Summer Skincare Cleansing With the Clarisonic Aria

July 2, 2014

I’ve been experimenting more with skincare this year and wanted to share some of my favorite items along with a few new discoveries. I have sensitive acne prone skin that is mostly normal. Most of my life I’ve maintained a clear complexion with a simple gentle foaming cleanser + toner and weekly mask. The past couple of months my skin has been going through a mess with seasonal weather changes, a change in my workout routine along with some added stress. My holy grail go-to foaming cleansers from SK-II and Dior simply were not enough to cleanse my face completely at the end of the day causing clogged pores and break outs. Over the past few months I’ve added a few more steps to my skincare cleansing routine and my skin has finally started to clear up and improve in texture and clarity.

Added Step 1 came from a recommendation from one of my favorite Nordstrom Chanel artists. I’ve added a step to remove long-wear makeup by using a gentle but effective cleansing oil or cleansing water to break down every trace of makeup on the face. Cosmetic companies have developed amazing innovations in makeup to make it long wearing and last all day through the night. Some of these long-wear formulas don’t come off completely with a regular cleanser and remnants will clog pores. They need extra work to remove where a cleansing oil or water will help break down makeup. My current favorites are MAC Cleanse Off Oil and Caudalie Cleansing Water. I alternate depending on what kind of makeup I’m wearing. On full makeup days, cleansing oil is needed. On tinted moisturizer days I use the cleansing waters.

Step 2 has been the addition of the Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing System from Nordstrom which has made a huge difference in clearing up my skin and getting it back to normal. My friends and family have been telling me for years that I should invest in a Clarisonic device because according to them “it really works.” I’ve always been intrigued by the concept but was overwhelmed by all the options. Also since I have had pretty good skin I didn’t see the need to spend money fixing something that was perfectly fine. Given my recent skin flare ups, I needed a change and this has been a really good solution to return my skin to it’s normal state by using it 2 to 3 times per week.

If you’re new to Clarisonic, here’s a quick rundown of each device they have for facial cleansers. You can read more about Clarisonic Technology here. These Clarisonic tools are designed with a patented oscillating sonic technology creating more than 300 movements per second to help loosen oil and dirt in your pores with the motion the outer and inner brushes create. It’s designed to exfoliate the skin and clear and tighten the pores.

There are currently four different devices for the face, each device comes in a wide variety of color options ranging from white, to colorful pink, lavender blues and classic black. All the options come with the Sensitive Brush but have different brush head replacement options depending on your needs. The kits also come with a sample size of one of their cleansers. You may want to consult a product specialist to find out which one will suit your specific skin needs. I like using the Live Chat with Beauty Stylists on Nordstrom. They’ve been super helpful in the past (they’ve even helped me locate discontinued items in stores).

  • Mia $99 is a one-speed tool, this is designed as a starter brush, comes in a small portable size
  • Mia 2 $149 – $169 comes in several different kit options, this took is sized similar to the Mia, it has two speeds and comes with a protective travel case for storage, the Mia2 has the most color options available to choose from
  • Aria $199 is slightly longer and sleeker in design compared to the Mia/Mia2, the Aria has three speeds, this one comes with a USB-Enabled Universal Voltage pLink Charger and regular plug so you have more charging options (if you’re on the go), it also comes with a charging/drying stand
  • Plus $225 is the deluxe version of the Clarisonic for face and body, it comes with two different brushes and a Universal Voltage Charging Cradle

After hours of online researching, it was a tie between the Mia2 and Aria. I liked the compact size of the Mia 2 and the fact that it came with a super cute protective case and so many color options,. I also found the price point reasonable. However I also liked the sleek look of the Aria along with the drying stand and charger options. I ended up purchasing the Aria since it had more options for brush speed and the convenient stand.

All Clarisonics come with some kind of sample-size cleanser. I’ve tested three (two have been from Nordstrom GWPs). My favorite is the Deep Pore Daily Cleanser and I’ve been working my way through 2 mini tubes. A little goes a long way and it’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin but really deep cleans without drying out the skin. After using this your skin won’t feel tight, nor will it feel like there is a film left over. I’ve also used the Clarisonic with my go-to foaming cleansers SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser and Dior Purifying Foam Cleanser. Both are thicker in texture than most Clarisonic options, but they are still flexible enough to use with the device.

