I think it's time that I update my experience with the Clarisonic. My knowledge of skincare since that time has expanded so much, my skin needs different things, and I now have the power of hindsight.
First off: Don't buy the Neutrogena Wave. It will do nothing good for your skin. Even when I thought it was exfoliating and helping my moisturiser sink in more, what it was probably doing was tearing up my skin matrix and the moisturiser was bleeding into the gaps. Horrifying visual. Throw in the cheap, skin-peeling cleanser they pre-soak the cotton refills with, and you'll spend more money trying to fix your skin afterwards.
The only thing left to consider is whether or not you need a Clarisonic. I bought the Mia, which I'm fairly certain has gone down in price since I purchased mine. Refills are $30 a pop in Canada, and you have to replace them every six months if you use it once a day. And that's where the issues begin.
I first got a Clarisonic to help remedy my vengeful cystic acne. It was as though bacteria and sebum had decided to band together and have a dirty, four-month-long orgy on my jawline, cheeks and chin. Before one cyst had shrunk, three more would pop up to see it go -- they started multiplying on top of each other, and effectively changed the shape of my jawline because they were so swollen.
Twice a day, for six weeks, I diligently used the Clarisonic Mia with Lancome Creme Radiance foaming cleanser. In fact, I don't think I've been this careful about my skin before or since then. After a while, I noticed that the acne started calming down. Thrilled with the results, I continued with my routine.
Then it happened. The acne started coming back. After blaming everything I could -- my diet, my lack of exercise, hormones -- and changing all those things, the acne persisted. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that since I was using the brush twice a day, the suggested replacement time was effectively halved. So take note of how often you're using your brush, and don't vibrate the bacteria back into your pores.
After figuring that out and properly maintaining my Clarisonic, I continued on. I eventually graduated to a different kind of acne -- it wasn't cystic, it was a more human-sized pimple that would still scar. It also took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that I was over-exfoliating, and that my skin was producing more oil in order to keep up with its twice-daily foaming torture. After switching to a gentler cleanser and once a week use, my skin calmed down, and we arrive at my skin today.
I still break out. And of course, whenever I do, I attack with my Clarisonic and its faithful army of treatments. But on a regular basis, I almost never use it. Every once in a while, I'll have been lazy about washing my face or been wearing especially heavy makeup and I'll do a pass with good ole Lancome Creme Radiance just to satisfy my neuroses. I don't know that I actually need to do that, but I'm a firm believer of the placebo effect.
All in all, you only need one if you have acne, and the problem with your acne is that your skin is clogged and dirty. Even then, know that this is a one-time fix for your acne -- after it goes away, you won't and shouldn't use it that often anymore. That said, $139 CAD to rid me of 85% of my skin issues? I don't regret a thing.