Clarisonic Review: Clarisonic Skincare Brush

Clarisonic Exclusive Mia ARCONA Set
I had to post this Clarisonic review as soon as possible since I have had the most amazing results from it. After being advised by a salesman in Nordstrom, I recently purchased the Clarisonic Skincare Brush Set for both my son and daughter to use for their acne. I bought the smallest one, the Mia, since it was both the cheapest and it seemed to be all that was needed.

The Clarisonic Mia is the smallest of the different Clarisonic skincare brushes. It was originally meant for travel, but I see no reason why it can’t be used for every day. This is especially true since we already have plenty of junk by the sink. Who needs more clunky items to crowd up the space? Anyway, the one speed that the Mia offers is plenty, unless you have tough skin. Most people with acne, however, have quite sensitive skin.

The beauty of this device is that it gently cleans out the pores far more effectively than washing by hand. It is also much more gently than any wash cloth or scrub. My daughter has extremely sensitive skin and is not having any problem with added irritation. In fact, it is reducing her little blackheads and whiteheads significantly. For my son, the benefits are going to take longer. However, after only a few uses I can see that the blackheads are going away along with some of the flakiness from overusing his acne medicines.

According to an article on About.com,

The Clarisonic Skincare Brush Set is one of those rare products that is beloved by most everyone who tries it. Basically a tool for cleansing the face, you use the Clarisonic with your favorite cleanser to deep clean your pores. A great exfoliator, but with a hefty pricetag (up to $200).
I bought mine for only $149, but I could just kick myself.  Now I see it online at Skinstore.com for the same price, but with a 20% discount.  They have the more expensive versions also, with multiple speeds.  They also do a regular 10% off and free shipping for orders over $49.  Oh well, I’ll know better next time.
Just a couple tips on using the Clarisonic:
  • Put your cleanser directly on the brush
  • Don’t press hard on your skin – let the brush do the work
  • You really only need about a minute to clean your skin. More time might cause some irritation
  • Try it with your own cleanser first before trying the one that comes with it

Give it a try.  I hope you get as good results as we did.  Worst case scenario is that you return it. The Clarisonic has a 60 day guarantee.

Best of luck!

Sharyn

P.S. Definitely go to Skinstore.com and get the discount to save up to $30 on it.

P.P.S. My rationalization for buying the Clarisonic is that it is a LOT cheaper than going for a facial, or even a few more trips to the dermatologist!

Clarisonic Exclusive Mia ARCONA Set Clarisonic Exclusive Mia ARCONA Set

This set contains all the great benefits of the Clarisonic Classic in a new, smaller size with two bonus products from ARCONA. This perfect compact cleansing system for use at home or on the go. Mia is the new, go-anywhere Sonic Skin Cleansing System in a great compact size. The one-button, one-speed Mia fits your active lifestyle for beautiful, glowing skin wherever life’s adventures take you.Your Clarisonic Exclusive Mia ARCONA System Includes:ARCONA Magic White Ice, 0.5ozA daily hydrating gel that moisturizes deep within the dermis without clogging pores, to protect against environmental damage and leave skin fresh and dewy.ARCONA Booster Defense Serum, 0.5ozThis antioxidant cocktail leaves skin firmer, stronger, and protected from damaging environmental stressors. Eliminates environmental impurities that contribute to aging with super-oxide dismutase.







How to achieve flawless skin – in a click

I recently read an article about Retouching Acne with Photoshop.  While I’m not exactly an expert in Photoshop (I can’t use it at all), I do rely on retouching photos to make our skin look flawless.  My favorite tool? Picasa.

I have little to no expertise when it comes to manipulating photos and changing backgrounds, and any other fancy stuff.  However, Picasa has a very easy to use retouching tool in the latest version that makes it easy to erase little imperfections.  In fact, I’ve erased some pretty major flaws as well.  I’ve done everything from covering zits to eliminating braces quite easily.

Getting rid of red eye is easy too. They have a tool which automatically picks out all the red eye in the photo and you can just click it away.  Now, if we could just do the same with all our real imperfections!!

If you want to stretch your skills a little, you should still try out Photoshop. The latest basic one is Photoshop Elements 9.  There is definitely a learning curve, which I just haven’t had the time to spend on yet.  It’s on my list. I’m actually hoping to use it for putting images into unusual collages, but it can be used for all sorts of wild effects.

Here’s one important tip.  If you do get Photoshop, either get a friend to give you a quick tutorial or do some of the ones on Adobe’s website.  It will help speed you up in the learning process.

Good Luck!

Do Certain Foods Cause Acne?

It seems that people still cling to the belief that their acne is directly related to what they eat.  If you are a chocoholic like me, people might even blame you for causing your own acne by eating chocolate.  When I was growing up, people in general believed that greasy food caused acne.  As if, in some way, the grease in the food transferred to your skin!.

Certain foods have been linked to an increase in acne severity. Other foods that have long been blamed for causing acne have been let off the hook (chocoholics will be especially grateful!)

