Why It's Finally Time To Get Yourself A Clarisonic

The Clarisonic is misunderstood — or at least a little confusing. Yes, it has been around for a while and there are many (including several members of our beauty team) who swear by the device's skin-brightening, acne-fighting powers. But there are also plenty of people who don't know what all the fuss is about. Perhaps you own one, but never got in the habit of using it. Or you'd like one, but that price tag is a turnoff. Maybe you're all, "What the heck do I need an oscillating skin-care brush for anyway?"

Whatever your current Clarisonic status, we've got all the info you need right here. No spin — just straight-up facts.

It's Not An Exfoliator
Let's clear this up: The Clarisonic brush is not an abrasive scrubber. It's a device that cleans more deeply and thoroughly than your hands (six times deeper, according to the peeps at Clarisonic). "Clarisonic gently removes dead surface cells, pollution, and sebum, but not by removing multiple layers of the skin like exfoliants would," explains Robb Akridge, MD, the company's cofounder and global president. But be warned: Never use an exfoliating cleanser with a Clarisonic — the combo of the two is sure to irritate your skin.

It Doesn't Rotate
This OG face brush uses patented oscillating technology. Translated from nerd-speak, that means the head moves back and forth rather than spinning in quick circles (unlike some other brushes on the market, which can be harsher on your skin). Thus, you can use it twice a day if you choose to, but I personally think once is enough.

It Can Cause Breakouts At First
If your Clarisonic is gathering dust on your bathroom shelf because you broke out when you first started using it, you are not alone. Although this didn't happen to me personally, zits are a potential side effect for first-time users. The brush stimulation can cause deep-seated bacteria to rise to the surface and funk things up. It should clear up within two weeks of regular use. The silver lining? This stimulation also works the same plumping and firming magic as a facial massage.

It Can Make Your Products More Effective
Using a Clarisonic is one way to ensure that the active ingredients in your pricey skin-care products are doing their thing, and not just sitting on the surface of your skin. “Clarisonic removes the dry skin, makeup, sebum, and pollution that can sometimes prohibit absorption of your skin-care products,” says Dr. Akridge.

The More Product, The More Water, The Better
If you're feeling like the brush is roughing up your skin, you may not be using enough product, or enough water. Fill the middle of the brush with your favorite cleanser (my personal fave is an oil cleanser during the colder months) and keep it wet as you brush. One easy hack is to use your Clarisonic in the shower.

It Removes Face Makeup, But You Shouldn't Use It On Eyes
The Clarisonic quickly removes makeup (the new, compact Mia Fit even has a special makeup-removing setting), but mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow need to come off the old-fashioned way — with makeup remover or wipes. Those oscillating brushes can irritate sensitive eye skin.

But Go To Town On Other Body Parts
The Clarisonic Smart Profile comes with both a facial brush and a larger body-brush attachment, but you can really use any of the versions on your bod if you please. I love to work mine on my décolletage (sometimes I feel like my neck and chest don't get enough love), but it can also help smooth out rough patches on elbows and knees, and reduce the appearance of those pesky bumps on the backs of your arms. (Just be sure to do all this in the shower!) It's also great to run along your hairline (hair products can encourage breakouts), and if you really want to go crazy, get it all up in your scalp.

It's Great For Your Nails
If you're giving yourself an at-home mani and want to buff your nails to a high shine, run your Clarisonic over your cuticles and under your fingernails (use the facial attachment for this one). "This will thoroughly cleanse those areas and provide you with a great manicure prep," says Dr. Akridge.

You've Got Options
As I'm sure you've gleaned from all this, there are many different versions of the Clarisonic. But if you don't want to drop the cash on more than one (totally understandable), you can just swap out the brush head. The company offers deep-pore and acne-cleansing options, as well as one that is meant for sensitive skin, and one for brightening. If you're simply looking for a luxe cleansing experience, the Cashmere brush is exactly what your clear-skin dreams are made of. Indulge.