Reviews: The Clarisonic
Beauty editors have been calling this oscillating facial brush a game changer since its inception in 2005. Created by the inventors of the Sonicare toothbrush, the Clarisonic’s unique flexing action between the outer and inner brushes claims to deeply and gently loosen dirt and oil plus remove six times more makeup than manual cleansing, which helps skincare products absorb better. Some derms like NYC-based Dr. Lisa Airan, loves it. “I have been using one for years. It is a great addition to any skin care regimen for all skin types.” Some not. “Be very careful if you have sensitive skin or active acne. Some of my patients rub their skin raw with their Clarisonics and end up aggravating their acne or rosacea,” says Dr. Jessica Wu, a cosmetic dermatologist in L.A. Dr. Lisa Airan agrees, “I do recommend it to my patients but with variable brush heads depending on the type of skin they have. I use the acne brush head because I have a tendency for mild breakouts.”
What do regular folk think about it? Here, their honest opinions.
Newbie users (under 6 months):
“I noticed a difference in my skin from the first time I the Clarsonic Mia ($119) back in May. I first used it with a Dermalogica cleanser and my skin was literally radiating. The next morning, my fiancé asked me if I’d slept in makeup because it was so smooth and had a glow! Um…sold! Since then, I’ve been using it two to three times each week, always at night with various cleansers, and I find that it has helped my overall skin tone and texture, which used to have dry patches under my eyes and on my cheeks. I was worried because my skin is sensitive but this hasn’t been a problem so far, though I wouldn’t use it every day as recommended on the box. I’m going to convince my father, who is a dermatologist, to carry it at his clinic.” – Jessica Pollack, web editor
“I am 25 years old and have sensitive acne-prone skin. I tried it only once in the morning and noticed how my skin around my mouth got dry and irritated. The next day I broke out all around my mouth area with a lot of little pimples. I felt the supplied brush was a little too harsh for my skin. I had to put little to no effort when I was using it or I felt it was sanding my skin. If I had a softer brush maybe my skin would of reacted differently.”– Roy Casim, graphic designer
New-ish users (more than 6 months):
“When I first started using it, I was convinced it was the magic bullet I’d been looking for it. I was a bit overzealous, switching to a more aggressive brush to amp up the results I was already seeing. Sadly, I overdid it. I have sensitive skin, and my glowing skin, a result of using the brush, all too quickly became red and inflamed looking, especially around my chin. So I stopped using the brush all together for a while. My skin became dull looking and I missed my brush. Which was when a friend reminded me it was probably because I was using the more aggressive brush head. I switched to the brush head for delicate skin, and my Clarisonic and I are the best of friends again!” – Marissa Stapley-Ponikowski, editor at Elevate
“It is amazing! In a month my pore size shrunk immensely, my scars have faded and I’m not as prone to break outs. The best part is that you can use it in the shower and take it anywhere. The Mia version is timed so u know how long to use it on your face. Great product that is so worth the investment.” – Nicole Giftopoulos, underwriting assistant
Long-time users (more than a year):
“I bought it a year ago and use it morning and night. It’s hard to say how well it works because I use so many great products! But I feel like it cleans better than a washcloth or make-up removal pads, exfoliates nicely, and I think the stimulation is good for the skin.” – Lisa Summers, lawyer and contributing editor
“I’ve been using it since it first came out. It has really made a difference in my skin. With all the working out I do, I sweat a lot and that can clog up pores. I need to make sure I get my skin as clean as possible. This brush is the best at cleansing, exfoliating and keeping my face smooth and clear!” – Kim Dolan Leto, fitness model
“Since 2009, I have been using it in the treatment room at my skincare clinic and we sell the Pro-series. It cleanses in a way that traditional methods can’t, and respects the skin’s natural elasticity to gently remove impurities. For homecare it cleanses like nothing else. It really is quick and simple to use and it dramatically changes your skin – especially when used in tandem with the correct cleanser followed by a moisturizer.” – Jennifer Brodeur, owner of Bella Clinque in Montreal
“I’ve had mine for four years now. I love it! My normal/oily skin feels so much fresher than with a manual cleanse. I use it every day and I always take it with me when I travel. I don’t know of anyone that’s used it that hasn’t felt a difference in their skin in just a few days.” – Ravinder Kalirai-Sharda, skincare therapist at Hair on the Avenue in Toronto.