Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My NOT so conventional review on the Clarisonic Mia

Anybody who's anybody has heard of it. Everybody has read and watched rave reviews on it. Googled it. Added it to your online basket and maybe even pressed check-out. And then closed the tab and reprimanded yourself for considering buying what is essentially a face brush for £120.00. And then probably argued with your inner beauty-obsessed-alter-ego that it is an investment that is worth it seeing as you spend so much on make-up anyway and what good is all that make-up if your skin underneath isn't at it's greatest and cleanest? And then decided you'll wait a little bit and someday in the future....
(And if you haven't heard of it...well I'm sure the hole you live in must be very deep indeed.)
Yes I am talking about the Clarisonic Mia. The skin cleansing brush system that has so much hype surrounding it. 
Well, naturally and unfortunately, I got suckered in to the hype. Bought it. Used it. And regretted it so bad. 
(This is a long post and I feel it is necessary to give you a bit of background on my skin so you get a better picture.) 

I got the baby pink one because proceeds from the purchase went to Breast Cancer Awareness (probs the only good thing that came out of the buy!)

What type of skin did I have before using the Clarisonic Mia?
I do not want to sound showy-offy, but thankfully I have never had any major skin problems on my face (I suffer from eczema on some parts of my body). I never suffered from acne, or even mild breakouts. It is only at that time of the month that the odd tiny spot would set up camp on my forehead - never anywhere else - and even these ones would leave after literally a day or two. My skin concerns have always been pigmentation, uneven skin tone, dark under-eye circles and dry skin but I was able to deal with these without much hassle. I had normal to dry skin and was able to try out new products and such without fear - my skin was not sensitive.

If I had good skin why did I buy the Clarisonic Mia and what were it's supposed benefits?
I had heard such good things about it from people with all types of skin and I was going through a skincare phase and was really focusing on cleaning my skin deeply. I researched the Mia for over a year and a half and kept it on my wishlist. 
I know you must all have seen or heard these a billion times before, but for those of you who haven't, here are it's claims:
*Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds
*Works with skin, not against it, to gently message away impurities trapped within pores
*Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturisers
*Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes
*Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
*Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
*Gentle enough to use 2x a day 
What struck me as particularly interesting was that it claimed to cleanse 6x better and promised a good deep clean. I was looking at it as a strategic buy for prevention rather than to solve any skin issues. I thought of it as an investment that would help me sustain good skin, develop a squeaky clean base that would lap up all the goodness of my other skincare products and essentially help my skin look healthy and young when I am a grandma.  

So, what happened after I started using it?
So I bought mine in August while I was holidaying in America (I got it in a Nordstrom sale for $119).
First time: 
*I followed all the instructions on how to use it. Won't type them out but link you to the official website link
*I was using the Neutrogena Visibily Clear 2-in-1 Cleanser and Mask cleanser at the time (Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish please forgive me) and I used this because I hadn't heard good things about the cleanser Clarisonic provided.
*My skin felt soft, smooth and very fresh, albeit a little bit dry. I applied moisturiser and went to sleep.
*I woke up the next morning and noticed that the skin around my nose felt a bit dry and patchy but I thought nothing much of it.
*By the next evening I had 2 spots on my forehead. I remember this v.clearly as I was extremely surprised as it was nowhere near that time of the month.
*So I googled this and found lots and lots of people saying that they had an initial 'purge' from using it. I assumed this was what was happening to me and despite being a bit grossed out I continued to use it.

One week later:
*I now had weird bump things on my forehead and chin - somewhere I have never ever everrr gotten any spots or problems. A bit worried that they were not going, but all the reviews said to keep going with it until all the gunk is out from the pores - to allow the purge.
*I was only using it once a day as twice a day proved too harsh for my dry skin which was now much dryer.

