02.06.2015
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Clarisonic Cleansing Devices
Rating
$265
Category:Skin Care > Specialty Products > Specialty Skin Care Products
Last Updated:02.06.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

The Clarisonic Classic system is a battery-powered, rechargeable vibrating brush designed for your face. The brush head of the Clarisonic (and all of the various iterations, such as the Mia) vibrates at exceptionally high speeds (300 oscillations, or back-and-forth movements, every second). The design and timing of this the movement is unique to the brand, unlike spinning, oscillating head models. Why does this matter? A spinning brush head, such as those you can find on many brands selling similar tools, has a greater risk of causing irritation to skin. The question is, is the Clarisonic worth its cost?

First, we should mention that whether a cleansing brush is of value to you or not is a personal choice—but they should be considered splurge products rather than a "must-have". While they can absolutely help cleanse skin, the result isn't fundamentally different from using a soft washcloth with your cleanser or the occasional use of a mild cleansing scrub, if that's your preference.

Those considering the splurge on a cleansing brush should be concerned about the brush's gentleness, durability, and features, as the right combination of those factors can make the investment worth it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you can expect from the Clarisonic.

Each tool in the Clarisonic range comes with a brush head and charger base, and, as you would expect, every Clarisonic is waterproof. Clarisonic offers multiple models (over a dozen at last count), from the lesser expensive Mia range ($99 and up) to their “high end” Classic Cleansing System and the Smart Profile ($265). The primary difference between each model is size of the tool and the option to adjust cleansing speeds—the Mia range has lesser to no speed adjustment options and the higher-end models offer varying speed choices (depending on the model).

The brush head replacements are universal and will fit any model of Clarisonic, and offer a range of options that vary in length and stiffness—from the ultra soft Luxe heads to the “Deep Clean” alternatives. The shorter and stiffer the brush hairs, the stronger the cleansing experience.

On that note, what of the claims that the Clarisonic cleanses “6 times better” than hands alone? While Clarisonic does provide studies demonstrating the benefits of their cleansing tools on their site, each was conducted from the brand and is neither independent nor third party substantiated research. After all, a washcloth will clean your face much better than hands alone too!

Clarisonic recommends replacing the brush heads every three months, which is generally a good idea. Just like your toothbrush, the hairs will wear down and lose their effectiveness, as well as expose patches of the brush head that can rub against skin and cause irritation. Cleansing the brush heads with a special cleanser isn’t necessary, as you are effectively cleansing it while you cleanse your face. Makeup remnants can easily be rinsed off, or you can simply wash the brush head with your regular cleanser to remove any last traces of foundation, etc.

Bottom line: As mentioned above, cleansing brushes are always a splurge product and never a necessity. However, if you are in the mood to splurge, the Clarisonic is absolutely the best choice due to the quality of the tool, variable brush head choices and warranty availability from the brand. The fact that the Clarisonic is the only cleansing brush that uses the sonic vibration technology (instead of a spin-head brush) also makes it the most gentle on skin—but beware the Deep Cleanse brush heads, which are too harsh for any skin.

We should note that cleansing brushes are iffy in general for those who have conditions such as rosacea or eczema.

Pros:
  • Waterproof.
  • Easy to operate, and transports well.
  • The only cleansing brush using sonic-vibration technology.
  • Helps cleanse skin, boosting the makeup/oil removal of your favorite cleanser.
  • Brush head options allow for sensitive skin and most skin types.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Advertising overstates its benefits, when it’s not fundamentally different than using a washcloth with your cleanser.
Claims

Everything you need to sonically cleanse and clarify for smooth, healthy, radiant skin. Six times more makeup removal; Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother; Cleanses so well that products absorb better; Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes; Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores; Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Ingredients
Brand Overview

Clarisonic At-A-Glance

Strengths: Cleans skin well; unique technology unlike other cleansing tools; waterproof; easy to use.

Weaknesses: Expensive.

The brush head of the Clarisonic (and all of the various iterations, such as the Mia) vibrates at exceptionally high speeds (300 oscillations, or back-and-forth movements, every second). The design and timing of this the movement is unique to the brand, unlike spinning, oscillating head models. Why does this matter? A spinning brush head, such as those you can find on many brands selling similar tools, has a greater risk of causing irritation to skin. The question is, is the Clarisonic worth its cost? Does the expense mean you'll get significantly cleaner skin? Is Oprah Winfrey on to something by naming this device one of her favorite things? Read our review of the Clarisonic system to find out!

