Because I rarely wash my face, let alone exfoliate it, I did have a moment’s pause when my very wonderful mother-in-law (and I’m not just saying that!) offered me a Clarisonic Mia brush for Christmas. She’d thought this one through, not only having my husband check in with Siobhan, but also offering the gift with a clear message: You can exchange this for anything you want at Nordstrom’s. Easy. But as I stared at the pretty peachy brush, marketed for sensitive skin, I just couldn’t quite keep my paws off of it.
I’ve been hearing about the Clarisonic for years now, and while I’m deeply wary of over-exfoliation, or any exfoliation—living in fear of sacrificing natural oils and that protective top layer of skin cells that seals moisture in and keeps bad stuff out—I just didn’t think I could pass up the chance at trying the thing. Even as the discount rack at Nordstrom’s called my name.
And here’s what: The thing feels pretty special, and weirdly not like it’s actually exfoliating so much—though I’m fairly sure it is, right?—as creating circulation that leaves your skin aglow. The brush itself is super soft and it pulses with a very gentle vibration that actually tickles. When I run it over my nose I dissolve into laughter.
You can tell I’ve been pretty sold on it, though let’s be clear: I’ve used it all of three times since January, and when I do use it it’s with the One Love Skin Savior I have or whatever friendly oil is laying around the bathroom, and not the toxic foaming crap it came with.
But just as I was about to write an all-glowing post, beloved fashion blogger Garance Dore warned about it on her site. Eeks!
See, Dore has this dermatologist, Dr. Marie-Catherine Planté, who sounds very French and very much after our own hearts: In the past she’s told GD not to even use water when she cleanses her face. A rule I generally ascribe to. So when Dore asked this derm about the Clarisonic brush, because she too had heard the praise, the verdict was that it’s essentially a skin torture device, for reasons sited above about the evils of exfoliation. Oh non.
And yet, I’m not entirely convinced! I guess what I’m now wondering is, should we never exfoliate? Not even a little bit? Surely our ancestors reached for a little sand now and again and rubbed their faces down just for the feel of it. (I love operating on the likely-false assumption that our ancestors must have known more than us about these things.)
I for one, intend to continue using my buzzy brush very moderately, because it just feels so damn good (and the glow!). What about you? Have you tried the thing? Where do you stand on exfoliation?
Oh, and P.S. Vacations are indeed amazing. And there’s not a chance in heck I’ll be using the Clarisonic anytime soon as I try to maintain another skin no-no: my tan!
Pretty, sandy girl via