It was a little more than a year ago that I completed testing the Clarisonic brush. It had been billed as a "breakthrough" in skincare and was listed as one of Oprah's "Favorite Things". I posted the review on 12.30.07 and gave the implement a pretty good review!
Since then, I've read some skeptic comments on the brush, including the suggestion that owning a Clarisonic brush was something one would quickly tire of and start ignoring, because people are essentially lazy. This would lead to skipping washes, skin that wasn't looking so good anymore, and then a toss into the bottom of a basket or under the sink where the Clarisonic brush would languish with old hair crimpers and spiral curling irons and other tools of yore.
The other major criticism I read was that the Clarisonic brush was only giving the results claimed by the company because most people don't wash their skin long enough (again: people are lazy), and since the Clarisonic brush produces timed cleansing - VOILA! Clean skin!
The last criticism I hear also has to do with laziness (catching a theme?). Critics say that you won't replace the head on your Clarisonic brush as often as you should.
How has the last year gone with my Clarisonic brush, and what do I think of the criticism? I'm going to tell you, of course! Have you ever known me to hold back?
If you want to know...
Let's take a look a the reported benefits, and I'll address them the best I can (anecdotal evidence, clearly - I don't have a lab to test this stuff!).
- 6X more makeup removal
- Skin is soft and smooth
- Cleanses so well that products absorb better
- Gentle for use twice daily
- Reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
- Reduces the appearance of visible pores
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkle
6x more makeup removal - That doesn't sound too farfetched to me. Yes, I'm cleansing for longer, but whatever the reason... more makeup is coming off. Before I had the Clarisonic brush, I used my cleanser as thoroughly as I could and then swiped a cottonball saturated with toner or Witch Hazel over it, and I'd still get some makeup off. Now, I use my Clarisonic brush as directed, swipe that cottonball and get: nothing. Seems to be working well. Six times more? I can't say for sure, but clearly it's better than what I had been doing, and I use some of the best cleansers on the market!
Skin is soft and smooth - Yup. I don't know how to quantify it for you, but I'll tell you my skin is definitely softer than it has been since I was a kid. And as for smooth: I don't have any rough spots around my nose, no dry patches on the cheeks during the winter... none of the minor non-smooth areas I have had in the past.
Cleanses so well that products absorb better - I'm not sure there's a way to prove this one without a laboratory. I do know that I don't ever have that heavy feeling on my skin when I've applied serums or moisturizers, but that may just be the caliber of products I've been testing.
Gentle for use twice daily - Sure 'nuff, I've had no problem with my skin at all. Some reports I've read say that, at the beginning, using the Clarisonic brush twice a day created a bit of an over-production of oil, kind of like a rebound. I think maybe clearing out those pores triggered some sort of kicked-up impact. The reports all state that this result goes away after about 2 weeks, and was fairly minor anyway. I didn't have this problem, so all I can do is report what I've read. For me, I started with the sensitive head, but have since used the regular one and have had no issues with twice-a-day cleansing.
Reduces oil areas, dry skin patches and blemishes - I've already addressed my minor dry spots (see above: "skin is soft and smooth"). I have combination skin that isn't too oily but does get clogged up. My nose has no pore clogging at all now. NONE. And I have tried tons of products that couldn't give me that result, even though some improved the skin a bit. Now - no dark pores on the nose. MIRACULOUS. As for blemishes, I could probably count my breakouts on one hand--- for the past year. The one nasty cystic incident I had was when I had packed my Clarisonic brush away during a bathroom redecoration and didn't use it for a week or so. Otherwise, the tiniest little clog of a pore on my chin will occur once a month (you know what I'm talkin' about here, girls) but it's gone in less than a day. And it has never become a full-on blemish. This is unreal! Even with the pregnancy, I have had no real problems, though I do use a glycolic wash twice a week to boost cell turnover on the chin, my hormonally-impacted area.
Reduces the appearance of visible pores - Again, I don't have large pores so it's not something I can really speak to, but the visible pores I did have were the clogged dark ones on my nose (see above) and the white clogs on my chin (gone!). I'd vouch for this one...
Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - I hate to sound like a broken record, but I don't have tons of fine lines and wrinkles anyway. Neither does my mom. I have noticed that the lines I did have around my mouth (slight) are a bit lighter. Maybe I've just stopped smiling as much? :)
And as for the criticisms...
Aside from the bathroom remodel, I have used my Clarisonic brush without fail, and I'm a truly lazy person. I ask: if you spend close to $200 on a brush for your face - one that does all of the work for you, you just have to hold it to your face - wouldn't you use it? Laziness doesn't have anything to do with it, or maybe it does! No more pesky scrubbing to wear out your tender hands - simply position the brush and tune out until the beeping stops. And yes, I have a spiral curling iron and a few dead flatirons I've discarded (no crimper!) and the Clarisonic brush will never end up in the same graveyard.
So, the brush only works because you're timing your cleansing, right? Possible. But I know I don't particularly care! Again, laziness prompts me to keep my cleansing brief when using the old tiresome manual method. If the timing is what makes the brush successful, so be it. I do think the vibrations and wiggling of the pores helps, but I have no proof. If you want to poo-poo the results, you're going to do it anyway and you may as well use the "timed cleansing" arguement. I will ask those people: if this is your theory, have you started using an egg timer while you manually cleanse, and if so are you getting the results listed above? Let me know in the comments. I'll be using my Clarisonic brush. ;)
Another arguement: you won't replace the heads. Well, maybe you won't. That's up to you. Again I point out that this is an expensive product, so why mistreat it!? I don't think the replacement heads are a pain to purchase, especially since I can just pick 'em up when I'm at Saks drooling over Armani or at Sephora drooling over... well, everything at Sephora. They aren't too expensive (about $25) and you only have to toss a new one on every 3-4 months. Since I'm lazy, I go a little longer, to be honest, and am still pleased with the results.
By the way, I am never paid to endorse a product, nor do I feel the need to give positive reviews just to keep a company happy. I'm honestly pleased with my Clarisonic brush and bet you will be, too!
Do you have a Clarisonic brush? What do you think? Any arguments with my defense of the product? Or if you don't have one, what questions might I be able to answer? Comment away!