Is The Clarisonic Worth It?


Have you heard of the Clarisonic? According to the company, it is a “Sonic Skin Cleansing System.” Which means it is essentially a large electronic brush used to clean your face. If you, like me, have been using your hands for this task for 20+ years, you might question the necessity for such a tool.

But over the past few months, my friends and acquaintances appear to have become paid spokespeople for Clarisonic, because I have not stopped hearing about the thing. Does it make sense to pay over $200 for an electronic toothbrush for your face? No. But the company recently came out with the Clarisonic MIA, which retails for around $100. So I decided to try it out and see if this thing makes sense to own.

Again, spending $100 on a product that is meant to replace my hands (cost $0), still seems silly. But about a month ago, I was getting bothered by my problematic winter skin and decided it was time to get a facial.

I have gotten exactly one facial in my life. I didn’t find it particularly enjoyable. And three days afterwards, there was no noticeable difference in my complexion. This time when I started researching spa options in and around New York, I found out that most facials come in around $100-$150. And if I was going to spend that kind of money, why not purchase something that has more than an hour shelf life?

Since I have been hearing non-stop chatter about the Clarisonic, I went online to research the thing.  On Amazon, I found out that the Clarisonic MIA can be purchased for $106.

I went into Sephora to ask about these brushes and she told me I should skip the regular Clarisonic (retail cost $225 ) and just get a MIA. According to her:

“The MIA only has one setting, but it’s half the price and I only use one setting on my regular Clarisonic, so it just makes a lot more sense. Also, it’s smaller so you can pack it easily for trips.”

Sold! I stowed it in my purse and excitedly brought it home with me that night. I was careful not to turn it on while at a bar that night, for fear that everyone would suspect I carried an emergency vibrator with me wherever I go.

The first week, I was more than pleased with my purchase. The Clarisonic has a soothing sound and gives you the enviable impression that in fact you are actively making your skin better while setting aside two minutes to use it and stare at your pores in micro detail.

Other than the confusion it induced in my husband, I had no complaints. (As a side note, explaining the logic behind purchasing an electric brush for my face reminded me why there is a stereotype that women are a strange and frivolous species.)

However, if I looked around my apartment, I would likely be embarrassed by any number of tools and products lying around the place. Onward!

About five days in, I started to have a problem with the Clarisonic. Or rather, what it was doing to my face. One morning I got to the office and noticed that my cheeks were splotchy, red and teetering on raw. When I expressed my concern with my new wonder-product to Ashley and Jennifer, they laughed in the general direction of my purchase. I believe their words went something like this:

“Hahaha. Silly earthling. WHY would you buy a Clarisonic? What is wrong with you!?”

Again, this is probably a conversation I should have had before making my purchase, but oh well. Ashley had received a Clarisonic, tried it and promptly tossed it aside as useless. Jennifer had the foresight to realize that it was a dumb product that would only antagonize her skin problems.

But I was unfazed.

Share This Post:
    • Christie

      You could also go the cheaper route and use the Olay version (Pro X). I got one a few months ago and had some minor breakouts at first but now my face doesn’t get as oily throughout the day anymore or flake as much. I think I bought mine for about $30/$35 at a local grocery store. I would guess it probably has comparable results to the Clarisonic but for much less an investment.

    • Claire

      Yeah, I’ve had a mia for about a year and I’m kind of so-so about it. I have weird dry sensitive skin and twice a day is WAY too often to use the mia. I use it once every two days at most and still have to be careful about avoiding sensitive areas like my cheeks. Could probably do without it, but it feels good and gives me an excuse to stand in the shower and delay my day for two more minutes.

    • katie

      I love the clarisonic. But i do think reviews like yours indicate that certain types of skin do not respond well to it. Don’t keep it in your shower, btw, it’ll grow bacteria that won’t help your skin at all. I keep mine in a dry place. My skin looks fantastic, but I don’t have sensitive skin. I’ve been using retin-a, microderm and other exfoliation products for the last five years. It’s been conditioned to respond positively toward abuse.

    • Aimee

      I bought mine about 4 months ago, I have oily/flakey skin and I was warned in advance by reviews to only use it once a day and i didn’t have any ‘purging’. While it hasn’t been an overnight miracle I definitely love it. It deals with the flakeys and when I use it at night to take my makeup off I know i am getting it all off. I have also noticed that my breakouts, which used to end up cystic in like an hour, are now just tiny little pimples that last a day or two and then fade away…. so i guess that part is pretty miraculous. I really think this product is like any product out there, good for some and terrible for others. It being worth it I think is really more a matter of what your skin is like

    • Emi

      You have to read this

      It’ll change the way you see your clarisonic. Using your clarisonic everyday is simply too harsh, and you’re not giving your skin time to repair itself, which is probably the cause of the dryness, itchiness and flakiness. I use mine 2-3 times a week and absolutely adore it, but again moderation is key.

    • Ashley Cardiff

      I’m not saying I’m not an entitled asshole, but in my defense, I stopped using it because it MADE ME BREAK OUT ALL OVER.

    • Lauren

      I got mine because when I started working out I was getting crazy breakouts near my hair line from sweat. After about a month I finally saw the good results everyone was talking about. But that first month my face was a mess. Now I love it and I use it after every time I workout.

    • MustBeSaid

      Or you could just buy an actual electric toothbrush for well under $100 and get a soft head for it that you only use for your face. That way you have clean teeth and skin.

      Actually, the “sonic” stuff doesn’t really do anything tangible. A regular soft toothbrush will do the same job for $1.50