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How to Use the Clarisonic Brush

How to use the Clarisonic Brush
April 9, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 22 Comments

The Clarisonic brush is a great gentle exfoliator that is now an indispensable part of my skin care routine. I've been asked to give a little tutorial on how to use it. I myself am entirely self-taught (or deluded) so here goes — but do wade in with comments if you've picked better habits.

The first thing to do when you get your Clarisonic brush is to ditch the cleanser that it comes with. I can no longer remember what is in it, but it isn't going to be the thing that gets your complexion glowing. Replace it as soon as you can with the cleanser or your choice.

The Clarisonic can be used on dry skin, or damp skin with a cleanser. I prefer to use it on dry skin and follow by washing my face and neck. There are now three brush heads available (us early adopters only had two to choose from). I use the white one on my face and neck and the gray one on my body. The new blue brush is for sensitive skin. Even though sensitive is my middle name, I've never felt and discomfort from using the white brush on my tender cheeks.

And the thing is, don't be all tentative about it. My first experience of the Clarisonic was in a spa and the esthetician took to it with a firm hand. The idea is to be deliberate, but brief. Brushing your entire face and neck should only take about 60 seconds or so.

And no lingering, keep moving over the face. You can go back and forth if you need to, but don't keep at any one area or you might get sore and inflamed. And anyway, don't forget the brush head is spinning away (well oscillating to be precise) at oscillating back and forth at a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second. So you don't need to scrub!. It's hard to say what I mean by firm and deliberate, but the closest I can come to is that it's a similar pressure to rubbing your skin with a washcloth.

Concentrate on brushing sections of your face: across the forehead, upwards along your cheeks, the chin and over your nose. Making sure that you brush your nose area thoroughly to get at those enlarged pores is the only uncomfortable part of the process — at least for me — as it really tickles.

Swapping the white head for the gray you can continue on your body - dry or wet, as you prefer. I think the real reason I use it in the shower is to save time.

I use my Clarisonic on my face about five times a week — the other days I usually use an exfoliating cream or mask. I alternate days when I use it in the shower: body scrub one day, brush with Japanese Charcoal Cleanser the next.

Read more:

How to Use the Clarisonic Brush

The Clarisonic Plus

The Clarisonic Mia

  • October 16, 2016

    by Dee

    I bought my Clarisoic Aria (3 speed) around three weeks ago. In the first week I used it only at night to remove my make up on speed 2 for 2 minutes... It was great to clean off all my makeup. I feel that my products do absorb better. I use a wet wipe first, so I get an even deeper clean.
    I used the wash that came with the product. It's fine on my skin.
    In the second week I have experimented with my own choice of gentle face washes and different speeds on the Clarisonic.
    I find if I don't use it twice a day I won't get blemishes (spots). Which did happen.
    In my second week I received so many compliments on my face. Eg: have you had bottox? to you look younger.
    I have noticed a big difference in the in how my face appears, glowy and smoother. I am now in my third week of using the Clarisoic. I am very happy with it and will continue to look forward to using it.
    I am really pleased that I bought it from an official dealer and it was in a sale at 40% discount. That was a big incentive.
    I have read negative comments about the use of the Clarisonic...unfortunately it may not be for everyone for one reason or another...
    I am very happy.

