For my birthday last year (on Christmas Eve, should any of you wish to shower me with gifts and love this year), I was given a Clarisonic by my parents. I’d asked for one having read/watched multiple rave reviews on this, essentially, giant electric toothbrush for your face. I loved the idea of giving my pores a really deep clean, obsessed as I am with the size of them and my ongoing quest to banish them to invisibility. I got the Clarisonic Mia (in lilac), and put it to use for the first time on Boxing Day (I was sorely tempted to Clarisonic my entire body in the hope of repairing cheese and meat-related damage but thought it best not to and continued eating anyway).
First things first, the feel of it. The ergonomic design feels weighty and sturdy in your hand and is easy to wield around your face. I think it might benefit from a slightly longer handle, just for additional gripping purposes, but basically it’s very fine. Also it would be great if it came with some sort of stand. As the brush head needs to dry after each use (well, doesn’t NEED to per se but I want it to) it would be good to have somewhere to prop it so it doesn’t fall over. At the moment mine just drapes forlornly over my sink but often rolls around. You charge it for 24 hours before the first use (using the nifty magnetic charger) and then you should be set for around a month without needing to charge it again – amazing, no?
You can squirt the cleanser either onto the brush head or apply it to your skin first; I take the latter route. At the moment I’m using my Emma Hardie cleansing balm* with this. I scoop out a little of the cleanser and spread it across my face with some warm water so it emulsifies slightly, and then I get to work. You press the (only) button to turn the Clarisonic on and follow, roughly, these timings: 20 seconds on the forehead, 10 seconds on each cheek, and 20 seconds on the chin.
After that 1 minute, it automatically turns off. There’s a reason for this. The brush head is, although totally comfortable to use, quite abrasive, as it’s getting right down into your pores to remove as much crap as possible (supposedly it’s six times more effective than a regular cleansing method). As such, it’s important not to do what I did the first couple of times I used it and, through sheer excitement, turn it back on and use it two or three times in a go.
Hello sore and flaky skin. Not ideal. Once you’ve used it (ONCE), rinse off any excess cleanser and then complete your cleansing routine as normal. It’s important to point out at this stage that if you use the Clarisonic, be careful about what other topical or physical exfoliants you use; the chances are your skin won’t need it and you shouldn’t really use them. It’s just far too much ‘scrubbing’ for your skin to handle. If you’re a dedicated fan of exfoliants then consider whether or not you really need a Clarisonic (before investing £120). If you do, because your skin is clogged and dull, then look into your skincare as well; you might just need to change products.
You know I’m a devotee of the Alpha-H Liquid Gold*, an extremely potent topical exfoliant, and since getting the Clarisonic I’ve had to find a way to continue using it as part of my skincare routine without sending my skin into overdrive. I use the Clarisonic probably 10 out of every 14 days, and I have a 2 day break at a time. On the first night of not using the Clarisonic I apply the Liquid Gold, and that seems to be absolutely fine for my skin. The combination is keeping it in great, clear condition and I haven’t suffered any adverse reactions. Also, and I think this goes without saying, always ALWAYS use a moisturiser with a good SPF in it if you’re actively exfoliating on a regular basis, or even if you’re not. Just…do it, mmm’kay?
So, what are the effects of the Clarisonic? Well, for me, the biggest difference has been with my pores (above is a before and after). They used to be visible from outer space, no matter what products I used. The only thing that used to make a difference was the Alpha-H Vitamin E clay mask*, which I used once a week. The day after using that my pores were considerably smaller but the day after again, they were back to normal. Since using the Clarisonic I have seen a marked difference; my pores are clear and small and whilst still noticeable, you have to be practically within kissing distance of me to see them, so I am absolutely delighted with that. You read a lot about the ‘purging’ phase with the Clarisonic, whereby the skin can erupt in breakouts within the first few days of use, due to the level of extra cleansing it’s getting. I did get a couple of spots but nothing like the amount I was expecting, and in the month since I started using it, I have had spots but no more or less than usual. I think the difference is that any spots I do get are gone within 48 hours, whereas previously they’d take weeks to fully disappear.
Is it worth £120? If it lasts a few years like it’s supposed to, then yes, definitely. My skin is brighter, clearer and less oily than it ever has been and whilst I attribute some of that to my skincare products at the moment, I know that the Clarisonic is giving my skin a deeper clean that any product or my hands could manage on their own. I love mine.
Have you got a Clarisonic? I’d like to know your experiences and also what cleansers you use it with.
Items marked with a * are PR samples.