Well hello you gorgeous lot,
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!
I'm starting this week a little differently with a personal beauty post and honest review of a product that I have had wonderful results with.
Remember back when top make up artist, Helen Kalli, shared her skincare tips for Winter?
There was one particular product she was raving about...the Clarisonic.
It's not a cream or serum filled with peptides, retinol A or other fancy ingredients but a face cleansing brush.
The Clarisoni Cleansing Brush is from the same folks who brought us the Sonicare electric toothbrush. Yep, the Clarisonic is basically a giant electric toothbrush for your face.
The same principles apply ~ the oscillating brush head (which rotates using a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second) gently, yet thoroughly removes up to 6 times more make-up and twice as much dirt and oil trapped in pores than regular cleansing with your hands alone.
So once you've got squeaky clean skin, all those products that we tend to spend a small fortune on (toners, moisturizers, serums etc.) will work much better because there's not a layer of dirt, oil, dead skin cells or residual make up inhibiting them.
Here are the benefits of using the Clarisonic according to the Clarisonic website:
~ Leaves skin feeling and looking healthier
~ Removes 6X more makeup than cleansing with hands alone
~ Helps skin care products absorb better
~ Pores appear smaller
~ Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
~ Reduces oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
~ Gentle enough for use twice a day
~ Soft, non-abrasive for different skin types
Here's a video describing the science behind the Clarisonic which includes a demonstration on how to use it:
It sounds great huh? I thought so too.
But the Clarisonic is a whopping $120 + and I wasn't going to part with my hard earned cash over some seemingly too good to be true claims.
A Little About My Problem Skin
I have what beauticians describe as normal to combination skin but to me, when I compare it to my friends' peaches and cream complexions, my skin is anything but normal. I suffered from acne as a teenager and have a few faded tell tale scars as well as large pores across my nose and cheeks. My seemingly gigantic pores are the bain of my life and I am constantly embarrassed by them. When I wear foundation it tends to clog in my pores and look horrible so I usually just wear a dab of concealer where I need it instead.
I also have permanently pink cheeks (rosacea) which I take the attitude of 'if you can't beat 'em, join em' with and apply blusher most days. I also get a few spots every now and again which are usually hormonally related. And I never leave the flat without powder as my T-Zone can get really oily by the end of the day. If the Clarisonic could live up to it's claims then it might just be exactly what my skin needed but I had a few concerns.
My Initial Concerns About The Clarisonic
~ Just a fad / one of these crazy infomercial 'wonder products'
~ My rosacea / adult acne ~ would the daily facial brushing make it worse?
~ Broken capillaries ~ same issue, would brushing my skin make them worse/give me even more broken capillaries?
To address my concerns, I did a lot of research. I read a whole host of beauty blogs, beauty websites and forums for reviews, watched countless You Tube clips and I was pleased to discover that about 90% of the reviews were very VERY positive! I was surprised that a lot of people who suffered with rosacea, acne and sensitive skin had found the Clarisonic really gentle and effective at toning down redness and evening out skin tone.
So I took the plunge and I can honestly say, three weeks on, that buying the Clarisonic is one of the best beauty investments I've ever made.
(By the way this is not a sponsored post ~ I just want to share something that's really worked for me with you.)
Here's what I have personally noticed after using the Mia 2 Clarisonic (with a sensitive brush head) for 3 weeks:
Deep Clean Feel, Babysoft Texture ~ After the first use, I knew I could never go back to simply using my hands. My skin felt absolutely amazing! Extremely clean and fresh, yet not at all tight or uncomfortable as it tended to feel after gel/spot targeting cleansers. My skin was also so babysoft afterwards that I couldn't stop touching my face...and still can't.
Enjoyable Cleansing Ritual ~ I've never enjoyed cleansing so much ~ this is going to sound really sad but I actually look forward to cleansing my face in the evening now. (Whereas before a quick, half assed once over with a cleansing wipe would be about it). I find the movement really relaxing, the bristles are soft so it doesn't feel abrasive. There is something about the humming sound that I find quite soothing yet at the same time invigorating ~ each time I use it I feel like I'm doing great things for my skin.
Less Visible Pores ~ My pores are beginning to look smaller (only a slight change but a noticeable one, for me anyway) I've come to accept that thanks to my genes and acne as a teenager, I am never going to have perfect, poreless looking skin. But so far, my skin is looking better than it has in years. Especially my pores, which aren't tending to clog as much now when I wear foundation either!
Younger Looking Skin ~ My skin is plumper and more taught. (However, it's worth mentioning that I haven't noticed any signs of visibly reducing wrinkles ~ I have a couple of annoying lines on my forehead that seem to want to stick around for the foreseeable future that haven't been affected by my new cleansing routine.)
Use It In The Shower ~ This is so convenient ~ the Clarisonic is completely waterproof! (I pop my conditioner on then use the Clarisonic as it soaks in ~ resulting in healthy skin and healthy hair.)
Slightly More Even Skin Tone ~ It has helped a little with my roseacea - I feel that my skin is slightly more even toned and less red.