  • April 15, 2016

    by Lilys Gma

    I recently purchased the 99.00 clairsonic after having bought them for my daughters (I am a cheapskate when it comes to myself haha)
    But, as a retired Licensed facial specialist I knew I was not caring for my middle aged skin like I should, I'm 49 and I can see how quickly my skin is aging now so I decided to get back on track with a good skincare regime.
    I LOVE THE CLAIRSONIC. After the first use my cheek pores near my nose were notable smaller and my skin felt renewed! I use it daily for longer than recommended, but GENTLY...the bristles should just touch the skin not be pressed into the skin, that actually defeats the purpose of how the clairsonic was designed to work. That said, I do not have sensitive skin nor any skin issues other than mild aging.
    It's important to note that each person, and their skin, is completely unique. Just like anything else in life, what works for one may not work for another. For those of us who can use the brush with no issue, it's fantastic! I've seen a huge difference in the absorbtion of my facial serums and creams. My skin already looks an feels years younger after a few weeks using the clairsonic. Yay! 50 here I come! ;-)
    For those with sensitive skin, break outs or those of you who aren't sure, it's always best to start with trial and error. Small, light amounts of new products ( just because a product 'burns' one person does not mean it will bother someone else at all) and anything that helps exfoliate can irritate ( I know they advertise that it doesn't exfoliate but that's silly. Any vibrating brush or even sponge or washcloth used in circular motion across the skin is exfoliating your dead skin cells, period. If there's a flaw in their marketing THAT is it for sure.)
    So ladies, clairsonic might not work for everyone but for most, it does and I personally wouldn't be without it. My daughters who are 24 and 28 with completely different skin, love theirs also and have owned them for aprox 18 mo. , that's why I gave one a try and I'm so glad I did. As someone who would never have surgery, I'm grateful to find something helpful.
    Also remember that aging skin cannot be repaired or replaced simply by scrubbing or peeling it away. Our diets, our hormone levels, sun exposure etc all contribute to our bodies natural decline of not producing collagen and elastin like it used to, so no matter how much scrubbing and moisturizing we do, we have to also work on our skin issues from the inside out!
    A tip though?? Things like clairsonic or gentle massage, or even facial exercises , amything that brings circulation to the skin ALSO stimulates the growth of collagen!!
    I'm doing it all...because well, it can't hurt. ;)

  • April 29, 2015

    by Jen

    Same thing happened to both me and my daughter (28). She has adult acne and the Dr. told her not to use things that inflame or spread etc. It ruined her face - but luckily she stopped using it right away. I, however kept using mine for a few months and didn't realize what was happening as it was a slow progression. My cheeks started becoming thinner and thinner and thinner...

    Soon I was able to see ugly masses of spider veins that weren't there before I saw the QVC ad for Clarisonic and thought what an AWESOME gift that would be for the both of us. So much wasted money! I finally researched in more depth that I had before (when all I could seem to find was how AMAZING this new Clarisonic was, (ah, the power of advertising!).

    Eventually I began finding more and more forums where women wrote about how it had "ruined" their skin by thinning and causing other even worse problems! It's been about a year since I stopped using it and now I have been trying to thicken my cheeks back to what they were and get RID of these unsightly red veins that now mar each side of my face. I've been using copper peptides (and a LOT of TIA products) as well as Horse chestnut cream or tincture (though the tincture has alcohol). I did read about a horse chestnut oil available.

    I guess the moral of the story is that just because a new product comes out claiming to be REVOLUTIONARY and MAGNIFICENT with multiple benefits (and colors, patterns and limited editions as well!); to not get caught up in the hype and wait awhile. Then do some research and see what you uncover.

  • March 24, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Ghada, yes it is safe for use with rosacea if the sensitive brush head and settings are used.

  • March 23, 2013

    by Ghada

    I wonder if this would work on skin with rosacea, and is it safe to use it on the neck?

  • December 9, 2012

    by SultryinHouston

    Clarisonic is the worst thing that ever happened to my face. It is just a scam. Your products do not absorb better. They cannot absorb on skin that is constantly trying to regenerate itself. My products eventually stopped absorbing at all. They just balled up on my face. My wrinkles got worse and my acne and redness too. I tried it for a year. I recently looked up the science behind this. The Clarisonic is forcing your skin cells to regenerate over and over, faster and faster than they can. It is very bad for your face and skin especially on a daily basis. It is okay to exfoliate that way once a week or so, but not more. You can use a scrub for this and save yourself a couple of hundred bucks. I have recently stopped using it and gone green on my skincare. My skin has never looked better. Redness is gone, acne is non existent, tone is beautiful, and the best thing..wrinkles are less prominent. Clarisonic is a total waste of money. I'm glad mine was a gift. Save your money and buy a weekly exfoliator instead.

  • October 18, 2011

    by donna

    The clarisonic cleansers are excellent. Paraben free. Gentle. You can use your own cleansers but I find nothing wrong with the cleansers especially the body exfoliator.

  • December 15, 2010

    by Lori

    Marta I have not even tried it on my body. I am so in love with it on my face that I do 2 cycles each time... hopefully that's not a bad thing!

