It was a week or two after I wrote about my experience at the new Clarisonic counter in House of Fraser, Dundrum that I got a phonecall from my mother informing me that a courier had just been to her house, delivering me my very own Clarisonic. To say I was surprised or excited are vast understatements. I had moved out of home a month or so beforehand but obviously the PR company had my old address and how I didn’t hop on a bus straight to my mother’s house, I do not know. I did arrange to get there that weekend though, in order to get my hands on it. It felt like Christmas – and funnily enough, I had actually asked Santa for one of these for Christmas although luckily she was yet to purchase it.
The model I received was the Clarisonic Mia (which normally retails for €149), which was the one I actually wanted, but there is also a Plus available (for €225) which comes with an interchangeable head for use on your body. If I had a choice, I probably would have opted for a coloured one because I am that way inclined and they do a turquoise one! No complaints though, I was just happy to finally have a Clarisonic in my possession after well over a year of lusting.
In the box, you receive your Clarisonic Mia, your charger, a sensitive brush head and a travel size Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser. You are advised to change your brush head every three months and there are other types available; the regular, the deep pore cleanser or the body brush (which only fits the Plus). A brush head will set you back €28. The Clarisonic can be used with any water-activated cleanser and while I have used the own-brand one once or twice, I won’t be reviewing it just yet. I have been using the Human + Kind Wash Off Cleanser as I already had it open and was using it before my Clarisonic too.
The charger is a magnetic one which blew me away the first few times I used it. You simply plug it into the wall and place the other end on the Clarisonic where it magnetically attaches. A red light flashing on the back lets you know that it is, in fact, charging. This magnetic charger allows the Clarisonic itself to be waterproof so you can fully submerge it in a bath or take it into the shower with you without fear of damaging it. Although I have done neither of these things, I have dropped it into the sink under running water accidentally so this feature is actually a huge bonus! The Clarisonic’s full charge is supposedly thirty minutes which doesn’t sound like a lot but if you only use it for one minute a day, that is actually a full month!
I was told that if you turn your Clarisonic on, it will emit an unusually large vibration at the start if it has low battery so you can be aware of when it needs to be charged, however I have not ever noticed that happening. Instead I have very disappointingly set up my face for cleansing only to find that the Clarisonic is dead.
Now I am not going to go into all the scientific bits and promises of the Clarisonic as I detailed those in my post about the counter in House of Fraser so take a peek there if you are interested. I just want to talk to you about my own personal experience with the device.
I have been using this once a day since I received it. In the evening, I like to remove my makeup with a cleanser or make up wipe and then use the Clarisonic to really deep clean my skin. It definitely relieves any guilt from using make up wipes! It is simple. You wet your face, apply your water-activated cleanser, switch on the Clarisonic and gently massage your face with it.
It only turns on for a minute at a time which I thought seemed very little but I definitely feel like I get my whole face done in that time. When I learned about the device at the counter, I was told that the one minute is supposed to be twenty seconds on your forehead, twenty on your chin and ten on each cheek. I am ninety five percent sure that I was told that the Clarisonic would give an extra little vibration to let you know when the twenty seconds were up so you knew when to move it to the next area but I definitely cannot feel that if it does, in fact, happen. I don’t rigidly stick to this rule as I just couldn’t be bothered standing in my bathroom counting so I tend to circuit my entire face and then return to areas such as my chin and jawline which I feel could benefit from a little more exfoliation.
An issue I have with the Clarisonic is that it never mentions using it on your nose and as part of your T-zone that is an area where many people are oiliest. While I rarely suffer break outs on my actual nose – touch wood! – I do have enlarged pores and blackheads on it so I feel it could definitely use the exfoliation of the Clarisonic. When you do apply the oscillating Clarisonic to your nose, it feels so awfully weird and makes me cough and wiggle my nose like crazy. It is obviously not made to be used there but I’m a rebel so I do it anyway despite the discomfort. Other than in that area, the Clarisonic does not feel harsh or abrasive on the skin. My skin never looks red, inflamed or irritated after use although as I’ve pointed out several times, I don’t have sensitive skin at all.
It claims that you can use the Clarisonic directly on a full face of makeup to remove it but because I wear so much, I like to take off the heavy layers first and haven’t tested this theory. Often after removing my makeup and then using the Clarisonic, the brush head can still come away looking orange and dirty which makes me feel that it is actually doing a good job in deep cleaning my skin. However several times I have used a toner afterwards and found some more traces of makeup on my cotton pad. That means that the Clarisonic is not removing EVERY trace from my skin which I found rather upsetting as I did expect it to. Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend using the Clarisonic to remove all of your makeup as I’d imagine you would still have to go in with a cleanser, toner etc. afterwards anyway.
After using my Clarisonic the first few times, I did notice that my skin felt beautifully soft, silky and smooth and I genuinely could not stop touching it. However that is not a long lasting effect as despite daily use, now – a few months on, my skin doesn’t feel that great to the touch. Even immediately after use, I cannot feel a marked improvement.
The first question many people ask me when I mention that I use a Clarisonic is if I experienced a purging period – something I did hear quite a bit about before I owned one. I did experience one and only last month so it was a few months into my use of it and not an immediate effect. It was definitely the Clarisonic that caused it as I hadn’t been using new products. My skin flared up with some really unusual under the skin spots and bumps in areas that I NEVER suffer from blemishes like right in the middle of my cheeks. I didn’t discontinue my use of the Clarisonic however, just persevered through, and my skin seems to have settled down again although it took quite a few unpleasant weeks.
When it comes to appearance, I suffer with bad pigmentation that no amount of exfoliation will ever rectify but I also suffer from small, light patches of pinkness which I believe it could be possible to heal, however the Clarisonic made no difference to it whatsoever. Using the device has not changed the appearance of my skin at all. It is the exact same tone as before.
I also suffer with little invisible bumps that can only be felt with your fingertips and occasionally I suffer from those hard white bumps that manifest under the skin for months and which I actually cannot remember the name of. You know the ones – not regular blemishes – but hard build ups that are next to impossible to remove. I actually think they recommend going to a dermatologist to have them expertly removed but I manage myself. Anyway, even with regular use of the Clarisonic, these problems have not abated.
I honestly have not noticed a single change in my skin through use of the Clarisonic and I do rigidly stick to using it daily. I continue to use it, however, as I love feeling that I am really thoroughly deep cleaning my skin. It has become a part of my skin care routine that I enjoy as it relaxes me and makes me feel that I am really removing every last trace of the makeup I cake on daily (with the use of a good toner afterwards too, of course!).
While I was disappointed that my skin hadn’t been magically transformed, like I expected, I will continue to use it as a face brush – isn’t that what it really is anyway?! – to help clean my skin in the evening. I would also recommend it if you are a fan of exfoliating and deep cleansing although perhaps it is a bit pricey if only used for that purpose. I don’t like to give truly disappointing reviews which is why it has taken me so long to write this up, I really wanted to give this a fair trial but sadly there have been no magical effects. Please let me know if you have a Clarisonic and have had a different experience to me!
What do you think? Have you got one? Will you get one?