The Clarisonic - Is It Worth It?
I have told you a lot about basic skincare and all of the creams, lotions, cleansers, and serums you can use at home. But there are also some good complimentary products you can use along side them to enhance your overall results. You may have heard about one called the Clarisonic.
Please note that I am not affiliated financially in any way with the Clarisonic company or any device, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic company. I only recommend a product or device that has been tested in our office.
Clarisonic Skincare Brush
The Clarisonic is a sonic cleansing brush that gently exfoliates, stimulates circulation, cleans deep pores, and helps your skin care products to penetrate and work more effectively. And, there is now a new "head" for it to deep clean pores for those with oilier skin and large pores.
Have you ever heard of the sonic toothbrush before? Well this is the same technology, but designed to use on the skin. Is it worth it?
Regular cleansing can sometimes leave behind dirt and oil trapped in pores. This build-up can make your skin appear dull and hinder the efficacy of your skin care products. The Clarisonic Cleansing System uses sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, which the company claims "removes 6x more makeup and 2x more dirt and oil than cleansing with your hands alone." I haven’t seen any science behind those numbers but it does seem to be different, and may be more effective, than cleaning your skin with your hands or a washcloth. My patients bring back reviews of Clarisonic and say they love the way their skin feels and say it is almost like giving yourself a mini facial right at home.
You can buy the Clarisonic brush at your dermatologist office for ~$195. There are even versions of it sold in Nordstroms, Sephora and other retail shops. The one sold at your dermatologist office is the MD, Plus or Clarisonic Pro version, which offers 3 speeds. The one sold at retail stores like Sephora is called the Classic and it only has 2 speeds. Recently, the company came out with the Mia, which is a smaller version of the Classic and normally retails for $149, and is available in a variety of colors. The brush head is the same size, but the handle is smaller and instead of sitting in a stand to charge you plug it in like you do your cell phone. If your budget is tight, I would recommend this version.
Clarisonic also offers a body brush attachment, which is a slightly larger and more abrasive brush to exfoliate the skin on your chest, shoulders and/or back, especially if you are prone to clogged pores in these areas. You can take the Clarisonic into the shower with you as it is waterproof, making it easy to use. They also offer other Clarisonic brushes or Clarisonic heads, like the sensitive skin brush head and the delicate brush head. Also see the new deep cleaning pore heads.
The system itself has a timing system build in, to help you spend the correct amount of time cleaning each section of your face. It gives you 20 seconds for your forehead, 20 seconds for your nose/chin area, and 10 seconds on each cheek. The Clarisonic System comes with a few small Clarisonic cleansers, but you can use any facial cleanser with the system, even a bar of soap. These are my cleanser recommendations.
Although it is a bit of a financial investment upfront, you only need to buy it once and can use it twice a day for years to come. You may just need to replace the brush head every few months, which normally costs about $20. It also makes for a great gift.
I have seen some knock-off versions of the Clarisonic System pop up lately, one called the Pretika. As far as the Pretika vs Clarisonic, we don’t carry the Pretika but I’m guessing the overall construction is cheaper and less reliable.
Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System
The Clarisonic Opal is a designed to infuse serum into the delicate areas around your eyes, to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to help de-puff dark under eye circles. It has sonic technology, like the Clarisonic cleansing system, and gentle taps the skin around your eyes at 125 sonic movements per second while releasing their anti-aging serum. The company claims the serum is absorbed at a much higher rate than if you applied it with fingers alone. I generally don’t recommend this product. Results with our testing were subtle to nonexistent. Still everyone is an individual, and we have a small group of patients who like it.
The Opal by Clarisonic sells at your dermatologist’s office or the other retailers I mentioned above for about $245. If you can only buy 1 Clarisonic system, I definitely suggest the cleansing system first. But the Clarisonic Opal Infusion System could be fun to experiment with if you have the extra money to spend.
In conclusion, if you can afford it the Clarisonic is worth it!
Learn more about which types of skin care products you really need.
See Dr. Irwin's expert answers to other reader's questions on Clarisonic:
What do you do if you think a treatment didn't work? What's going on with men and "red necks?" Can a Sculptra nodule/bump be dissolved or do they have to be surgically removed? What to do when a tear trough (eye area) injection causes pouches or "festoons?" Extreme sun! How can I protect myself? What about combination products and web based skincare products?? Tinosorb and other sunscreens from Europe - are they better or the same?
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