'It buzzes, makes you feel good about yourself and has three speeds (delicate, universal and powerful). What's not to love?'
No, I'm not quoting an Ann Summers press release, but casting my mind back to the first time I used my Clarisonic Aria brush and the sheer number of innuendoes that overwhelmed me.
Although I'd only become aware of Clarisonic in the UK in the last year or so, the brand was first launched in America ten years ago and is now the fourth biggest skincare company in the US, with only heavy hitters like Clinique, Estee Lauder and Lancome ahead in the top spots. Looking like the Kim Kardashian of the electronic toothbrush world, it has a changeable brush head, adjustable power buttons and a pretty sleek charger - it slides into a base that magically (or magnetically, that seems more likely) attaches the brush to the charging cradle. I've been using mines for two months and I've charged it twice. It oscillates 300 times a second, which is roughly how often Kanye West thinks about himself.
Three months ago I put my makeup wipes into a 'In case of inebriation break glass' alarmed casket. It's the best thing I've ever done for my skin. Makeup wipes, convenient as they are, strip the skin of essential moisture, don't remove makeup properly and only remove the dirt sitting on the very top layer of your skin. As you don't rinse away the residue left behind from the wipe (and they tend to have a fair amount of chemicals to keep them fresh and break down cosmetics), you leave these nasties on your skin, which dries it out and can cause irritation. Also, if you have spot prone skin, makeup wipes essentially transfer the bacteria around your face. Eww.
I'd always preferred the ease of makeup wipes because I found cleansing too much effort. Splashing water all over my hair and bathroom (occasionally my cat too) right before bedtime never really appealed to me. My skin savior became Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser as it has all the benefits of cleansing but the pure muslin cloth to wipe it all off provides all the ease of wipes.
Then the Clarisonic Aria joined my skincare young team. It comes with a Refreshing Gel Cleanser that you apply to wet skin before using the brush. The sonic cleansing feels soft but you can still feel it working. Twenty seconds on the forehead, ten on each cheek and another twenty on your nose and chin and you're finished. It really does only take a minute girl. I've tried using the Aria after a makeup wipe and I was borderline repulsed by how much makeup was on the brush head. I like to use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser to take off the bulk of my makeup initially (a replacement muslin cloth comes in at £4.25 for two and the Clarisonic brush head costs £21), and then use the Aria afterwards. After two months in our little epidermal ménage à troismy skin feels smoother (although you'll notice that from the very first use of the brush) and my pores definitely look reduced, especially those pesky nose ones that make you look like the jakey version of Pippi Longstocking.
The Aria is easy to clean as it's waterproof, which also means you can take it into the shower with you and there's also a body brush head and a brush extension handle available online - great if you have spots on your back that you'd like rid of in the run up to summer. It's essentially like a bouncer for your face - anything that's causing any bother (we're looking at you dead skin cells, sebum and dirt) is getting forced out.
Although it comes in a cute pink colour, the white looks more incognito in your bathroom and is great for both sexes. I'd also recommend any of the Clarisonic brushes as a great product for men as well, especially those in a manual job where they are working up a sweat or working in a dirty or grimy environment. It's gadget-ey enough to still seem masculine and can be combined with some of the great male skincare products on the market right now (my other half won't mind me telling you he uses Clinique. Well he will, but it's too late now.) If you've been fawning over Angelina's flawless porcelain skin in the Maleficent posters then you should think about investing - her personal makeup artist Toni G told Glamour this week that she's a big fan of the brushes.
In summation, if you relegate makeup up wipes to post-3am or your T in the Park tent and implement a proper cleansing routine you will be rewarded with much better skin. It's not often in beauty writing that you can make a claim you are completely certain of, but a proper skincare regime will always pay off. A Clarisonic brush might seem expensive but it does work. I've suggested to my sister that she could buy her own brush head - so if you have someone that you could share the cost with it does become more affordable.
The Clarisonic Aria costs £155 and comes with a 90 day money back guarantee and two year warranty. www.clarisonic.co.uk