Saturday, November 6, 2010

Clarisonic: My new best friend

How much did buying a Clarisonic change my life? Oh, where to start...
Clarisonic Plus Sonic Skin Cleansing System

I had perfect skin when I was a teenager. PERFECT. One pimple every now and then, easily zapped with a few days’ application of Campho-Phenique (thanks for that tip, Mom), but for the most part I just splashed off a little Noxzema most nights and was good to go. That’s right, most nights. Sometimes I just rinsed with water. Sometimes I didn’t wash my face at all.

I should have known karma would even things out someday.

My mid-20s hit, and all of the sudden my skin was unmanageable. Blackheads. Pimples. The kind of red, bumpy acne other people struggled with 10 years earlier -- mostly on my chin. I naïvely thought my problems could be solved with Noxzema. They couldn’t. I tried a bunch of other drugstore products. Fail. I moved on to more expensive stuff. I wiped the handset of my office phone with Oxy pads. I tried washing my face more. I tried Proactiv. I tried Murad. I tried Philosophy. I tried washing my face less. I went back to Proactiv. I went back to Murad. Sometimes it got better. It never got great. Most recently, I’d settled on a routine made up mostly of products from Sally Beauty Supply’s Beyond Belief line and was getting the most satisfactory results I’d seen in a long time, though I still wasn’t trouble-free.

I’d been looking at the Clarisonic brush since it first rolled out, but I couldn’t get over the price. That’s the real drawback: This thing is not cheap. I thought about settling for the more bare-bones Clarisonic Mia, but if I was going to lay down triple digit dollars for a gadget just to wash my face, I wanted to do it right and have all the bells and whistles.

What finally pushed me over the edge? A sunburn. I kid you not. I burned my décolleté pretty badly on the East Coast in August, and when the burned layer of skin started to peel away I was amazed at how smooth and baby-soft the skin was underneath. I wanted my face to feel like that. So I cashed in some Amazon credit to ease the sting somewhat and ordered the Clarisonic Plus. In pink.

The Clarisonic was developed by a team that included one of the lead inventors of the Sonicare toothbrush. If you’ve made the switch from a regular toothbrush (or even another vibrating brush) to Sonicare, you probably have some idea of what it’s like to wash your face with the Clarisonic brush in comparison with a standard face washing routine, and you’ll be able to understand why I could not stop touching my face after using the Clarisonic for the first time. Or the second time. Or any time since. I’ve been using it daily for two months now, and I still can’t stop touching my soft, soft, beautiful, soft face.

Now, the real question: Did it resolve my -- ahem -- blemish issues? Well, yes and no. I still have some blemishes (which is particularly annoying because I’m 31 and I feel like I’m also starting to see signs of wrinkles, and it is JUST NOT FAIR to have both at the same time), but their numbers have been greatly reduced. They also tend to have shorter life spans -- individual zits go away much more quickly than they used to. I’ve also been under a lot of stress at work, and my nutrition, sleep and hydration all got screwed up over the past couple of months, so I know those are all part of the problem.

Beyond reduced pimples, my skin is glowing. GLOWING. It looks better than it has since I was a kid. It’s so soft (did I mention it’s soft? It’s so soft), and it feels cleaner than it ever has. (And it’s supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines, too.) My products absorb better, my skin is better moisturized, and I feel great about my face.

Clarisonic Plus Skin Cleansing System
Bottom Line: Spendy, but worth it
Price: $$$$$
Tip: The Mia is temptingly less expensive, but spring for the Plus with its wider variety of settings and options for personalization.

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