• Fri, Mar 23 2012

Is The Clarisonic Worth It?

I decided I would give my new face brush the entirety of my 30 day return policy to see if my skin would be magically improved with continued use.

Part of the reason had to do with multiple product reviews warning that the Clarisonic actually results in worse skin during the first two weeks of use, and that such problems should be ignored as your skin correcting itself. For example:

“I have read on other sites that many women experienced the cystic-pimple breakouts after beginning this new regimen. Well, I did too! I get a pimple here and there once in a great while and they’re usually POP-able and gone the next day. These suckers were the “6 ft. under” kind that irritate the heck outta you b/c there isn’t a thing you can do about them! But, b/c I knew this was going to happen, I just backed off using it every other day or even skipping two days and now I have broken through to the other side!! Hallelujah!! “

So I soldiered on. With a slight modification. I would only use the Clarisonic once a day. And since my skin was on  the verge of meltdown, I obsessively monitored my face for the next two weeks to make sure I wasn’t rubbing off integral layers of skin.

Over those days, I was glad to see that I wasn’t tearing through my epidermis, but there were a few disturbing things. For starters, a tiny mole on my face turned into a white head. I was unaware that there even was a pore in this mole. And I can now tell you from experience: Do not attempt to pop a whitehead that appears in a mole on your face. This is extremely dumb/painful.

After three weeks, the flare ups had calmed down, but I was a little disappointed that some of the miraculous results I’d been hearing about weren’t happening t for me.

Granted, my sample time frame was somewhat diverted. I bought the Clarisonic because of my disastrous winter skin. Due to the cold weather, my skin often flakes off throughout the winter months. I had assumed that the exfoliating action of the Clarisonic would help alleviate this problem. But I’ll never know about that – at least until next year – because promptly after I purchased this thing, the weather turned a balmy 60 degrees in New York. In the Spring and Summer, I don’t really have problem skin, so the need for such a product is not so dire.

However! Contrary to Ashley and Jennifer’s derision, I found myself liking the Clarisonic and looking forward to washing my face. Has it drastically improved my skin? I would say no. I hoped that all of the blocked pores I’ve been developing would be completely cleared up a month in. Probably that was foolish. I do see some difference in my skintone, and the pores on my nose appear a little smaller. I think.

But maybe that’s just the placebo effect of me staring at my face all the time and losing perspective. Because this is what I learned about the Clarisonic:

1: I do still get pimples. However, the breakouts seem more minimal. And their duration has been reduced. That’s a nice thing.

2: The Clarisonic feeds into my obsessive compulsive face staring. Depending on your approach to your skin, this is either a good or bad thing.

While talking about this product with people who have used it before, I found they fell into two camps. One told me they felt “eh” about the product, got bored with it, and forgot they own it. But the second group got a look of glee in their eyes when I mentioned it in passing. These people are vaguely addicted to the Clarisonic and sang its praises.

I imagine that this group, like me, has a tendency towards face obsessiveness. If there is something wrong with my skin, I have a lot of trouble leaving it alone. I want clogged pores off my face and have a tendency towards aggression toward pimples, which isn’t the best habit. The Clarisonic helps me feel like I am actively doing something to improve my skin without simply gouging at my pores.

Also, using the Clarisonic allows me to stare at my pores for at least two minutes a day. And once I’m done with that, my compulsive picking tendency is fulfilled.

In the end, I am planning to keep my Clarisonic MIA. And I am comfortable knowing that it may only have a placebo effect of letting me think I am improving my skin every morning rather than actually making nay grand changes to my skin.

If you do not have this inclination, you may carry on feeling superior to the purchasers of this product and laugh at us all visibly. Jennifer and Ashley are likely available to join you at this very moment.

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  • 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

    http://blog.reneerouleau.com/2010/01/is-the-clarisonic-brush-harmful-or-helpful-to-the-skin/

    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