not bring me addition benefits and caused my skin to become dependent on it (which I think is not a good thing). If you have ever used AHA peels, you probably know what I mean. At first, one starts with a very low acidic peel (like 5%) and eventually go up to even 50% because the skin adjusts to those peels, and you have to eventually go higher to maintain the results. This is all right with AHA peels because there is no real harm, but I do not want to find myself using the Clarisonic more than 1 minute  per day eventually because it could irritate skin a lot and might even cause aging if used too frequently.


  1. i love the clarisonic.i immediately apply my skin care products and feel that they are more easily absorbed than before the clarisonic routine.

  2. I have plans on getting the clarisonic but i've also seen online that when people stop using it their skins goes crazy and breaks out alot. So im wondering if i should get it or not, because i mean i would want to have good skin but if i stop using it and it starts getting worse, whats the point? Like if it ever spoils or if i forget to bring it along when i go on a week of holiday, i wouldnt want my skin to be breaking out real bad. Or is there like any way to stop it from breaking out?

  3. This is a horrible review from someone who does not understand the clarisonic or skincare for that matter. If you read the clarisonic instructions, you'll know not to use the brush by itself. You need to use it with a cleanser. You should also tone & moisturize your skin after any cleansing whether you use the clarisonic or not. Sad that this review could turn away potential clarisonic users. It's an awesome product that had tremendously helped with my skin tone, texture & prevention of breakouts.


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