Close up of the Aria hand held, it has a sleek slender design so it fits nicely into my small hands, it’s easy to hold and although it has some weight, it’s not too heavy.

The Sensitive Brush that the Clarisonics come with shown below. I find it gentle and soft, on the face it almost tickles because it’s so soft. On the nails currently is Chanel Tutti Frutti Le Vernis.

I’m still a newbie with the Clarisonic Aria. I’m nearing the end of Week Three of testing it out. I’ve been using the Sensitive Brush it came with and find it very gentle on the skin, my preference is for the Delicate Speed (the softest one) and after reading some rather scary reviews, I decided to ease into it. My first week I used it twice, the second week I upped usage to three times. Even though I find the Aria to be very gentle I’ve read one needs to be careful not to overdo the exfoliating. The first two weeks I didn’t see much of a difference in the skin although I found it made the skin feel really soft and clean. At the end of the second week and into the third my skin has started to make its way back to normal. (Let me know if you want updates in the future at the 2 month or 3 month mark.) The drying stand is super convenient for storage. Overall I’m really happy with my purchase and am already looking into the other brush options now.

Have you used a Clarisonic or any of the different brush heads or cleansers? I have read so many different reviews, I would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences. The Pedi Sonic Foot looks incredible, but I usually prefer to have my toes manicured at a salon.
Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. For more information, please refer to my Disclosures page.

You Might Also Like

  • I would love further updates on this. The Clarisonic keeps coming and going (at the moment it's not on it) on my wishlist.

  • Hey Sabrina! I have always wondered which of the brush heads would be suitable for me. You have such a thorough post here! Thanks a lot for sharing πŸ™‚ Besides I got lost in your bathroom pictures.. its beautiful! πŸ™‚


  • Great post! I'm too nervous to try the Clarisonic, but I love your nail color here. What a fun, beautiful shade!

  • I'm so desperate for a Clarisonic. I've literally been eyeing them up for at least the last year or so but I just can't justify spending so much money on a skincare item! I've heard they're amazing and I'd love to be able to give my skin a deep clean, as I do have troublesome and sensitive skin. Maybe one day I'll take the plunge and invest πŸ™‚

    Blogdesherrell.comBeauty, Parenting and Lifestyle Blog

  • Stephanee

    I loved your post and your bathroom tile! I got the Aria for this past Christmas and I love it! I also thought why bother getting one as my skin was doing great, but now it is beyond amazing. I have all of the brush heads but I find during Spring Summer the Deep Pore heads work great at deep cleaning. When Fall returns I will switch back to Normal. I have Acne too and its really soft. Sensitive is too light for me.

  • I would like to give a shout out to Le Metier de Beaute Skin Renewal Cleanser to the discussion here. It's a great product. What makes it so is that it is soap-free yet a very effective cleanser, especially when used with a Clarisonic device. It contains fruit-derived acids that gently exfoliate. I'm hooked!

  • Lovely post! I also have mostly normal skin..rarely have any sort of acne but recently I've just broken out a little bit. I've been looking to buy the caudalie cleansing water, and the Clarisonic Mia. My mom swears by her Clarisonic! xx

  • I owned Mia2 and love it for a while, until I realize it is a bit too abrasive for my dry skin. I use Clarisonic once a week now, I'm more into gentle chemical exfoliant instead.

    I'll throw this question out there for you & your readers, maybe someone out there would know: would Clarisonic work with non-foaming cleanser (like the type of lotion or balm cleanser that does not rinse off such as Eve Lom, Avene Gentle Cleanser, something along this line)? Many thanks!

    • Nemo

      Any Clarisonic will work with any kind of cleanser. I have used my Mia2 with Eve Lom just fine.

  • Love this post. I have been quite troubled with my oily face recently and therefore looking for some cleansing products. Clarisonics looks pretty cool, will do some more research and then see whether I want to buy it. But thanks for sharing your experience πŸ™‚

  • Does the stand comes along with the Aria? I'm looking to get a stand for my mia 2 because it's looks much better and more hygienic!

