When Oprah recommends something, I’m usually all over it.
Cos even the best people can give you bad advice, sometimes.
Case in point: the Clarisonic. It made Oprah’s list of favourite things. But you may want to take a hard, honest look at your skin to see if that’s really what it needs.
Cos this is one of those things that, in the wrong hands, can cause complete havoc on the skin.
So, what the heck is the problem with the Clarisonic? And, should YOU use it?
What is Clarisonic?
An electric toothbrush for skin.
I’m not kidding. The Clarisonic was created using the same technology that was used to cleanse your teeth. That’s why it has a giant soft and gentle brush, which oscillates back and forth over your skin at sonic speed.
This helps remove dirt and makeup, unclog the pores, and get rid of dead skin cells.
A cleansing or an exfoliating system?
Did you catch that last part? The bit about getting rid of dead skin cells?
Because, my dear Clarisonic, it doesn’t matter how much you swear to me that you’re a cleansing device, if you get rid of dead skin cells, you’re just an exfoliant in disguise.
And that’s not something you should tell people to use twice a day, Clarisonic. Especially to someone with dry or sensitive skin.
I know you’re doing it because you want people to change their habits, ditch their usual cleanser and use you instead. But, that much exfoliation could seriously ruin someone’s skin.
Why over exfoliation is bad for skin
Exfoliation is awesome. I’ve written an entire post about the top 10 reasons why you should exfoliate. So, yeah, big fan here.
Once you get rid of those old and damaged dead cells that are dulling your skin, you can bring to the surface the gem that was hidden underneath: new, healthy, glowy skin. Wrinkles and dark spots look less obvious, too. And your serums and moisturizers penetrate more easily into the skin. Did I mention it also prevents breakouts?
BUT, and this is a very important but…
Those old, damaged dead cells are there for a reason. No, it’s not to annoy you and make you look ugly.
They protect the raw skin cells that aren’t ready to come to the surface just yet. Remove too much of them, and you’ll expose your raw skin. It won’t be pretty. And it’ll hurt as hell.
There’s another thing. Even if you don’t get that far down, exfoliating too much can disrupt your skin’s protective barrier. That lets moisture out and germs in (hello dry skin and irritations!).
How often should you use the Clarisonic?
Here’s the deal. If you buy the nonsense that the Clarisonic is a cleansing device, you’ll want to use it daily. Even twice a day. Cos that’s how often you wash your face, RIGHT?
But not everyone should exfoliate their skin every day. If you have pretty thick, oily skin, you may be able to use the Clarisonic daily without any problems.
But if your skin is normal or dry, using it two or three times a week may be best. If it’s sensitive, just the once would do.
Oh, one more thing. Don’t use it with AHAs or BHA based exfoliants or scrubs. Too much exfoliation is a never a good thing, remember?The Clarisonic isn't a cleanser. It's an exfoliator in disguise. Here's why that's dangerousClick To Tweet
Can anyone use the Clarisonic?
If you take a look at their website, you may think so. It’s full of studies done on people with acne, rosacea and all kinds of skin conditions.
There’s only one problem with that. Those studies were commissioned by Clarisonic. They tested the device on a small group of people (for example, only 14 people took part in the rosacea study).
Plus, they don’t mention how the study was done or how the results were measured. They just tell you what THEY want you to know. Obvs.
I have more trust in dermatologist Leslie Baumann. She says that anyone with thicker skin can use the Clarisonic safely. Then, adds:
“Anyone with sensitive skin – and acne-prone skin is indeed sensitive – should actually avoid these vigorous scrubbing products, which can exacerbate inflammation. Rosacea and the tendency to experience skin allergies are further indications that you should not be using an abrasive exfoliant or a vigorous cleansing brush. Similarly, anyone with very dry skin should avoid exfoliating, which may compromise an already impaired skin barrier and worsen dryness.”
To recap, avoid the Clarisonic if you have:
- Acne-prone skin
- Very Dry skin
- Sensitive skin
Is the Clarisonic the best way to cleanse and exfoliate skin?
Ok, so you are one of the lucky folks who can use this stuff. But does that mean you should invest in it?
That may be worth it if the Clarisonic turns out to be the best cleansing AND exfoliating method ever. But, is it?
We know this. The Clarisonic Brush removes 6 times more makeup than manual cleansing. Wow! That just makes you wonder how much makeup is left on your skin every day.
Well, if you feel the urge of giving your dirty face a good scrub to remove it all, don’t. You don’t need to.
Manual cleansing means removing makeup by hand with only water. Of course, that’s not going to remove makeup very well!
What you need to know is if the Clarisonic removes more makeup than oil-based cleansers or exfoliates better than glycolic acid. Guess what? No one has done a study on that yet.
So, it’s totally up to you. If you think your skin can tolerate it and you don’t mind the high price tag, go ahead and use it. I’ll stay here and stick to glycolic acid for now.
The Bottom Line
I know, I’ve been a Negative Nancy in this post. I don’t think the Clarisonic is bad. But I DO think it’s marketed wrong. And that can do a lot of harm. I don’t want to put you off the Clarisonic, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. You don’t want to throw $100+ only to discover it doesn’t get along with your skin.
What do you think of the Clarisonic? Do you use it or are you sticking to your old trusted exfoliant, too?