With the advancement of anti-aging technology, America is obsessed with trying to slough off accumulated birthdays. Scrubs, peels, microdermabrasion, epidermal leveling and handheld brushes are all the rage. Simple washcloths have gone by the wayside and everyone is hopping on the Squeaky Clean Bandwagon. Clarisonic, in particular, has been one of the many causes for this crazed need to scrub off the day. However, retail giants and department stores are using incorrect verbage to sell this device as an exfoliator, when it is actually a deep-cleansing tool, leaving many consumers overly dehydrated with normally localized breakouts spreading to other areas of the face. Developed by the former CEO and co-founder of Optiva (Sonicare toothbrushes), Clarisonic came out with a hand held device which claims “to loosen dirt and oil, removing deep-seated impurities from pores and priming skin to better absorb topical treatments due to oscillating at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second.” Their claim to fame is that brushes like theirs are used by professionals during skincare treatments. With that being said, think about how often you go in for a treatment such as microdermabrasion or a simple facial that uses a rotating brush. Every day? Not likely. And why? Because overdoing any kind of exfoliation or excessive cleansing is very damaging to the skin, even if not a sufferer of Rosacea or easily irritated epidermises.You are a lady (or a gentleman), not a car or a dish. The skin needs its natural Acid Mantle to protect itself. By disrupting this barrier and vigorously “loosening debris and oil” too often, dehydration can occur and the skin will actually produce more oil to compensate for lost moisture, leading to even more breakouts and/or clogged pores. Speaking of breakouts, oil does not cause Acne. “Propionibacterium acnes” causes breakouts, which can be trapped by oil, which is overly produced because of hormonal imbalance, diet, dehydration, heredity, etc. Thus, unless paired with an antibacterial cleanser, the Clarisonic could very well be spreading around the bacteria and worsening breakouts. Clarisonic referred to this common reaction to usage as “the skin purging”. Creative use of an enticing verb, but you’ve been duped.
Many department stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Ulta have contracts with Clarisonic and are required to meet a quota, in terms of units sold, in order to keep the product in store. Salespeople give demos and receive perks for selling the Clarisonic, most of whom are not licensed Estheticians or Dermatologists. Starting around $130, with the need to replace the $25 brush head every 3 months, this instrument is definitely an investment. Keep in mind that America is one of the only countries that provides washcloths in their hotels, as most countries take a more back-to-basics approach with skincare and cleansing. Yes, exfoliation promotes cellular turnover and reveals fresh, healthy skin, but nourishment and maintaining natural oil balance is key to youthfulness. Over-cleansing is a no-no. Less is more. A shiny complexion and tight-feeling face will surely lead to premature aging and inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but I guarantee God does not own a Clarisonic; he prefers the holy glow from chemical peels.