Q&A: Is the Clarisonic worth it?

Zoe, do I need a Clarisonic? Everyone is talking about them but I don’t know if really just a cream cleanser will do (and a bi-weekly scrub). Have you written about them before? I have dry, sensitive skin, prone to a little patchy eczema in winter, but otherwise manageable. I also get the occasional break-out around my chin, which I’m told is hormonal. Meg

Oh, Meg. Silly, silly Meg. I will never tell someone they “need” something, unless it is to wear sunscreen or to fill in their brows or to try pink lipstick or lash extensions or gradual tanner or this awesome pimple drying lotion that really works or dry shampoo.

What a hilarious joke! I am the biggest and most loving beauty bully this side of a revolving door.

Now, in fact I have written about the Clarisonic before, and I use one myself – the original Clarisonic Mia, $140-ish (there is a Mia 2 now, $179-ish, and it has cool colours and cool beeps that tell you when to move on to the next part of your face) – on occasion. I do get lazy, I must admit. I used about 5x a week when I first got it, but too much travel makes falling in love with appliances tricky.

I like the Clarisonic for the reasons most people do:

Skin feels more smooth.

Makeup seems to go on better, and you get a better application.

Skin care products used afterwards seem to penetrate deeper. Terrific news for those spending serious clams on serums.

It is gentle, and after using it, the skin feels extra clean, and glowing, and debris is thoroughly removed.

These are all good things. Especially if you’re dry-skinned, or the type to work outdoors in grime, or wear, say, sunscreen, primer and foundation and then colour makeup each day. (Like I do sometimes, and when one round of cleanser won’t cut it.)

Let me not be your guide, though, because I know at least six women personally who LOVE and SWEAR by and WANT TO THIRD BASE their Clarisonic. One of them is a girl called Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom I do jazz ballet with on Tuesdays.



But is it for you, Meg? Let’s see. Obviously I can’t see your skin, and double obviously I am a writer, not a beauty therapist, but I’ll have a crack:

You currently cream cleanse and bi-weekly scrub – this sounds like good practice to me. And great job on the cream cleanser for dry/sensitive skin. Anything too foaming and scratchy will irritate you. You may even like to switch to a chemical exfoliant, something with lactic or citric acid, say rather than a physical exfoliant (“scrub.”) I prefer these because they exfoliate evenly, and feel more thorough. Personal choice. (I especially enjoy exfoliating “peely” wipes, like these Philosophy Microdelivery Pads.)




The hormonal breakouts? The jury is out, but a few bloggers seem to think it helps lessen the anger of the breakouts and the number of blemishes (I would put this down to the basic fundamental of your skin being cleaned properly, and the treatment products being used up next being able to sink in real good and do their job.) Some say it makes it worse.

So, bottom line, yes, you might love it. You might love it a lot. A deep clean is paramount to Great Skin, and the Clarisonic certainly ensures that. If you’re not getting it from the Clarisonic, then that 2-3 weekly exfoliation will do the trick.

Responses to this drivel: 51 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 51 )
  • Sarah

    Love my Clarasonic Mia! And yes, bought strictly on the advice from Ms Foster. Not only do my products ‘work’ better but my skin is amazeballs. I can’t believe how good my skin looks and feels. I am a bit adhoc about using it but manage at least twice a week (at night before serum and moisturising), plus I use those peel pads in winter (right now in fact!). Mine are called FAB and I think I bought them at Bella Box. They are ok but the Clarasonic Mia is the bomb. Get one… NOW!

  • fruity

    Sarah you’ve reminded me to say: I started off with 3x a week with my Clarisonic, and then moved on to nightly. Using day and night 7x a week might make one’s skin wig out – start off slow, man.

  • LD

    Avoid if you have severely acne prone skin. My skin was great for a few weeks and then I just started getting the most horribly nasty cystic pimples all over my face and neck. Nothing had changed except for using the Mia. My Dermatologist has said that a lot of her patients are presenting with persistent acne from using Clarisonic and she no longer recommends them. It really does depend on your skin type though as my friends with dry skin love the Clarisonic. I now have another useless skincare device cluttering up my bathroom cabinet 😉

  • fruity

    LD I have heard of these mad breakouts occuring. Sometimes, on regular or dry-skinned skinned girls, it’s a flush out (almost like you’re “detoxing” the skin) that once it’s out, it’s out, but if you have acne-prone skin, yes, do tread with caution.

  • Leigh

    I purchased my clarisonic a year ago. I had regular breakouts. This tool changed my life. I like to cleanse and tone before then use a foaming cleanser with the clarisonic. I use it every day now. Skin feel smooth and fresh every time

  • emma

    HI ZOE!
    I have oily skin – what’s the verdict? So many skin care regimes look dry skin or combination skin! I find that either my cleansers aren’t majorly helpful or they use chemicals to wipe my skin of all it’s natural oils. I have been very tempted by the clarisonic but I fear that it will just cause me to break out! Please help! xxxxxx

  • Meg

    Hey, thanks for answering my email – you’re a dreamboat! I think I’ll invest and, as you’ve noted, tread carefully. Much appreciated!
    PS Obvs I got my skincare regime from Amazing Face, along with my obsession with Trilogy Rosehip Oil, that stuff is the business…

  • Sarah H

    I have one of the older clarisonics too. I keep mine in the shower witha very mild cleanser. Definitely agree to start slowly and build up. Even now I dont use mine daily.

