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Clarisonic Cleanser

Clarisonic Cleansers

Clarisonic promises to transform skin with its line of individual cleansers and Sonic Skin Cleaning Systems.

Clarisonic claims its Sonic Skin Cleaning System together with the cleansers cleans skin 6 times better than washing manually.

They offer facial cleansers for all types of skin.

Is Clarisonic really the best line of facial products? I dug in a little deeper to find out.

The Product Line

Clarisonic has 4 Sonic Skin Cleaning Systems, 6 brush heads, 7 cleansers, serums, and masks, and an Opal Sonic Infusion System.

There are lots of options for all kinds of needs; this review focuses on the 4 facial cleansers offered by Clarisonic.

The Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

Clarisonic claims its Deep Pore Daily Cleanser is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of pores without drying the skin. Clarisonic only lists two active ingredients which I cover below.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is extracted from various fruits and is often used in high concentrations (70%) for chemical peels to treat acne. Studies show these chemical peels are effective and well tolerated by patients. [1]

For home remedies, experts suggest concentrations of 15% or less. Anything higher isn’t proven to be safe for personal use. [2]

In one study, researchers tested a cream with 15% glycolic acid on 40 subjects. Results showed a resolution of acne, acne scars, and lesions. Subjects also had healthier and brighter looking skin with much smaller pores. [3]

Green Tea

Studies show topical green tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in humans and animals. Green tea also has a photoprotective effect that reduces the number of sunburns and UV damage. [4]

Are There Side Effects?

In some people, glycolic acid can make skin sensitive to sunlight. It can also cause skin irritation, redness, swelling, itching, and skin discoloration. [2]

I wasn’t able to find any side effects for topical green tea.

The Acne Clarifying Cleanser

Clarisonic claims its Acne Clarifying Cleanser clears existing acne and prevents new acne from forming. In addition to green tea, Acne Clarifying Cleanser contains the following active ingredients:

Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract

There are no human studies on the nelumbo nucifera flower. [5] However, there are a few animal studies.

In one study, mice with chronic inflammatory skin disease were given 5, 25, or 50 mg of nelumbo nucifera flower extract a day. After 4 weeks, the skin was less inflamed, and the mice didn’t itch as much. [6]

The problem with this study is the nelumbo nucifera flower extract was given orally, so I’m not sure what effect of topical nelumbo necifera has.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects skin against sun damage. Vitamin C also reduces wrinkles and fine lines. [4]

Experts recommend getting 500 mg a day of oral vitamin C; I was unable to find what concentration is needed for topical treatment.

Are There Side Effects?

According to WebMD, not enough is known about nelumbo nucifera to know if it is safe for humans. [7]

Vitamin C is safe when applied in the correct dosages. [8]

The Gentle Hydro Cleanser

Clarisonic claims its Gentle Hydro Cleanser removes impurities while soothing skin. Like the other Clarisonic cleansers, Gentle Hydro Cleanser features green tea extract to improve skin. Additionally, it provides aloe vera and vitamin e to improve skin health and promote healing.

Aloe Vera

Aloe is used topically for burns, frostbite, psoriasis, and cold sores. Some suggest aloe increases circulation in the tiny blood vessels and kills bacteria which speeds wound healing. [9]

Studies show aloe vera heals and moisturizes dry skin. [10] WebMD experts suggest using 0.5% cream applied 3 times daily. [9]

Vitamin E

I couldn’t find any human studies on topical vitamin E, but animal studies suggest it has a protective effect. Appling a 1% vitamin E solution to hairless mice protected the skin against early damage by UV radiation. [11]

Are There Any Side Effects?

Aloe vera may cause burning and itching of the skin. [9]

Topical use of vitamin E may irritate the skin. [12]

The Refreshing Gel Cleanser

According to Clarisonic, this cleanser relieves and protects oily, congested skin and pores. In addition to glycolic acid, the Refreshing Gel Cleanser features salicylic acid for treating acne.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a strong acid commonly used in chemical facial peels at concentrations of 14%. Studies show salicylic acid has distinct advantages for resurfacing sun-damaged skin. [13]

I wasn’t able to find any studies saying what effect smaller concentrations of salicylic acid might do. Considering 14% is used in professional face peels, I assume smaller concentrations would be effective and safe in home remedies.

Are There Side Effects?

Salicylic acid may cause burning, redness, and peeling. [13]

How to Use Clarisonic Cleansers

All the Clarisonic cleansers are meant to be used with the Sonic Skin Cleaning Systems, except the Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser, which can be used manually.

The Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser calls specifically for the acne cleansing brush head and The Refreshing Gel Cleanser is to be used with the deep pore cleansing brush head.

Begin by using warm water to wet the skin and brush head, and then apply the cleanser. Select the desired speed (if your Sonic Skin Cleaning System has multiple speed options). Start on the forehead and gradually work your way to the rest of the face following the T-Timer prompts. Then rinse your face thoroughly.

