When used the right way, Clarisonic is a fantastic facial tool for deep cleansing your skin. It seems nearly everyone owns one, or a similar device, with mixed opinions on their efficacy. I believe the majority of us misuse our brushes, leading to mixed opinions on whether they’re worthy of investment. Even if you don’t own a Clarisonic, much of the information here is still applicable to your electric brush device.
I firmly believe education in how to use Clarisonic the right way is lacking. We’ve essentially relied on trusting a sales associate to guide us and let’s be honest, not all sales associates know what they’re talking about. I have no intention of degrading anyone who chooses this line of work but if your employer isn’t bringing in brand reps to train regularly, you’re not properly armed to guide consumers. Not only have I trained on the device but I’ve fact-checked myself with a Clarisonic educator for this story, so there’s that.
When used incorrectly, Clarisonic and other brushes can cause broken capillaries, dry dehydrated skin, and/or over-exfoliation. There’s an increased risk of disrupting your skin barrier, potentially resulting in excess oil production for some skin types.
Clarisonic uses a patented Sonic Method, vibrations working with the skin’s natural elasticity to thoroughly cleanse. Rotary brushes that literally spin in a circle are terrible for you and cause long term damage by twisting skin, so avoid these. Not sure if your brush is twisting your skin? Grab a nylon glove (not latex..nylon!) and use your brush against it as you would your face. If your brush twisting the glove, it’s not treating your skin well.
What you can do to get the most out of your Clarisonic experience…
DO disinfect your brush head regularly, ideally after every use. Mildew can build up quickly when stored in the shower! Rubbing alcohol works just fine.
DO take your brush apart as far as you’re allowed to deep clean once a week.
DO protect your brush from dirt, grim, and damage by keeping the protective cover on while storing. Doing so will increase the longevity of your brush head.
DO replace your brush head regularly. If you’re using your brush every day replace it every 3-4 months. If you use your brush a few times a week you can go a little longer. Brush heads degrade, like a toothbrush, and need to be replaced over time not only for efficacy but to protect your skin from damage.
DO choose a gentle brush proper for your skin type. The brush shouldn’t feel aggressive or rough on your skin, this will cause long term damage.
DO choose a gentle cleanser. Using your brush with a cleanser containing acids once or twice a week is fine, but for everyday use you’ll need gentle cleanser without sulfates and exfoliants. Occasionally I’ll even use a soft deep-pore cleansing mask under a steamy shower, but nothing that could potentially be abrasive on the skin.
DO wet your skin and brush prior to applying cleanser, and make sure you’re using enough. At least a nickel to quarter size applied to the outside of the brush. Because of the speed of which the brush is moving, you need plenty of water and cleanser.
DO be aware of other exfoliating products you’re using. Combining too many in your routine with a Clarisonic will cause over-exfoliation.
What you shouldn’t do while using your Clarisonic…
DON’T press down on the skin while cleansing, the brush should gently float. Pressing down not only causes the brush to not properly function but can cause damage, like broken capillaries.
DON’T cleanse over active acne lesions. This will only cause more inflammation and potentially spread the breakout.
DON’T overuse. Although Clarisonic advertises these brushes can be used twice a day, I highly suggest once in the evening when removing your makeup and SPF. If your skin is sensitive a few times a week is sufficient.
DON’T use with a cleanser with exfoliating beads, ever.
DON’T continue using your brush if you see increased sensitivity, broken capillaries, or acne. If you’re new to the electric brush game some purging may occur, but if you’re experiencing angry pimples this is not purging… your skin is inflamed. Re-evaluate what you’re cleansing with, your brush head, your pressure, and frequency.
As for brush heads, these are the only versions I suggest for my clients. If you don’t see a brush mentioned it means I personally feel it’s not worth purchasing. That said, every Clarisonic brush head is engineered for specific skin types or concerns with rounded or texturized bristles to provide a gentle, comfortable experience.
Acne Brush Head
Acne is actually the softest brush head before Cashmere. Ideal for sensitive skin prone to breakouts. I suggest this brush more than any other as it’s delicate enough for almost everyone. If you have active acne lesions do not go over it with your brush!
Cashmere Brush Head
Cashmere is the plush, most luxe brush ideal for dry, sensitized skin, rosacea and couperose skin. It feels like a bunny tail, clients adore it. If you feel other brush heads are too rough on your skin, choose Cashmere. Can’t trust yourself not to push down on your skin while cleansing? Yep, this is your brush. If you seem to always break out from using your Clarisonic, you guessed it, Cashmere is your brush.
Sensitive Brush Head
Sensitive is the standard head included with devices. Ideal for most skin types, although very sensitive skin may find it to be too rough.
Normal Brush Head
Normal is ideal for skin types without any sensitivity or never deals with breakouts. If you’re sensitive, avoid this one.
Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Head
Deep Pore is for thick skin types with large, congested pores. If you’re truly oily skinned, this is your friend. However, if you’re at all sensitive and prone to broken capillaries air on the side of caution.
Smart Profile Brush Head
Smart Profile ONLY works with Clarisonic’s newest Smart Profile model. Designed for normal, combination, and oily skin.