In a world where everything is becoming mechanical or digitized, washing your face with your hands was bound to get an upgrade as well.
We know that with all the new products out there it can be hard to know what product is right for you that is why we have compiled this review of the most popular facial cleansing brush electric around.
With Clarisonic reviews and reviews of other products, we will help you decide whether the Clarisonic Mia Is clarisonic worth the money? Does the Clarisonic really work? is the right tool for your skin care needs.
What Is Clarisonic Face Brush?
You may be wondering how Clarisonic works and what the benefits of using their product are, and you should, but with Clarisonic reviews, questions should be answered. Clarisonic seems promising with a lot of results on their brushes for a decent chunk of money.
Before we look at how the brush adds up against the competitors, let's look at the Clarisonic reviews.
According to Clarisonic, their brushes produce a deeper clean than washing with your hands because the rotation of the brush flexes the bristles so that your pores open up and release all the dirt and grime accumulated through your day. Look at what they say below.
"Unlike spinning devices, our patented sonic cleansing technology works with skin's natural elasticity, oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second".
The resulting flexing action created between the outer and inner brushes works to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from pores and priming skin to absorb better topical treatments,".
Okay, so now that we know what it's supposed to do, what does this mean for your skin? Well, Clarisonic brushes are meant to offer a better clean for your skin, especially in removing makeup.
But Clarisonic doesn't stop there. They claim that their product will increase the softness of the skin, improve the radiance of your skin, reduce pore visibility, and produce healthier looking skin.
The Pros of the Clarisonic Mia
Here are the pros to investing in a Mia:
- It does an excellent job deep cleaning pores while exfoliating dead skin. The key is to choose a cleanser that is right for your skin type, however.
- I'm not the only one who loves it. The Mia is overwhelmingly popular with beauty aficionados, even spas use it during facials.
- Reviews on Amazon and Makeupalley.com are very good. Users report marked improvement in skin tone and texture, fewer blackheads.
- The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, and their customer service department has a great reputation.
- It comes with "normal" and "sensitive" brushes so you can choose the right one for your skin.
The Cons of the Clarisonic Mia
No product is perfect, of course. And these are the cons to owning a Mia:
- The price. While the Mia is the most basic of the Clarisonic skincare brushes (others retail for $200 and up), some may balk at paying $99 for an exfoliation tool. It's true, a baby soft washcloth costs $2 and a scrub costs $12 or so. But keep in mind that Mia will last years. Your facial scrub won't.
- If used too much, it can be tough on the skin. Those with sensitive skin should use the sensitive brush.
- I've noticed that the results can be disappointing for those expecting a miracle product.
How Does the Clarisonic Work?
This is where things get interesting. On a firsthand glance it just looks like a big spinning brush, but the way it works is actually more complicated and fairly scientific. Definitely something the engineers who designed it deserve major credit for.
How your Clarisonic works
What do I mean? Let’s take a look at an excerpt from a Clarisonic patent and a research paper.
The personal care appliance includes an oscillating motor structure in the body thereof which drives an armature through a total angle of 8°-26°, at a frequency in the range of 120-220 Hz.
By oscillating at sonic speed the net result is the inelastic comedones become loosened and detached from the infundibular wall and are then cleared from the acro infundibulum.
Let me translate that into English for you: the clarisonic brush head moves back and forth approximately 170 times (300 sonic movements) per second! This in turn loosens and removes clogged pores and dead skin. I know this may sound very aggressive, but it’s actually fairly gentle on the skin.
Michelle from LabMuffin said it best, “since your skin is more elastic than any unwanted material in your pores, this back and forth movement gradually breaks the adhesion between clogs in your pore and the pore walls, a bit like when you twist an ice cube tray to free the ice cubes.”
In case you’re wondering, here’s a visual of what that looks like in super slow motion.
And this is what separates the clarisonic from the generic “spin brushes.” In other words, the Clarsionic doesn’t spin at all! Rather, it’s just like one giant vibrator…. Wait a minute, that didn’t come out right!
