Beauty Without Fuss

Monday, 19 July 2010

Review - Clarisonic (First Thoughts)

Ever since I read Gemma's Clarisonic Diaries posts about her experiences of using a handset for a month over on London Beauty Review a while ago, I've wanted one of these sonic beauties!  A couple of weeks ago though, this desire was cemented by the amazingly talented Jody Bloch at the Fern Skin Clinic, who told me that a Clarisonic would definitely help me with some dry skin issues I've been suffering from lately.

It took me a little while to get my hands on one, but I finally have one in my sticky little paws, and, after a week of use, I thought it might be interesting to get some thoughts down about how using a giant toothbrush Clarisonic to clean my face has been.

Here is what Clarisonic claim for themselves (from the Clarisonic website):

Benefits beyond just clean skin: Clarisonic improves the appearance of skin tone and reduces the appearance of pore size

Clarisonic is the sonic technology proven to gently yet effectively loosen dirt and oil to clear your pores. The Clarisonic Cleansing System uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth your skin. In just 60 seconds a day, the Clarisonic micro-massage action cleans more than twice as effectively as manual cleansing.

Clarisonic Sonic Cleansing Benefits

  • Removes 6x more makeup than manual cleansing
  • Leaves skin feeling and looking smoother
  • Cleanses so well that products absorb better
  • Gentle enough for twice daily use
  • Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
  • Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles 
I've been using mine twice a day for the last week, with an old favourite cleanser (Nude's Facial Cleansing Oil), and, I have to say, I've been astonished at how much I love using this thing. Essentially, you apply your cleanser to your damp skin, then, after wetting the brush head with warm water, you move it in small circles over your skin, moving to different parts of the face when the handset beeps.  Once the brush turns itself off, I usually go over my skin with a warm facecloth and remove any last traces of cleanser that are left behind, and give myself a little steam-treatment too.
So, how have I found it? Well, after my operation, I'd been quite openly complaining about my dull, grey, flaky skin, which not even my usual hot-cloth method of skin-cleansing had been able to shift.  In addition, I've been "suffering" from a constant patch of dry, flaky skin on my forehead for a matter of months that has been driving me bananas - it was diagnosed by a couple of people recently as "lipid dryness", meaning that oil wasn't able to penetrate beyond the most superficial layer of my skin.  From the first use, Clarisonic has helped with both of those problems. 

My dry patch has disappeared, and my skin has been uniformly more even in tone, and it's soft. So soft that it feels like velvet!  I do find that my skin most definitely feels a lot cleaner when I use the handset, and from the first use (for me), it's been a bit of a revelation. I've also found that I don't need to exfoliate at all.  Astonishing.  Astonishing enough for me to actually look forward to cleansing my face as a result!
Now, has my skin been visibly changed for the better?  I can't in all honesty say so.  Yet.  MrLippie hasn't noticed any difference in my skin (then again, he'd only really notice a change in my skintone if I suddenly dyed it to match his London Irish rugby shirt, to be honest).  Skin creams certainly seem to sink in better after using it, and  I think this might be raising their efficiency slightly.  Oils, in particular just seem to vanish into my face with only the bare minimum of massaging, and my skin has been brighter as a result.  The main skin oil that I'm using at the moment is Liz Earle's Superskin concentrate, by the way, I just adore the neroli-scent as a night treatment.

Things I don't like: it takes a long time to charge - when it first arrives, you have to charge it for 24 hours before you can use it, and, I've found it can be tricky trying to change the programming.  It has three speeds, which are very easy to sort out, but moving it from a 1 minute timed setting, to a 2 minute timed setting or a setting without a timer can be difficult.  So difficult, in fact, that mine appears to be stuck on the 2 minute timer, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to get it back onto a one minute timer!  This is eating up my battery life, which ties back into my point about it taking a long time to charge! It's also on the pricey side, coming in at £150 for a face-only version, or £175 for a face and body unit. You can pick one up from Selfridges, Harrods, or SpaceNK.  That said though, a course of facials would cost a similar amount, and, this is something that I feel is definitely going to make a big change to  my routine, so, on a cost per use basis, it actually works out pretty cheap.  I've always believed that getting your cleansing right is the key to any skin routine, and, well this is a big step along that route.

Overall, I'm exceptionally impressed, and I'm looking forward to seeing if the coming weeks bring any differences to my face that other people can notice ...

The Fine Print: Unit was accidentally provided for review purposes.  Long story, it involves Selfridges, a champagne cocktail or two, another encounter with me talking WAY too much to Daniel Sandler and some lightly embarrassed gatecrashing.  Probably best not to ask ...


  1. Oh I want one o f these!! Great review

  2. Haha the way you acquired it sounds interesting..!
    Great review - as soon as I graduate and get a proper job, it's top of my list!

  3. We have one and it's without a doubt our favourite piece of beauty equipment. Like yourself, we use it with the Nude cleanser and our skin is - without a doubt - in the best condition it's ever been. We've been using ours twice a day for the last 7 months and acne, dryness and uneven surfaces are a thing of the past. We couldn't recommend it more! We hope you start seeing some big results in the next few's addictive!


  4. Thanks so much for the great review! If you are still having issues adjusting the timer please give our Sonic Service team a call at +44 800 988 4864 - they should be able to help you get that sorted out. Also, if you ever have additional questions you can find us on Twitter @Clarisonic or on Facebook at Cheers!

  5. Oh damn you, you're just making my longing for this worse and worse! I think my skin actually looks good already, but i get a flaky dry patch on my nose. However i am sort of obsessed with getting my skin as soft as possible. It just sounds amazing!

  6. Great review! :) I hope I'll get one quite soon!! :)



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