When I received the Clarisonic Mia in the mail and used it for the first time, I was so quick to tell you about it, and squeal with glee at my super smooth skin and how my blackheads just literally fell out. So thrilled. Like a kid with a new toy.
Fortunately, I’m a little older and wiser than a kid with a new toy, so I held on to it, refusing to review it despite crossing the 14 day mark with still very happy results. I crossed the 30 day mark also with happy results. But I held back. And properly so. Before I tell you why I say so, let me tell you a little about the Clarisonic Mia and what it is.
This, my friends is a glorified face washing gadget. Haha… truth hurts a bit when said that way right? ;) I’d put it on par with an electric toothbrush for it does roughly the same thing i.e takes the trouble of washing your face (or brushing teeth) out of your hands and puts it into a gadget. I must say however, that for a face washing gadget, this does the job very very well.
The Clarisonic Mia is the smaller travel version of the Clarisonic Plus Face and Body. You can purchase the larger version at our local Sephora stores. However, they don’t sell the Mia and so I picked mine up online. The Clarisonic Mia and Plus have international voltage charging systems so you can use them anywhere in the world. The Clarisonic Classic is calibrated to 120V only and you will need a voltage adapter. In my case, I only needed a regular travel adaptor for the plug head (US plug). The gadget itself is fine. So be sure you know your local electricity voltage supply so your gadget doesn’t blow up while charging :P
How to use the Clarisonic Mia
The principle behind the Clarisonic is simple. A rotating and pulsing brush head that you run over your skin while it takes the job of washing and exfoliating your face out of your hands. A video I saw at Sephora recommended that you put a bit of pressure while running it over your skin. I will tell you that it will make your skin feel cleaner, but it will also make your skin feel more sensitive over time. So my suggestion is go just lightly place the bristles against your skin, do not press and run it over the skin. There are various brush heads available. The Clarisonic Mia comes with a Gentle brush head but there is also a Sensitive brush head available. Mia also comes in only 1 speed. I believe the others come with 2.
Using the gadget is simple. What I do is to use a foaming cleanser. Any one will do but I stick to a basic cleanser with no abrasive or deep cleansing properties. I use the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser or the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid cleanser. Both work well for me. Some people prefer a non foaming cleanser. Its up to you.
I lather it up, apply to my skin and then, place the head of the brush on my skin and switch on the gadget. The Mia is timed to go off after a minute. Now, this might seem like a short time, but it isn’t really. Its quite sufficient to run it over your whole face at least twice, with focus on certain areas you might like to focus on, before it stops. Do take note of this and don’t be like Xin who scrubbed her chin raw :P
One point to note. Charging time each time, takes 16 hours. Crazy. Each charge can take you to about 20 minutes which is 20 uses based on 1 minute per use.
What I liked about using the Clarisonic Mia
Immediate results to be expected are very clean, smooth skin. You will be amazed at how clean your skin feels. Loose blackheads are dislodged, and some are loosened. Pores appear smaller, skin appears brighter. Its in one word – amazing! I loved it!
I was using it nightly for about a month and very happy with it. My newly cleaned skin seems to just drink up the serums and toners and moisturizers I was applying and I swear, helping them deliver better results than before. I loved it.
I let my sister try it and she loved it, because she has easily congested skin and she said that the Clarisonic helps decongest her skin and reduce the circumstances of blackheads, or at least loosen them. According to her, the Clarisonic helps her skin a lot.
Trouble in Paradise
However, after about 1.5 months, I realised I was starting to break out. That was about when I sent out my clarion call for help to counter a sudden break out. And after thinking over it for a bit, and doing a bit of research online, I decided to stop using the Clarisonic.
I remembered that Tine scrubbed her skin into flaky bits with her Clarisonic and quite opportunely, the ladies at Beaut.ie posted about their less than stellar experience with their Clarisonic Mia, experiencing breakouts after about 2 weeks of use. I took note of these.
My breakouts did not get better immediately when I stopped using it, but I did notice that I wasn’t getting anymore congestions, or clogged pores. This told me, I was reaching a turning point of my breakouts. Regular use of my Breakout Buster products brought things under control but I still had some trouble clearing up the chin area.