  • Cj

    On Zoe’s recommendation I bought one of these about 18mths ago and love it. Gets make-up and grime off like nothing else. I use it daily throughout the week and on weekends only if I need to. I use it with a nice mild cleanser and yay. I also use an oil cleanser at other times and a clean face washer and I don’t seem to need a scrub exfoliation at the moment. As I am a slave to Zoe’s recommendations I will now have to try the peel she recommended above!!

  • Elly Jones

    I don’t want to anger the skin Gods, because after a few somewhat crappy years my skin has finally got it together (thanks to a lot of helpful advice from you Zo)… BUT my ONE last lingering complaint is that I still get these tiny little whiteheads under the skin all over my chin. I have tried a few different exfoliants all with varying, but never ideal, results. Dr Dennis Gross did the best job of getting rid of the spots but also completely dried me out and gave me a distinctly flakey appearance that looked awkwardly similar to pash-rash. I would say I have combo-to-sensitive skin and currently use Olay total effects creme cleanser. I have been keen to try the Clarisonic for a while but am yet to take the plunge. Do you think it might help with these pesky spots Zo? Or is there anything else you would recommend for these specifically? You’re yet to steer me wrong so far!

  • Elly Jones

    Also thought that photo would be a thumbnail not a giant pic… going to go die of embarrassment now

    • Allison Goodall

      Lol! Dont fret its a beautiful pic! And yes…I hope someone repliues to this because I have the exact same problem! Blocked pores all on the chinny chin chin. Soemtimes I cave and steam and coax them all out-a few never budge though. I’ve even taken to smearing Benzac 2% over the chin nightly and while that seems to absorb the excess oils and doesnt stop them coming back. Welp!

    • Phoebe

      Hey Elly, I get the same little black or white heads under my skin also generally you get them due to your hormones when there on your chin so theres not thaaaaat much you can do I find Dr Dennis Gross Alpha betta peels do great for flushing them out

  • Camilla

    MEG! I have sensitive stupid big baby skin (so dumb that it freaked out from Rosehip Oil – who does that??) but I bought a Mia 2. I use my Mia maybe once a week with the Burt’s Bees Sensitive cream cleanser and I LOVE it!! My skin feels so nice afterwards and it clears my blocked pores under my chin really well. I tend to use it on a Sunday night if I’ve been wearing make up (I don’t wear foundation unless I’m hitting the town). I always follow up with lots of lovely moisturiser. It feels nice like I am really taking care of my skin. I would tread carefully and see how you go!

  • Rose

    Long winded and probably not needed but I am such a fan of this little thing I feel I need to share!
    I purchased my Clarasonic Mia over the xmas break. I have combo skin and get (got) regular break outs around my chin and random ones on my check if I’ve been having a particularly bad food/drink week. I have tried a lot of things to clean up my skin and I can hand on my heart say that the clarasonic is the best thing I have ever ever ever purchased. The first 4 – 5 weeks were rough as I had some serious breakouts, but good old doctor google told me this was normal and it was the skin purging the build-up of yuck. I still get the odd spot and break out but I think that’s just me. I use every night to remove make up before putting Aesop fab face oil or Aesop B triple C on which works a treat for me. The only down side I notice now is if I don’t use it every night (like when it goes flat and I consistently forget to put it on charge) my skin freaks out a little. I also struggled at first to find a cleanser to use it with, I’ve settled with cetaphil for now but I do believe there has to be something better out there..any recommendations?

  • MissLinda

    Id recommend people picking up a spare brush head & swapping it each day. I found if I wasn’t vigilant about making sure the brush was cleaned & dried properly between uses – my skin was unhappy.

  • Thelma

    2nd that Miss Linda. Don’t put that cap it comes with back on, let the brushes air dry so that bacteria doesn’t multiply which I suspect may be the cause of some ladies problems x x x.

  • Amy

    I have a Clarisonic Mia (probably one onf the older ones) and cannot for the life of me find where online to get the replacement brush heads from! Can anyone help? I live in Tassie and haven’t seen them in any shops here.
    I might get a slap on the wrist here, but I’ve been using it twice a day 7 days a week with either a Priori cream cleanser or Cetaphil … is that too much? I’ve been cleaning it twice a week with antibacterial hand wash (might get a slap for that too)

  • Tina J

    Hey Zoe! I am a loyal fan of your blog, instagram, twitter, tumblr… everything, really! Just wanted to let you know that you should put a re-direct on your old typepad hosted fruity beauty blog. I was going there for a few days with no new posts (tears!) until someone let me know the URL had changed. You want ALL of the online world reading your wise words and looking beautiful right?
    Thanks! Love Tina.
    PS I also have a Clarisonic and love it

  • Chester

    Zoeeeeeeee! I desperately need your help. Bourjois has gone and discontinued their Healthy Mix Foundation that I was in love with- I have no idea how many bottles of this gorgeousness I’ve gone through. I was a shade 51 (which if I’m honest was even a little too dark for me.. I’m a pale lass) and their replacement ‘reformulation’ in this shade is too orange for me 🙁 All their colours are officially too orange for me and I need help! What foundation should I go for? My skin is combo and I need a foundation that is super long wearing as I struggle with that even with primer… I can be a little bit of a sweaty betty on occasion (ZOMG can you believe I just admitted that?!). I’m a poor uni student, but at the same time I’m willing to pay up if its worth it. Thank you!!!

    ps. definitely going to finally check out the clarisonic over the weekend after much deliberation!