Increasingly self-conscious and worried about these bumps I decided to stop use for a little while to see what would happen. 
*Skin clears up

A month or so later:
*I decided to stop being wimpy and brought it out again to use.
*Dry patches around my nose reappear and they look horrible underneath foundation
*Bumps on forehead and chin re-appear and are worse than ever. They are underneath my skin - not fully-fledged popable spots, but weird cyst like bumps. Gross I know.
*As I had never suffered from anything like this before I got very upset, self-conscious and paranoid. It was only then that I realised how much for granted I had taken my skin before.
But I persisted and was sure that it was still a purging period and that afterwards my skin would look great.
*The bumps just get worse and worse and worse.
*Little spots started appearing in random places like my temples and underneath my eyebrows - WTF! 
*Broken capillaries around my nose which I still have to put up with now. (I didn't even know what broken capillaries were before the Clarisonic!)
*Skin is dryer than ever
*Aside from all these bad side effects I didn't get any of the good effects it claims to give!
*I stopped using it but my skin didn't clear up. I used various spot treatments and they would work for a couple of days untill bam the bumps and spots would re-appear in exactly the same places.
*As someone who could previously leave the house with a bit of under-eye concealer, blush and lipstick, I was now someone who couldn't leave without a full face of foundation. It was really horrible and for once I understood how hard it must be for people who suffer from acne.

What did I do to clear my skin up?
*As I said earlier, I used various spot treatments, but all of them yielded results that were only temporary.
*So I went on a complete detox - I used nothing on my skin at all to calm it down. (yes, I hibernated).
*This period also made me buy a long-term-lust which was Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser. So after a couple of weeks of skin detox I started using this.
*AH-MA-ZINGGGG!! This worked like nothing else and really helped my problematic skin!!
*No they didn't disappear overnight but redness was reduced and the bumps slowly started shrinking and properly disappearing.
*Most importantly, unlike before, they didn't reappear *touchwood*!!
*It's been ages now since I've stopped using the Clarisonic on my face but I still have blemishes where the bumps were but these are easily covered with concealer.

What do I do with my Mia now?

*As I bought mine from America and was having all these problems long after I arrived back in London, I couldn't return it and felt bad about the money wasted.
*I probably could have continued using it and waited for the purge to finish, but it was getting ridiculous, was way too long and I'm clearly not brave enough slash am a very vain person lol.
*SO I now use it on my body! I use it daily with my various body washes and have found that it works much better there and leaves my skin feeling very smooth and clean with no purges!

Phoawr that was some essay huh? So overall, clearly, the Clarisonic Mia did not work for me. I now have sensitive skin on my face and am prone to break-outs and have to be careful about what products I slather on. I still don't understand why my skin reacted to it so strongly and badly but it was a headache and a half and really not worth it.
But I speak for myself only. This is how my skin reacted, it does not mean that yours will react in the same way. There cannot possibly be so much hype over a product for no reason - read the reviews on Makeup Alley here - link. Google it. Youtube it. Decide for yourself.
I just thought it was important to draw attention to the possible/potential side effects and cons incase you have been blinded by the hype and think that it can do no wrong!
I hope this has been useful to some of you! Please let me know what your thoughts on it are - Have you tried it? Thinking of trying it? Your experiences with it? Do share!!

Love, Emma xo
Currently Listening To: Paradise Lost - Brand X Music


  1. I am so so glad that I haven't bought this product!!! It has been on my 'to buy list' for ages and now I can cross it off. To be honest my skin also isn't in that bad condition (nothing that glasses of water can't fix) and the last thing I want to do is aggravate it! Thank you hun for such an in depth review and saving me some mullah lol :) x

    1. You're so right - glasses of water can fix everything and there really is no point unnecessarily aggravating skin! I'm glad you found the review helpful babe and that it saved you some pennies haha!! xo

    2. Hey babe, just awarded you the Cute Blog Award, be sure to check it out :) x

  2. Wow... great review!
    I too had been thinking of getting this as everyone raves about it but really, there's no point in me taking the risk as my skin is kinda ok! If it aint broke, don't fix it!
    Absolutely love your blog by the way and am now following. Your blog title is awesome and I love that you have a thing for red lipstick too!
    Thanks for your kind comment xx

