Product Review: Clarisonic Skin Care Brush and Cleansers

Skin Care



The Clarisonic Skin Care System uses sonic frequencies to gently cleanse the skin.  Photo source

According to Sephora, the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush ($195.00, is one of the company’s best-sellers. Designed with a sonic frequency that moves more than 300 times per second, the brush claims to “remove six times more make-up” and “clear your pores, loosening dirt, make-up, and oil” when used twice per day.  Yet how effective does the scientific literature say the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is at achieving these aims? Let’s take a look…

How was the brush developed?

According to an review by dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos, the brush was developed by Clarisonic/Pacific Biosciences Laboratories, the same team of engineers and researchers that developed the Phillips Sonicare Toothbrush. The device runs on a rechargeable battery attached to a miniaturized motor that creates an oscillatory motion of the brush head. While the oscillatory sonic motion was originally developed to remove more plaque from the teeth than ordinary brushes, a revision of the enlarged brush head with soft, tufted bristles was developed for cleansing the face.

Effective at loosening debris from the pores

The company’s claims are valid: According to the aforementioned review by dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos, “the sonic motion of the brush aids in dislodging facial debris, much like the sonic surgical-instrument cleansers that are used to clean liposuction cannulas and reusable injection needles.” In addition, Draelos adds, “the bristles of the face brush are designed to traverse facial dermatoglyphics, pores, and scars,” so the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush may be suitable for patients with acne, as unclogging the pores is a common goal of treatment.

May lessen breakouts

According to a 2006 study in the journal Cosmetic Dermatology, the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush may oscillate at sonic speed in such a way that inelastic comedones (pimples) become loosened and detached from the infundibular wall, and are then cleared from the acroinfundibulum of the skin.

Not harmful for your skin

The 2006 study in the journal Cosmetic Dermatology states that the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is a “gentle” means of cleansing and prevents the skin from being compromised by acute or chronic infections resulting from inadequate cleansing of the skin.

Do you need a special cleanser with the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush?

According to the Clarisonic website, “any non-abrasive cleanser can be used.” However, Clarisonic further recommends “optimized” use of the Clarisonic Skin Care Brushwith one of their three cleansers.

Of the three cleansers, my favorite is the Clarisonic Gentle Hydro Cleanser ($25.00, for normal to sensitive skin. The cleanser contains a fairly high concentration of antioxidant vitamin E, and keeps drying low-molecular weight alcohols to a minimum. My second favorite is Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser for normal to oily skin, which contains natural moisturizing factor hyaluronic acid, and fair concentrations of antioxidants grape seed, green tea, and ubiquinone. My least favorite of the three is Clarisonic Nourishing Care Cleanser for normal to dry skin, which contains olive oil, sodium hyaluronate, and a low concentration of antioxidant green tea.


How often do the brush heads need to be replaced?

According to the user’s guide, the brush heads should be replaced every 90 days when being used at the recommended frequency of two times per day.  Brush heads are $25.00 each, and are available from Clarisonic for normal, sensitive, and delicate skin here.

As A Result…

I can’t wait to try it! I love the new technology and the idea of “deep cleansing” skin without being harsh or abrasive. The only unfortunate part is the high price tag. Product Rating: 9/10 (Ingredients with substantive research backing in high concentration: not applicable, New technology: 3/3, Value for the money: 2/3, Sunscreen: not applicable).

For more information, visit the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush site here.

For 18+ customer reviews, visit here.

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  • skeptical Sarah

    I was very swayed by your review, until I tried clicking on the links to the professional journal reviews, that led to no where.

    I have friends that swear by this thing but I’m skeptical as I don’t want to doanything to my face thatis excess running because I don’t want to reduce its elasticity prematurely.

    healthy looking skin is great and allbut pre nature wrinklesare not something I’m willing to trade for that

  • hi, great information about skin care. thanks.

    uses of essential oils products also great for skin care.Shiva Exports India is committed to this sprite of growth in the field of natural essential oils. SEI established to presents its true and pure products throughout the world consumer market.

  • Danielle

    Great review. I would like to try it, even though I read somewhere that using a washcloth has similar benefits.

  • I have had one of these for almost 2 years, and it is just THE GREATEST THING EVER! I had one of the early model, and Clarisonic replaced it for me, free of charge, without my having to ask them to, when the recall occurred. Great customer service for a great product!

  • Wow, thanks for letting me know!

  • Left Brain

    I just got a letter in the mail from the makers of Clairsonic. The product is being recalled for some faulty wiring that makes the handle dangerously hot.

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