September 30, 2013

The Real Deal :: Clarisonic Mia :: 6 months Update, all Natural Skin Care Routine, Tips, & Review :)


So...
here's my long skin story...

.....
my skin sucks.


Guess it's not that long heh but for the past two years, my skin has gone through
an insane amount of products (both generic chemically stuff and natural)
and I have pretty much done as much research as possible about how to clear up my skin.

I purchased my clarisonic mia (off of amazon for a cheaper price)
last March, and it has officially been six months since I started using it (with the sensitive brush head that it comes with).
My skin is still not perfectly clear but I've come to the point that
I'm okay with leaving the house without a buttload of concealer on.
There have been a TON of factors that have contributed to clearing up my skin,
so I am not, by all means, saying that the clarisonic is a miracle worker (because I had originally
thought it would be due to the youtube crazes last year about it). I will definitely do another blog post or video on my youtube channel (www.youtube.com/thevintagecroc) on my lifestyle and diet changes , because I think that has also significantly improved my skin.

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And just in case anyone was wondering, here's my current, all NATURAL, nighttime skincare routine:
(I don't use cleansers or anything in the morning, just plain, good old H2O )

Every other day, I will use the clarisonic brush with my juice beauty blemish cleanser (all natural cleanser). Following the clarisonic/cleanse, I use a mix of apple cider vinegar and water as a toner (half and half of each). After that, I treat any blemishes with a cotton swab dipped in some tea tree oil. And the last step is moisturizing my face with avocado oil ( I have combination skin, but let's be logical people: stripping your face of its natural oils will make your skin over produce oils in order to compensate for the lost oils. So moisturize your face, even if it's oily. You'll be surprised that your skin actually becomes less oil after using a moisturizer). 

On the other day that I don't use my clarisonic, I do an oil cleanse. I think it's easier to understand what it is with a demonstration, so here's a wonderful youtube video by one of my favorite youtubers on oil cleansing (also all natural :) ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTQhXmL5FqU
What I actually do is apply the oils to my skin before I take a shower, so the steam from the shower will help the oils suck out all the dirt and yucky stuff from my face for longer (without too much direct steam from a hot towel), then after the shower, I'll use a hot towel to aid the process, but only for about 10-20 seconds. I follow up with a mask, and lately, I've been loving the Ayesha Fresh Face mask from LUSH. After the mask, I follow up with the tea tree oil process and avocado oil :). 

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So enough of the chit chat, let's just get into the review:

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THE PRODUCT:

Comes with the clarisonic system (i got pink cause it was actually the cheapest color on amazon lol and i mean it's my favorite color...so naturally i just had to get it--- win win situation people), a sensitive brush head, a cleanser (never tried it), instructions, and a charger.

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MY EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS LEARNED:

So here's the bottom line: 
In my opinion, the clarisonic may be a good investment or worth trying for people
who have moderate to pretty bad cases of acne. Though my acne has been bad for a while, it was still technically under the "moderate" category. If your acne is actually much worse than usual cases, I definitely 
think that you should play it safe and check with a dermatologist before trying the clarisonic out. 
Now, my definition of "moderate" acne isn't getting a blemish once in a while or once a month; when I say moderate, I mean patches of breakouts in some areas or just overall blemished, but still manageable, skin.
So after using the clarisonic for about a month, I realized that 
1. I rarely had super deep pimples unlike in the past
and 2. I instead had patches of really tiny bumps under the skin that would surface up unexpectedly
~(by the way, I did not experience the skin-purging phase that many people go through the first two weeks of using the clarisonic)~

I was really happy to see that I was no longer getting those super deep pimples as often cause those things are a pain (they actually HURT and look bad), but I was so confused as to why I had so many patches of tiny bumps that just surfaced out of nowhere. Here's the lesson learned: don't use a harsh scrub or an exfoliating scrub with the clarisonic. (In general, I avoid scrubs on my face but that's a post for another day.)
The reason why those tiny bumps kept surfacing is because I over exfoliated my skin!! After I stopped using the exfoliating scrub and just stuck to the clarisonic, I began to see some improvements.