    1. thank you!! i COMPLETELY agree..if it aint broke dont fix it - i've defs learnt my lesson!!
      hahaha thank you so much you're very sweet! xx

  3. Oh wow, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this honest review! I'm tired of hearing all the same old things about this "miracle" product. I was given the opportunity to try it but in the end I had to refuse because I have dry skin and spots of eczema on my face and because the brush looked so harsh, I was scared - you mentionned you had eczema on your body so you must know that - even a little pressure or anything can trigger eczema flare-ups. I'm glad your skin is OK now, I'm sorry you had to go through that! At least it's working for your body (:

    1. thank you!!
      yeah i think the brush can defs be a bit harsh and can clearly aggravate i dont recommend it for sensitive skin at all! and exactly..with eczema the slightest thing can trigger it and its horrible!

  4. Omg, you must have been so scared when you saw spots and dryness after using the Clarisonic! Definitely making me think twice before purchasing this!!

    1. it sounds so vain but i really was was horrible!!
      definitely think it through...theres a lot of hype around it but it can clearly have not so amazing results!! xx

  5. I think i'm one of the few in the blogging world that has no interest whatsoever in this product! Theres so many older people walking around with fabulous young looking skin and when you ask most of them what they use they say soap and water! It doesn't seem right to use something so abrasive on the facial skin! I definitely think keeping your skincare routine as simple and pure as possible is the best answer! xx

    1. hahaha i think you're one of the few too...everyone goes on about it!! exactly - my mum has such beautiful skin and doesn't even use a cleanser!! i totally agree - skin loves simplicity! xx

  6. Oh thats such a shame about your experience with Clarisonic Mia!! But hey ho obviously your skin doesnt need all that abrasiveness!! :) lovely blog. I shall follow you! xoxo

  7. I adore this honest and informative post about this oh so hyped up product. I feel the way about the Clarisonic as I do about Jeffrey Campbell Litas... I just don't get it.

    1. LOLL i actually like the Lita's!! but thank youuu!! xx

  8. Oh my gosh I can't believe that happened to you! That sucks so bad! I WAS thinking of saving for one but I'm happy with my Liz Earle so I'm def put off for now. Ta for the post :)

    Livvy (

  9. Wow great post. Thank you for writing this, I have exactly the same type of skin as you, clear very rarely get a small spot, dry and occasional patches of ezcema. I was condsidering buying the mia for the minimising fine lines and ridding of dry patches but won't risk ruining my skin using the clarisonic. I would rather invest in a good facial once a month instead.

    Thank you again!

    The doll on fashion

  10. Hi Emma! I absolutely LOVEEE my clarisonic mia! and I have the same one as you!

    Trust me, I broke out very badly when I first started using this. I had white heads all over my face, but that's normal because the vibrations loosen up dirt buried in deep and brings that dirt and buildup to the surface. I've been using this for over one year now and my skin has gotten so much better!

    I'm glad I got to read your point of view on this. Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo Aisha

  11. I received one as a gift last Christmas, so have had it almost a year. In that year, I have had the worst acne (RARELY had pimples before-EVER). I have made multiple trips to the doc with, what we thought, were staph infections. I JUST researched this YESTERDAY and found my answer! I have struggled for a year and never once thought it could be due to my Clarisonic! I currently have a bacterial infection caused by cystic acne. Which popped up the SAME night I had used my mia! I'm so done with it and warning anyone I know. Hopefully, my original skin will return. Which was never that bad in the first place! My mother, who gave this to me, and has watched and worried as I have struggled with infection after infection, now feels horrible! The positive side is that now I know the cause and can fix it. Also, so relieved that the issue is not staph, which can be a huge and scary issue! I was almost put in the hospital 2 months ago because I had an infection on my face that started because of cystic acne. My doctor was convinced it was a staph infection. I'm so relieved I've found my solution. THANK YOU!

