Thursday, December 18, 2008

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush - Week 5 (with a brief care guide)

If you've read up about or own a Clarisonic, you know already that the brush head is supposed to be discarded every 90-120 days. But with a brush head going for $25 each, that can get really expensive.

Also, if you read my previous post last week on the Clarisonic, you remember I was freaking out with the new breakouts on my forehead. Two days after I wrote the post, I felt that my Clarisonic seemed to be oscillating slower than usual...and it wasn't lathering my face wash very well. My face still felt waxy from moisturizer residue after I had cleansed it for the full minute.

So what the heck was going on? I was already pretty mad that I had broken out. I bought the Clarisonic with the intention of NOT having to deal with breakouts, especially during finals period (when everyone's personal hygiene routines get a little lazy, though I'd stuck to my face regimen). And now not only was I breaking out, but also the Clarisonic was malfunctioning? What bs!

Well, I speculated that perhaps the Clarisonic brush head was just dirty. After all, I'd been putting it twice daily on my face to slough off all the heavy moisturizer and SPF and makeup I wear. I even used it on my neck and decollete a couple times. Maybe the brush head was just clogged with all that gunk? After all, the only cleaning I'd done for the brush head was rinsing it with steaming hot water after I wash my face.

So, I filled a bowl with liquid detergent and water, and I left my brush head in there for 12-15 hours. When I got back home (after working on my papers in the campus center), I took it out of the bowl and rinsed it off with steaming hot water. I was ready to wash my face. And guess what? This trick COMPLETELY worked. As soon as I put the Clarisonic to my face, I could feel it oscillating ten times better than it had that morning. It felt just like how it had first felt on my face when I used it for the first time...a little scratchy, but still gentle. The next day when I woke up, my skin also looked a lot more glowy, and my blemishes had reduced in size.

It's been three days since I've been using my newly cleaned, Clarisonic brush head...and my blemishes are truly continuing to decrease in size. My comedones have disappeared! YAY!

So if you guys own a Clarisonic...I'm telling you to soak your brush heads in laundry detergent water once a week! From my own experiences, liquid detergent water works best to cleanse anything because it is gentle, but it still effectively and automatically lifts away debris, stains, and oils as the object soaks so you don't even have to scrub or massage the bristles. I'm not sure if this will help extend the life of the brush head past 90-120 days, but it will definitely maximize your Clarisonic experience. I'm honestly amazed that the folks at Sonicare/Clarisonic haven't addressed brush head cleansing, or come out with some brush cleanser to sucker people's wallets.

If you're unsure of how much liquid detergent to use...I suppose a good analogy is two tablespoons per 2 cups of water. You should put the detergent into your bowl first, and then pour really hot water on top of it to create foam and bubbles. If you drop the brush head in that mixture right after you wash your face in the morning, go to work or school, and then take it out at night right before you wash your face and go to sleep, that should be plenty of time for it to soak.

I wish I had the foresight to clean my brush head like this earlier, because now I'm wondering whether any of my skin care products absorbed into my skin under all that product still on my face...
So now that my Clarisonic issue is somewhat resolved, I'm going to try to figure out what exactly is causing me to break out.. it's funny how the products I'm using right now work for everyone else, but somehow not me. I'm pretty certain it was the MAC Prep + Prime SPF 50 now. I stopped using it for 2 days and now my skin is almost back to the way it was before. Maybe I just didn't wash it off properly at night? I'll give it one more shot and use better cleansers...and we'll see how that works out in my next review.


fuzkittie said...

Wow thanks for the thorough review and sharing the cleaning experience! I have become more and more interested in the brush because people are loving it left and right, haha..

Btw, thanks for commenting on my blog! Gong Li?! O man, I'm flattered, haha..

I have never tried the Chanel whitening line.. I wonder if that stuff is made in Japan? I have confidence in Japanese whitening products way more than European, haha.

ragtag said...

MAC's Prep and Prime SPF 50 definitely broke me out, and I usually am very resistant to zits (1 or 2 small clogs during that time of the month). So it may have been that. :/ It seems to be a heavy formula. I love the high SPF, but ultimately my zits and wallet kept me from repurchasing this one!... haha.

Thanks for the Clarisonic cleaning tip!

Anonymous said...

If you look at the manual that came with the brush, it mentions that you should clean the brush head weekly, including the 'hand set'.

I have read a review from someone and they mention 'I used the brush about 6 months before replacing it. I didnt see a difference between the old brush and the new one, but I could slightly feel it. Theyre too expensive to replace every three months, and its not really necessary.', so you do not have to really follow the 3-4 months.

Also, I have read people do break out the first week or two (some times longer) of using a Clarisonic. Not sure if you heard about this or not.

I have notice that if you sweep the brush over your face, instead of doing the recommend 'small circle' it seems to clean your face better and clears out clogged pores really good.

"I have never tried the Chanel whitening line.. I wonder if that stuff is made in Japan? I have confidence in Japanese whitening products way more than European, haha."

They have found some of the Japanese skincare brand SK-II whitening line to have mercury and if I remember right other metals in it. They have since done tests and it is now safe.

Rachel said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, I remember from reading the Clarisonic manual it mentioned washing the brush and hand set weekly. But as I recall, it only mentioned washing both with soap and warm water, and emphasized that the brush head already has antibacterial properties. Despite that, I think my brush head cleansing method is not something most people would have thought of doing, and definitely necessary.

Some people break out a little bit when they first start using the Clarisonic, but I don't think I was one of them. I think the MAC Prep + Prime SPF 50 was completely to blame. It took more than a month for my skin to completely heal even with the Clarisonic after using it for 2-3 weeks.