When I went home to the States this past June, my mom hooked me up with a Clarisonic Mia in the lovely Jaguar pattern. I’d been resisting this particular temptation for some time, despite reading so many glowing reviews about the Clarisonic online (tbh, I started wondering if there wasn’t some sort of skincare cult thing going on).
I was skeptical because my usual beauty routine was tried and tested and worked pretty well for me, and no way was some 120 quid vibrating facebrush going to do measurably better. Also, given my ongoing battles with adult hormonal acne, I am leery of shaking things up too much for fear of pissing off my sensitive skin.
It was when I was in Mississippi and my sister-in-law showed us HER jaguar Mia that both my mom and I went “Ooh, I need that.” “Try it,” SIL said, “I love mine! My mom loves hers!” Next thing I knew, we’d ordered two from Sephora. Oh dear.
The thing with me and my skin is that I am totally OCD about it and when I break out I want to pick everything into oblivion. I just want SMOOTH skin. No clogged pores. No zits. Not a grease slick. My greatest beauty desire is just good smooth clear skin, so that I can just slap concealer under my eyes and look fab. You know the kind of skin you get on holiday when you spend a lot of time in salt water? Like that.
I spend far too much time sighing over the state of my pores and I am constantly exfoliating, both mechanically and with glycolic acid. So the first time I tried my Clarisonic and it buffed my skin into a satiny smoothness, I knew we’d be good friends. So I tried it again. And again. And we were in love.
But then I flew back to London and my skin *freaked* *out* and broke out terribly. I was so sad, because I loved the smooth feeling that the Clarisonic gave my skin and didn’t want to stop using it. I was addicted! I relegated it to use for every other day instead of daily, and then treated my acne until the breakout stopped. After doing a LOT of googling about Clarisonic “purging”, where one’s skin breaks out in the first couple of weeks of use, I am convinced that I was just using it too much, and that your skin does need some time to adjust if it is sensitive like mine. This is pretty common, it turns out. Be forewarned.
The Clarisonic packaging recommends use twice daily. Friends, this is too much. Don’t do this unless you have skin as tough as hide. Even starting out doing it once a day was too much for my poor face. I don’t actually blame the Clarisonic entirely for breaking me out, because flying also does that, and stress does that, but the three together was a perfect acne storm, boo.
However, now it is a month later from all that horribleness, and me and my Clarisonic are having a second honeymoon. The breakouts did clear up (but only once I cut back! Don’t keep scrubbing your skin and expect it to calm down!) and now I use it once almost every night, but with a night or two off a week. I commented to M last night about how good my skin was getting (the marks are still fading) and how I had practically no spots at all at present. Also: I didn’t have a PMS breakout like I usually do. Amaze.
Seriously, right now my skin feels like my washed silk sheets, just smooth and lovely. My pores are clearer and possibly smaller. We’re talking porcelain! I think I have finally got a skincare regimen that will really work with me to keep my face clear and calm and glowing. Lovely.
Used properly, as in not too often and not pressing down on it, the brush is quite gentle. The brushhead vibrates but doesn’t spin, so it isn’t actually scraping over your skin that much. I know it sounds silly, but using it is the best part about getting ready for bed: there are few things in this world as satisfying as the feeling of getting all the makeup off your face with a Clarisonic.
It’s still early days, but after the rough start, I think me and my Mia are going to have a long and happy relationship together, and I have now officially joined the Clarisonic cult. I’ve already got one of my BFFs to get one, and I was singing its praises this weekend to my other friends.
I look at it this way: a good facial is quite expensive, esp. if you are hardcore and want extractions like me. You could easily cover the price of a Clarisonic Mia with just 2-3 facials, and having a Clarisonic is like getting a mini-facial every time you use it. From this perspective, the Clarisonic is actually a screaming bargain.
* Clears the crap off your face and gets those pores clean, helps fade acne marks
* Helps clear up blackheads (like on my nose) and may help prevent breakouts (fingers crossed!)
* Smooth, satiny, glowing skin
* Easy to use, turns off automatically after your 1 minute scrub cycle is up
* Clever charger, one charge lasts a good while
* Can use your choice of cleanser as long as it is non-abrasive
* Replaceable brush heads
* Easy to wash and care for
* Purging: It could break you out bad if you aren’t careful and gentle
* Expensive, and brush heads aren’t massively cheap, either
* No travel lock, so be careful when packing it so that nothing presses the button to turn it on in your bag
* The 24 hour initial charge before using the first time feels like forever!
* Don’t press down hard. Let the brush do the work for you. Just glide it over your face.
* Don’t overuse! Especially at first! Try every other night usage to see how your skin reacts before going daily.
* A good cleanser can make all the difference. I like creamy cleansers, not foamy ones because they strip my face. I am currently using Clarins Comfort Cleanser, but will probably buy Alpha-H’s Balancing Cleanser next because that works really well for me (judging from a sample). A good creamy cleanser lubricates the bristles to help your skin from getting irritated, and prevents the exfoliation from drying you out too much. Cetaphil works well, also.
* Some people complain about mold growing under the removable brush head. This is easily prevented by giving your Clarisonic a good shake out over the sink after washing it. I wash mine (bristles and all) with a good handsoap after every use, shake the water out, then dry it off thoroughly with a towel and leave it to dry. I don’t ever cap it unless travelling.