Can You Use a Clarisonic with Soap and Water? Adventures in Various Cleansing Methods

When it comes to skincare advice, some of the most frequently asked questions I get revolve around whether or not a Clarisonic is worth it (answer: yes, definitely). Once I've convinced my friend to save up for the device, they get intimidated by the face wash that comes inside the box. "Can I use a Clarisonic with soap and water once this runs out?" they'll ask, a look of desperation clouding their eyes. While I've always been about improvising over following directions, I figured this was a valid worry.

Depending on which version of the device you purchase (there are the Mias 1-3, plus a variety of specialized packages), your Clarisonic will come with a sample size of one of the brand's cleansers, but buying a full-size can run you up to $27 a pop. That's not a ridiculous price, as far as good face washes go, but I get wanting to make sure it's the best option before you ditch your favorite (and possibly cheaper) cleanser for good. So, in hopes of solving this mystery once and for all, I tried four different types of face wash with my little blue Mia 2 — which comes with a Sensitive Skin brush head as the default — and recorded my skin's immediate reaction to each.

After The Clarisonic Face Wash

I really liked the consistency of the Refreshing Gel Cleanser that comes in sample size with the Mia 2 Clarisonic. A tiny drop of the stuff goes a long way — but that's about where my praises end. I have super dry, sensitive skin, and this wash left me with a tight feeling, as well as a slight burning sensation. Obviously, the cleanser that came with my device isn't for me, but I'd imagine it might work well for someone with normal to oily skin.

After Regular Bar Soap

Ugh. Please don't ever make me wash my face with plain soap again. Honestly, this has nothing to do with the Clarisonic itself. There's a reason they make special washes just for your face!

After Inexpensive Exfoliating Face Wash

St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub was actually the first thing I tried with my Clarisonic, just because I had it around — and oh. My. God. My skin was sosososo soft. It's probably not a good idea to use an exfoliating wash with an exfoliating brush every single day, but it's definitely hard not to.

After Super Fancy Face Wash

While the exfoliating wash was my favorite, the $39 Glamglow Thirstycleanse was a close second. It's specifically for humans with skin that could be mistaken for lizard scales, so my face was a big fan of the results.

So, my final verdict? You can use your Clarisonic with whatever the heck you want to. It's an awesome cleansing tool, and only gets better when paired with the best face wash for your skin type. If plain soap and water works wonders for you, then by all means, go to town with it.

Images: Megan McGrath (1); Kara McGrath (4)