Temptalia is extraordinarily pleased to be able to bring you an exclusive review of the Clarisonic by renowned skincare esthetician and expert Renée Rouleau! It’s a very informative and thorough review and read with invaluable information for improving your skincare routine and ensuring it is doing the most for your skin. You can visit her blog for more skincare advice and tips!
Is Clarisonic harmful or helpful? Renée Rouleau gives a review….
Let me start by saying that I normally don’t do reviews of other skin care products. I use my blog as a place to talk and share my thoughts on what I know to be true about skin from being an esthetician for 22 years, but I leave product reviews for all of the great beauty bloggers out there.
My reason for doing a review on Clarisonic is because I have observed changes in my client’s skin that use the brush, and some of the changes have not been beneficial to the health of their skin. Since my goal is to offer helpful skin care tips to allow you to become a smarter skin care consumer, I feel that this is important information to share.
Read all about proper exfoliation and how to use your Clarisonic to avoid damaging your skin!
What is Clarisonic?
Clarisonic is a skin care tool sold at specialty beauty stores that uses a soft, gentle brush that oscillates back and forth over the skin and claims to remove six times more makeup than cleansing by hand.
Despite being promoted as a tool that “removes six times more makeup than cleansing by hand”, to me, Clarisonic is really an exfoliating tool to physically lift off dry skin cells and, in the process, remove dirt and makeup.
My problem with Clarisonic is not the brush itself, because the exfoliating benefits are very important. I do have a serious concern with how often they recommend using it. They say it’s gentle enough to use twice daily, but it is my belief that this is way too much when combining with other exfoliating products you are probably already using.
While it may feel gentle enough to use twice a day, you have to understand exfoliation. Clarisonic, facial scrubs, acids, enzymes, wash cloths or whatever form you gets yours in can cause skin damage and may lead to aging if used too frequently.
Over-exfoliation can cause dryness.
Exfoliating too aggressively and too often can cause dryness and disrupt the skin’s lipid barrier. This allows moisture to seep out of the cells more easily, causing them to get dehydrated. Many of my clients who I see monthly for facial treatments started complaining of dryness and irritation when their skin had been so perfectly hydrated and balanced with their Renée Rouleau products. Come to find out, the dryness started to occur once they introduced the Clarisonic brush! I had already had my clients set up on a very thorough exfoliation routine, but once they added in the Clarisonic, their skin was getting too much exfoliation and that’s why the dryness and irritation occurred.
Over-exfoliation can cause chronic inflammation.
Exfoliating too aggressively and too often can create inflammation (even if not visible) setting off a response to create free radicals. A major cause of aging is chronic and prolonged inflammation, associated with tissue destruction, active inflammation and attempts at healing which is why it’s essential to eat foods high in antioxidants and use skin care products with stable antioxidants, like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C).
Skin trauma is good….occasionally.
You don’t want to exfoliate to the point of destroying healthy cells. When you give the skin trauma, the skin goes into repair mode and stimulates cellular regeneration. This can be very beneficial to the skin, but if you create trauma too often by over-exfoliating, then it’s continually setting up a cascade of free radical damage that triggers premature aging.
Over-exfoliation might stimulate melanin activity resulting in increased skin discoloration.
You must use caution with physical exfoliants like Clarisonic, washcloths and facial scrubs. For skin that is extremely reactive to stimulation (skin of color and for those prone to severe discoloration) you need to treat your skin gently to avoid post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation resulting in increased skin discoloration. Read my post on why you shouldn’t rub your face vigorously with a washcloth.
Clean skin is good…to a certain point.
Since Clarisonic markets it as a cleansing tool to remove dirt and makeup, I’d like to make this point. You do want your skin hygienically clean, but not clean like you want your kitchen floor. There is a certain amount of good bacteria that the skin needs to keep it healthy and functioning well so you don’t want to strip it by over-using your Clarisonic brush. This is also why I suggest using non-drying, sulfate-free cleansers.
What’s the right amount of exfoliation?
I suggest using an alcohol-free Glycolic acid serum applied to the skin nightly for seven nights in a row. After a week, go off of it to give your skin a break (remember, you don’t want to over-exfoliate). Now, you want to use a hydrating serum for the next seven nights to bathe those new cells in hydrating antioxidants. Then repeat, so you’re only using an exfoliating acid every other week.
I also recommend using a facial scrub OR your Clarisonic brush 2-3 times a week—and that’s it. The idea here is that using a Glycolic Acid serum will dissolve the dry skin cells while a physical exfoliant like a scrub or Clarisonic will lift off the dry skin cells. They both work differently but both are beneficial.
A professional chemical peel should be performed every other month and an at-home professional-strength peel (Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel) should be used once every three weeks.
Many people really like using the Clarisonic brush and I’m certainly not telling you not to use it. I simply want to inform you that using it twice daily, combined with other exfoliating products, may be harming your skin’s overall health.
And just for the record, I actually did purchase a Clarisonic brush and have used it on my skin. For me, it was too stimulating and caused some breakout activity so I’ll stick with mild facial scrubs for my physical exfoliation. But if you love it and it works for you, then by all means, use it!
Renée Rouleau is a trusted skin care expert and celebrity esthetician who has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing skin for more than 20 years. Her skin care product line, sold on her website and in her two Dallas skin care spas, addresses nine distinct skin types, with more than 70 award-winning products that blend the best of science and nature. Her proven results have earned her the confidence of celebrities, like Lisa Rinna, Melissa Rycroft, Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson, as well as cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists.