“ Brand: Clarisonic / Type: Cleanser / Skin type: for dry skin and for all types / What it does: Cleanses, „
Right so, I didn't see this on Oprah or read about it in a magazine. My cousin came over to my mums house before Christmas and now we are both hitting our 30's we had our usual moan about ageing, skin, weight etc etc.
Anyway, she told me that a girl at her work had similar skin to mine (I have olive skin and it tends to be spot prone) and had been using a clarisonic and it now looks amazing.
So, willing to try anything (I have been through every lotion, potion and beauty procedure to improve skin over the past 10 years in the hope one day I will have perfect skin) I immediately went online and found myself a Clarisonic.
I bought the pro version which has four speed settings as opposed to three, (this fourth setting is for the body but to be honest I haven't used it on my body yet).
The next day it arrived and I couldn't wait to use it - only I had to charge it up for 24 hours before that could happen. It came with body brush and a range of washes etc from their skincare range to try. I have been using the one for oily skin as mine is.
So you can put it on different settings and it uses beeps and lights to tell you which setting you are on - which doesn't work for me as I need a simpler approach so I have to be honest I have only used it on the first setting it has. The other three are just a bit complicated at this stage.
The first time I used it felt a bit weird - it's like using an electric toothbrush on your face, which I suppose is exactly what you are doing really. As it's developed by the same people!
It doesn't hurt and is suprisingly gentle, BUT from the first use my skin looked a lot healthier. I have been using it for just two weeks now night and day and it has brought out all my under the skin small lumps and blackheads and then cleared them up.
I do have open pores on my cheeks and while there is no cure for these really, with the exception of laser surgery - they do appear to be reduced.
I normally use quite a harsh cleanser and I do exfoliate everyday to try and keep my skin under control and even though I do this, when I come to toning my skin afterwards, there is still always dirt and oil on the cotton wool. BUT when I started using the clarisonic, nothing comes off my skin when I tone so I know it really works!
It takes just 60 seconds twice a day, doesn't hurt and makes my skin look great. It's definitley worth investing in, especially if you have problem skin like mine.
It won't turn back time or work miracles, but it will get your skin squeaky clean and glowing so I really think everyone should own one of these!
Every so often a magazine will have an article featuring the very latest in skincare technology - and this hand held "sonic cleansing system" is frequently mentioned. This makes me super smug, because I've had mine for about 18 months. You see? It pays to spend hours on makeupalley.com.... Not a waste of time *at all.*
This little gadget was one of Oprah's "favourite things" in 2007 - and I think it's safe to assume she has access to every beauty product known to man. It divides opinion down the board - some say it is miraculous and has transformed their skin, some say it is a gimmick that wastes your time and money - and "you might as well just wash your face with a flannel." Me? Well, I'm somewhere in between...
The claims are thus:
* Leaves skin feeling and looking healthier and smoother
* Removes 6 times more makeup than manual cleansing
* Cleanses so well that products absorb better
* Pores appear smaller
* Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
* Reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
* Gentle for use twice daily for different skin types
The brush oscillates with a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, (there's a nifty video here: http://www.clarisonic.com/us/professionals/technology.php) which apparently "flexes" the pores. So it's kind of like yoga for them.
All this, and it claims to be gentle and not abrasive; like an electric toothbrush, the brushes won't move if you press too hard. The brush heads come in three varieties : Normal, Sensitive and Delicate (for extra sensitive skin).
The Clarisonic is blessed with a system by which beeps will be emitted to let you know how long to spend on your forehead, on your cheeks etc. However, as I think we can probably stretch to washing our faces UNSUPERVISED, I'd say ignore these and do what you feel like. You can set it to run for either one or two minutes.
The instructions also ramble on about the more complex system of beeps - I would summarise here but it honestly started to sound like a guide to the morse code, with "one long beep and two short beeps" being just one of the long list of possible cryptic messages your clarisonic could convey.
The only important beep is the low battery signal; luckily a fully charged battery lasts for 30 minutes, so you don't have to charge all that often.
So, having been convinced by the ladies on the makeup alley boards that these American-born gizmos were the bee's knees, I stalked Ebay for a while until I found a bargain - for about £80. Of course, now they are available in the UK at Space NK, but as prices start at £150 for brush and starter kit, you might still want to check out Ebay for a more competitive price. (I would normally suggest Amazon but their prices right now are even more extortionate...) Extra Heads are £20 each; officially they need replacing every 3-4 months, but careful cleaning and the odd freshen up in the dishwasher will keep them looking good for much longer. (Although of course using the same grubby, tattered ones for years on end would rather negate the whole experience...)
So, once you have got over the shock of spending the cost of a weekend in Brighton on something that merely cleans your face, what's the procedure?
Firstly, eye makeup needs to be removed by hand (no vibrating brushes on my eyelids, no sirree.) Then apply your cleanser of choice - Clarisonic does make its own brand, which it naturally recommends; however, I use cold cream or whatever thick luscious cleanser is currently in bathroom cupboard circulation. Now for the fun part! The first time I used the clarisonic, it felt very strange - it's a bit like using a giant electric toothbrush on your face. (If anyone with a lot of time on their hands tries this as an economical alternative, let me know how you get on....)
I also got a big spot - and I have finally been convinced that this IS a sign that something is working well to draw out impurities. I also noticed my pores looking a little tighter and my skin generally felt smoother (and the spot soon went).
But is it worth the expense?
It feels good to know that I am getting my skin as clean as humanly possible. Before this purchase, I wished for regular facials, but now I feel I am getting the equivalent benefits, one day at a time. However, if you go to professional therapists because you enjoy being pampered, then DIY beauty may not have the same appeal.
There are some unexpected benefits - the Clarisonic can work wonders on the little red bumps that sometimes appear on my arms. I also think that my skin absorbs creams better; I don't feel the same kind of greasy film sitting on my skin that you feel when you have not exfoliated.
Those who have had very troublesome skin report sensational change (although I can't help thinking that taking a brush to very acne-ridden skin could become a nightmare of cross-contamination.) But as my skin was generally ok to start with, the change hasn't been dramatic.
I don't use this every single day - partly because I'm too lazy in the mornings and I go with the "sometimes your skin needs a break from being fussed over" theory. One beautician affected horror when I told her (in my heady beginner days) that I used it morning and night, (as recommended) - she said it was far too harsh. However, I take this with a pinch of salt, as this "professional" had never actually heard of the Clarisonic and I had to explain it to her as being "a bit like one of those Neutrogena wave things". (Which, by all accounts, are vastly inferior to this, the big daddy of all cleansing systems.)
Despite this, I am a little wary of overusing something which essentially does act as a mild exfoliant - of course *they* are going to advise you to use it as much as possible, hoping you will wear out yet another brush and come running back for more. I think using it once a day is sufficient.
As far as the wrinkle reducing goes - I am keeping watch on the forehead groove (damn you, addiction to computers and books!) but generally my skin is pretty ok. Recently a new work colleague asked "How old are you then? About 15?" (I'm almost 30) So either the Clarisonic is doing its job, or it's just my joyous and childlike personality. We'll never know.