Ask Melanie: Should I use the Clarisonic Brush?

Recently I’ve been dealing with an intriguing skin mystery. Many of my clients have been coming in to see me with dry, peeling, almost-raw skin. They all tell me they’ve been moisturizing, but still, their skin is unbelievably dry. After some digging, I found out the one factor all these people had in common: they were using the Clarisonic brush.

If you haven’t heard of the Clarisonic brush, it’s a handheld electronic facial brush (see photo above) that “uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to gently, yet thoroughly remove 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil than cleansing with your hands alone.” Sounds great, right?

Wrong. What they don’t mention is how unbelievably harsh this can be on your skin, especially when you use it the recommended two times a day, every day. From what i’ve seen in nearly a dozen clients, the bristles are so harsh that using the brush actually severaly irritates the skin and causses dryness, redness and stripping of the skin. Given this, I would strongly advise not using this product.

The over-dryness caused by the Clarisonic brush is acutally linked to a larger issue of over-exfoliation in the winter. In the dry winter months, it is essential that you modify your exfoliation routine to avoid over drying the skin. Here are some guidelines:

  • Use an Exfoliating Cleanser no more than 2 times a week in the evenings. Apply the product in very gentle circular motions and rince by splashing warm water on your face 7-10 times (not by wiping it off with a wet wash cloth). Follow by spraying on an alcohol-free toner.
  • Use a chemical exfoliant like Reveal 10 2-3 times a week maximum, also in the evenings. Follow by applying a highly emollient moisturizer like Supermoist, Night Cream or Hydro Gel.

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