Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Few Thoughts About My Clarisonic Classic...

I have been wanting to do a post about my Clarisonic Classic for quite a while, but seem to continually be distracted by all of the pretty shiny things that this makeup magpie brings back to her nest to gaze at lovingly (thank you, Rouge Bunny Rouge). It is not that I don't love my Clarisonic- because I really do- I just never really thought to wax poetic about it in the same way that I do about a gorgeous new eye shadow or lipstick. Well, that is until now!

I had wanted to invest in a Clarisonic from the moment that it made it to my skincare radar, but for some reason I kept pushing it onto the backburner. It is a substantial beauty tool investment, and I wanted to be sure that it would be right for me. Then one day a few years ago, I attended a special Beauty Stylist Top Picks seminar during a Nordstrom Beauty on Location Event, and believe it or not- I won my Clarisonic Classic! I fell madly in love with this tool and found that my combination skin really benefited from this ingenious device.
I could immediately see improvements in the clarity and refinement of my skin. It looked cleaner and clearer with far fewer breakouts or clogged pores. However, after several years of daily use I actually lost sight of how well it was working since my skin looking good became the norm- well that is until the day that I was forced to stop using it for a few weeks. About a month ago, in the middle of the night while I was fast asleep, a cat fight spontaneously erupted on our bed. In an effort to flee, one of our cats ran with great might to flee from the perpetrator, and as it turned out my face was caught in the crossfire as one of the kitties scampered away. The end result was pretty horrifying-- there were three very deep and long bloody scratches on my face, and I was mortified that these ugly marks would leave permanent scars. I stopped using my Clarisonic for several weeks and used the most gentle cleanser in my arsenal, and then basically waited for the scratches to heal enough so that I could resume use.

What I learned while I was forced to stop using my Clarisonic was just how effective it really was. I started noticing my pores clogging on my chin, nose and forehead. Who were these unsightly unknown invaders colonizing at these locales on my face?! As you might well imagine, as soon as the cat scratches healed adequately I fired up my Clarisonic and let it get to work. Here is what I learned: this tool is nothing short of miraculous in its ability to clean clogged pores! It really wasn't until I stopped using it that I was able to appreciate just how effective and amazing this lovely tool really was.

While I was a very lucky girl for having won my Clarisonic- I would happily have paid the $195.00 price tag because it is really that good. I am happy to say that my skin is happy and clear once again!

Do you have a Clarisonic? If not, have you been wanting one? What is your experience with Clarisonic- love it, hate it?


  1. What a way to learn. I'm glad you are healed. I have a SkinSonic that I use but I too often forget. I think tonight will restart that though after reading this.

    1. No kidding! Thankfully the scar is starting to fade- what was the most alarming was just how abrasive it was to wake up that way! I couldn't believe what an incredible difference I saw after starting to use my Clarisonic again!

  2. How awful with the claws! Been there, done that, :P I am glad to hear you aren't scarred, that would have been really disappointing. I find as I get older my skin does not heal the way it used to, and when I get a hormonal zit, I damned well better leave it alone because if I pick at it, it will surely leave a scar. Not a pitted scar but more of a dark spot that never completely fades. I shoudl probably start treating with Retin-A or at the very least AHA.

    I not only got my full-sized Clarisonic in a swap (my end was R&R eyeshadows), another swapper GAVE me a brand new pink Mia as an "extra," which I haven't even used yet. I love how my big guy beeps at me when it's time to move to another part of my face. It lets me to into a meditative state.

    1. Yup, it was awful, and frankly pretty traumatic given that it's pretty hard to hide something that hideous when it is on your face! THere is some scarring, but it is fading pretty quickly-- especially because of the Sunday Riley cocktail that I have been dousing it with on a daily basis! I wish that I had the willower not to pick when I see something about to erupt, but thankfully my skin is pretty forgiving when I do. I use a retinol based product every single night, and then load up on sunscreen the following day, and my skin is quite happy with me.

      What a seriously lucky girl to have gotten 2 Clarisonics in swaps! I love the beeps as well-- I totally agree it puts me in a meditative state as well!

  3. So glad that the Clarisonic has helped you!! Wish I had a similar experience, but it tore up my face - broke out in irritation pretty terribly. Ugh. My skin hasn't been the same since and that was over 2 years ago. I was just stubborn and didn't stop when I should have because I was convinced i had to love it like everyone else seemed to. Ha ha!

    I was in ULTA a few weeks ago and one of the sales girls tried to convince me to get one. I told her about my experience and she said...well you must have done something wrong because EVERYONE absolutely loves it!!! I seriously laughed out loud, replied OH-kay, and walked away.

