PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: CLARISIONIC PT.1

Some of you may remember that one of the lovely birthday presents I received last year was the Clarisonic Plus, and it was one of the items I was most excited to try out. I’m sure most people know something about the Clarisonic by now, but in case the product is new to you, you can read about it here. Basically, it’s a sort of vibrating brush that supposedly cleans your skin six times better than manual cleansing alone– an electric toothbrush for your face, in other words.

clarisonic

It’s a great idea I’ve long admired, but I’d balked at the fairly high price of the Clarisonic. The Plus retails for about €230, and even the replacement heads are in the €25 bracket (though cheaper versions with fewer functions are available from €150). That’s a pretty heavy initial outlay for something which may or may not work for you, especially considering conflicting reports abound when it comes to these products. Some people say they noticed a massive and immediate improvement in their skin, while others found only a moderate or minimal improvement, and some people felt that it actually made their skin worse. There’s a theory that this is a purging period while your skin adapts to the new regime– and again, some swear by this notion while others dismiss it as nonsense.

The thing is, everyone’s skin and situation is different. Some people may experience a brief purging period before things get better, and others will simply have a bad reaction to a product right off the bat. If such a thing as a universally beneficial product existed, we’d all be buying it, and the shops wouldn’t be filled with fifty kinds of moisturizer, cleanser, etc. There’d just be the one option, and it would have Suitable For All Skin Types And Guaranteed To Improve Your Skin Or Your Money Back written on the front. Different things work for different people– and budget is a factor, too, which is why I’d previously tried the far-cheaper no7 version from Boots as opposed to the more expensive Clarisonic. I liked it, and I felt it did make my skin cleaner… But at the expense of drying it out, because it was a little on the harsh side. It was also not very waterproof as it had a user-accessible battery compartment, into which water eventually leaked, and rusted, and corroded the batteries.

So, for my birthday this year, I mentioned that I would like to give the Clarisonic a go, and mother duly provided. (She’s a champ.) It was actually her suggestion to upgrade to the Plus, as she thought the body brush angle was worth the extra money. I’m not much of a shower lingerer (being wet, naked, and glasses-less in an environment where I can’t hear very well makes me uncomfortable; blame my obsession with horror films as a teenager), but I figured it couldn’t hurt, so that’s what I got.

I’ve now been using the Clarisonic Plus for a month, and this is how I’m getting on:

Effectiveness

I love it. I absolutely love it, and I’m so annoyed with myself for not getting one of these sooner. For my experience, it’s basically been magic. I didn’t experience any of the purging other people talk about, and my skin has definitely improved from before I began using it. Now, admittedly, I haven’t been using this product alone. I’ve also increased my vegetable intake, reduced my sugar intake (or tried– it was Christmastime, for god’s sake), and I’ve thrown a few other new products into the mix, too. Even so, at this point, I am very pleased with the Clarisonic.

I’ve been using my Plus twice daily on the middle (universal) setting, and I’ve noticed fewer spots and clogged pores. My hormone-related breakouts haven’t evaporated, but they’ve definitely diminished in intensity, and that’s a blessing I would take any day of the week. When I over-use it (and I have, on a few occasions, by pressing too hard or forgetting myself and “scrubbing”), I’ve noticed dryness and flaking skin for a day or two afterwards. When I don’t do this, I don’t have problems.

Construction & Battery Life

The unit is waterproof and impressively sturdy: I’m a serial dropper, and this has hit the floor several times due to slippery wet hands, but continues to power on. Unfortunately, as being properly waterproof can only happen with the use of inductive charging (i.e., there are no plug-in ports on the body of the machine to let in water– or electricity), charging to full from empty takes a long ass time. Because of this, I would recommend not letting the battery run flat if possible– I toss mine on to charge once every two or three nights, and it’s usually back up to full by morning. I would be happier if it would charge faster and last longer on a charge, but nothing is perfect, and you can get a full body cleanse and several facial cleanses out of one charge, so I can’t complain too much. (Without using it on the body, you can get about a week between charges if using it twice daily for the recommended period.)

Assistant Products

The cleansers I’ve been using with the brush are the Creme de la Mer Cleansing Gel in the mornings, and Neutrogena’s Pink Grapegruit Daily Scrub at night. Fortunately, both seem to work pretty well with it. (I have to mix up my cleansers for morning and night; I get spots if I skip out on a salicylic acid cleanser, and flakiness if I use one twice a day, so switching between them seems to work as the best balance for me.) I haven’t tried the ones that came with the brush– I quite like my original cleansers, and I’m kind of iffy about switching out products when the ones I have already seem to agree with my skin. I don’t think anyone need be hesitant about using this with their regular cleanser unless they use something with a particularly exfoliating texture, so don’t let that put you off.

Body

As for the body function… Well, I try to remember to use it, when I have time, but showering for me is mostly a crap-I’m-on-the-clock experience, so I have a tendency to skip it sometimes. On the occasions I have used it, though, I do notice my skin is softer– and if you suffer from Ketosis Pilaris, it should help you with that, as well.

Conclusion

It’s early days yet for me to give this a full and hearty recommendation; I’ll update at the beginning of March with a three-month report… But as of now, I’m hugely impressed. If the price doesn’t scare you and you don’t have especially sensitive skin, I would recommend trying this out, if you can. If price is the only thing standing between you and giving this a go, there seem to be a  number of second-hand models on Ebay at reasonable prices; all you’d need would be a new brush head.

You won’t be seeing mine for sale, though, because I’m definitely holding on to it.

Have you tried the Clarisonic? Do you recommend it, or do you prefer a different electrical facial cleanser? Or do you eschew electrical goods for your face and prefer the manual approach? Drop me a line and let me know!

-A-

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