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Clarisonic Opal- tested and rejected

March 30, 2010 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
Dear Mr Giuliani

You don’t know me, but I feel impelled to eshew the usual product review and take the liberty of directing my comments on your Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infuser device to you personally. This is because you are responsible for two extremely important elements of my personal care regiment: the Philips Sonicare toothbrush (which has had such a positive impact on my teeth and gums that my dentist keeps asking me what I am doing) and the Clarisonic Brush (of which I am a daily user and unconditional fan). But the Clarisonic Opal is not worthy of you.

It isn’t just that it doesn’t really work (at least not for me and I’ll come back to my test in a moment). It is… well, there is nothing for it but to be brutally honest with you…. monumentally unintelligent. There I have said it. The Clarisonic Opal is just a dumb idea. And I’d go so far as to say that in some ways it is a bad idea.

The worst thing about the Opal is that it locks the consumer into using your serum with the device. Not content with that, you have designed the thing so that I have to buy half of the device all over again every time it runs out.  This is because the top section is loaded with serum and when it runs out, you can’t refill it. So the consumer, after forking out $280 for the Opal in the first place, has to buy another set of two (three month supply) for $100. Actually, worse than this is how wasteful the whole concept is. I have to toss this substantial – and expensive – piece of plastic every time I need more of your serum. This isn’t just bad for my wallet, it is BAD for the planet.

Mr G, what in the world were you thinking of?

I have tested the Clarisonic Opal every day for the past five weeks on the area below and around my eyes as instructed. The device buzzes and gently vibrates against the skin, but to what effect? None that I can tell. After using the Opal for its 30 second stint, I always had some serum that was on the surface of the skin and required rubbing in with that terribly old fashioned beauty accessory, the finger.

After a few days, this inspired a side by side test. I used my finger to massage in your serum around one eye and the Opal on the other. The difference? A small bout of milia on the device side. And overall, this serum didn’t really perform at all. I’ll concede that the ingredients list is pretty good, but it had no impact on my skin tone or wrinkles and I returned eagerly to tried and true serums and eye creams that me and my pinky seem to do just fine with.



Ingredients in serum

Water (Aqua), Epilobium Angustifolium Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Glycosaminoglycans, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Silanetriol Trehalose Ether, Saccharomyces Ferment, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Hydrolyzed Casein, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Skeletonema Costatum Extract, Acetyl Citrull Amido Arginine, Arginine PCA, Plankton Extract, Soluble Collagen, Chrondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Chrondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Niacinamide, Ascorbic Acid, Bisabolol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyquaternium-51, Ethyl Lauroyl Arginate HCL, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide.
  • November 2, 2017

    by Barbara

    Having read the last few reviews , are we speaking about the same gadget? I purchased my opal from qvc 3 years ago (on 3 easy pays) and I’ve used it regularly since. I’m 67 and I continually get complimented on the fact the skin around my eyes is so smooth. I honestly believe this is due to using my opal most nights. The original serum that came with it lasted over 12 months. I didn’t overfill the applicator and I did just use it around my eyes. (Once a day application) After 18months the opal wouldn’t charge, I got in touch with the company and they actually sent me a completely new opal system free of charge. I didn’t realise it came with a two year guarantee. I’ve used various eye serums with the opal, but I think it’s more about the massage technique of the opal just as much as a serum, as I really believe the product gets deeper into the layers of the skin rather than by just tapping with the finger. I’ve definitely seen a difference since using the opal. It’s a continual maintenance routine, but well worth it. I really believe this is one of my better investments, as usually I get a new gadget and give up after a couple of weeks, as it’s too much trouble. This I’ve stuck with from day one. I intend to continue with my nightly eye routine and I am going to invest in another bottle of opal serum. "

  • February 19, 2012

    by Marta

    Thanks for the heads up Bobbie. This certainly changes things. The planet and its people are much better served by something that doesn't force us to clutter up landfills. The serum itself (assuming its still the same formula) is pretty good. I am not entirely convinced that the sonic applicator really does increase product penetration, but now I'd be much more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt.

  • February 19, 2012

    by Bobbie

    Marta -
    I understand the Opal has been modified that it no longer holds the serum, but the serum is put on the applicator. Reviews on the Clarisonic website are all positive. Do you have an updated opinion on the product???


  • November 29, 2011

    by McRachel

    I also do not agree- but not because of the serum. I am with you, the serum is "Meh". But I do see improvement in puffiness when I use the opal. I have struggled with puffy eyes for most of my adult life, and after reading a review on makeup alley where the reviewer specifically referenced the same problem, I decided to drop the cash for it. I'm glad I did. Maybe it's a very expensive placebo effect of perceived but not actual improvement, but it makes me feel better about my appearance (and less helpless about it) so I'm ok with that.

  • October 20, 2011

    by Mary Stodola

    I do not agree. I have been using the Clarisonic Opal for several weeks and I have found a big difference in my skin, under my eyes, around my lips and between my brows. I use the Image Vitamin C serum. A product line that I have been religiously using for the past 4 years. I am very pleased with how the Clarisonic Opal massage actually (I feel) gets down deeper to moisturize and plump up my skin then using my fingers. Just wanted to share that I do not only use their serum.

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