In middle school and high school – the time when most of us experience significant changes in our bodies – I was lucky enough to have clear skin. Once in a while I’d get a blemish, but I never suffered from extreme breakouts or severe acne. It seemed that once I entered my college years, acne wanted to finally make its appearance and start popping up out of nowhere on my face. Back then I didn’t realize that my bad habits were ultimately contributing to my breakouts. I used to go to bed with makeup on, I didn’t have the healthiest diet and I was often stressed about homework and exams. It’s no wonder that acne eventually caught up with me.
Since then I’ve changed my lifestyle and adopted healthier habits (thanks to reading plenty of articles in beauty magazines that detailed the damage that sleeping in your makeup and having a poor diet can do), but I still struggle with acne from time to time. Most often I’ll go to bed with a clear face just to wake up the next morning and be surprised by a big, red blemish staring back at me in the mirror. I’m generally a confident person, but nothing makes my confidence plummet more than having acne. I'm the type of person that'll notice a new pimple and obsess over it until it's gone. From treating it with different products to covering it up with concealer, I want every blemish on my face to be hidden.
I’ve noticed that my chin is definitely my problem area. Most of the breakouts that I have occur in this area of my face and I've tried everything from astringents to different types of creams and gels to banish blemishes. As I was getting ready for my wedding last year I actually visited a dermatologist to try out a prescription skin regimen. The results of my prescription products were great, and my skin was clear as could be on my wedding day, but the multi-step routine both morning and night and the cost of prescription refills was a lot to keep up with. After my wedding had passed I knew I needed to try something different and find a solution that was a better fit for my lifestyle.
I've always been interested in Clarisonic devices and I've been dying to try one out for myself. I first heard about the Clarisonic brand from one of my best friends who used to work at a popular beauty store. I always used to ask what products she used to get smooth and glowing skin. She mentioned that she used a Clarisonic device every day to keep dirt and oil at bay. After talking to her about her beauty routine, I knew I needed to get my hands on my own Clarisonic.
Lucky for me, I was given the opportunity to partner up with Clarisonic and Her Campus to test out the Clarisonic Mia 1 along with the Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser, Radiant Brush Head, Acne Brush Head and Deep Pore Brush Head. I was really excited to add these products to my nighttime acne-fighting skincare routine.
After getting my Clarisonic package in the mail I couldn't wait to open it and hold the device in my hands. I was really surprised at how light the device was and how easy it was to hold. The fact that it has one button, the on/off button, was great too! When it came time to open the brushes, I had no idea what to expect. For some reason I thought the bristles would feel rough and coarse, but I was so wrong about that. The brush heads are so soft and smooth to the touch. From a length perspective, the bristles are also a lot longer than I was expecting.
Since I had never used a Clarisonic before, the Clarisonic Mia 1 was the perfect device for me to test out and see what sonic cleansing is all about. The Clarisonic Mia 1 features one speed that's suitable for all skin types, it's waterproof and it cleans skin six times (YES, SIX TIMES) better than hands alone.
Since receiving my Clarisonic Mia 1 and incorporating it into my skincare regimen, my nighttime acne-fighting skincare routine looks a little something like this:
Step 1: Remove all makeup from my face using a makeup wipe or micellar cleansing water. It’s so important to remove your makeup every night – if you sleep in your makeup, your skin could become irritated, dry, or your pores could become clogged with dirt and oil. I’ve learned the hard way that this is a big no-no and it’s best to clean every trace of makeup off your face before you crawl into bed for some shut eye.
Step 2: Once all of my makeup is removed, I cleanse my face with my Clarisonic Mia 1 + the Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser. Using the Clarisonic Mia 1 is easy – I wet my skin and the brush head with warm water and then I grab my Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser and apply it liberally to my face (you can apply it to either your face or directly on the brush head, whichever you prefer). When I’m ready to start cleansing, I just push the on/off button to turn on my device. I move the brush head in small circular motions, starting on my forehead. Once the cleanser works up a nice lather, I move down to my nose/chin area and then I move on to my cheeks. The nice thing about the Clarisonic is that it’ll do the work for you. You don’t need to press down on the device. You just hold it and let it gently glide over your skin. After one minute, the device will shut off automatically.
