A few months ago, a reader sent me an e-mail asking if my Clarisonic ever gave me acne. My knee jerk reaction was to say no. But then, a few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how to clean and care for your Clarisonic, and someone left this message in the comments:
After months on the fence I broke down & bought the Pro but returned it weeks later (thanks to Sephora’s generous return policy) after getting horrible breakouts all over my face. I’m proof that a different brush head certainly makes a difference. Convinced by my aesthetician to give it another go, right now I’m using the Mia with the acne brush head, and it’s made a world of difference. I love, love, love my Mia and even though the body brush was great on the Pro I’m loving the fact that I can travel with the Mia and it fits better in my puny hand.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I was overlooking something. Maybe I was using the wrong brush head and it was contributing to my acne? Figuring that I had nothing to lose, I bought an acne brush head and a bottle of Clarisonic’s acne face wash.
It’s worth mentioning that over the past month, I have been a prisoner of one of the worst breakouts of my life. It was so atrocious that nothing–not facials, not tanning, not laser light therapy–could break it.
I started using the soap and brush head the first day they arrived. I’ve used them religiously twice-a-day, every day since. Within a week, my breakout was mostly healed. Now, two weeks later, my skin is the best that it has been in at least a year.
The brush head is softer and more plush than even the delicate brush head. The manufacturer says that the brush head was designed “to flush pores with an ultra-gentle cleansing action that’s perfect for sensitive and compromised skin.” The soap has 2% salicylic acid but isn’t drying. I’ve never been able to use an acne soap for more than two days before it made my skin more parched than the Mojave. But this one works without drying.
Sephora sells a new Mia kit designed for acne sufferers. It contains a Mia, an acne brush head and a 12-week supply of the soap for $169.
As I mentioned, I was suffering through a terrible, unbreakable breakout that started to heal not long after I started using this product. The soap and brush head are the only thing in my regimen that I changed. So I am very confident that this is what made the difference.
I have long loved my Clarisonic (15% off the Mia at Skinstore with code TREND15). I didn’t think it was possible to love it more, but now that I have the right brush head for my skin type and the right soap, I am enamored all over again. It’s blissful.
Louise – if you are taking birth control, you should check with another doctor on the hormone levels. I had a doc diagnose me with a hormone deficiency and refer me to a specialist, who immediately looked at my chart and said that there wasn't any issue because the abnormal hormone levels are caused by the BCP and the only way to change that is go off the pill.
Do they sell the brush head separately? I don't think I could afford to buy another Clarisonic.
I swear by my Clarisonic, but I did breakout for the first three or so weeks that I used it, but after that, my skin looks awesome.
TA: They sell the brush head and soap separately. Soap: https://ow.ly/9SLq9 Brush Head: https://ow.ly/9SLAr
the code SPR20 is good for 20% off at SkinStore.
Has anyone tried teas that should help skin? I currently trying dandelion root tea and Detox from yogi but only for 2 days. Am I grasping at straws? They've been reported to reduce excess androgens that can cause hormone-related breakouts. Alternatively, I'd appreciate any comments about BCPs that reduce acne – must be 25 ug estrogen (or less). Sorry if this is hijacking the thread . . . I love my MIA and will try the acne brush now.
People who struggle with acne, have you tried Accutane? Or is Accutane not for all acne types? My friend had terrible acne and after 8 months on accutane, he's never had a blemish in the 12 years since. Seriously his skin is perfect.
Tea Forte has three varieties of tea specifically for skin (recommended by Dr. Oz). I have been drinking the Cherry Marzipan for about three weeks and am noticing a difference in the texture and radiance of my complexion. This is in addition to the Clarisonic use which I started again after Belle's last post. But, I do think the tea has augmented the results. The goal is that by summer to be able to wear a tinted moisturizer foundation instead of a full coverage one.
I wouldn't say that I have acne (though I did when I was younger) – now I have a few blemishes/zits at any given time with some blackhead issues. Occasionally these breakouts get a bit worse, which is frustrating and leaves me wondering how I can change up my skincare regime. I have a Mia and have recently been using a sensitive brush head. Would the acne brush head and soap be too extreme for me?
