How I Use the Clarisonic MIA 2

2014-12-04 14.26.00

I bought the Clarisonic MIA 2 all the way back in March this year. If you’ve been reading my blogposts on my skincare series, you’d know that I was struggling with adult acne and lots of cystic acne when I bought this.

I was stuck for a little while trying to figure out which cleansing system to get. There’s the MIA, MIA 2 and PLUS system, so here’s a link that shows you the difference between them to help you figure out your needs. I settled for the MIA 2 in the end because it has two kinds of settings it has, the low and normal. (I usually use the low setting.) Also, it seems a lot more travel friendly than the MIA. I wasn’t sure I wanted to shell out money for the ARIA (the most expensive model) yet so the MIA 2 seemed like a happy medium. It cost me SGD215 at Sephora, but I think I had a 10% discount when I bought it.

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It comes in a cute travel case, some facial wash and a magnetic charger. I love the magnetic charger; while it takes forever to charge it does mean that you can take this in the shower with you without worrying about being electrocuted. Also I’ve charged this maybe four or five times since buying it in March so the battery lasts a long time.

How I Use It:

So Clarisonics have a 1 minute timer thing. You use it for twenty seconds on the forehead, and there’ll be a beeping noise after that. Then it’s twenty seconds on the nose and chin area, and ten seconds on each cheek and the thing will shut off on its own.

I limit usage of the Clarisonic up to twice a week. Yes, I know they say you can use it every single day but I refuse to believe that if it’s really deep cleansing your pores, you should do it so many times. You wouldn’t go for blackhead extractions and facials every day, would you? Our skin just isn’t made to take that kind of abuse. Also, as you can see in my current skincare regime, I already use lots of salicylic acid in my regime (my Neutrogena facial wash has 2% of it, and my frequently used Happy Skin ZZ Cream Foundation has some of it too) which is a natural skin peel, and I use a clay mask once or twice a week too. Even if you don’t do all that, I still think using the Clarisonic more than three times a week is kind of excessive.

When I first started using it, I was terrified of freaking my skin out with it. (Note: The purging phase is a lie by the way. If you start seeing little pimples pop out, it’s probably an irritation kind of rash and your skin telling you to stop using it right now so don’t you dare keep using it.) I started using it on a lower setting once every three or four days. I don’t think I ever got into the habit of using it every single day, and tend to reach out for it only if my skin is feeling particularly grimey or I wore really heavy makeup that day.

Some videos on YouTube show people using the Clarisonic to remove your makeup. Do not do this. This definitely shouldn’t be going anywhere near your eyes where your skin is extremely delicate. Use a facial oil to remove your makeup first.

Do not forget to moisturizer your skin after using a Clarisonic. You need to rehydrate your skin after using it. I use the Clarisonic as a supplement for my very long skincare routine so I’ve never faced having dry patches or anything the way I’ve seen people get in reviews.

Results

I actually intended to put up some photographs of before and after usage, but my camera is being dumb again. First, it refuses to focus on my face so you can only see blurry red spots and not my blackheads and blemishes. And then after usage it keeps picking out red spots I can barely see in real life so my face looks pretty much the same.

You’re just going to have to take my word for it working. Besides, the difference between the before and after isn’t that hugely drastic unless you’ve been using the Clarisonic for a while.

What is a noticeable difference immediately after scrubbing is of course, that lovely squeaky clean smooth feeling that you get after your face has been exfoliated. The difference between this and just using a standard physical exfoliator, like St Ives’ Apricot Face Scrubs is that my blackheads are mostly gone (physical scrubs only do so much). I feel like the redness on my face is actually visibly reduced after using the Clarisonic (and when you have pale skin redness is a big problem).

It didn’t really help me back in March, before I used a retinol. Partly because I was using this way too often, and partly because I did need something special to deal with my cystic acne. But after my bout with retinol, and since switching over to my new skincare regime, I’ve brought this on as a deep cleansing supplement (I don’t go for facials, they’re really expensive), and I’m happy to report that I seem to have avoided getting really bad acne. Not one cystic pimple in the last period cycle, and a combination of my period and exam stress usually causes me to break out really badly. Not this time. ^^ How much of it is due to the new skincare routine and how much is due to the Clarisonic, I can’t really say, but I do think the Clarisonic has helped.

Maintaining the Brush Head

I wash the brush head with shampoo after every use, much like I do with my makeup brushes. Before I use it, I also spritz a little of my brush cleanser on it, which has alcohol and sanitizes the bristles so I’m not scrubbing bacteria into my skin.

You’re supposed to replace the brush heads every three months or so, when the bristles will get all weird the way your toothbrush bristles bend out of shape. I don’t use it every single day though, so I find that the brush head can stretch a little longer than that (do note that I stopped using the Clarisonic for a couple of months while I was on a nightly retinol routine, and am only just getting back into it now).

Is this for you?

Note, Clarisonics are definitely not cheap so you want to be sure that this will work for you. If you have very delicate sensitive skin, suffer from frequent rashes, broken capillaries, rosacea, or if your acne is of the type that often leaves open wounds of the face, I suggest you skip this. If you are on a nightly retinol cream routine I also suggest you skip this. If (like me) you have acne I suggest you get the sensitive or delicate brush head, and be very careful to not to press the brush down hard on your skin as you use it. Overdoing the usage will cause your skin to dry out and be irritated.

On the bright side, there is a return policy, where you can return your Clarisonic within a month if it doesn’t work for you. Buy your Clarisonic from a known retailer like Sephora and make sure you keep that receipt just in case this doesn’t work for you.

tl;dr
Cost: SGD215, replacement brush heads are about SGD30
Does it work: Yes, but be very wary of claims that you can use it as frequently as twice a day. I find it works better than a standard physical exfoliator.
Would I recommend it: You know your skin type best. If you have dry, delicate, sensitive skin, stay away from this and stick to using chemical peels. Make full use of the Clarisonic return policy, make sure you examine your skin for irritants and break into it slowly. I know this isn’t very helpful, but the tool is a controversial one and I can see how it may backfire on a lot of skin types.

Related reading if you’re still unsure whether or not to get it:
The Clarisonic: DOs and DON’Ts of the Skin Clearing
Clarisonic Purging Phase (Basically stay the fuck away from the deep pore brush)
Clarisonic PURGE (basically a video telling you to use it less often)

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2 Responses to How I Use the Clarisonic MIA 2

  1. I’ve had my eye on the Clarisonic Mia 2 for almost a year now but I still haven’t taken the jump, because as you said, it really is expensive and no one has any guarantee that it would work on them. Your review of it makes me want to go and snag it already, though. You’re so lucky for having easy access to Sephora! No reseller here allows that 1-month refund policy! 😦

    • natziwang says:

      Oh no. Right you guys don’t have a Sephora. =( Well your skin looks amazing so I’m not sure you need it. And I bet facials in the Philippines are way cheaper than in singapore

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