(Unfortunately photos in this post were lost due to The Great Deletion of 2014. Some efforts to re-do photos will be made but not all posts will be redone.)
I might have maybe bought this on impulse after reading more than a few blogs about this little contraption. Since Sephora had a 20% coupon last year (sadly, this was downgraded to only 15% this year) I thought, why not. And now that I've used it for about a year, I think I can offer some good insight into how this works.
The Clarisonic is a facial cleansing tool which uses sonic waves to clean your face. Sonic waves. It's suppose to clean 6x better than your hands alone and comes with a variety of models and brush heads. It also claims to clear your pores and reduce their appearance. Some of the models have more settings (like timers and speeds) and others can be used on the body (with the appropriate brush head). The one I have is the Mia which is their lowest tech version and is priced at $139 at Sephora (that 20% off came in handy).
A lot of people raved about how using this had cleared up their acne and made their skin so smooth. At the time, I didn't have a major acne problem but was getting many little pimples along my chin and forehead and I wanted them gone. Nothing really seemed to help get rid of them so I decided to give this a go.
The Clarisonic is quite ergonomic and can be used in the shower. I actually store mine there and use it every day when I'm showering. The brush heads can be taken out for cleaning and it's recommended that you exchange them every 3 months (though I'm pretty lazy about this. not to mention the brush heads are sort of expensive). To extend the life of my brushes I clean them with a foam cleanser every once in a while to get residue off the bristles. The system comes with a sensitive brush head and I've been using the same type ever since. The Mia only has 1 speed and no timer. I put some cleanser on my face and push the start button. Usually I start on my forehead, moving it in small circles and continue to the rest of my face. Without the timer I sometimes spend more time on one area and the time runs out or conversely I'll use it super fast and I have to press the button to stop it. This really isn't an issue but if you're a bit OCD you might want to get a model with a timer.
I've used this for a year now and I can't say that this has been a miraculous game changer. It exfoliates your skin quite well and I've noticed that creams and things soak into my face much quicker than normal. I use this once a day but I noticed that during the dryer winter months, this was too frequent and my face had more dry patches. In the summer when I'm more oily I feel like this really helps clean my face and get all the dirt out.
I do feel a difference between cleaning with just my hands and with using this. I notice that my face products sink into my skin faster. But I wouldn't say that this is a cure-all for acne or pimples. Also, I cant't say that my pores are any smaller and they still get clogged sometimes. All in all, since the cost is sunk for me, I'm pretty happy to have this to use. If I had to make the purchase again, I probably would. But if you're on a budget don't feel like you need to rush out and buy this asap. Is it something you absolutely must need? Maybe not. There are some other products like this on the market. Olay makes one and I think L'oreal (but don't quote me). There are also some crazy high tech ones from Asia that you could look into as well! To be fair, I only had a mild pimple issue. Some reviewers who have more severe acne have found really great results.
Do you swear by your Clarisonic? Which model do you have?