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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Clarisonic Mia experiment: Initial thoughts

I've been lemming the Clarisonic Mia for ages but I only purchased it a few weeks ago and received it a week ago. I've been using it for a whole week now so I wanted to do a post on my intial thoughts on it. Just as a disclaimer: it's hard to give a proper review on skin care items until you've used them for at least a month because it usually takes that long to start seeing the results. Also make sure you read lots of reviews because everyone's skin is different and your experience may be completely different to mine. I'll be updating during the course of the next month or 2 to let you all know if I see any differences to my skin. I should warn you that this post is pretty long!

For those of you who don't know about the Clarisonic, here's how it's described on the website:

"Clarisonic is an innovative Sonic Skin Cleansing System consisting of a rechargeable electric handle unit, and removable brush head(s), which use a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to cleanse the skin. It was developed by a team led by the primary inventor of the Sonicare toothbrush."

So basically it's like a giant electric toothbrush for your face! The rotating action is meant to cleanse your skin more effectively than standard surface cleansing and more effectively remove makeup and dead skin cells. You use it for 1 minute at a time: 20 seconds for your forehead, 20 seconds for your nose and chin and 10 seconds for each cheek. The Clarisonic Mia automatically shuts off after 1 minute but it doesn't beep when you're meant to move to the next area like the original Clarisonic does. I started off using a stopwatch but now I've learned to estimate when to move to the next area of my face.

The Clarisonic Mia comes in lots of different colours and I decided to go for the pink. It comes in different models as well and the Mia is the smallest and most basic one. The Clarisonic is now available in Australia but I purchased mine from for $149. It has an American adaptor because it's made for the US market but the voltage is compatible with International power points so all you need to get is an adaptor for your countries' powerpoint (I got mine for about $20) if you live outside the US. One full charge is meant to give you 20 minutes of use and considering this is only meant to be used for a minute at a time, it'll give you 20 days if you use it once a day or 10 days if you use it twice a day.

What I like about this product is that the brush and handle are completely waterproof so you can even use this in the shower. It's actually probably most effective when used in the shower as the steam helps open up your pores. The charger isn't waterproof though so make sure the brush handle is completely dried off before charging. The charger is magnetic and it sticks to the front of the Clarisonic handle which I think is really cool. The brush heads are removable and it's recommended that you replace them every 3 months or so and if you're sharing one Clarisonic then make sure each person has their own brush head to avoid passing on bacteria etc. The product itself is really light and comfortable to hold and with just one button that you press to start and pause it, it's super easy to use!

When I purchased the Clarisonic, it came with a small tube of cleanser but I've read reviews that this cleanser has broken alot of people out so I used my own cleanser with it. It's important that whatever cleanser you use doesn't have any beads or other physical exfoliants in it because that coupled with the high speed rotating head will rub your skin raw. I think I may need to switch to a different cleanser because mine doesn't lather or have enough slip to it because it's a cream cleanser but it's ok for now.

I decided to buy the Clarisonic because my skin is really problematic and it's always breaking out and playing up so I wanted to calm it down and get it some what normal. My skin is normally very sensitive and prone to getting dry, especially around my nose and mouth because I have perioral dermatitis. I tend to break out alot on my cheeks, chin and forehead (as do most people) and I assume this is because of my daily foundation use.

I recently changed my whole skin care routine and started using the QV range of skin care which is made for sensitive skin and I think my skin has been getting slightly better but it's still not great. My normal day routine without the Clarisonic was to wash my face with a gentle cream cleanser and then moisturise. My night routine was to use a makeup wipe to remove my makeup and then an exfoliating cleanser to wash my face followed by my moisturiser. When I started using the Clarsonic, I still used the same steps as my normal routine except that at night I stopped using my exfoliating cleanser and used my cream cleanser instead.

The first thing I noticed about the Clarisonic is that my skin definitely felt much cleaner after using it but it didn't feel tight or uncomfortable. The model I purchased came with the sensitive brush head (there's normal, sensitive and delicate) and the brush was definitely gentle on my skin. I had lots of little bumps on my cheeks that went away after two cleanings with this brush so I was impressed.

I kept using it once in the morning and once at night for a few days. After a week I noticed that my skin started breaking out but I don't know if that's down to the Clarisonic or if it's due to hormonal reasons so I'm going to wait and see. I know alot of people have said they had a purging stage when they started using the Clarisonic where their skin broke out for a week or two before it calmed down and improved so I was prepared for this. I've noticed that the skin around my nose and my mouth where I have the dermatitis has become very dry and painful so I've stopped using it in these areas. If your skin becomes more oily then maybe use it less frequently because your skin may be over producing sebum in an effort to counteract your skin drying out.

So far I like this product and I can see that it's definitely cleansing my face of my makeup alot better than when I just used a face wash. If my skin doesn't clear up in another 2 weeks I'm going to stop using this in the mornings and stick with once at night because it's possible that twice a day is too much for my skin as it's really sensitive. Either way, I'll see how it goes and do a post later. Sorry for the long post but hopefully it was somewhat helpful!


  1. Oooh, everyone is getting one of those all of the sudden. I think this is like the 3rd or 4th new review I've read this week. They don't sell them here yet and it's so difficult to buy things online from here :( I'm hoping my mom will be able to pick one up in the states for me, I really want one!

  2. Lol that always happens! I'll write up a post and then see 4 other bloggers who decided to write about the same thing. Must be some blogging sixth sense or something :)

    It sucks living outside of the US sometimes especially when I see awesome products that are impossible to get here! Fingers crossed she gets you one. It looks ok so far but my expectations are really high so hopefully it doesn't disappoint!

  3. Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts about the Clarisonic Mia. Sounds like you are doing a great jobs listening to your skin and adjusting your routine accordingly. If you ever have questions along the way you can find us on Twitter @Clarisonic or Happy cleansing and we look forward to hearing more from you soon! :)

  4. Hello! Fantastic review! I'm also from Melb and I am interested in investing in one of these. I've checked out the kissandmakeupny site, and all I need to know before taking the plunge is if they offer a warranty. If you don't mind my asking, did they offer a 1 or 2 year warranty (if at all)? Thanks!

  5. LittleSnowDancer_02: Hi! This is going to sound stupid but I never actually checked with them about the warranty! I know clarisonic itself offers a 1 year warranty for the Clarisonic Mia as long as you purchase from an authorised dealer and have a receipt.

    You may want to email Fay at Kiss and Makeup at prior to purchasing because I'm not sure how their internal warranty process works.

  6. I've heard that when you begin using the clarisonic you go through a 'purging' stage, where your skin breaks out quite badly and then calm down again.
    I know you pposted this awhile ago now but I just thought I'd let you know.
    Great review very comprehensive.Been tossing up as to wether to get one of these for awhile now. Shame the Aussie stocklists only stock the white and not any of the pretty colours haha.

  7. Hi Sarah. Yeah my skin definitely did go through the purging stage but now I don't think my skin has ever looked better. I'd highly recommend getting one :)