Back at you with another skincare post. Year after year I stumble across blog after blog. Each one claiming about how the Clarisonic changed their life. Blah blah blah. Once upon a time, they were available for purchase in South Africa. A few years ago in Stuttafords before they closed their doors on us. I tried to get the Clarisonic on special, but there were only accessories left on the shelves. Not a single device to be found as they had all sold out.
Fast forward to last year when a family member purchased the Clarisonic Aria for herself. I asked her to keep me updated on the progress of her skin because I wanted to know first hand whether it worked or not. She used the device a few times but never really got into using it daily. Earlier this year, she offered it to me since she wasn’t using it anymore. I paid a R1 000 for the Clarisonic Aria system and it retails for around R3 200. Included was a brand new sensitive brush head which was another one of her little purchases.
The Clarisonic Aria is the mid-level device in the range. The most significant differences are that it has 3 speeds and is the only device that has USB-charging. I figured it would be perfect for travel and so on.
The sensitive brush head is the one that is included in most of the devices. I initially thought I would want to purchase the acne brush head which is more gentle but this one is sufficient enough.
Charging the device
Before using the Clarisonic for the first time, I made sure to charge it fully using the USB charger. The device comes with a non-standard plug so I used my phone charger head. I left it overnight and because it was already half charged, by morning it was ready to use. The leaflet indicates that you should allow approximately 18 hours for a full charge. That’s silly because if you use the device twice a day, it means skipping out on a session every now and again. A fully charged Aria provides around 28 minutes of use. The Clarisonic Aria comes with a drying stand which holds the USB and converts it into a charging cradle.
Using the Clarisonic
I opted to use the Clarisonic once a day at night. I run water over the brush head and shake off the excess. First I apply my cleanser to my entire face and then go in with the damp Clarisonic. I find it lathers better than going in with a dry brush. The speed is set to normal and it is advised to use the Clarisonic for a one-minute cycle in a specific order. 20 seconds forehead, 20 seconds nose/chin and 10 seconds each cheek. The device beeps each time to let you know to move on to another part of the face. I initially worked in the areas for the recommended time but as my concerns changed, so did the routine. I now spend more time on my cheeks and jawline as that is where I get the most breakouts.
For the first two weeks or so, I didn’t notice any difference in my skin. My skin felt cleaner and I enjoyed the ‘1-min massage’ to my face. Other than that, nothing, nada, nix. Slowly thereafter I started getting fewer blackheads, fewer breakouts and overall my face looked brighter. About a month in, the texture of my skin started improving, almost to a point where there was none. Then a mix of testing new products, an extremely bad diet and falling asleep without washing my face spun my texture out of control. Almost two months without using the Clarisonic and I saw my skin go from bad to worse. I decided to start using it again (only at night) and noticed a slight improvement. I then switched to using it twice a day but it just became too much of a hassle. Now I stick to using it once a day and it has become a staple in my beauty routine. Question is, do YOU need it?
There are so many facial brushes out there like the ones from Clinique, Sorbet and Dischem. My favourite happens to be the Olay Regenerist brush (only R399). However, unlike a regular face brush that scrubs the outermost surface of the skin, what sets the Clarisonic apart from it is the ability to remove dirt and unclog pores using sonic technology. It works more effectively in allowing products to penetrate deeper and cleans deeper than the other face brushes. It’s only true competitor, which also uses sonic technology, is the Foreo Luna. Ultrasonic vibrations are definitely the better way to go so you don’t get overstretched pores. Sounds scary huh? Luckily though, my pores look normal and some might even say smaller due to the products I’ve been using.
Unless you have thousands of rands to spend, my answer is NO. Whilst I do think the Clarisonic is “one of a kind”, the amount of difference it made for my skin was not significant enough for me to justify paying more than R3 000 for it. In the name of beauty, I’m glad I got to test it at such an awesome price but I’d rather take that money and buy something else. I do however recommend getting a face brush, any one of them. It cleans deeper and more effectively than just using your hands alone.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons and what stood out about the product to me.
Battery – Takes forever to charge until full but lasts a month before needing another recharge. Also, the USB makes it the most portable of all the devices.
Settings – I like that I can increase/decrease the speed (Delicate, Universal, Powerful) if I have inflammation or breakouts for a more gentle oscillation. I like that it beeps to let you know when the time is up and automatically switches off. Also, the lights change colour to indicate if it’s on or needs charging.
Brush Heads – even though I only use the sensitive brush head, I like that there is a variety for different skin concerns. Brush heads should be replaced every 3 months, but like my Beauty Blender, I’ve ignored that instruction. Instead, once a week I soak my brush head overnight in BioScrub (an anti-bacterial wash) to get rid of any bacteria and dirt. The brush heads are also very easy to remove/replace with just a turn of the head.
Cleanser – I don’t like the gel cleanser that comes with the device so I like that it can be used with any cleanser, be it gel, milk or cream. I do however avoid using granular scrubs with the Clarisonic so it is not too harsh on the skin nor can the particles get trapped between the bristles.
Price and Where to Buy
As I mentioned, the Clarisonic Aria retails for over R3 000 on the Clarisonic South Africa website. They are having a 20% sitewide sale so you can save some $$$ if you want to purchase something. I’ve been eyeing another brush head but mine still seems fine so I’m going to push it to see how far it goes.
Would you invest in a Clarisonic?
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