It’s been a known fact that I own a Clarisonic Mia2, which I bought for myself as an early birthday gift. I’ve been procrastinating the review for quite some time… I know, I’ve been a bad beauty blogger.
When I bought the Clarisonic back in early 2013 it hadn’t yet been released in Sweden. Mia2 could’ve been bought at FeelUnique, but I was specifically interested in The Acne Clarifying Collection, that was only sold in the US. After some deep research I managed to find Skinstore and with a 20% discount it was on its way to me.
Mind that the Acne Clarifying kit is $20 pricier than just buying the Mia2.
I also had to pay customs. I spent about 1350 SEK (value of the dollar at that time) including customs & shipping cost.
EDIT 2017: Skinstore has since been acquired by the Lookfantastic Group and for some reason don’t sell Clarisonic anymore.
Clarisonic | Mia 2
The Mia 2 was created with the same travel size as the original Mia but with two speeds and a 1-minute pulsing timer. What makes the Clarisonic differ from other types of brush cleansers is that the brush head isn’t just rotating but pulsating at the same time. It’s made to gently deep clean the face, making serums and moisturizers sink in deeper, making them more effective.
Can it be used Twice a Day?
It’s debatable whether you can follow the guideline of using it twice a day daily or not. Many dermatologists are against the recommendation and would rather advise people to use it once a week. I agree that it’s a powerful thing that may not feel like it’s doing much, but damage to the skin can be done if not careful.
Look & Feel
The handle alone I think is a perfect size. I haven’t seen or had my hands on the Aria (now called Mia 3), but it’s a good size for traveling. What’s special with Mia 2 is that it also comes with a handy protective travel case, much appreciated when having four homes.
Two speeds are better than one, and it was one of the defining reasons I got the Mia 2.
Another thing Mia 1 is missing is a timer that tells you when to switch sides and when to stop. I got a pulsating timer on my electric tooth brush, it’s a great way to be told when to stop or there’s a big chance you’ll go for too long or too short. When it comes to a giant electric tooth brush for your face – which the Clarisonic in many ways is – I really don’t want to overdo it.
The timer is built with the instruction to start with your forehead for about 20sec, then your nose and chin 20sec, and then each of your cheeks for 10sec. You can pause the device and resume within 30 sec.
I made a 30sec video to demonstrate the functions down below.
What’s putting the grade down a notch is the charging time and usage. Because it’s water proof and could be used in the shower, there’s no battery pocket where you could take it out when it is in no use. So the Clarisonic ends up having to be reloaded quite frequently, and the charging time is 18 hours. According to Clarisonic, a full battery charge lasts for 20 minutes of use, which is approximately 20 days when used once daily – the life span of the units ranges from at least 2 years to up to 5 or more. So if you use it every day it might not seem like a huge deal, but when you’re like me, using it once a week or once a month, it becomes quite the downfall when you need to remind yourself to charge it beforehand if you want to use it. Clarisonic advises people to always have it on charge, but I don’t find this possible, environment-friendly or appealing.
Excuse the sound, the bathroom fan is quite loud and there’s no way to turn it off.
Clarisonic | ACNE DAILY CLARIFYING CLEANSER
The kit came with a cleanser. After reading the reviews I knew I shouldn’t bother with it, but I tried it a couple of times anyway.
It’s supposed to go well with the Clarisonic, being a mix of a milk and gel cleanser. I actually didn’t have any problems with it, but I prefer using the Clarisonic with my Dermalogica Medibac Clearing Skin Wash for a deep cleanse.
It’s an okay cleanser, not the most natural but doesn’t contain SLS or parabens. It’s most suitable for oily skin types with acne, so ones like me who has a more combination/dry acneic skin type should not use it regularly or it will dry your skin out.
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 2.00%. Other Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Glyceryl stearate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Acrylates Copolymer, Peg-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Hydroxyethylcellulose, 10-Hydroxydecanoic Acid, Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Alcohol, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Pentylene Glycol.
Clarisonic | Acne Brush Head
The Acne brush head is stated to be safe to use on acne-prone skin and features extra-plush bristle gradation that delivers concentrated flushing of the pores. It’s supposed to have velvet-like bristle tips to provide an ultra-gentle cleansing action on sensitive and troubled skin.
Not sensitive enough
I haven’t tried the regular Sensitive brush head, so whether this one is softer I can’t tell. But from my experience, it has not been soft or gentle to the skin. I tried this brush head with both high and low speed and I got the same result: my skin around my nose, chin and some on the forehead got really irritated and “burnt”. It took about 2 weeks for my skin to heal from it. Having acne and damaged skin wasn’t the goal with this.
I started with using it everyday to once a week and once a month with the same result. I ended up with skipping those 20 sec that’s for nose and chin and do my neck instead. But after four months I put the Clarisonic aside to try again with a new head brush.