Angela Palmer, one of the few acne ‘experts on the market who actually know what they are talking about, recently wrote an article on this topic.  In her article, Food and Acne, she talks about three foods in particular that are long believed to cause acne.

Chocolate, as I always suspected, is not a cause of acne.  Instead, it has been shown to have anti-oxidant, healthy effects.  Of course, if you are eating chocolate in place of healthy foods you might have a problem.  Lack of a healthy diet can contribute to your acne.

Greasy, fried food is also a myth when it comes to causes of acne.  On the other hand again, it’s not healthy in any way, shape, or form.  Stay away from it.

Milk can contribute to acne if you have an allergy or sensitivity to it.  This may be the case with other foods you have an allergy to.  If it doesn’t agree with the rest of your body, then it’s probably not going to help your acne either.  Just make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D if you’re not drinking milk.

So, what is the moral of this story?  Eat a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegatables.  Stay away from foods you are sensitive or allergic to.  And, don’t believe everything your mother told you.  (Sorry, mom!)

– Sharyn

Can Makeup Give Us Flawless Skin?

According to Angela Palmer at About.com:

A survey done by Neutrogena Cosmetics shows women want their makeup to give them flawless skin above all else.

Really? They needed a survey to determine that?

While it’s far from scientific, it is interesting to see just what women are expecting from their cosmetics and of their skin. According to the survey over two thirds of women today would give up something for a year to have perfect skin.

I’m not at all surprised that women said this.  In fact, when I was younger and struggled with acne much more I probably would have even given up chocolate to get clear skin.  Maybe.

In reality, no one has perfectly flawless skin.  When we see models or other beautiful women in magazines, you can be sure that there was some photoshop and touch-up involved.  It is a rare person indeed who has totally clear skin.  Those people usually live in environments with clean air and eat a healthy diet.  You know, like Tibet or something.

So give yourself a break, wear a little makeup, and just take care of yourself as best you can.

Stay well,

– Sharyn

How to Find Makeup for Sensitive Skin


For years I have have been plagued with sensitive skin and have found it extremely difficult to find a good makeup for sensitive skin that doesn’t cause a reaction over time.  Many products claim to be safe for sensitive and acne prone skin, but I still either break out or end up with some itchy rash.  I’ve finally figured out how to pick the best ones and how to test them carefully.  Even so, you may find that trial and error is the only way to go.

When testing out new products on your skin, make sure that you do a patch test first.  Put a small amount in a sensitive but unobtrusive spot, usually behind you ear or on your neck.  Leave it for 24 hours to see if you react.  If you don’t have a reaction, try a small amount on your face for several days.  For me, I don’t know if a makeup or other product is truly safe for my skin until I have used it for at least a week.  This is why I always ask salespeople in cosmetic stores for a large enough sample to last a week.  If they won’t do that, or if it’s just not possible, make sure that you can return it if you have a reaction.  Many online stores have a good return policy and some companies sell trial kits that are perfect for testing out a new line.

The Eraser 4-in-1 Natural ConcealerSome of the best makeup for sensitive skin are those that contain few chemicals or that are all natural or organic.  My favorite lines right now are Tarte and Korres.  Since it is summer as I write this, I have been using a combination of the Tarte Eraser liquid concealer and some of their powder foundation.  Korres powder foundation is a little more moisturizing if you have drier skin.  I also like the cleansing products by Boscia and Fresh, which are very gentle on the skin.  I have never found a drugstore brand, unfortunately, that doesn’t make my skin itchy. I’ll stick with the Tarte Cosmetics Smooth Operator SPF 20 Foundationfor now and see how it goes.

For those who prefer mineral makeup, make sure you use one that doesn’t have bismuth oxychloride.  My favorite is by Bare Minerals, but you have to buy their Matte foundation.  The regular one did have bismuth oxychloride in it the last time I checked, but the matte one is fantastic and doesn’t have the tell-tale sign of the ingredients that irritate your skin – namely a shimmer.  Products with mica in them will also cause itchiness, and many blushes contain this ingredient.

Sunscreen is another culprit of itchiness, rashes or breakouts in sensitive skin.  I can’t use anything with chemicals in it so I stick to mineral sunscreen.  I found one by Elta MD, EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which is specifically for sensitive and acne prone skin.   Neutrogena now makes one that is all mineral and is good for sensitive skin.  The problem I had was that it felt a little too greasy and made me break out.  The only real solution?  Stay out of the sun.  I know that you are supposed to wear sunscreen even if you are not in the sun, but with ultra sensitive skin you are best staying out of the sun anyway.

Use a little trial and error, you will be able to find a good makeup for sensitive skin that provides excellent coverage and a natural look.  One other product line that I’m about to try is Afterglow Cosmetics.  They are supposed to be particularly good for sensitive skin.  If anyone has tried them yet, let me know!  I’m going to order them right now.

Meanwhile, go easy on your skin and use as little makeup as possible and as few ingredients as possible.  You’ll look better for it.

– Sharyn

Afterglow Cosmetics, Inc

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