Product Review: Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit

Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit

Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit: Definitely a buy for Summer 2012! Just don't follow the on-label directions exactly ;-)

As a blogger, I love being able to review more than one product at once.  As a shopper, I really love getting more than one amazing product at a discount.  So I was thrilled to recently find the Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit at Sephora ($235.00, a $310 value).  Here’s what you need to know:

Clarisonic Cleansing

My initial concern with a motorized brush is that it can abrade or irritate the skin.  However, the Clarisonic may be different.  According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the Clarisonic is a “gentle” means of cleansing that prevents the skin from being compromised by acute or chronic infections.

The Clarisonic has a similar technology to ultrasonic toothbrushes:  the brush oscillates at a sonic speed.  However, rather than removing plaque from your teeth, the Clarisonic loosens pimples from your skin by detaching debris from the infundibular wall of the skin.  They are then cleared from the acroinfundibulum of the skin.

In addition, according to renowned dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos,“the bristles of the face brush are designed to traverse facial [...] pores and scars.”

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

Another great product contained in the Clarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit is the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster.  Replete with a super-high concentration of a stabilized form of vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), green tea, and sodium hyaluronate, the serum is designed to brighten the skin and fend off future signs of aging.

The scientific literature supports use of this product, particularly in the morning.  Use of both vitamin C and green tea under sunscreen has been shown to boost UVB protection (vitamin C in the British Journal of Dermatology; green tea extract in Molecular Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention).   Also, for those of you wondering, UVB is UV “burning,” responsible for redness or skin erythema.

So I’m definitely a huge fan of the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, particularly when used under sunscreen in the morning.  For night, I would prefer something with retinoids, particularly prescription Retin-A.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer 40+ UVA/UVB

Argan oil has a lot of benefits.  For one, argan oil has a ton of natural vitamin E – three times the amount found in olive oil, for instance.  For another, argan oil also happens to be a potent source of both omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid.  Linoleic acid has been shown in several research studies (cited here) to be capable of reducing inflammation, acne, and increasing skin’s moisturization levels.  According to in-house clinical tests by Aveda, who makes their own argan oil product, subjects showed a 38 percent improvement in lines after eight weeks of using their upcoming argan-rich firming face cream.

Argan oil is perhaps also one of the most friendly ingredients out there:  Not only eco-friendly, but also globally-friendly.  Through the Targanine Cooperative, thousands of Moroccan women are employed to preserve the Argan Forest by planting new trees and harvesting argan nuts.  Because argan oil is exclusive to this land, it is “a source of dependable income and a means of improving their financial independence, access to healthcare, and education,” according to a Kiehl’s press release.  Josie Maran adds, “Purchasing the oil from the women’s cooperatives supports their social and economic welfare.”  Many companies manufacturing argan oil promote fair-trade, fostering a healthy, safe, environmentally friendly work environment in which workers are fairly compensated for their labor.  Always a big plus.  :-)

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads

When it comes to alpha hydroxy treatments, you really don’t get much better than Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads.  A best-seller for several years running, these puppies contain both glycolic acid and salicyclic acid.  Contrary to popular belief, alpha hydroxy acids will not dry out your skin, as shown in at least one study.  They do, however, increase skin’s sensitivity, and then other ingredients used after alpha hydroxy acids can then cause discomfort, as found in a study by Yu et. al.

It is true that alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, while make your skin more sensitive to the sun (Journal of Dermatological Science, 2009). This is because glycolic acid smooths the skin, depleting its ability to scatter UV rays.  I have heard it argued, however, the smooth surface can be a more optimized palette on which to apply sunscreen.  At any rate, while I love Alpha Beta Peel Pads, I would only use them at night, on separate nights from my retinoids, since the pH optimal for retinol esterification is higher than that of glycolic or salicyclic acid.  [Read more:  How Do I Use a Retinoid and AHAs/BHAs Together?]

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for hot new summer skin care, it’s hard to beat theClarisonic Plus Sonic Cleansing Sun Solutions Kit.  I would, however, divert from the directions a bit, using the Truth Serum Collagen Booster only during the day, and the Alpha Beta Peel Pads only at night (and sparingly).  That said, it’s a great way to get the most of your ultra-important UV protection this summer, particularly if you’re in the market for a change!

Product Rating:  10/10

  • High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients:  3/3
  • Unique formulation or new technology:  3/3
  • Value:  3/3
  • Sunscreen: 1/1

Get $9 Cash Back on this Purchase!