What I mean is that it doesn’t rotate a full 360 degrees like the inexpensive spin brushes out there. Instead, the clarisonic oscillates back and forth at lightning speed, meaning it’s less likely to cause broken capillaries (small blood vessels) by manipulating the skin too aggressively — something many people oddly claim the clarisonic does. I couldn’t disagree more.
I mean sure, it’s possible. But it’s also possible to break capillaries while cleansing with your fingers! That’s actually a fairly common issue with oil cleansing. The problem isn’t the clarisonic or the fingers themselves, it’s being too aggressive with them!
Like I always say on this blog, you want to baby your skin whenever possible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the clarisonic or your hands — that’s just a universal rule to follow.
However, if you’re overly concerned about potentially developing broken blood vessels, then opt out for one of the more gentle clarisonic heads. The cashmere brush would be an excellent start.
Just remember: be gentle!
Which reminds me…..
The Clarisonic is an Exfoliating Tool.
INDEED! This thing will absolutely exfoliate! I actually know a dermatologist who uses it as a sort of pretreatment before chemical peels because it provides similar benefits to a light microdermabrasion session. Here’s a quote coming straight out of his mouth:
“It gives a really good exfoliation. It takes off, realistically, 5-10% of the epidermis — so a good part of the stratum corneum.”
—Dr. Davin Lim, board certified dermatologist.
So with that said, you have to introduce it slowly! Over-exfoliation, whether chemical or physical, can result in some nasty breakouts. A prime example of this is what happened to Wayne Goss in his video “6 weeks from hell! My clarisonic experience!!!”
To summarize, he started using the heavy-duty deep pore cleansing brush twice daily (BIG MISTAKE) and soon enough had sore irritated skin and a couple broken capillaries. This is commonly referred to as the “clarisonic purge.”
But please remember, you shouldn’t be purging with the clarisonic! Only active ingredients make you purge. If all of a sudden you start breaking out after using it, chances are you’re irritating your skin more than anything else.
Keep this in mind when you want to use the clarisonic more often, which probably will happen when you start seeing how quickly it starts working. More often than not, it's better to back off than double down when you start seeing progress.
With that said, here are some good guidelines to follow when introducing the Clarisonic into your routine.
Clarisonic Best Practices
Personally, I would begin using it every other day. The absolute maximum amount of times you should be using it is twice daily. By far and large, the people that can pull that off will have pretty tough skin.
Back off if you notice any irritation.
This could be in the form of redness, tight skin, or unusual breakouts. All these are signs of over-exfoliation.
Be extra cautious if you have acne or rosacea.
Both of these skin conditions can be worsened by irritation. If you fall into this category, make sure to start extra slowly and use the cashmere or sensitive head brush.
Use gentle pressure!
Don’t use other physical exfoliants with the Clarisonic.
Avoid them! It’s completely unnecessary and a full proof way to ensure irritation. These include but are not limited to washcloths, konjac sponges, facial scrubs, coffee grounds, those awful baking soda sugar mix recipes on pinterest etc.
Cut back on chemical exfoliation.
If you’re using active ingredients like BHAs (salicylic acid), AHAs (lactic, glycolic, mandelic etc.), retinoids, low pH serums etc. — you’re gonna have to reduce their frequency.
I would say using these 1-2 times a week in conjunction with the Clarisonic is more than enough exfoliation for most people.
Change your brush head.
Do this approximately every 3-4 months. These things have a limited lifespan. In fact, I’m overdue for a new one. Perhaps you could tell from the photo above.
Clean your clarisonic often.
Preferably with 70% isopropyl alcohol. And please don’t leave it in the shower where it could get moldy.
Who is the Clarisonic Best For?
How to use clarisonic
Since we’re all unique and have different skin problems, I thought it would be a good idea to try and describe who I think would really benefit from using the Clarisonic.
Let’s start with the fact that a lot of skincare addicts say physical exfoliation shouldn’t be a priority. I disagree. Yes, chemical exfoliation done properly will lead to better results, but some people simply can’t tolerate any acids. I was one of those people for the longest time.