DC Atty says:
I think everyone will experience break-outs when they first start using the Clarisonic. That's the whole point of it. It gets that gunk out of your skin. I started using it over a year ago with the sensitive brush head and had that experience. Then, I started using the deep pore cleansing brush head about 3 months ago and had another go-round with the clean-up effects. I considered that good news, though, because it means it is working. I've had problems with clogged pores on my chin and nose since I was a teenager and they are now almost gone.
Anon: I have not tried accutane. The side effects scare the holy spirit out of me. I don't doubt that it works, but there are just some things I cannot say yes to.
After hearing an ex describe having his mother wake him up with eye drops so he could open his eyes and Vaseline up his nose and on his lips every morning because of Accutane, I can't fathom taking it. But I am going to look into the acne brush for my Mia – it really is the best CapHillStyle-induced purchase I've made. It's amazing.
I was on accutane for about 6 months. While on it my skin was raw, bright red, and I had a lot of issues with my eyes. But it wasn't awful if you moisturized well. Once I started feeling a kind of hallucination feeling in my eyes (if I ever did hard drugs I'd think it was something like that), I was taken off of it immediately. My chest and back acne is completely gone and all my cystic, really bad acne is gone on my face. A year and half later, my skin is still clear. My only problem now is clogged pores and blackheads in my T-zone. But I paid for it with uneven, toned skin and crazy bad redness in my T-zone.
Would I do it again? Yes, but I should have talked to my doctor sooner about my side effects because I may have been able to have a lower dosage for a longer time.
I've been tempted to try a clarisonic for awhile now. I may need to invest in the acne scrub brush pack. The possibility of purging my poor pores of all the ick makes the price worth it.
Belle, I'd love to get some info on what type of facials you do? I have acne prone skin-nothing horrible but I didn't think you should do facials on that kind of skin?
I abandoned my Mia because I didn't notice any change in my acne. However, I've had some success lately in treating my life-long acne problem.
First, I've gone back to using Acne.org's 2% benzoyl peroxide solution (after a few months break during which my acne got seriously worse).
Second, I'm trying to figure out the underlying cause of my skin problems – I feel like I've tried every topical remedy under the sun and it never truly solves the issue, and I don't want to be on BP forever. I now eat “paleo”, which is an anti-inflammatory diet. I'm sure eating paleo hasn't hurt the cause, and there are phenomenal benefits, but it didn't cure my skin. So I went to a naturopath. He did an in-office test that suggested I was seriously zinc-deficient. I began taking 40 mg of zinc glycinate daily a couple of months ago and it seems to have resulted in dramatic improvements. Also, just did a hormone panel and the naturopath said that my estrogen and progesterone levels are in the lower range of normal and my testosterone levels are at the upper range of normal. So now I'll be taking some herbal remedies to stimulate the girly hormones. I'll let you know if this benefits my skin at all.
Just sharing my experiences in case they are of any value to anyone out there.
Dumb question, does the Clarisonic get rid of small black hears on the nose and chin? I don't have acne (thank you Accutane!) but I do have pesky blackheads….
L: The Deep Pore brush will help clear those pores.
I've suffered from acne/breakouts for most of my teen and adult life. The breakouts are now under control, and I only get one or two pimples around that time of the month–which I'm willing to deal with. My current routine includes BCP (aviane–very low hormone levels, I'm petite and have had no side effects) and Tazorac 0.05% at night with Vanicream moisturizer as necessary.
But what has made the biggest difference, in my opinion, is using a facial brush (currently using the Olay Pro brush, planning on getting the MIA when the Olay dies) in conjunction with Obagi gentle facial cleanser and Obagi toner in the am and pm. They are specially formulated to work with retin-a (like tazorac, differin, etc) and make my skin silky smooth and moisturized..amazing if you've ever used retin-a products. I also use the exfoderm forte lotion in the am. Obagi can be found on drugstore.com or amazon for far less than what you would pay at the derm and in my experience, you don't need to use the entire 6 step system. I highly recommend it if you are using a retin-a or retinoid product (which by the way are extremely potent wrinkle fighters too!)