What Are Customers Saying?

Here are some customer opinions from Clarisonic.com.

It’s Great

“I have tried EVERY over the counter acne wash out there. From neutrogena, to Murad, to Proactiv.
Proactiv did an okay job keeping my acne in check but it’s VERY expensive. I hated buying it. So I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Mia 2 and the acne cleanser with a deep pore brush head.
I’ve been using this since Christmas and my blemishes are GONE. I do get the occasional stress or hormone blemish, but unlike before where they would get giant and last forever, now they stay small and go away in a couple days. I cannot recommend this cleanser enough. I’ll never buy another one again. I get compliments all the time on my complexion and my scars are starting to clear up. THANK YOU CLARISONIC!!!”
– KAE2021

It’s Ok

“At first the product made me beak out for weaks,but I realized that I had used too much when starting to use the product, and had not let my skin ease into a new routine. It didn’t really help my oily skin, but it did a good cleansing gob, so give it a try.”
– MitziDae

Didn’t Work

“I saw this product online and decided to give it a try. I have acne prone skin and was looking for a new product to assist with batteling breakouts. The price was a little steep…but I don’t mind paying the price for a great product. To my disappointment I saw NO results. For $40 a bottle…it does not work any better than $5 a bottle products I have tried. Plus..the smell was horrible. I wish I could be one of the ones who loved this product..but it did nothing for my skin. I will be returning this product. “
– Genie

Prices and Guarantee

Clarisonic cleansers come in 6 oz. bottles and range from $25-$27. The Sonic Skin Cleaning Systems and brush heads cost approximately $200 or more.

However, Clarisonic offers a 90 day money-back guarantee on its Sonic Skin Cleaning Systems and on its Sonic Infusion Systems. It appears the guarantee doesn’t cover the creams or cleansers.
This guarantee covers products bought from Clarisonic.com or from any other authorized dealer. To return a product, contact customer service at 888-525-2747.

Are the Clarisonic Cleansers Worth the Price?

The Clarisonic line is pricey. But, some of the edge is taken off with the great guarantee and warranty. If it doesn’t work, you can get a full refund. After looking at the customer reviews, it’s obvious this product doesn’t work for everyone. But, some have seen great results. If it fits in your budget, it may be worth the risk.

References

[1] Atzori, L., M.A. Brundu, A. Orru, and P. Biggio. “Glycolic acid peeling in the treatment of acne.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 12.2 (1999). Web. 22 July 2013. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-3083.1999.tb01000.x/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

[2] “ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-977-ALPHA%20HYDROXY%20ACIDS.aspx?activeIngredientId=977&activeIngredientName=ALPHA%20HYDROXY%20ACIDS

[3] WANG, CHUN-MIN, CHUNG-LI HUANG, CHIEN-TING SINDY HU, and HENG-LEONG CHAN. “The Effect of Glycolic Acid on the Treatment of Acne in Asian Skin.” Dermatologic Surgery 23.1 (1997). Web. 22 July 2013. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1997.tb00003.x/abstracthttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-3083.1999.tb01000.x/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthen

[4] Korać, Radava R., and Kapil M. Khambholja. “Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation.” Pharmacgnosy Reveiws (2011). Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/#__ffn_sectitle

[5] “Nelumbo Nucifera.” Examine . Web. 22 July 2013. http://examine.com/supplements/Nelumbo+Nucifera/

[6] Karki, Rajendra, Myung-A Jung, Keuk-Jun Kim, and Dong-Wook Kim. “Inhibitory Effect of Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) on the Development of Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions in NC/Nga Mice.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine . Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/153568/

[7] “LOTUS.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-124-LOTUS.aspx?activeIngredientId=124&activeIngredientName=LOTUS

[8] “VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID).” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1001-Vitamin%20C%20(VITAMIN%20C%20(ASCORBIC%20ACID)).aspx?activeIngredientId=1001&activeIngredientName=Vitamin%20C%20(VITAMIN%20C%20(ASCORBIC%2

[9] “ALOE.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-607-ALOE.aspx?activeIngredientId=607&activeIngredientName=ALOE

[10] West, , and Zhu. “Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure.” Am J Infect Control. (2000). Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12548256

[11] Record, Ian R., Ivor E. Dreosti, Mary Konstantinopoulos, and Reg A. Buckley. “The influence of topical and systemic vitamin E on ultraviolet light‐induced skin damage in Hairless Mice.” Nutrition and Cancer . Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635589109514160#.Ue1IF43vv12

[12] “Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide.” WebMD . Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-vitamin-e?page=1

[13] “salicylic acid Top.” WebMD.com. WebMD, n.d. Web. 22 July 2013. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-866-SALICYLIC+ACID+KERATOLYTIC+-+TOPICAL.aspx?drugid=18&drugname=salicylic+acid+top

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