  • December 15, 2010

    by Stephanie


    Can you use the original version on your body? I can't afford a new one at this point and would love to be able to multi task with the existing one.

  • December 14, 2010

    by marta

    I have the latest version that comes with a bigger brush for body. One of the best things about daily dry brushing is that it keeps breakouts on my shoulders at bay.

  • December 14, 2010

    by Lori

    I just had to go back to this write up and comment. I have had my Clarisonic for a few months and absolutely love it! I believe I am truly addicted because if I forget to charge it and discover it has no power when I try to use it, I get the shakes! I have had acne prone skin since adolescence and have tried way too many products unsuccessfully until now. I have not had a single annoying pimple since I started using this(with the exception of those caused by Meaningless Beauty). SO happy I read about it on TIA!!!!

  • November 21, 2010

    by Melissa

    The reason that they recommend replacing the brushes is not just for monetary gain. The sonicare toothbrushes recommend the same thing. The reason being, after you use the brushes for that long, they start to get frayed edges, which can cause gum and skin damage. The fraying is not something you can see with your naked eye. Since the brush is moving so fast, it's important to make sure you aren't using a worn out brush.

  • May 13, 2010

    by marta

    Amy, I don't use it with a cleanser. I use the Clarisonic on my dry face prior to using a cleanser (which these days is either Nutra-Lift Non Soap, Nurture My Body or Epicuren's milk cleanser

  • May 13, 2010

    by amy

    Very helpful.. Can I ask you though, which facial cleanser do you suggest to use with the Clarisonic?

  • October 28, 2009

    by patrice podvoj

    I have been using the Clarisonic for about 3 months and have noticed a big difference with diminished pores and a smoother look. I've not tried it dry tho so may give it a try. The cleaner I use is very gentle from Doctor's Choice and works well with the Clarisonic. But I always change my cleanser regimen when the container runs out. I just do not stick with one brand. Too many out there to choose and experiment with.

  • April 10, 2009

    by JulieK

    Colloidal silver would work well to keep the brush clean. I always keep some in a spray bottle to spray on things I want to know are antiseptically clean- kitchen sponges, water bottles, cutting boards, all over in the shower... like that. =)

  • April 10, 2009

    by justine

    I don't have one of these brushes (I am saving up though), but I often use hydrogen peroxide to rinse out toothbrushes, etc. It's low cost and non-toxic. If that proves too acidic for the brushes, you could always try baking soda or vinegar. I use these all the time for cleaning stuff. Just a thought.

  • April 10, 2009

    by marta

    Good question. I rub a bit of my facial cleanser in and run it under the faucet. Seems inadequate though. When I'm due for a new one, I might experiment with putting it in the dishwasher and see if it survives.

  • April 9, 2009

    by haly303

    Just curious do you clean the brush? Would germs start collecting? Thanksss!

  • April 9, 2009

    by marta

    Hello Emily and Sarah,

    I think you have to experiment with dry/damp and find out what works for you. Now as for how often to replace brush heads. Ha. I've been thinking about this. Clarisonic recommends 90 days. Call me cynical, but this sounds like the Gillette model of encouraging us to buy more blades by some in-built obsolescence. Or Brita water filters which have a built-in countdown showing you when to throw out the old filter. Personally, I always add on another week or so in these cases and will probably eke by brushes for more than 90 days. Come to think of it, I've been using my brushes since last summer and haven't even thought about replacing them.
    What have other people found?

  • April 9, 2009

    by sarah

    I've had mine for about a month, after seeing it recommended here and think it's wonderful. My skin (which is very sensitive and old) is looking radiant and very clear. I use it in the evening with the Tracie Martyn cleanser and it takes every scrap of makeup off leaving a very smooth surface to soak up all the night creams and potions I apply. I haven't ever used it dry but may now give it a whirl.

  • April 9, 2009

    by Emily

    As you know I have been a fan (and devoted user) of the Clarisonic since you introduced me to it a year ago. I'm interested to learn that you recommend brushing on dry skin: I always use it after washing my face (to remove makeup), i.e., on skin that is "clean" and damp. I will have to try your approach. I was also wondering how often I should replace the brush head--I too use the "regular" white one on my face, just about every day. Thanks again for a great find!

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