You're Using Your Clarisonic All Wrong

Maybe you got one for the holidays. Maybe you finally decided to treat yo self and splurge on the most expensive skincare tool you'll probably ever own. Maybe your friend somehow ended up with two and was feeling extra generous. However you got your hands on one, it's now perched dauntingly on your bathroom sink, leaving you wondering how to use a Clarisonic properly every morning.

That big hunk of plastic and bristles can feel intimidating if you've been washing your face with just your fingers your whole life, but it's actually delightfully straightforward to use. Still, there are some super-common mistakes that just about everyone's guilty of making the first time they pull their Clarisonic out of the packaging. So to guide you on your journey to sparkling, glowing, blemish-free skin, I consulted Dr. Robb, one of Clarisonic's co-founders, for some helpful tips on getting the most out of your new device. It seems like he might have a pretty good idea for how to actually use the thing, right?

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Below are some of the most common mistakes people make when first playing with their new Clarisonic, and what you should be doing instead. Happy scrubbing!

1. You're Not Using It Enough (Or You're Using It Too Often)

While Clarisonic brushes should be gentle enough for using two times a day, Dr. Robb stresses to do what works for you. Clarisonics don't actually exfoliate the skin (you'll need to add an exfoliating cleanser to do that), but rather "works with skin's natural elasticity to gently rock dirt and oil out of the pores," he explains. "So if your skin is more sensitive or experiences inflamed breakouts, it’s better to use one of our softer brush heads specifically designed for your skin type, or stick to once a day. Otherwise, it's totally safe to use whenever you wash your face!"

2. You're Not Using The Right Brush Head

While all nine brush heads are pretty great (trust me; I've tried them all), it's definitely crucial to stick to the one that's best for your skin type. Dr. Robb recommends talking to a dermatologist professional or retail representative if you're on the fence about which to buy.

3. You're Pressing Too Hard

"You should keep the brush head flush to the skin, but there’s no need to press!" Dr. Robb emphasizes. I know that scrubby feeling is great, but pressing too hard, or using the brush as a scrubber, will just block the oscillation motion, which means the device won't be able to do it's job.

4. You're Not Changing Your Brush Head Enough

The Clarisonic site makes it pretty clear that they want you to change the brush heads every three months, but it's not because of any nasty bacteria getting into the device. "The bristles actually can't harbor bacteria," Dr. Robb explains. "Rather, they stop acting independently of each other and get fatigued, decreasing efficacy. It's very similar to your toothbrush!"

5. You're Not Cleaning It Properly

Washing your face won't clean your brush in the process. Once a week, remove the brush head and wash the handle using warm soapy water to remove any residue buildup (the handle is completely waterproof). You can also rub and rinse the brush head with warm soapy water. "If you’re really a germaphobe, you can dunk your brush head in rubbing alcohol, but it’s not a required step," Dr. Robb says.

6. You're Taking Off All Your Makeup First

While Clarisonics shouldn't be used in the sensitive eye area, there's no reason to add an extra step by wiping off your foundation/blush/concealer/powder before you scrub. "Clarisonic devices remove makeup six times better than your hands alone (and the new Clarisonic Smart Profile does it 11 times better)," Dr. Robb says. "So it’s not necessary to cleanse the skin before using your Clarisonic."

7. Not Using The Right Cleanser

"Our specially-formulated cleansers are optimized for use with Clarisonic Cleansing Brushes," Dr. Robb says, "but you should feel free to use any non-abrasive cleanser you love." So if your skin reacts best to a $4 scrub from the drugstore, then by all means, keep on using it.

Images: Megan McGrath (2); Giphy (6)