Our previous Clarisonic assessment sparked a bit of controversy with one responder claiming “you are a complete idiot…before you write a hack review on a product know what you are talking about first.”
Ouch! Sometimes it’s hard to be a Beauty Brain.
Mostly, we ignore criticism like this, but two things happened. First, my sister asked if stimulating skin makes it produce extra collagen and I was not sure. Then we serendipitously got another Clarisonic device in the mail. Since the Clarisonic definitely stimulates skin it got us Beauty Brains talking about it again. Sarah said it was a sign.
I do not believe in signs, but was interested enough to take a closer look at Clarisonic.
The Clarisonic Skin System is a water-proof, hand-held device with a vibrating brush head. You apply a cleanser then move the brush on your face in a circular patter. A built-in timer tells you when to move from one face section to the next.
Think of it like a high-tech poof or washcloth.
The product claims to use “sonic technology” which is not defined. I
guess it is a reference to the brush heads which move at “super-sonic” speed? The brushes do move fast and that helps clean skin. Certainly, Clarisonic was trying to get people to connect sonic toothbrush technology with this product figuring if one works so will the other. They do have a few patents on the design and the motor. (US 7,157,816)
We mentioned in the previous post you could probably get the same effect by exfoliating. One reader pointed out that Clarisonic does not exfoliate. True, Clarisonic does not advertise itself as an exfoliating system, but it does lightly exfoliate your skin so keep your daily use limited.
Clarisonic makes the following 3 primary claims and a few soft ones.
More than twice as effective as manual cleansing
We don’t have access to their test data, but this claim is confusing. What exactly does it mean? Do they mean effectiveness at cleaning? It seems like it but that’s not clear. No set guidelines means companies can come up with any reasonable test and report positive numbers. So, if Clarisonic could’ve found some specific compound removed better with their device than manual cleansing they could make the claim.
That doesn’t mean your face will be twice as clean.
6 times more make-up removed
Without their test data/protocol it is hard to say exactly how they proved this. However, you can bet the number sounds much more impressive than what you’ll experience in reality. If manual cleansing is done properly, it adequately removes make-up.
61% greater vitamin C absorption
We don’t know how they proved this, but it was most likely an in vitro test (lab) meant to simulate human skin. It is doubtful that you’ll get 61% vitamin C absorption in real use and even more doubtful you would notice if you did.
Clarisonic soft claims
The soft claims include “reducing the appearance of visible pores” and “reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” You prove these using consumer panelists who try the product and answer some questionnaires. ANY product will score well in a test like this, especially one like Clarisonic which is novel and feels good when you use it. While it will “appear” to you that your pores & wrinkles are reduced, don’t count on them actually being affected.
Clarisonic and Collagen
As to my sister’s question about stimulating the production of collagen, there is no definitive evidence that it does. Some in vitro studies have suggested it might. The company does not make this claim so they haven’t done the testing. It would be a big challenge to safely design this kind of study anyway. So, it probably doesn’t stimulate collagen production but it won’t hurt.
Beyond their claims, three things make Clarisonic interesting to try.
1. Less exposure to harsh surfactants and exfoliating particles
2. Timed cleaning so you’ll be more consistent
3. It feels good
While it doesn’t mean much, most people who try the Clarisonic love it. It’s a unique experience and makes face cleansing fun. Whether that is worth the >$150 price tag is only something you can decide for yourself.
Will Clarisonic change the face of daily cleansing?
Clarisonic requires a behavior change and most people will not be able to change for long. They’ll use it religiously for a month or so then forget to get new brushes and eventually it will end up under their bathroom sink next to their lipstick stencils. We could be mistaken, but results are not vastly different from standard cleansing so lasting behavior changes will be difficult.
Beauty Brains Bottom Line
There are definitely some benefits of Clarisonic over other methods of cleansing like more consistent cleansing, less exposure to harsh surfactants & exfoliating particles, and it just feels good. Who wouldn’t want a fresh-feeling face? It is also a unique alternative to standard products. We here at the Beauty Brains want to encourage all cosmetic companies to make unique products rather than unique product stories. Clarisonic is definitely a unique product.
If you are unsatisfied with your current cleansing routine, try the Clarisonic Skin Care System (or something like it).
Do you have a Clarisonic device? What do you think? Are you still using it after a couple of months?