I purchased my Clarisonic Mia four years ago during my junior year of high school. When I went on Accutane my senior year, I was forbidden from using it, but afterward I was back to happily Clarisonic-ing twice daily — that’s about three years’ worth of twice daily Clarisonic exfoliation. I think I probably missed one day at the most in that time frame.
These days, it’s rare that I get more than one small blemish at a time. So when three came up in a span of two days, I figured something had to be wrong. I noticed my skin would feel a little raw after my Clarisonic use, and began wondering if maybe — just maybe — my Clarisonic was to blame. How could my near-$200 cleansing device betray me after all these years? I did some research, and this is what I found:
I legitimately felt like my entire life was a sham. I sat on a throne of over-priced, cosmetic lies.
Evidently, just because you’re using soap on your Clarisonic with each cleansing doesn't mean it's actually being cleaned. In fact, sitting in a damp shower all day can promote bacterial growth in the brush head… Ew.
This isn’t a huge issue in the first one or two months of use when the brush head is in its prime condition. With each session, however, the brush fibers break down — this is why they suggest you replace the brush head every three months. Although it’s partially so you’ll have to continue buying their products, the bristles actually do degrade and form microscopic holes, which harbor bacteria and mildew (they basically become porous like a sponge rather than stiff and solid). This bacteria can exacerbate your existing acne.
You can stretch out the life of each brush head by cleansing it with dish soap every few days to keep it clean, but you really shouldn't keep the same brush head for longer than three months. I know what you’re thinking — “I can’t afford to buy a $30 brush head every three months! That’s absurd!” And trust me, me neither.
That’s why I’m SO excited to share with you a tip that seems almost too good to be true. Whilst searching for replacement heads on Amazon, I found a company that makes duplicate heads for a fraction of the price. I got two replacement heads for $11. You read that right! Two brush heads for $11. It's called Sonimart, pictured below. The brush heads are identical, and some reviews claim they hold up even better than the Clarisonic-brand replacements.
Bacterial growth aside, my Clarisonic use was fundamentally wrong. Although the instructions say you can use the product up to twice a day, you really shouldn’t. I don’t care if your skin is made of leather, manual exfoliation twice daily is really over the top. If you’re like me and ignored these warnings before, take it from me and my week-long, Clarisonic-free face — over-exfoliation is worse than no exfoliation at all.
I started using my Clarisonic only at night, and only if I’ve been wearing makeup all day (and I'll be replacing the brush head regularly, now that I've found an extremely cheap alternative). After cutting down my use to once daily at night, my skin looks its best.
If you’re considering purchasing a Clarisonic, I suggest it. It’s very healthy to exfoliate a few times weekly, in part because it preps the skin for the products you’re putting on to soak in deeper.
Thanks so much for reading, and as always, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
All things beauty.