Keeping it clean

Friday, June 26, 2009

Okay, so I go through stages with my internet buying - I'll get totally obsessed because I feel like I NEED everything and buy like crazy for a couple of weeks months - and then, being appalled at how much I've bought, back off and don't buy another thing from a shopping channel for a year. We all know what stage I'm in at the moment (tail end, I swear) but the last time I was actively stalking QVC's beauty programming was about 18 months ago.

At that time, the Clarisonic Facial Cleansing System was THE THING to have. "Are they crazy?" I thought. "There is no freaking way I am spending $200 for something to clean my face." Even though I wanted it, of course, I couldn't justify $200 for something that, frankly, I was afraid I would buy and then never use.

So here we are, 18 months later, and the Clarisonic is STILL the thing to have - but now I own one. I hemmed and hawed about it. I read reviews on QVC and other places on the internet. I watched YouTube video reviews. I tried to find cheaper alternatives. But none of that mattered when, right in the middle of my decision-making process, the Clarisonic popped up on FIVE EASY PAYS. Woot! What this meant to me was that now I only had to put out about $40 to test drive it for a month and, if I didn't like it, (say it with me, now) back it goes.

If you're not familiar, the Clarisonic face brush is based on the Sonic toothbrush technology. The brush spins back and forth in a way that isn’t even visible to the naked eye and deeply cleans your skin. They say it “dislodges facial debris.” I think this means it pulls all the gunk out of your pores. If you don’t get all that crap out of your pores, you get ugly stuff like acne, milia (little white bumps on your skin), and, the bane of my existence, visibly enlarged pores.

You can use any non-abrasive cleanser - you are not tied to a specific brand. The replaceable brushes come in normal, sensitive and delicate and last for 3 to 6 months, depending on whether you use it once or twice per day. I can actually use all three levels without a problem.

Oh and the best part? It's waterproof. You can totally use it in the shower.

It takes about 1 minute to use. They suggest twice a day, but lately I’ve only been using it at night (because I have enough things going on in the shower with all the hair products I’m using these days).

It's simple to use. Just load up your damp face with the cleanser, wet the brush and turn it on. Then, starting at your forehead, you use light circular movements until the thing beeps - that means it’s time to move down the center of your face (nose, mouth area) until it beeps again. Then your right cheek (beep) then your left cheek. When that's done, it automatically shuts off. Rinse your face and the brush. All done. The time can be adjusted for longer or shorter periods of time and for faster or slower spinning but, I'll be honest, I haven't bothered to play with that. If I feel I need more (like for my neck and chest) I just turn it on again until I feel done. A single charge holds for at least 3 weeks.

The results? Super-clean skin, for sure, but also better all over color and evenness of skin tone. And reduced pore size! Yay! I don't have problems with acne, so I can't personally speak to how it works for that, but the reviews are good. The deep cleaning leaves your skin in a better position to receive whatever treatment or moisturizing products you use, making them work better. It's not an exfoliator, but I think you do get just a tiny bit of that effect.

At first I thought I was going to have to send it back. I didn't think I liked it. But the more I used it, the more I loved it. I'm glad I gave it the full 30 days because it literally got better every day. Is it worth $200? Eh. I guess so. It IS really a nice, quality product. There's nothing cheap about the way it is made at all. And from what I hear, if you have any problem at all, their customer service is outstanding.

You can find the Clarisonic for less on eBay and Amazon, among other places, but you want to look at what’s included for the money. QVC’s package includes 3 brush heads (which is a big deal since they sell for $25 each, or 2 for $40) and several different cleansers, including one from the hoity-toity Kate Somerville line. Having extra brushes is handy if you want to share it with someone else in your family. Yes, even with a man. But if you buy the pink one (portion of profits to breast cancer research), he probably won’t use it. As I’m writing this (Thursday night), it’s available for 3 easy pays of $65 each.

Practically minutes after I bought mine, Clarisonic came out with the new and improved model, which includes a brush head for the body, for $225. That didn’t really hurt my feelings too badly. Like I said, I spend too much time in the shower already – I don’t need to be in there flipping brush heads around.

To sum it up, I highly recommend this product if you can swing the price. I don’t regret it at all and I actually look forward to using it every day.

After buying the Clarisonic and reading all the product reviews, I noticed that most people mentioned using Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple as their cleanser of choice. So I bought it. And since they had it available in a combo with their Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, I decided I needed that, too. Sigh. And guess what? Practically overnight I became a freaking “Philosophy Girl”. I always thought of Philosophy as just some overpriced shower gels, so I pretty much ignored them. Oh boy, am I ever sorry I did that. The things I’ve missed out on!

The Purity Made Simple is, hands down, the best cleanser I’ve ever used. I can actually wash off my eye makeup and open my eyes. With the cleanser on them! No stinging, no burning and the makeup is OFF. Oh, and it leaves your skin nice and soft, without a hint of dryness. Great product.

But even better? The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. It’s a cleanser that has super-tiny exfoliating beads in it and it’s gentle enough to use every day – even over the eye area. And you all know how important exfoliation is, right? I don’t even know how to describe how great this product is. As a person obsessed with exfoliation, it’s a dream come true for me.

As with all things Philosophy, it’s a little pricey. I got the 16-ounce set for $55 – not a bad deal, really, since the 8-ounce Purity is $20 and the 8-ounce Microdelivery Wash is $25. I’ve been using them both daily for about a month and, since you don’t have to use much, I’ve barely made a dent in them. At this rate, I expect they will last for 4-6 months. I use the Purity Made Simple in the evening with the Clarisonic and the Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash in the morning in the shower. I will definitely order them both again; I wouldn’t want to run out.

Over at the Philosophy website, they are having a Friends and Family Sale – everything is 20% off from now through Sunday, June 28th. The discount code is sharethelove. You can also buy Philosophy products at Sephora, if you are so inclined.

So those are my top three new skincare products, cleansing category. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg…

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Sonia said...

OMG...stop the madness! I will go broke because of your reviews! LOL...but at least I'll look good :)

Fat[free]Me said...

Oh, drat! Now I want one, lol!

Housewife Savant said...

I've always suspected I had a little bit of Philosophy Girl hidden inside my cheapskate self.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, you make this sound like such a worthwhile investment...

Theresa said...

Thanks for the tips and for trying all this stuff before we buy it:) Gotta have the Philosophy products! I can hear it calling me!

Jill of All Trades said...

You had me at smaller pores. Have to try it. Thanks.

VRaz60 said...

I think I'd better wait until my sunburned face heals up. :) My sunscreen failed me, and I'm kinda reddish.

Maybe after the peeling goes away, I'll jump into the skin care stuff.

Anonymous said...

You should work in sales because I'm sold on all of it! :-) Have a great weekend!!!

Carrie said...

OK, you have now sold me on Everyday Minerals (finally placed an order) and now I want the Philosophy Stuff. My husband may block your blog on our computer! :)

Shelley said...

Thanks for the honest review - now I really want the Clarisonic system even more!

kristisummer said...

I love beauty product reviews...we all need to stay beautiful :)

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