Can Clarisonic Help Eliminate Acne?

Is cleaning with the Clarisonic good for the skin?

I am regularly asked about the Clarisonic, the popular cleaning brush that you read a lot about at the moment. However, is the method good for the skin? Does it work and is it safe?

You can imagine that the studies on the use of this so-called sonic facial brush were carried out by the manufacturer. And yes, then of course you mainly see the great results such as six times better cleansing, a more radiant complexion, less dilated pores and even fewer skin folds and wrinkles. Is that correct? Is that possible?

So it's high time to test it out for yourself.
I tested the brush in various situations on a small group of people. I also looked at how this device affects the skin barrier. We also differentiated between oily and dry skin.

Test 1: Heavy makeup

The Clarisonic could be a valuable help with heavy make-up, such as is worn at photo shoots, on television or on stage. After all, a good, thorough cleaning is very important. To test this, we applied a thick layer to the forehead with a camouflage stick from the Hema (a product without water, so really waterproof). Believe me, this wasn't an everyday makeup (left photo).

When removing the make-up, we then compared the results of the brush and the "normal" cleaning method (right photo).
The photo on the right (1) shows the result after cleaning with the Carisonic for one minute. On the left (2) we removed the make-up manually with just one cleaning product. The large remains of make-up are clearly visible (black) (the white fluff in the photo comes from the towel ...). The result is very clear: 1-0 for the Clarisonic.

Note: The Clarisonic's brush could no longer be cleaned after this test ...

Test 2: sunscreen

Not everyone is heavily made up every day. For test 2, we therefore opted for a more realistic scenario: removing sunscreen. UV filters in sunscreens are a bit sticky and therefore difficult to remove. And yet they are - as it should be - used in many ways.
When skin that has sunscreen lotion is photographed with UV light, it glows black.

In this test, too, the right half of the face (left in the photo) was cleaned with the Clarisonic (1) and the left half manually (2).
The photos say enough: the score is 1: 1!

Test 3: skin barrier

The Tewameter can be used to measure how well the skin barrier works, or rather, how much water the skin loses. By measuring the barrier function both before and after cleaning, we were able to examine whether the Clarisonic was damaging the skin barrier. We examined the use of the cleaning brush on dry and oily skin.

It is difficult to draw a conclusion from the results of just one measurement. And yet I discovered something striking in the results.
It has been clearly shown that oily skin sustains less skin damage than dry, sensitive skin. That is actually also logical. The sebum forms a natural protective layer on the skin, something that dry skin lacks.

The graph clearly shows that cleaning with the Clarisonic leads to a much higher loss of water from the skin in test persons with dry skin than in persons with oily skin. Cleaning by hand has little effect on the moisture loss of the skin. The slight increase is normal when the skin comes into contact with water and a cleanser.

Final judgment

Anyone who has (re) oily skin or who regularly wears heavy make-up can benefit from cleaning with the Clarisonic. The danger lies in excessive use of this type of device. I would advise against daily use; I recommend a maximum of two to three times a week. Also, be careful when using skin care products with active ingredients. These can have a stronger effect if you apply them after cleaning with the Clarisonic.

For all other skin types, what applies to me: better not. My humble study showed after the first use of the Clarisonic that the skin barrier of dry skin showed more damage. And that although I used the so-called "Delicate" brush head, which should be the gentlest.


Best regards

Jetske Ultee

(Dr. Jetske Ultee - Research Doctor Cosmetic Dermatology)

Also read:

More about the barrier function of the skin
What to do about dry skin
What to do about oily skin
Use vegetable oils to remove makeup