I first heard about the Clarisonic brush when reading Elle magazine at the hairdresser. The reviewer sounded down-to-earth and prone to skepticism (a woman after my own heart), but she seemed rather taken with something called a Clarisonic brush.

It has since appeared on Oprah as one of her favorite things of 2007 and, as you would expect, this has created the kind of shortage that puts dollar signs in the eyes of e-Bay entrepreneurs. Even when they aren't hard to come by, the Clarisonic brush is a pricey $185. Clarisonic PRO Professional 3-Power Levels Skin Care System, White is currently available at Amazon.com for $160

Last weekend, Tiffany (an esthetician at Canyon Ranch in Tuscon) used a Clarisonic brush on the back of my shoulders and on my face prior to applying a mask and serums. She swears by it for exfoliating, opening the pores and readying the skin to absorb creams.

The Clarisonic brush is a rotating head that is powered by ultra-sonic waves - it is manufactured by the same maker as SonicCare toothbrushes. The rotating head removes dead skin cells; pores are stimulated, dirt is whisked away. Now, moisturizer, serum or cream will penetrate the skin much more effectively.

I was smitten. Serums and creams really do get absorbed more readily and skin looks rosy, clean and healthy. It is great - with persistent use - for ridding oneself of those bumps on the backs of the arms (keratosis pilaris).

It is supposed to be used daily, but I can't bring myself to use it more than every other day (partly because it is yet another thing to introduce to the ever-expanding daily regimen; but also because I am prone to rosacea and don't want to cause a flare -up).