For more information about Clarisonic, call (888) 525-2747 or visit www.clarisonic.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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04.26.2015
Not for every skin type

It irritated my face dont use it if you have sensitive skin or have redness problems

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Reviewed by
lindsey b
04.23.2015
Not a good value when it stops charging

I'm not sure how wonderful the Clarisonic is, because after becoming more science-savvy from Paula's Choice and the Beauty Brains, the results I saw could also have been from the upgrades to my skin care program. I did replace the one my dermatologist sold me (for $200) when my dog ate it, with a Mia2 ($150)--though I never figured out the speeds thing, I like the blue. Anyway, about 16 months later, it needed charging, so I charged it up overnight--and it won't start.Awfully expensive for 16 mo

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Reviewed by
Kathryn F.
04.08.2015
It's all about expectations

Dont over use it, 3x/wk is fine. Great exfoliator.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.18.2015
You have to charge it at least once a month

Doesn't last like it should for the price.

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Reviewed by
Joyce M.
03.07.2015
How Do You Clean It?!!!!!

As it claims, it does clean better than just using my hands BUT how do you clean underneath the removal brush head. No matter what I do it stays wet and grows MOLD! You cannot get underneath the plastic head (even with a toothbrush) and when you rinse it out, black mold comes out. Makes no difference how you store it it your shower. It is so disgusting that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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Reviewed by
Debra J
01.23.2015
Impossible to Recharge battery

Used the Mia clarisonic about twice per week, rechargeable battery died when the 1 year warranty died. Expensive little device!

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Reviewed by
JZ
11.07.2014
Good product for lazy people!

I've been using the Clarisonic for almost two years now and it has simplified my routine, which is fantastic given my laziness. I have combination and sensitive skin so I only use this product (with the green sensitive brush) 2-3 times a week before bed. I agree that a washcloth would be just as effective, but this is much easier to clean on a regular basis. Even after using a makeup remover cloth (which I do every day), the bristles on the Clarisonic pick up a lot of residual foundation.

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Reviewed by
Susan L.
09.23.2014
rotating mentioned

This is not something my skin likes. I have rosacea so I spend most of my time trying not to stimulate my skin. This system does redden my skin.

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Reviewed by
Suz
08.09.2014
Maybe better for us older gals

I thought this can't be true but I thought I'd give it a go when they came out with a body and face brush…well I use the face brush twice a day and the body brush twice a week and my skin is fab…I'm 54 BTW. I have very mild rosesacea and it does not seem to bother me…I do use the Paula choice hydra light products:) with it. It might just be me but my lines seem less noticeable and my skin seems firmer and fuller.

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Reviewed by
Deborah
08.02.2014
Horrible Product

I bought this product at Macys and used it very, lightly on my face before going to bed. I used my regular moisturizer And the next morning my face was beet red, burning and hurting . I went to Macys Estée Lauder Counter and they gave me some of their ?"calming lotion". I was at least a week getting my face back to normal. They refunded my $ however I would never use anything like this again.i do have fair, sensitive skin but I used it very lightly on my skin , barely touching it .

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Reviewed by
Vickie
08.02.2014
Love it!

I didn't want to buy into the Clarisonic hype. I bought the cheaper Olay version which was good, my skin was certainly smoother yet I still got blackheads. I am 39 BTW. After friends and family getting all evangelical about Clarisonic I finally caved and got the least expensive Mia. Game changer!!!!!!! The pores on my nose have cleared up 80% and my skin has not had a break out in months. I actually get comments on my skins clarity. I use with Mario B Enzyme Cleanser or Cetaphil.

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Reviewed by
Shannon B
08.02.2014
Doesn't "rotate"

First off, the Beautypedia review says the brush rotates. It does not. It vibrates very fast (ultrasonic), gently moving the bristles back and forth to loosen dirt and makeup. It is meant to be used with almost no pressure on the skin, moving in small circles over the face for one minute. I can't imagine how it could cause the terrible reactions some people have seen. That said, I only use it once a day, and it works great for me. My skin is smoother with fewer breakouts and it glows.

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Reviewed by
SILVIA C.
08.04.2014
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello,

Thank you for your feedback! The brush itself oscilates, or moves in a repetitive motion, as we mention in the review. If you do see any mention of the brush rotating in our review, please let us know.

—Admin
08.02.2014
Decent Addition

I got my first Clairsonic as a gift, I would not have spent the money myself. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the results I saw. I had already been using Paula's Choice products for some time and did see better results once I started using the Clairsonic. I am 58 and have had oilier skin all my life with mild sensitivity. I do make sure to thoroughly disinfect the brush head once a week, this is important, along with making sure the Clairsonic itself is cleaned regularly.

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Reviewed by
CATHY A.
07.15.2014
Love it!

I have the Mia ($100, 3yrs old) and the Mia 2 ($125, 1.5yrs old). I use the cleanser from Acne.org. I also use a BHA (~5 yrs). My pores look much smaller than they did when just using the same cleanser w/washcloth and the BHA (post cleanse). I didn’t really expect/see a change in the oiliness. Cleanser type seems to be key. So much less irritation w/ a foaming cleanser (vs. non-foaming, w/all brush types). Better results than any facial I've ever had, so they've more than paid for themselves!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
06.29.2014
HORRIBLE!