    Sorry! I digress!! Not trying to convince anyone not to get a's an amazing tool for so many! But be careful if you start breaking out a lot more than normal.

    G. McG

    1. That's a shame MrsG. I have moderateo rosacea and use only the Delicate brush head. Even the one up before Normal (I think it's Gentle?) is too rough for me.

    2. Oh Gummy, I am so sorry to hear that you have had so many problems with your Clarisonic. I know that it isn't for everyone. My skin can be a bit finicky, and sometimes quite sensitive. I have only ever used mine on the lowest setting, I never press it into my skin (instead use a very light touch), and I use the most gentle brush heads that they make (plus I tend to let it break down quite a bit before replacing it to be assured that it is suer gentle on my skin).

      That said, I have heard many stories about break-outs and broken capillaries as a result of use. I can't believe that the salesgirl at Ulta said such a ridiculous thing to you! That was insensitive, and she clearly wasn't really listening. And for the record, NOT EVERYONE LIKES THEM!! I would have walked away as well!

      You didn't digress at all-- you brought up a VERY valid and important point, and that is especially important in forums such as this! Just because it works for one person does not mean it will for everyone. So thank you for giving voice to something quite important! It is amazing for people that it works for, but it is the worst choice for those that have a reaction to it. Plus, I do not think that everyone needs to use it everyday- much less twice a day as some people do. It is very easy to overwork the skin which can cause thinning and sensitivities that didn't exist before. So again- I thank you for bringing up such an important point! :-)

    3. I have no idea what moderateo rosacea is. It must be the Italian strain.

    4. HILARIOUS!! A very special strain for very special people- no doubt!

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about the scratches, that must have been horrible for you :(
    I have considered getting a clarisonic but I get the feeling they are not the best for ultra sensitive skin like mine, glad you have found something that works so well for you :)

    1. Thanks, Replica-- I was pretty upset at the prospect of feeling disfigured by 3 deep scars, but thankfully they are really healing up nicely. I have had great success with the Clarisonic, but I really think that one needs to use a very light hand and the softest brush. I think that it can be fine for ultra sensitive skin if it isn't used on a daily basis and it is used VERY gently. You might want to talk to Zuzu about her experience with using her Clarisonic with mild rosacea. She has had good luck with it. I do think that it is easy to get over zealous with it-- and when I first started using it I was under the mistaken impression that I needed to apply a bit more pressure in order to get a really good cleaning, but as it turns out it really only requires a feather touch so that the sonic vibrations can work their magic. I certainly wouldn't run out and spend £120.00- £179.00 on one without being sure that it will be money well spent for your skin type though. :-)

    2. Honest to God, the last person I ever thought this device would work on is me. Even more than the price it was the fear of a beet red face that scared me off. I did start with the Sensitive brush head but found that sightly too aggressive to I moved to Delicate and have not looked back since.

      Lola is absolutely right. No pressure needed. I just lay the flat brush head against my skin and move it over the surface, letting the whirling bristles to their job. Much the same way I use the Sonicare toothbrush (same company)--where my dentists told me to NOT use pressure, just glide it gently back and forth. I never have plaque on my teeth, and no plaque on my face now either! ;D

      I don't believe either the Full-sized or Mia Clarisonic comes with a Delicate brush head. In fact, I think Full comes with Normal, and most Mias come with Sensitive, except a couple Mia colors that come with Normal (the two grey ones, I think).

      It is a big investment and would be a very sad disappointment if it didn't work, so your best bet, if you are at all interested, is to buy one at a place that accepts returns. I don't know if you have anything comparable in the UK, but I get my brush heads from SkinStore, which frequently has 20% off promos, and they take returns. You would also definitely want to pick up a Delicate brush head or a 2-pack.

      I started out using the Clarisonic 2-3 times a week, at night. It was a slight adjustment at first, figuring out how little pressure to use, and my skin did have surface redness after, but it quickly faded. My skin was SO CLEAN and the mild exfoliation allowed my skin to accept whatever treatment or serum I applied after. Oh, and did I mention my skin feels like buttah?

      Just so you know, my skin is so sensitive, a sip of tea can sometimes bring on a flush, and just about everything gives me milia. I don't have normal acne, but I do get hormonal spots and if I don't keep my pores clear the texture of my skin gets rough and bumpy along the hairline.

      I now use the Clarisonic 5 nights a week with a gentle gel/foaming cleanser, like Caudalie or Chanel or Boscia. And I maintain my smooth skin with 2x weekly applications of Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA serum.

      Only you know if the risk is worth the price, and I would be so so so so sad if you bought it on my recommendation only to find your skin hated it. It's really a shame we can't test it before we buy, but that would be so unsanitary, and no way would they give each would-be customer a new brush head, which go for $25 when no on sale.