Step 3: After I’m done cleansing my face with the Clarisonic Mia 1, I apply a topical acne cream or spot treatment directly my blemishes. I use a mix of topical acne creams – everything from prescription-strength creams to over-the-counter gels. The products I use just depends on how my face looks and if I’m experiencing a lot of breakouts or if I have just one or two blemishes.
Step 4: Last by not least, I moisturize my entire face. Keeping my skin hydrated, especially during the fall and winter months, is essential for me! I’ve tried a variety of moisturizers including Pond’s Dry Skin Cream, Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid, Simple Kind To Skin Rich Replenishing Moisturizer and Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. Lately, I’ve been loving Cetaphil so that’s what I’m currently using both morning and night.
Now that you know all about my nighttime skincare routine, you’re probably wondering how exactly the Clarisonic works and what the different brush heads are designed to do.
According to Clarisonic, the bristles of a Clarisonic cleansing brush head move back and forth, or "oscillate", gently flexing the skin and flushing water and cleanser into pores. This sonic cleansing process removes the dirt, oil and debris that ages your skin and causes breakouts. Because Clarisonic facial cleansing devices don't exfoliate – a common myth! – Clarisonic is gentle enough for twice-daily use, even on the most sensitive skin.
Here’s a more in-depth review of the different products that Clarisonic and HerCampus sent me:
Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser
First of all, this cleanser smells amazing! It's designed for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin and it targets excess oil, pimples, blackheads and whiteheads for clearer looking skin. The formula contains 2% Salicylic Acid to fight acne breakouts, as well as micro-exfoliating Lipo Hydroxy Acid to gently provide precise cell-by-cell removal of debris and dirt. When using my Clarisonic Mia 1, I prefer to use a little more than a pea-sized amount of the cleanser and apply it directly to my face. I absolutely love the way this Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser creates a rich and frothy lather. There's something so satisfying about seeing soap suds as you cleanse your face.
Acne Brush Head
If you have sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin, this brush is for you! It’s both clarifying and plush. Since I got my Clarisonic, I’ve been using this brush head the most! I really focus on my chin area and let the Pore and Blemish Gel Cleanser work its way deep down into my pores.
Deep Pore Brush Head
If you have enlarged pores (like I do on my nose), you’ll want to check out the Deep Pore Brush Head. It was designed with graduated dual-action bristles. This means that it helps to flush and remove the yucky oil and debris that clogs pores.
Radiance Brush Head
This Brush Head is included with the Mia 1and it’s ideal for nearly all skin types. The brush has extra fine bristles to deliver a luxurious and highly effective sonic cleansing experience.
My final thoughts on the Clarisonic Mia 1:
I absolutely love my Clarisonic Mia 1. During the time that I’ve been using my device I’ve definitely noticed a change in my facial skin. It’s smoother and the pores on my nose (which usually seem gigantic to me) seem smaller. I wouldn’t say that my Clarisonic Mia 1 has completely cured and helped me rid my face of acne, but it helps me to maintain my skin by extracting all of the dirt and oil that builds up on my face during the day.
This cleansing device is so powerful that it actually pulls out makeup that my makeup wipes/micellar water missed! When I first started using the device I was shocked to see traces of my foundation on the brush head as I was rinsing it off. It just goes to show that when you use a Clarisonic, your face will truly get a deep clean.
Since I have enjoyed using my Clarisonic so much, I'm considering getting my husband his own Clarisonic device (I swear I saw him eyeing my Clarisonic one morning while it was sitting on the bathroom counter). With the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time to purchase a Clarisonic for someone on your shopping list. You can snag 15% off all devices featured at http://www.clarisonic.com/hercampusinfluencer using the code HERCAMPUS.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by Clarisonic and you want your own device, you’ll be happy to know that Clarisonic offers monthly payment plans upon credit approval. For less than a latte a week, you can have clear-looking skin for life. Sounds like a wise investment to me! See terms for details.
What does your nighttime skincare routine look like? Do you own a Clarisonic device? Share with me in the comment section below.