After another couple of months (and MAJOR lifestyle/diet changes), my skin definitely looked much clearer due to the combination of my consistent skincare routine and those changes. About a month ago (August), I went to California for two weeks and I decided to stop using my clarisonic for those two weeks (even though I brought it) to see if my skin would respond. (Now, keep in mind, my diet did change since we were traveling to a new city almost everyday and we just ate out all the time. Though I tried to make healthy choices whenever possible, my diet was definitely not clean, so my diet may have had an impact on my skin.)
BUT ANYWAYS, 
I began to notice that those deep pimples started to come back as the two weeks were coming to an end.
When I came home, I began to use the clarisonic again as I always did, and that issue with the super deep pimples began to go away as it did before. So I take it from this incident and my previous experiences with the clarisonic from the months prior that the clarisonic did improve my skin in terms of diminishing the frequent recurrence of the deep pimples.

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HOW TO CARE FOR THE CLARISONIC BRUSH:

Another major lesson I learned as I used the clarisonic is to WASH the brush before every single use with warm water and hand soap. I also clean the brush by letting it sit (bristle side down) into a cup with just enough hydrogen peroxide to cover the bristles so they are SQUEAKY CLEAN :). 
Now, it is recommended by the company to get a new brush every 3-4 months or so. However, they also recommend to use the clarisonic twice daily. I use it every other day, and only once that day I am using it. So I still haven't gotten a new brush even though it's been six months. (My logic: I'm only using it 1/4 of the time that they recommend to use it for on a weekly basis, so since I use it less, I can go for a longer period of time without replacing it--- 4 times as long, so maybe I'll replace it once a year? lol idk, it's still really clean though). Regardless of how often you replace the bristles, just make sure you clean it often and I think you'll be good :). 
Also, the brushes aren't cheap, and if you are thinking about investing in a deep cleansing system like the clarisonic, maybe look into the Foreoluna. I have never tried it, however I have heard that it does the exact same thing as the clarisonic but the bristles of the Foreoluna are made of silicon and it does not harbor bacteria like the bristles of the clarisonic. The two systems deep clean your skin differently though, the clarisonic buffs your skin in circular motions whereas the Foreoluna uses sonic pulses to clean your skin. Here's a great comparison video done by another favorite youtuber of mine:

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SO IS IT WORTH IT?

I say if you have moderate acne, this may be worth trying. If you have overall clear skin, just a pimple here and there every now and then, you may not really need it. You could even try just using a cheap electronic toothbrush with a soft bristled head as a cheaper alternative and use that to deep clean your skin. (Just remember when using that or even the clarisonic: DONT PRESS IT AGAINST YOUR SKIN. Gently let it rest on top of your skin and keep it moving the whole time; also, make sure that it is wet because not only will your cleanser lather and foam up better, but it will be gentler and less abrasive.)
The clarisonic has a 90 day money back warranty if you don't like it, and in my opinion, you should be able to see results within a month or two (30-60 days), and if you don't, return it and get your money back.
But you have now heard my experience and if you are experiencing the similar issues that I experienced, then maybe it's a worthwhile investment. Remember, everyone's skin is different.
Don't forget, I also accredit my improved skin (not perfect) to my lifestyle/diet changes, which I will be sharing soon in the future. So that's pretty much my experience with the clarisonic.
I will continue to use it because it works pretty well for me, but it is definitely not a miracle product and is not the solution to my acne. The choice is up to you, but I hope my (lengthy, sorry!) sharing of my experience with the clarisonic has maybe given you a little more insight into this product, or maybe you already have the clarisonic and maybe my tips and tricks have helped you, or maybe my skincare routine has helped you. 

Just remember, that tons and tons of people out there experience skin issues and it is extremely rare for people to never have experienced a pimple. It's just an awful fact of life, and I do sympathize with you, but don't let acne ruin your life. Don't let your self-confidence be lowered by your acne or any other physical issue. (Maybe I'll do another blog post on confidence with acne?) 
If you are a good person on the inside (and I think everyone has the goodness on the inside), it will truly shine through if you allow it, and people will be able to see that goodness mask any impurity you may be insecure of. (Give people the benefit of the doubt!)

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So I'm going to end this LENGTHY blog post (sorry again) now. 
My parting words:
I hope this post helped in some way/shape/form. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down in the comment section below, and I will talk to you all very soon <3. 

xoxo, Hannah :)

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