Why Your Clarisonic Is Not Helping Your Acne

My clients usually have lots of questions when they come in for their intitial consultations and one that comes up regularly is whether or not they should be using their Clarisonic. I'm not a fan of the Clarisonic and I'll go through a few of the reasons why.

First, acne is a genetic defect of the pores. Basically you're born with the propensity to break out ( thanks Mom and Dad!). Here's how it works: We all shed layers of dead skin cells inside of our pores. This is a natural and healthy function of our skin. Those who don't struggle with acne shed a layer of these dead cells each day. For those of us who have acne, our pores are shedding up to five layers of dead cells each day. Our bodies simply cannot keep up with this excessive sloughing and a small plug forms deep within the pore. This plug is called a microcomedone and it's the start of all acne.

Once this plug forms it follows two different pathways. It will manifest as either noninflamed acne (blackheads, papules) or inflamed acne (cysts, large sore pimples, whiteheads). When acne is inflamed the wall of the pore is dilated or stretched out and many times there is pus present due to your bodies efforts to try and fight infection. Squeezing, picking or rubbing inflamed acne opens up the lesion and spreads the infection to other areas of your face. When the follicle (or pore) wall is already stretched out, friction and activity will cause the wall to rupture. Once this happens the infection spills out and causes a larger area to become infected which usually means a bigger breakout or more of them.

So to get back to the Clarisonic, acne happens deep within the pores and cannot be scrubbed away. Scrubbing the top layer of skin won't do anything to prevent acne from forming or surfacing. When acne is inflamed, scrubbing actually becomes detrimental to your skin, as it will spread infection and cause breakouts to become worse. The best form of exfoliation is chemical, where ingredients can penetrate into the pore and prevent dead skin cells from sticking together. This keeps the microcomedone from forming in the first place.

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