Less Oily Skin ~ I'm so impressed that my skin seems to feel less oily. I'm reaching for my trusty powder less and less throughout the day!
Use it with your favourite cleanser ~ The Clarisonic comes with a trial size gentle cleanser, which does the job but if you have a cleansing routine that works for you, or specific products you love, there's no need to start a whole new regime and shell out on a bunch of different products. You can use the Clarisonic with any cleanser ~ it'll just give you an extra good clean!
Only 1 minute extra added to your skin care regime ~ The Clarisonic works for 1 minute then automatically switches off ~ during this minute you gently move the brush across the different areas of your face and neck in circular motions. (The Mia 2 beeps every 20 seconds so you know when to move on to the next area of your face, which is helpful.) It only works for 1 minute so that you don't overdo it and use it for too long.
Easy To Travel With ~ The Clarisonic Mia is compact and also has a neat little case to protect it in your suitcase. (Though the Clarisonic Pro is larger as it's for your face and body ~ I've got my eye on that as I can't help thinking how great it must be for cellulite!)
It comes in a pretty range of colours!
The Expense! The Clarisonic does not come cheap.
Breakouts ~ After the first few uses, I had a breakout. It happened to be my time of the month and I nearly always get a spot or two on my chin due to hormones, so I wasn't surprised to see a couple of spots there. However, a lot of little spots appeared on my chin and above my eyebrows too, which was very unusual.
Quite a large number of reviewers said that they had breakouts during the first 1-4 weeks of using the Clarisonic but those who persevered said it was a temporary issue and most believed that their skin was purging all the bad stuff that had previously been trapped in their pores. (Thankfully my breakouts only lasted a week and my skin is looking better than ever.)
Care Of The Brush Head ~ If you use your Clarisonic everyday, the brush heads will need to be changed every 2-3 months (and of course, this adds up). Also, there are no definitive guidelines for keeping the brush head bacteria free. (I hate the thought of getting rid of grime, dirt etc from your face but leaving behind residue on the brush then rubbing that all over your face next time - or transferring bacteria from one area of your face to another). I recommend cleaning the brush head with soapy water after every wash, then ensuring to dab it on a towel and letting it air dry upside down so that the water runs off it. Also dipping / spraying the bristles with antibacterial wash once every week or so.
Broken Capillaries ~ This is my main concern. I have a few broken capillaries on my cheek ~ I've had them for years. Don't ask me where I got them from but my mum also has some across her cheeks so I'm guessing it's hereditary. Anyway, I have been really scrutinizing my skin since I started using the Clarisonic (mainly because I'm so impressed with the results and trying to spot any areas of clogged pores I should work on. But this extra scrutiny caused me to discover a teeny tiny broken capillary I hadn't noticed before, next to my nostril.
Was it due to the Clarisonic? Or did I only notice it because I'm paying more attention to my skin? I can't be sure but it's something I'll be keeping a close eye on and something for anyone considering getting a Clarisonic to keep in mind. Once you get broken capillaries there's no going back ~ I think laser treatment (similar to the kind used for thread veins) is the most effective course of action.
Correct Brush Head For My Skin? ~ I'm currently using the sensitive brush head that came with the Mia 2 Clarisonic. I bought it from a department store and wasn't offered any advice on what brush head would be best for my skin. I think I might try the 'delicate' brush head to ease my concerns about broken capillaries.
via The Beauty Model
(Okay, so my skin is never going to look that good...but it's looking much, MUCH better!)
Well, as you saw above the Pros far outweigh the Cons!
I was utterly blown away by the results after just one use. Three weeks on, my skin looks and feels SO much healthier than it did before so I would highly recommend the Clarisonic to anyone with similar skin issues to mine. (Though it is suitable for all skin types.)
Admittedly I have been taking better care of my skin lately, I've been using a serum and moisturizer (free samples of Algenist products which have worked well for me so far.) And making sure I cleanse properly in the evening (when before I'd often simply use a face wipe) so maybe the amazing results I've seen aren't completely down to the Clarisonic but I truly believe it has been the major factor in my healthy, soft, more even toned and less oily new skin.
I know for certain that I won't be going back to washing my face with my hands again after seeing and feeling just how clean and smooth my skin can be with the Clarisonic!
Why The Clarisonic Is Perfect For Brides
The sooner you start on a consistent skin regime, the better, so that you can get your skin in tip top condition for the big day. (Check out How To Prepare Your Skin For The Big Day Countdown for more bridal skincare tips.) Smooth, healthy skin makes your make up artist's job much easier (or yours if you're doing your own make up) and your photographer won't have to do a lot of photoshopping if your skin is looking it's best. Wedding Bundles ~ On the Clarisonic website, if you buy in bulk (3 or more in a 'wedding bundle') for you and your bridesmaids, you can get a 10% discount and you can even engrave each Clarisonic for a personalised gift. Trust me, your maids will forever thank you for the gift of gorgeous skin!
Have you tried the Clarisonic? If so, what's your verdict? Got any skin care tips you'd like to share?