    1. I had this same reaction to the clarisonic mia. I had the occasional pimples here and there but never clusters of pimples. I started using the clarisonic and my face got really bad, huge cysts, unpoppable bumps, but ONLY on my chin. This was all only on my chin. It got so bad. I did not know what happened. I only used the clarisonic a couple times, and stopped. I didn't even realize that it was causing that. But anyway --- I am now very sad because I've had a severe infection on my face for the past month almost two months now and it's horrible. It's so ugly, and the worst part is I can't cover it because it's so dry -- even if I use moisturizer, makeup looks disgusting on top of it so I can't go anywhere. My doctor has me on antibiotics. I cry almost everyday because of the scars this is leaving on my chin... when I say my chin I mean the entire surface area below my lip, all the way from my left side of my lip to my right : MY ENTIRE CHIN AREA, is covered in scars. Still has bumps, open acne lesions, whiteheads. it's a mess and it's horrible. I feel ugly because I AM ugly with this on my face and I'm so embarrassed. I spent over $150 to ruin my face.

  12. I experienced the same reaction from my Clarisonic, thankfully I bought it from Sephora and they let me return even after 3-4 months. When you mean detox, does that mean you just cleansed and toned? If so, what kind of cleanser/toner did you use in addition to your Liz Earle product (which I noticed was very affordable compared to everything else I've been trying to get rid of my sudden outbreak). Thanks so much for your helpful review!

  13. Thank you now Iv'e made up my mind.
    I have been considering buying the clarisonic, but I was unsure since I have very sensitive skin and I have eczema so i was afraid of getting even dryer skin and breakouts. I was just hoping it would be a good for blood circulation but I see it's not worth the try..

  14. Thank you now Iv'e made up my mind.
    I have been considering buying the clarisonic, but I was unsure since I have very sensitive skin and I have eczema so i was afraid of getting even dryer skin and breakouts. I was just hoping it would be a good for blood circulation but I see it's not worth the try..

  15. Thank you now Iv'e made up my mind.
    I have been considering buying the clarisonic, but I was unsure since I have very sensitive skin and I have eczema so i was afraid of getting even dryer skin and breakouts. I was just hoping it would be a good for blood circulation but I see it's not worth the try..

  16. did your broken capillaries go away?

  17. I have plans on getting the clarisonic but i've also seen online that when people stop using it their skins goes crazy and breaks out alot and you said that too. So im wondering if i should get it or not, because i mean i would want to have good skin but if i stop using it and it starts getting worse, whats the point? Like if it ever spoils or if i forget to bring it along when i go on a week of holiday, i wouldnt want my skin to be breaking out real bad. Or is there like any way to stop it from breaking out?
    Also, my skin does have breaks out occasionally but its not very bad just a few spots here and there on a few parts of the faces like nose cheeks and eyebrow area, so would you recommend this to me? also, im only 17 so....

    1. If you do get it don't use it daily. Over exfoliating causes irritation.

  18. I had the exact same reaction. I was just googling "clarisonic drying out skin" and this post came up. I'm so glad I'm not just imaging this! Goodbye Clarisonic!

  19. Hi, I just saw your blog and I had the same problem as you. It's been two weeks since the red bumps on my face. Although it looks a little bit better now, my face still touches tough with the tiny pimples. I don't known if they are broken capillaries. May I know how long did the broken capillaries go away for you?

  20. You know what?!! I had the same reaction to it as well!!!

  21. You know what?!! I had the same reaction to it as well!!!

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. A lot of people have bad reactions because of irritation, there is no such thing as "purging". The Clarisonic is an exfoliation device. It's not good to exfoliate twice a day! I don't know why the company would claim it's gentle enough for daily use. I suggest that if you try it out you DO NOT use it more than 3 times a week.. less is more.

  24. I have really dry skin from living in arizona and I bought moisturizer after moisturizer until finding Made From The Earth productsI I love love love the Olive night creme. I use it as regular moisturizer and it feels so great on my skin. Never greasy or heavy. Did I mention I LOVE this night creme

  25. I wish I would have seen this before buying my clarisonic Mia!!!! That thing is the worst thing I have ever purchased, it has F'd my face up! Seriously it's my biggest regret !


Thank you for reading my post and it'd make my day if you commented too!! X