    • Grace

      I managed to get my paws on a bottle of 51 in the old bottle at priceline the other day.. on clearance – only $11.something!! I presume to make way for the new bottle (sad to hear its a new formulation / shade change with the new bottle! it is my HG foundation!!) I might go back and buy a few more of the old bottles of 51, of which there were quite a few… maybe check out your local priceline? they were on a higher up shelf than the new bottles, but still in the bourjois section.. but maybe check the clearance bins too? Or I could get one for you and post if you can’t find any?

  • Karli

    Um Ellly Jones, you are a gorgeous thing so don’t even worry! I’m here to say it about my Clarisonic too so in the words of Icona Pop: “I LOVE IT”

  • Larissa

    Oh My! I didn’t know I wanted, nay…NEEDED a Clarisonic Mia until NOW! I must get my paws one one ASAP!!

    • Kylie

      Larissa, I was exactly the same! I’m getting married in Feb next year have wanted to find a cheaper option than the good old weekly facial as recommended by most beauty professionals in the lead up to a wedding. Decided this was a cheaper option to give a go first. Wish me luck!

  • Allison Goodall

    Fruity! Whats your opinion on the Olay much cheaper priced version of the Clarisonic? I think it retails at about 39.99…for all your cash strapped fans?? xx

  • chippochic

    Allison, I bought a sirius sonic cleaning system for USD49 plus USD20 delivery. Try the Sirius website. The Olay one is not sonic, it is basically an electrical brush. I’m not quite sure the benefits of sonic but that is what the Clarisonic is. I find the Sirius really good and it has more attachments. But the best thing I have found for all skin types is sweet almond oil. I use it to take off my makeup with a baby wipe and my skin has never looked better. Even oily skin benefits, it balances the oil out. I have since ordered some marula oil which is meant to be the next miracle.

  • Frae

    I use the ASAP cleanser with AHA’s (mild) in it … can you use the Clarisonic with this type of cleanser do you think?

    • JoLynn (aka: PrettyJ)

      Yes, the only type of cleanser that is not appropriate for use with a Clarisonic system is something with any type of physical exfoliator (i.e.: jojoba beads, apricot kernels bits, etc.).

  • JoLynn

    You’re fabulous- I love you!! And, EVERYONE needs a Clarisonic. 😉

  • Ozlicious

    I bought the Clarisonic Plus system about two years ago and to be honest, I don’t see any difference in my skin whether I use it or not. I’m a devoted and besotted follower of Ms Gwyneth Paltrow, so I really *wanted* to love it, but it’s just never worked its magic on me. I don’t HATE it by a long stretch, but these days I mainly use it with a milky glycolic cleanser as a precursor to my scrub (ie using glycolic to break down the “glue” that hold the dead cells together, before using a physical exfoliant to buff it all away).

    FYI ladies, I have a couple of brush heads and I alternate in between (replacing them every three months)…but you MUST sanitise your brush heads super regularly! I use a baby bottle sanitiser which is in the baby section of the supermarket. It’s Milton brand I think, and it’s a simple solution. Just wash the brush head in cleanser first to get rid of makeup, rinse, soak in sanitiser, rinse, and let air dry.

  • Skin Care Regimen | pretty please beauty

    […] Q&A: Is the Clarisonic worth it? (fruitybeauty.com.au) […]

  • Karyn

    Hi there, Im a bit like Emma up the list there with oily skin-would this device be useful for me? Im heading to the “big smoke” tomorrow as Byron has nowhere to purchase such a device so would really really appreciate knowing before I go. Thanks in advance x

  • Brooke

    I know this is an old post but Adore Beauty have 15% off these at the moment with the code KATEFB – making my purchase right now!

  • Lucy

    I have oily t – zone and dry cheeks/forehead !! Would the clarisonic be any good for me?? Xo

  • joanne

    I am trying to find out if the newer version of the clarisonic is better ( much much)
    than the old original one that I have had for what seems like years!!! thanks in advance

  • Hello Kitty Duygu

    I read your “artical” by smiling cause I loved the way you writing! Good work..
    But I still dont know if I should prefer Clarisonic or just a casual one like Revlon etc ..

  • Greta

    I don’t think I’ll be getting one of these. They sound great in theory but they’re so expensive and I just feel like using a good cleanser, clay mask, acne treatment and gentle exfoliator once or twice a week would do just fine.

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