  • I use Clarisonic Aria too and I've found that any gentle slightly foaming cleanser works… I really see a difference if I don't use it for a coupe of days… It's amazing!

  • Nemo

    Several years ago a friend recommended the Clarisonic brush. I was very skeptical, didn't believe a word of the hype. But I trusted her, and so I bought a Mia 2. I love it, and I simply cannot recommend it enough. The first time I used it I saw an immediate difference in my skin. Instant & spectacular results! My skin is fair with rosy tones. Suddenly it looked radiant and it just glowed with health. I immediately bought another Mia 2, this one monogramed! I use various cleansers, including CHANEL and Aveda. I use my Mia several times a day. In the morning, of course, and I use it to clean my ears and neck and hands. I use it later when I wash my face after my daily gym workout. And I use it again at night, after I remove all my eye makeup. I follow each use with Aveda toners. I used to worry about leaving makeup & sweat on my face after cleansing. I don't anymore. And the Mia is gentle enough for me to use several times a day, and I have a very sensitive skin. I like it too because it removes all traces of sunscreen which is hard to get rid of in a normal washing. I recommend it highly.

  • I've been using Clarisonic for years and years. Like decades….so I have the original one. Still works like a dream. I like the "cashmere" brush head. It's the softest. I was seeing tiny redness and broken caps and feeling really dry so I switched to the cashmere head. I'm loving it with Chanel Mousse Confrot cleanser. I also do a first cleanse with DHC Cleansing oil on a full makeup day. What did we do before cleansing oils? Love them!!!

  • Anonymous

    I have used the Clarisonic for years. Like Stray Cat, I have an original model. I think it was called "professional" since you can attach a body brush. I have used the sensitive, delicate and am now using the deep pore cleanser brush. I think just about everyone can use it. You control the pressure and the delicate brush is super soft. I have sensitive combo acne-prone skin and it really benefits from a thorough cleaning that is not rough. I just look at my skin and it turns red but strangely the Clarisonic does not produce redness. If I am wearing sunscreen or foundation (all of mine are long-lasting formulas) I use a cleansing oil first and then a foaming cleanser (currently Obagi NuDerm) and it works brilliantly. I spray my brush with isopropyl alcohol periodically to kill any germs and store it in the stand so it can dry.

  • michelle

    I've used a Clarisonic for many years. I recently had to replace mine which was the original with many speeds and a stand for charging. It came with a normal & sensitive brush & I found sensitive was best for my skin. I found the "normal" head too harsh on my sensitive skin. I have always only used it at night as I find it overkill to then use it in the morning. When mine finally conked out this past December, I actually chose Mia2 (instead of the nicest Aria which was most similar to my professional) because I had recently gotten a Mia for my teenage daughter and really LOVED charging off the stand and putting my brush away instead of always leaving it out on the stand plugged in to my outlet. I like using it, drying the head thoroughly and placing it in one of my upright organizers until the next night. Then when I see it blinking, I put it on the handy magnetic power cord and leave it overnight until the next day when I can put the cord away. I like this concept much better because my stand would start to get gross no matter how often I cleaned it with alcohol or other cleaners just from water that would seep in each evening. Also, a couple years back when I needed replacement heads, I saw the new deep pore brush and I read that many thought it was actually better but not more abrasive than the sensitive. I bought a pack of those and haven't looked back..LOVE the deep pore so much more and now actually find the sensitive too abrasive! I find good deals on skinstore.com where they sell the pack of 4 cheaper and then I use a coupon code on top and really brings the price way down, I really like skinstore.com as I also get free samples and they carry rms beauty etc. Btw, I use rms coconut oil cleanser as a first cleanse and then choose from one of a few cleansers to use with my clarisonic depending on whether I am doing a glycolic, alpha hydroxy or retin a following.

  • ame

    I finally made my Mia2 work for me this year with the new Luxe brushes. It's the only brush that works for my face because the others are all too rough.

    I was hoping there'd be an ARIA this year in the Anniversary sale, bec I wanted to upgrade, but I might just get the Plus instead.