Broke out like crazy with huge cysts! Made my skin peel and flake, and I mean taking off an inch size worth of skin. Had horrible sensitive skin with this and I used it sparingly (1-2 times per week), used different cleansers, and had the so-called "sensitive" brush head. I returned it and got my $175.00 back, and was soooooo glad they did take it back. Would have been such a waste of money. FYI, I also read reviews that stated they caused more wrinkles due to the abrasiveness of it.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
06.06.2014
Great product!

My best friend recommended the Clarisonic to me. I reviewed it and thought it was pricey. I finally broke down a year later and purchased it. My face did have some breakouts the first month, proving to me that my face wasn't as clean and clear as I thought. After using it for over a year now, I absolutely love it! I'm 55 and have beautiful, clear, glowy skin. I think my products work much better as well. I receive compliments all the time. I wouldn't live without my Clarisonic.

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Reviewed by
Sylvia A
05.13.2014
Loved it until it stopped working just out of warranty

I had a Mia2 and loved it and the results I saw . . . until it stopped working 4 months out of warranty. It would vibrate and beep, but not charge. I called Clarisonic to see if it was the charger. I was told that the unit was "unrepairable" and because it was out of warranty, they could do nothing for me and could not assure me a new one would last any longer. Rep said that Mia2's last 3-5 years before they die permanently, so maybe I "got a bad one." $150 for 2 years' use? No thank you.

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Reviewed by
Laura J.
04.09.2014
Ruined my face for a week!

Used the Clarisonic Mia II every other day for a week. Although the device didn't feel like it was doing anything, my face felt stripped raw and broke out with a few big pustules. I quit using it and everything finally went back to normal in about a week. I returned it.

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Reviewed by
GRETA F.
03.15.2014
Love your product line Paula, but disagree

I noticed a vast improvement in my skin texture after purchasing Clarsonic. Hoping that the use of this cool tool along with Paulas line will bring me the best skin ever. No easy task as Im 53 and am still having hormonal breakouts along with wrinkles and large pores. So far so Great!

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Reviewed by
Jacqueline B.
03.10.2014
I adore my Clarisonic

I love my clarisonic Mia. It was expensive but well worth the money. It was just what my congested skin needed after the results were starting to level off after I began using Paula's Choice products. I also have to chuckle over this article poopooing this product while virtually the same product is on their bucket list of products to try.

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Reviewed by
Laura R
01.21.2014
Great at first...

This caused my skin to become overly sensitive...be very careful, don't overdo it! The first few weeks your skin feels great but over time it damages your skin then "suddenly" your skin has become sensitive...try only once per day or better yet, when you do your once/twice weekly mask routine.

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Reviewed by
Anne W.
01.04.2014
Genius Invention!

I've had my Clarisonic Mia 2 System for a year now and I will say that I personally have never had such clean, soft &more radiant skin in my life! Yes, I am 21 years old, but with stress at college and everyday life, I want what's best for my skin, inside and out. I take really good care of my skin. I wear sunscreen usually everyday and I moisturize my skin everyday. I feel that it really deep cleans and exfoliates my skin daily, without over-drying or damaging it. Plus, it's kinda fun to use!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
12.27.2013
N'uh UH ... no thank you

I'm in the minority here and in the beauty-verse in general, but after shelling out for this device shortly after it hit the market, my skin reacted violently. Yes, I bought and used the delicate head for sensitive skin (despite not having "diagnosed" sensitive skin), but found that using it as few as 3x a week, created raw spots on my cheeks. Additionally, my then-adult acne got worse than ever. I've since had 2 estheticians tell me they wished people would toss this thing.

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Reviewed by
Jan S.
12.19.2013
Worth it.

It's addicting. It's anti aging because cleaner skin will look younger. It will make your products work more effectively such as serums and moisturizers. My skin feels more moisturizers, supple when I use the clarisonic. That's why it's addicting. It also brightens the skin. Increases the vitamin c in your skin according to the company. It's not cheap. When I purchased the Mia 2 it was $30.00 more than the Mia and had double the warranty. Now, only certain models carry the warranty.

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Reviewed by
Annette D.
12.16.2013
A wonderful invention!

I was sceptical about it for a long time, but a sales person at Macy's convinced me that I would love the results or they would take the brush back.. I am so glad I gave it a try, as it is a total game changer. I use it only in the morning. I use AHA's and Tretinoin creams and this brush helps remove dead cell and smooths the skin to perfection. I have great skin, but the brush makes it absolutely perfect! You will have better skin even if you use it once a day or every couple of days.

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Reviewed by
ANETA D.
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