I waited and watched. Watched and waited. The price slipped from about $250, edging closer to $200. I allowed the sales women at Macy’s to show me how smooth their skin was, allowing them to scrub the back of my hand while they purred over the benefits of buying a $250 scrub brush. I checked the reviews online, and pored over the questions. Was there someone my age that still dealt with pimples due to a youthful but oily visage? I demanded of the sales girls in their 20s. Will this cause redness? What about my pores-will this clear them out and make them smaller? Is it worth the money?
I am Hispanic, with light olive, oily skin and I am 44. I did not trust these girls who still needed to be carded before going into bars. They did not know my history with my skin. They did not know how much money I have spent. And they wore a lot of makeup, so who knew what their skin really looked like?? The reviews online were from young women, who seemed to have a lot of makeup mastery and youth on their side. Why wouldn’t they look great by default?
Years of product-testing, false hopes and wasted money preceded me trying the Clairsonic. Battling my skin for the past 32 years, I remember my mother helping me at age 12 by dabbing Milk of Magnesia on my inflamed, hormonal, pubescent skin. As I started earning money, I started buying all the go-tos (Benzoyl Peroxide, Witch Hazel, toners, et al). I think I have tried every OTC product, “good for me” makeup, dermatologist-prescribed wonder drug, and still had not found what worked. I am sure I have wasted thousands of dollars, and have 2 bathroom drawers filled with masks and gels and soaps at the moment looking for a solution. As my age advanced into the era of wrinkled skin, my insurance stopped covering Differin Gel, the one thing that really worked. At $230 a tube, I needed a replacement. Enter the Clairsonic.
Clairsonic is a hand-held device that has moving bristles that clean your skin. The box claims they move so fast, they appear as a quick vibration to the human eye, which is true. I read reviews. I tested it several times at Macy’s (see above). Read and pored over the online reviews, which seemed targeted to younger women. Asked my aesthetician, who warned me against using it, but couldn’t explain why.
Who finally sold me on it? My dermatologist. My glowing-skinned doctor who did not benefit in any way from selling me this product and uses one herself three times a week. The one obsessive enough to drain a horrible pimple on my cheek when I was there seeing her for my 5 year old.
So, here is the deal. The Clairsonic works. For women with oily, maturing skin that still needs a good cleaning, it softens your skin from the first encounter. It empties out my pores, making them appear softer and smaller. It refined my skin, sort of blurring out the rough patches and unevenness. And it FELT softer. Touchably, addictively soft.
What made it worth the investment to me personally was the new, lower-priced option. The $99 version is available in bright pink and blue; not as cute as the polka-dotted versions, but still cute. I am not sure why I would need another speed-setting as the Mia does, but that extra speed will cost you more. I liked the new $99 price point better, and I had a gift card that I was able to apply from my birthday. Delightful.
Ok, let’s talk about the bad. The PURGE. I started using the Clairsonic the week before my cycle, which I think was a mistake. I broke out in about 10-15 different whiteheads along my jaw. These were not complex, long-lasting pimples. They seemed painless, and superficial, but did appear at once on my lower cheeks and jaw. Unlike the painful, terrible “purge” that Retin-A could cause, these pimples were easily popped (yes, I squeeze) and gone in a day or so.
My relationship today. I trust. I have learned my Clairsonic is flexible; I can take it into the shower to clean my skin. They do sell a body brush, but I use this in the shower on my face, neck and chest, and it feels wonderful. I am not sure I would attempt other areas like elbows or feet with the same brush head. Because, gross. I would buy it again, even at almost $200, but think the $99 is a great buy.
Read the instructions on charging because I didn’t. You have to charge it up before the first use, and leave the charger magnetically attached to the handle or you will think you ran the batteries out when you haven’t. I am impatient and didn’t read and got bummed and now you know. Buy it at Clairsonic.com, they are having some promotions, or buy it on Amazon, or even at a store like Macy’s. Tell me what you think!