Friday, November 21, 2008

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush - Week 1

I couldn't wait to open my box from Sephora and start using my Clarisonic brush! Everyone who used it raved about how their skin started glowing and they were receiving tons of compliments. I wanted nothing less than the best so I decided to give the Clarisonic a shot. My skin was already improving before using the Clarisonic because I was cleansing, toning, and using Estee Lauder Idealist daily. I wasn't sure my skin could improve any further, so if I didn't achieve fantastic results like everyone else you bet I'd make use of the 30 day money back guarantee.

From the little brochure that came with my Clarisonic:

"The Clarisonic sonic technology works with the natural elasticity of your skin to provide deep, thorough, gentle daily cleansing of the skin. Cleansing is the foundation of a complete skin care ritual. Oscillating back and forth at a sonic frequency that produces 300 movements per second, a flexing action is created between the outer and inner brushes that works deep within the pores to loosen dirt and oil. The brush motion effectively cleans, clarifies, and stimulates, resulting in smoother feeling and looking skin, allowing your serums and moisturizers to absorb better. Skin is left soft and pampered without harsh abrasion or chemicals. Clarisonic reduces dry skin patches, oily areas, and blemishes and removes six times more makeup. Pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles appear smaller."

The Clarisonic also claims to remove 6 times as much makeup than regular cleansing, and is 2 times as effective as regular cleansing. I never really thought that makeup particles might be still sticking to my skin after using my Clinique Liquid Facial Soap and toning, but apparently they were. Cleansing sounds like such a basic step in taking care of your skin that we don't think much about it, and dwell on purchasing things like serums and masks instead. In reality, if we don't cleanse our skin thoroughly, whatever we apply on top doesn't fully absorb into our skin, and we don't reap that product's benefits. So with the Clarisonic, there are two main objectives: 1) cleanse, exfoliate, and massage the skin thoroughly but gently, and 2) properly prep the skin for the subsequent steps in your skincare regimen.

The Clarisonic is supposed to be charged for a full 24 hrs prior to first use, but I missed that info in the little brochure since I wanted to just take it out and start using it immediately :P Plus, it's been my experience that chargeable items usually come partially or fully charged anyway, so I wanted to drain its power before recharging it fully (my dad always said that chargeabe things like your cell phone, ipod, camera, laptop, etc. should be completely or almost completely drained before recharging so you extend the battery cycle life. Batteries have a limited amount of rechargeable cycles).

The Clarisonic has only one grey button, which you use to turn it off as well as toggle between settings. There is a one minute and a two minute cleansing setting. I've only been using the one minute setting because truthfully, I haven't figured out how to get to the two minute one, haha. Honestly, the time setting isn't that important to me. For the two minute setting, the Clarisonic simply stays on an extra minute. For the one minute setting, you're supposed to wash your forehead for twenty seconds first. Then the Clarisonic will shudder and beep, and you move onto your cheeks for the next ten, then it will shudder and beep again, and you move onto your nose, shudder and beep, move onto your chin, and you're done. I don't really follow this, since I think those guidelines are the Clarisonic's "Guide to Dummies." I probably spend 20 seconds on my forehead, 10 on my cheeks, 20 on my nose and chin, and another 10 on my neck. Though my Clarisonic came with the "sensitive" head brush, I find a minute is plenty of time to cleanse for me. Like I mentioned previously, my skin changed from combination to normal, so I can't deal with too much exfoliating now. The first couple times using the Clarisonic was somewhat harsh; I spent too much time exfoliating my cheeks. So make sure no matter what your skin type is, you go easy on your skin, and not use the two minute setting out of sheer over eager excitement.

Some other possibly helpful tips...

- Use the Clarisonic in the shower. The steam will help open up your pores, and you'll get a much better cleanse.
- Remove your eye makeup first, especially if you use tubing mascaras. I didn't do this and learned the hard way--I had to pick out all those little tubes from my brush head. Also, if you wear waterproof makeup, it could stain the bristles, so be sure to remove that as well.
- Before using the Clarisonic, wash your hands with soap (you should always do this anyway, especially if you use traditional cleansing). Dampen the brush with hot water. I use liquidy facial soap (the Clinique and L'Oreal I mentioned in a previous post), and I squeeze a bit into the center of the brush. With my clean finger, I briskly rub the bristles to get a lather. Then, I splash warm water on my face a couple of times, put the Clarisonic against my skin, and turn it on. Supposedly you can also put your soap directly on your face instead, but I tried that and the brush wouldn't lather, so the brush actually hurt my skin. Try both and see what you prefer, but I believe putting your cleanser directly on the brush is best, you also use less product that way.
- You don't need to apply any pressure on the brush. Just lightly move it over your face, the bristles will do all the work. If you apply pressure, you'll actually prevent the bristles from oscillating effectively.
- After using the Clarisonic, I rinse it out with warm water first, then disinfect it with searing hot water. I blot the bristles against my towel and then leave it to dry. When I first started using it, the brush constantly had a gross bacterial smell when I was done with it. I poured a capful of rubbing alcohol onto the bristles after each use to try to get rid of it and disinfect the brush. My brush head doesn't smell anymore, so that's good.

OK, now on to the opinion stuff you've waited for.

I've been using the Clarisonic twice a day, every day. The first couple days, I didn't notice much of a positive change in my fact, my forehead started to get little comedone bumps again, and I had to use an extractor to get the sebum out. My forehead also got pretty dry at the same time. I did observe that the brush was cleansing extremely well, though. Out of curiosity, I tested the Clarisonic on my ribs in the shower. Normally, the skin on my rib cage will still have a film of dead cells or soap (I'm not actually entirely sure what it is) even after I wash with soap and a loofah. After running the Clarisonic over it, my skin was completely smooth and clean. I was tempted to use the Clarisonic all over my body!

I was a bit disappointed at first with the results on my face. All things skin require patience, though. :) By the 5th day of use, I definitely started to notice positive change. My skin was more even, taut, and starting to glow. By the 6th or 7th day, my cheeks regained a natural flush (this hasn't happened in a long time). I have no dry patches, pimples... my nose pores are all clear (I put on a peel off mask and no whiteheads or blackheads came out!). I am very happy so far.

Hopefully my skin doesn't plateau...I would like to see further improvement!

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