Sign up at, and receive $9.40 cash back on your purchase when you click through to through their site!  I know I promote eBates often, but I work as an affiliate for them because I believe in their service and use it often myself.  It’s not a gimmick – they have the ability to get affiliate links due to high traffic levels, and then they pass some of the cash back onto you.  I use it a lot for travel, but I digress.  :-)

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster:

Water, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Acerbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasis Offinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 6 (CI 15985).

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer 40+ UVA/UVB:
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract**, Caprylyl Glycol**, Chamomilla Recutita Matricaria (Chamomile) Extract*, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone**, Ethylhexyl Palmitate**, Hexadecene Copolymer**, Hexylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate**, Phenoxyethanol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Oil**, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Tocopherol**. *Organic **Natural.

Spotlight On: Sea Buckthorn – Super Fruit, or Super Fraud?

By Leah Argento, FutureDerm Weekly Contributing Writer and Beauty Industry Expert

Sea Buckthorn

Take a closer look - you may be seeing a lot more of this fruit in your skin care soon.

Super Fruit all the way! Sea Buckthorn, scientifically known as Hippophae rhamnoides, is a shrub that can be found in Europe and Asia. This plant is so important in terms of its function as a source of vitamins and minerals that in 2005 the European Commission funded the EAN-Seabuck network to promote sustainable crop and consumer product development.

Sea buckthorn berries from Russia

Sea buckthorn berries from Russia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why? Because Sea Buckthorn is viewed as an underused, raw material for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. While research from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology exists confirming the benefits of Sea buckthorn as a cardioprotective and wound healing promoting agent, just how can Sea Buckthorn benefit us cosmetically? For one thing, the fruit that grows from its plants provides (per 100 grams):

  • 600 mg of vitamin C,
  • 180 mg of vitamin E,
  • 80 mcg of folic acid
  • 35 mg of carotenoids (beta carotene, lycopene, etc.)
  • 6 – 11% omega fatty acids (the only plant known to contain Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9)
  • up to 1% of flavonoids.

From a beauty perspective, this is a significant amount of anti-aging antioxidants and moisture-promoting fatty acids.  In the long term, regular ingestion and topical application of sea buckthorn could mean a reduction in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, protection against photoaging, and collagen production.  Just how much remains to be determined.

Wait – Omega 7?!

Greek omega

Got Omega? Omega-7 is non-essential, but that doesn't mean it isn't beneficial for your skin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case you’re wondering, Omega 7 is not an essential fatty acid like Omega 3 and Omega 6, meaning that Omega 7 is produced by our bodies.  However, modern diets do not provide enough of the components to make Omega 7 naturally. Additionally, with aging the production of Omega 7 decreases and our bodies need for it increases.

Thus, supplementation becomes necessary. Clinical studies have shown that Omega 7, when taken internally and applied topically soothes eczema and helps clear up acne. Even Dr. Oz is a fan!

Other Components of Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthornSea Buckthorn also delivers skin-fortifying minerals such as selenium, zinc, copper, and sulfur (MSM). And, a very convincing study from the Journal of Applied Cosmetology found Sea Buckthorn fought signs of aging when used in both oral supplements and topical application, significantly improving overall skin hydration and elasticity. Oral supplemention resulted in decreases in mean roughness and maximum roughness of the skin surface, indicating anti-wrinkle efficacy, while topical application increased cutaneous thickness, suggesting positive structural changes and improvement in collagen synthesis in the skin.

The Future

For starters, The Mayo Clinic is studying how Sea Buckthorn reacts on fatty acid metabolism. And raw Sea Buckthorn juice will be soon appear on the menu in Dr. Andrew Weil’s True Food Kitchens. Organic Spa Magazine reports that Sea Buckthorn infused chocolate is now available from Sibu Beauty.  I’m sure we haven’t heard the last on the benefits of this amazing super fruit!

Sea buckthornProducts Available with Sea Buckthorn

  • SIBU BeautySIBU Beauty Sea Buckthorn Face Care ($10.76 and up,  For best results, combine use of the oral supplement with the serum or the seed oil, which tend to be more concentrated than creams, lotions, or toners.  Keep in mind serum is best for oily to normal skin, whereas seed oil is better for dry to normal skin types.
  •  Weleda Sea Buckthorn Body Oil ($19.21,  This product is sensational when applied right out of the shower, on slightly damp skin.  The oil seals the moisture into your skin.  One warning:  If you’re prone to body breakouts, you may want to save this for legs, arms, and other non-acne-prone areas.

P.S. I ordered some today from and I will definitely keep you posted on my personal experience with their oral supplements!

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