By Marta
I have just taken possession of my new Clarisonic Opal from the people that brought us the Clarisonic Brush. This is the Sonic Infusion System ($245) that uses sonic vibrations to deliver an antiaging serum into “the outermost layers of the epidermis”. The device is currently charging (for 24 hours) and so, in the meantime, I am taking a look at the serum. Of course, in the back of mind I am thinking that if I don’t like the look of their potion, I could always use one of my own. But no, Clarisonic doesn’t just make it difficult to use any serum but theirs, they have done their best to make it impossible.

The Clarisonic Opal comes in two parts (plus the charger). The top section is already loaded with serum and has dispensing button to squirt serum on the applicator that is attached to the bottom section. When the serum runs out, you can’t refill the top section. This means that you have to send it to a landfill (the planet and its future inhabitants thank you Mr Clarisonic) and buy another. As a matter a fact, a set of two (three month supply) for $100. I think this is called customer lock-in.

So what is in the Clarisonic serum that I am about to become wedded to? I must admit that it is mostly an impressive concoction of botanicals and antiaging collagen and elastin builders. The first ingredient after water is willow herb, a natural antibacterial and a good source of vitamins C and A (you will also find it Kinera’s Red Carpet Facial). But faced with such a long list of ingredients, I’m going to focus on some of the more unusual ones.

Silanetriol trehalose ether. This is a kind of silanol (organic silicone) and it is supposed to rehydrate and target the cell membranes. Trehalose is also listed separately. It is found in desert succulent called Selaginella, often called the resurrection plant) is a sugar rich in hydrophilic properties, binding water molecules within the epidermic tissue and protecting the skin. There is also hydrolyzed casein, a milk derivative primarily used as a food additive, but also seen in skin care products. Caseins make up 80% of milk proteins and are a great source of amino acids.

There are a bunch of marine extracts that are useful for skincare. Laminaria digitata, or Atlantic kelp, is rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid. Skeletonema is an antioxidant. Back on dry land, opuntia is a cactus and its fruit extracts are antioxidant.

I haven’t found any research to support what hydrolized elastin does, but we are on firmer ground with glycosaminoglycans. The primary role of glycosaminoglycans is to maintain and support collagen, elastin and turgidity (bounce) in the cellular spaces and keep protein fibers in balance and proportion. It also promotes the ability of the collagen and elastin fibers to retain moisture, therefore remaining soluble (Source). GAGs are important in the reaction of copper peptides to help repair wrinkles and scarring. Known as the water reserve of the viable epidermis and dermis, these carbohydrates are dependent on fluid intake. Glycosaminoglycans are also linked to the lymphatic system.

Tomorrow, I shall be trying out the serum and the Opal, so watch this space.

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.