I did experience some purging the first week of use with this brush. But I would rather say that purging is caused from too rough brush head and speed setting and inexperienced handling. As a newbie it’s easy to not know how soft to press, and you might end up overdoing it even when you think your pressure is gentle.
After 6 months of not using my Clarisonic and then picking it up again, you would think a long time like that would set me back to square one, but I had no detox or adjustment symptoms.
I think, starting with a delicate brush head in the beginning and then moving forward to sensitive or normal is the safest way to prevent any burns or purging.
Clarisonic | Delicate Brush Head
So the reason for my late review is because it took me months before I went and bought a more gentle head brush. By autumn that same year Clarisonic was released in Sweden. During Christmas rush in Stockholm, I stopped by one of the stores that sell the brush heads. Coincidentally, the delicate brush head was the most popular one and was sold out almost everywhere. I did have the luck to nab the last one in stock though.
The Brush for everyone
I’ve heard before of people with acne having negative results with the acne brush head and favoring the delicate brush head more, so I went with this one.
Even with a softer brush head, I haven’t dared to use the Clarisonic every day or even every other day since the mishap. There’s just no way I will re-live what happened. Nonetheless, I do like this brush head a lot more than the one for acne. When I’m fairly active I use it once a week with no skin irritations whatsoever, but for the most part, I use it once a month for some at-home-spa touch up.
Needless to say, it works around my nose and chin without causing any damage like the acne head brush, but I’m still on the defensive side, so I prefer just sweep it fast to concentrate on my jaw and throat for the remaining seconds. It has never caused me any purging.
Now if you’re a guy with rough skin, then maybe this one won’t do too much for you, but I feel as if the delicate brush head is enough for most female skins. The bristles shouldn’t have to be harder than this, especially if you’re going to follow the concept of using it twice daily or once a day.
Maintenance of Brushes
Cleaning the brush heads is very easy, I just wash it after every use with Dr Bronner’s liquid soap and let it air dry. I haven’t had the need to replace my brush even after a year because I use it so rarely. I will replace the brush head when it gets funky looking, but at the moment it’s got some mild turmeric stains from long ago, nothing more.
Truth is that I haven’t noticed any dramatic difference when using the Clarisonic, except for the obvious:
Your skin will feel smoother, moisturizers/serums will sink in faster and have a greater effect overall. Okay, so I’m being a bit under dramatic…
… But It Won’t Cure Your Acne
At least it didn’t make my acne worse. I remember getting drier skin with constant use, though using it as an occasional treatment won’t affect your skin type. However it kind of makes sense for it to dry out your skin when it removes the top and protective layer of your skin – one of the reasons I really don’t endorse frequent use of peelings and scrubs, they will work against you and age you in the long run.
What it can help you with are fading acne scars. Scrubs are known to promote the development of new skin tissue*.
At Home Spa
Looking at it from a treatment-point of view, it will save you money on facial appointments. It’s a perfect tool for refreshing your face when it starts to look gloomy, and the feeling after is very much like getting a professional facial.
Remember though: just as you wouldn’t do a facial with peeling everyday at a salon, so should you be careful with using the Clarisonic.
Saving Money on Brush Heads
I stand by my opinion that the Clarisonic isn’t suited for everyday use, no matter which brush head you use. One of the pros on this is that the brush head will last you longer than 3 months. This means kind of bad news for Clarisonic, because they want you to use it frequently, so you’ll keep buying brush heads more often. I can’t imagine that they make a lot of money on just the devices; When you got one, you won’t buy another one for at least 4 years. One of the cons with these kinds of brush heads overall is that you can’t share them, every person needs to have its own brush head.
I wouldn’t advise someone with eczema or dry skin type to pick one of these up because of its capacity to dry out the skin.
It still works on sensitive skin, when used with the delicate brush head, slowest setting, and a mild cleanser, but I can’t promise you anything.
The perfect cleansers to use with the Clarisonic is generally non-foaming gel cleansers. Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Skin Wash and Acure Organics Cleansing Gel is two facial washes that I’ve used with the Clarisonic and that I highly recommend.
*It may be a helpful reminder that when you use a Clarisonic you should avoid sun exposure 24 hours after treatment, and not use it in conjunction with any AHA/BHA or other peeling treatments. Or you will make matters worse and end up making acne scars more permanent. I never use my Clarisonic in the summer time.
Hopefully, I’ve answered any questions regarding Clarisonic, if I’ve missed one ask me in the comments below!
Also, I’m very curious about the Foreo Luna which is supposed to be more gentle and for sensitive skin. I haven’t read a bad thing about it in contrast to Clarisonic.
What’s your thought on mechanic cleansing?