Monday, September 20, 2010

How Clarisonic Mia Helped Me on Safari- Review

I just want to quickly explain the reasoning behind doing a review about the Clarisonic Mia and tieing it into my trip to Africa. It's simply this: I've never been so completely filthy in my entire life. Not as a child making mud pies, not sheering sheep by hand in the Outer Hebredies of Scotland, NEVER.
Let me give you an idea of just how bad it was; thirty minutes in a safari SUV and my pants went from beige to dark terra cotta red. I and other members of my group would think we'd managed to tan a little and then we'd get a rare shower and you'd scrub (and scrub and scrub harder) and the tan would go away, and or peel off. Cleansing wipes were popularity items (you had some and you were instantly popular- wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper) and at the end of a safari day it took four just to get the majority of the dirt off my face.
The reason the Mia helped is because even once I managed to wipe myself down enough so the cloth wasn't brown after each swipe, I'd wash with this and my liquid cleanser and you could see the dirt it managed to continue to take off my skin in how dark the suds were. Sometimes, the bristles were so dark afterwards I'd clean it off (to the best of my ability with the limited water available) and cleanse a second time (which, in my case did contain more dirt).
My point you may ask? How could this be useful for the average person- not just slightly wacky Zoology students on safari? It cleans off make-up and daily grime really really well. So well, I'll remove my make-up completely to my eyes and yet I'll still have foundation tinged foam after I've used this.
A picture of my Mia, with travel cap on
First, a little bit about the Clarisonic Mia. This is a skin care brush for your face to help cleanse and remove dead skin cells from the surface. About five inches in the handle, the bristles on the head vibrate at over 300 oscillations per second (they move back and forth instead of in a complete circle so hair doesn't get dragged into it, and ripped out). The bristles are about half an inch long and only vibrate in the centre the outer ring of bristles are stationary so foam and water spray is kept down. Included in buying a Mia is the travel charger, a sensitive brush head, a travel cap, and a miniature cleanser by Clarisonic (I don't use it). There are tons of good deals out there though that will include money off, and/or extra brush heads, search around for the best deal!
Charger and where to line it up on the handle
When the on-off button is clicked the device vibrates slightly in your hand and will continue running for a full minute or cycle. Clarisonic recommends moving the brush in a circular motion on the skin for 10 seconds on each cheek, 20 seconds on the forehead, and for the remaining 20 seconds on the nose and chin. If you press the button again it will start another minute long vibration period. Usually I need a little longer than a minute, but it's not an issue. If you need to pause for any reason just press the off button and it will hold the remaining time for 30 seconds before it resets to the 1 minute time interval. In total, the Mia holds 20 minutes of charge.
Mia charging
The charger unit is particularly nifty, with a magnet that sticks itself to the base of the handle, and makes for easy travel. (And don't lose the travel cap! It really helps keep other things from getting in the bristles and/or bending them out of shape.) The charger doesn't need alot of work to attach, it pretty much lines itself up to charge if you put it near above the bottom of the handle. When charging a little blinking green light will show up on the outside of the handle showing you it is actively connected, when fully charged the green light will stay on as seen in the above picture. When you remove the charger from the Mia, it will either vibrate once- to tell you that it's only partially charged, or twice to say it's fully charged. When you connect the charger (and it's already plugged in) it will also vibrate once to say it's connected. As I prefer to store my mia on its 'back' this feature is more useful for me than the green light. 
My Africa dirt stained sensitive brush head up close
There are three different brush heads available that are really easy to interchange (like opening a childproof pill bottle). The Mia comeswith the intermediate 'sensitive' head but there is a slightly rougher 'normal' version that many men prefer and a softer 'delicate' version. The thing to remember is to choose one you don't feel is aggravating your skin, and don't press too hard! My advice is to try and buy a package that also includes a normal or delicate brush head for free to try too. The rougher one you can use in the shower on your body. Clarisonic recommends you change the brush head every three months but as long as you clean it weekly it should last you much longer. The head above you is just under a year old, and it's still working just as well.

As I've mentioned I bought my Mia last October after reading literally hundreds of reviews as something to help with my acne. To sum it up, I noticed within about a week that my skin was clearer than it was. It didn't clear my skin completely but, blackheads, whiteheads, and the duration of active pimples has decreased. I'd say that my oiliness has decreased slightly as well. I didn't however notice a decrease in pore size, dry patches, or really smoother skin, though it varies between people. On the other hand I did notice that moisturizer and serums did soak into my skin quicker. 

The reason I choose the Clarisonic Mia is because it is near identical to the larger twice as expensive version. The main differences are that the regular Clarisonic has 3 speeds (which doesn't make any sense because they all oscillate around 300 times a second), the Mia has a shorter handle (which works nicer in my small hand, though is plenty large enough for just about everyone), the regular can have a body brush head attached to it which is larger, and a cradle charger instead of the Mia's magnetic one. 
Mia plugged into the wall beside my electric toothbrush
Some things the Mia doesn't do or live up to are:
  • Reduce visible pore size
  • Reduce redness
  • Make acne disappear (or any other skin ailment)
  • doesn't remove make-up or grime from you eye area (and don't try it either! Would NOT be pleasant!) You still need a face cloth for cleaning the eye area, and removing the cleanser after the Mia applies it
  • It tends to get foam up my nose at least a little
  • It doesn't work well with foam cleansers, nor oil or water-like cleansers if they don't foam up after
  • Not so good with crevices, like the one between your nostril and cheek. You have to get the hang of trying to get the brush to get there- another instance is when it catches on your ear
  • You need to keep your mouth closed around your chin, cheeks and nose otherwise you'll end up with cleanser spray in you mouth
  • Reduce dry patches (I still get them from time to time)
For a cleanser I recommend a gel or cream one that will foam up a bit. A couple good ones are the Murad acne cleanser or Philosophy's Purity cleanser. You can make a foam one work, but I don't recommend it as much as the foam bubbles tend to be squished away near the beginning of the wash.

Overall, I do love my Mia. I notice a difference in my skin and acne if I don't use it, even if I miss just a weekend and use a wash cloth instead. I use my Mia twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It feels nice on my skin and it doesn't take too long to do for the results I get. Take into account though I have combo-oily-acne prone skin so you may want to read other reviews if you have very sensitive, fragile, or any other skin condition. 

Rating: 9/10 - It doesn't solve my acne and it still requires a wash cloth but it does help!

Update as of Sept. 23rd: The Mia also comes in five colours, white, pink (which gives a portion to the breast cancer association), yellow, turquoise, and the newly released lavender! Choose one that matches your personality (or is just your favourite colour!)


  1. Thanks so much for the awesome Mia review. We are so glad to hear that it is helping improve your overall cleansing experience. We recommend that you remove your eye makeup before you cleanse with the Clarisonic. We noticed that you didn't enjoy using it with a foaming cleanser. Did you find a cleanser that worked better for you? We'd love to hear more about your experience. Find us on Twitter @Clarisonic or Happy Cleansing!

  2. Did you really have limited water? I went on a safari in Africa and we had water given to us every day!
    This thing looks like it would be really useful! It also extremely dusty where I went (Kenya).

  3. We did have limited water. Enough for sure, but not the amount I usually use at home. We had water given to us everyday too but then you had to wait till the next day to get the next one. Hope this explains it ok!