    3. I think Space NK sells Clarisonic in the UK-- do they have a return policy there? I know returning things in the UK is far more difficult than it is in the US, but at this price point it would be a waste to be stuck with it if it didn't work for you. However, as Zuzu said- she has very very sensitive skin and she sees tremendous benefits from it as do I. I do suspect that Zu and I both use it with a lighter hand than many people would because we both have more finicky skin, but the rewards are tremendous to us.

      I will say, however, that it isn't all sunshine and butterflies for many people when they first start using the Clarisonic. My sister, for instance, bought one because I had been raving about mine, and because she saw such a huge difference in the clarity and texture of my skin (not to mention my ridiculously clean pores)- so she bought one. She immediately broke out and her skin was pretty angry. She told me in no uncertain terms that she didn't get what all the fuss was about, and that her skin was worse with the Clarisonic than it was without it. She put it away, and I was certain that she was going to return it-- but she kept it and started using it again, and now she loves it.

    4. I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I often find that when I change a skincare regimen, especially when using something that cleans out pores, whether the exfoliation is via scrubbing grains, toner, or something manual like the brush head, my skin can often appear worse for a week or so.

      My friends say I am nuts, but I SWEAR it's because the new regimen is lifting the lid off Pandora's box and all those evil zitty monsters are escaping. Once they fly away, my skin looks all the better for it.

      Monster zits was not my experience with the Clarisonic, but it was with other products/procedures.

      Two things I don't get:

      1. Reviews that rave about a new skincare product when the reviewer used it only a few times. Even one week isn't enough to see how it will do. It takes, for example, 11-14 days for my skin to react to mineral oil, and when it does, it's ugly. FLAKES!

      2. Customers who use a new skincare product a few times and toss it when their skin reacts with breakouts. Obviously if it burns or hurts... that's a deal breaker, but if I get a few zits initially, I wait it out. It takes time to adjust.

      For me, skincare takes AT LEAST two weeks to fairly evaluate, and now that I am older, it takes longer than that to see any promised results, more like 1-3 months.

      As always, YMMV. :)

    5. I completely agree with your assessment-- 1000%!!

      It always takes the skin a while to adjust, and it quite often looks worse before it looks better. It is also so true that one has to try out new products for a while before seeing how it really does work on them. I also have problems with excessive amounts of mineral oil, petrolatum, silicone, and alcohol-- and sometimes it takes several weeks for my skin to really react. For instance, like you I can get milia pretty easily-- so heavy eye creams laden with the aforementioned ingredients are a losing proposition for me. My under eye area might look good for the first week, but once the milia start to colonize I have proof positive that there are ingredients in there that are clogging my pores-- and this is a TOTAL deal breaker for me. That is precisely why I found Chanel's Sublimage eye cream a total miss for me-- while my dark circles disappeared they were replaced by tons of milia-- no thank you!

      I tend to believe that sometimes having more sensitive skin can be a mixed blessing-- the good side is that your skin is reactive to things that it probably shouldn't be slathered with anyway, but on the other hand these reactions can be pretty awful to go through!

    6. Hi Zuzu, Lola,
      Thank you very much for your thoughts, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to return it in the UK if it didn't work for me, unless I could prove it had given me a reaction but then I think you need official stuff from the doctors for that. Still I'll keep the idea on the back burner for now as I seem to be getting good results with a combo of Pai and Omorovicza for now but I might well concede on the clarisonic at some point ;)

    7. Hi Replica, I thought that might be the case-- they make it so much more difficult for you to return anything. I imagined that makes one a much more discriminating consumer though! I think that if what you have is working then don't even bother with it!

  5. not good about the kitty war:( but I agree....I love my Mia. I used several sephora gift cards (so hard not using them up!) and bought mine in January and love it! I have to agree, at first I wasn't using it daily or weekly and I thought, eh it's no big deal. But then started using daily and my skin def is much better and I have people compliment me and ask me what skincare I use! I don't splurge on skincare, but think the clarisonic works great with all sorts of cleansers!

    1. I couldn't agree more!! It was a pretty awful way to be reminded just how effective the Clarisonic actually is! I'm so glad that you had Sephora gift cards to take the bite out of paying for it out of pocket! I know just what you mean about the greater frequency of use yielding really visible results! I actually think tha the Clarisonic can save you lots of money in skincare products because it is so effective. A good cleanser that isn't stripping is definitely a must though! I definitely won't be giving up my Sunday Riley Skincare, but I realized after this cat scratch incident that the Clarisonic is definitely playing a large role in my skin looking good and clear!


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