A week later, I busted out the Clarisonic again, and used it for the first time after 2 weeks. It cleared away 2 weeks worth of dead skin, cleaned up my pores and miraculously, my chin started to react with the doses of tea tree oil, and began to heal. So, now the Clarisonic was a saviour!
I didn’t leave it at that. No Siree! I started using the Clarisonic daily again. This time, it took me 2 weeks to notice that my pores would clog and spots would appear. Also, I noticed from my earlier exploits, that daily use was leaving my skin feeling rather sensitive around the cheek area. It struck me then, that this machine was exfoliating my skin daily. We aren’t advised to exfoliate or use a face scrub daily, so why was I doing so with this gadget?
I took it with me on vacation and while it did a great job keeping my skin clean from the daily pollution, I also noticed that daily use was causing me to break out a little. These breakouts were milder however, and I’m not sure if they were fully attributable to the Mia or to the weather and air quality where I was.
Moderation is Key
Now, I use the Clarisonic once or twice a week. I don’t find my skin getting unnaturally clogged anymore, and yet I get the nice clean feel of freshly scrubbed skin. For those of us with normal or combination skin, I believe this is the key. In fact, I’ve gone for a couple of weeks without using it and am not seeing adverse effects. But when I do use it, my skincare works better.
For those who have problems with their skin e.g. oily skin, clogged pores, breakouts, acne, sensitivity, using the Clarisonic daily may help because it will get rid of all that gunk and help your skin absorb your treatment skin care better, thereby helping your skin heal more quickly. However, once you get it to a comfortable level, I do think its best to scale back the use to 2-3 times a week.
This is of course, purely based on my experience with this. If you do use it everyday and have done so for months on end with no problems, by all means go right ahead :)
Should I get the Clarisonic?
I can’t answer this question for you. Its a pricey investment. The Clarisonic Mia costs US$149 when purchased online and the Clarisonic Plus Face and Body retails at RM849 at Sephora locally. If you have problematic skin, perhaps this will help you. I can’t guarantee it, but I believe that the exfoliation does help skincare penetrate better, so if you are using treatment skincare, I believe it helps a lot.
For those with no problems, its not a bad thing either. It keeps the skin very clean, and flings out blackheads like a pro. Its a great feeling, and I also believe it helps boost the efficacy of my skincare, whichever one I’m using at the moment. Serums and creams always seem to absorb better after a brush over with the Clarisonic.
But whether you NEED it? I’d say probably not, to be perfectly honest. If you already use exfoliators or face scrubs regularly, or perhaps you use a face brush or face cloths, you probably do not need the Clarisonic. Yeah, its a fun gadget to have around but its not a necessity.
If however, you have it and you love it, its always a good thing :) I have it, I don’t hate it and I don’t regret my purchase. I only wish I knew earlier that it could cause things like breakouts and over-sensitivity if used too regularly. And now you do :)
In a nutshell
I can’t summarize this :P I suggest you take the time to read the whole post. But a quick summary would be that the Clarisonic Mia is a very handy little gadget that cleans and exfoliates your skin very well, leaving pores feeling and looking cleaner. It helps my skincare absorb better and it reduces the incidences of blackheads. However, for myself, regular use will result in breakouts on my skin. It might be due to over-exfoliating. My personal recommendation is to use this just once or twice a week if you have normal skin but if you have problematic skin, it might help to use it more often as it seems to help skincare absorb better into clean skin.
Pros: Cleans the pores out like a pro, Skin feels very clean and skincare absorbs better after use
Cons: Pricey, Breaks my skin out with regular use, Skin can feel a little sensitive with regular use, Mia is unavailable in Malaysia but Plus is at Sephora
Have you been thinking about getting the Clarisonic? Would my experience change your mind? :) Or perhaps you already have it and you love it – feel free to share your love for it too. After all, one woman’s skin love is another’s skin disaster :D
My Clarisonic Mia was purchased online for US$149. It comes in different colours and with a magnetic charger and has universal voltage. Outside of the USA you will need a travel plug adaptor for it to charge.