Is everybody sitting comfortably? I have a feeling that this may be a very long one. More importantly, however, is your face baby-soft and squeaky-clean? If not, do not despair, because in just sixty seconds, Clarisonic promises to do the job for you, much more efficiently than even your finest massage techniques could. So says the spiel, anyway, and lucky old I got to test it out for myself. After ten days of daily or twice daily use – that’s between fifteen and twenty uses, or one full battery cycle – I am back with a full report.
First impressions: a seriously nifty charger. No, really. There’s no port to plug the cable into, but a magnetic connection. See? The initial charge should last around sixteen hours. After this, you’re good to go, as I mentioned, for up to twenty cycles. It doesn’t seem like much, but ten days is nothing to sniff at; the same battery life on the average mobile phone would be a miracle.
Before I get to the nitty-gritty, meet the Clarisonic:
It’s one odd little gadget to look at. It looks remarkably like an oversized electric toothbrush, doesn’t it? I can confirm that it is completely waterproof, thank goodness, and was equally relieved to note that the model I tried, the Mia, is small enough that it satisfies my main concern at present, which is that it won’t contribute hugely to the volume or weight of my suitcases. If you like a bit of variety, there’s a brush available for any and all of your skin’s concerns. I tried it with the supplied brush for sensitive skin, but look forward to trying the deep cleansing attachment next.
…On to actually using it. Honestly, I was blown away the first time. My skin was so incredibly soft; I probably ruined the effect by needing to touch it all the time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t replicate this on subsequent attempts, but that isn’t at all to say that it didn’t pack quite a punch in sixty seconds of three hundred oscillations per second. If you’re counting at home, that’s eighteen thousand. What a relief to know I put my Maths GCSE to good use now and again.
It promises to penetrate the skin deeper than by manual cleansing alone, and I have no reason to doubt that. My particular areas of concern are my T-zone, chin, and temples, and I focused on those alongside the time guide given in the manual with the cleanser. In spite of these claims of effectivity, it is still gentle enough that I wasn’t worried that I’d inadvertently signed up to a few courses of microdermabrasion. Only on one or two occasions did I think “ooh, that’s a bit burn-y”, and to be frank, that was probably my own fault for leaving it in one area just a tad too long.
What I did find, however, was that the supplied “refreshing gel cleanser” was just that – refreshing. My skin is almost a tough a cookie as its owner, though, and using that alone just was not enough for my skin. On several occasions, I had to resort to a separate clay cleanse, mostly because I have nothing lighter on hand at present.
By the end of the ten days, though, I had very comfortably incorporated it into a routine. What worked best for me was using the Clarisonic in the mornings and the heavier cleanser in the evenings, along with the usual recipe of toner, eye cream and moisturiser. Just how effortless it is probably proves its greatest advantage; who can spend hours massaging lotions and potions in their face when your alarm clock has ensured that you have a matter of minutes?
After all that, though, what do I really think? Well, my skin still feels incredibly soft and elastic after using it, even though it didn’t feel or look like the cleanser provided was a good or effective match for my skin. Once I’d settled into a rhythm with it, though, I really appreciated just how easy it made taking care of my skin when it had to take a seat rather far down my list of priorities. The overall effect was also very, very pleasing, and I haven’t needed or wanted to use foundation since it arrived on my doorstep. In the future, though, I will probably switch to the deep pore cleansing brush and try it with another cleanser, to fit my own particular skin type and concerns.
As proof, I present to you, some action shots. I would have shown you before/after pictures, but 1. they were hideous, and 2. not only they were hideous, they were fiendishly ugly and didn’t really show anything. Where on Earth are fluorescent markers and a black light when a girl needs one?
If you want your very own Clarisonic to love, hold, and snuggle your face with, you can buy one online here…or, you can pop along to the brand new, super shiny counter in the House of Fraser Oxford Circus beauty hall. Far be it from me to place temptation in anybody’s way, but it really is a treasure trove of gorgeousness since it was refurbished. You can take your pick of models, ranging from £99 for the original Mia, and if you are in the market for something to shake up your skin routine, I thoroughly recommend this. Much like any part of the skincare routine, it takes some work to find just the right brush and product for you, but it’s a joy to use and my face definitely feels better for it.
Note: I was sent this Clarisonic system by PR for the purposes of review, and invited down to the Oxford Street counter. This did not affect my opinion in any way whatsoever, and had no influence on what I’ve said here.