So, ideal candidate #1: someone who’s easily irritated by products or can’t tolerate chemical exfoliation, but still wants the benefits of exfoliation in their skincare routine.
Candidate #2: if you’re using chemical exfoliation but your skin still appears dull or isn’t quite where you’d want it to be yet.
And candidate #3: if you just want that little extra oomph to achieve brighter and smoother skin.
If you were thinking about buying it to get rid of pimples or treating PIE/PIH (red, or brown spots), I would suggest you first read my guides about clearing acne and/or getting rid of acne spots before dropping the cash on this. Realistically, the clarisonic will help decongest some clogged pores which overtime will prevent breakouts, but it won’t do much for inflammatory acne.
How is a Clarisonic affecting skin?
Skin Fact #1: Too much exfoliation can cause dryness.
Exfoliating too aggressively and too often can cause dryness and disrupt the skin’s lipid barrier. This allows moisture to seep out of the cells more easily, causing them to get dehydrated. Many of my clients who I see monthly for facial treatments started complaining of dryness and irritation when their skin had been so perfectly hydrated and balanced with their Renée Rouleau skin care products. Come to find out, the dryness started to occur once they introduced the Clarisonic brush! I had already had my clients set up on a very thorough exfoliation routine, but once they added in the Clarisonic, their skin was getting too much exfoliation and that’s why the dryness and irritation occurred. Discontinuing use of Clarisonic, or cutting back its use to a few times a week quickly returned their skin to a healthy, balanced and hydrated state.
Skin Fact #2: Too much exfoliation can cause chronic inflammation within the skin.
Exfoliating too aggressively and too often can create inflammation (even if not visible) setting off a response to create free radicals. A major cause of aging is chronic and prolonged inflammation, associated with tissue destruction, active inflammation and attempts at healing which is why it’s essential to eat foods high in antioxidants and use skin care products with stable antioxidants. See this amazing experiment I did when I applied a vitamin C skin serum to an apple!
Skin Fact #3: Skin trauma is good…occasionally.
You do not want to exfoliate to the point of destroying healthy, living cells. When you give the skin trauma, the skin goes into repair mode and stimulates cellular regeneration. This can be very beneficial to the skin, but if you create trauma too often by over-exfoliating, then it’s continually setting up a cascade of free radical damage that triggers premature aging. This is the last thing that any skin needs that wants to stay looking youthful and fresh. However, professional chemical peels done a few times a year do cause trauma to the skin, and this is beneficial for the stimulation of collagen. Your skin likes boosts (a little wake-up call), just not all the time.
Skin Fact #4: Too much exfoliation might stimulate melanin activity resulting in increased skin discoloration.
You must use caution with physical exfoliants like Clarisonic, washcloths and facial scrubs. For skin that is extremely reactive to stimulation (deeper skin tones and for those prone to melasma), you need to treat your skin gently to avoid post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation resulting in increased skin discoloration.
Skin Fact #5: Clean skin is good…to a certain point.
Since Clarisonic markets itself as a cleansing tool to remove dirt and makeup, I’d like to make this point; you do want your skin hygienically clean, but not clean like you want your kitchen floor. There is a certain amount of good bacteria that the skin needs to keep it healthy and functioning well so you don’t want to strip it by over-using your Clarisonic brush. This is also why I suggest using non-drying, sulfate-free cleansers. Cleanser recommendations: only use sulfate-free gel cleansers. Find out which cleanser is right for you by taking our Skin Type Quiz or schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.
I also recommend using a gentle facial scrub OR your Clarisonic brush 2-3 times a week—and that’s it. The idea here is that using an acid serum will dissolve the dry skin cells while a physical exfoliant like a scrub or Clarisonic will lift off the dry skin cells. They both work differently but both are very beneficial for the health and clarity of the skin.
Many people really like using the Clarisonic brush and I’m certainly not telling you not to use it. I simply want to inform you that using it twice daily, combined with other exfoliating products, may be harming your skin’s overall health—and this is the last thing you want when caring for your skin.