Clarisonic Pro Skin Care System: The Women In My Life Swear This Is The Product Of The Year

12/26/2008 01:39 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

When it comes to skin care, I'm of the Paul Newman school --- a splash of cold water, and I'm on my way.

But a doctor friend advised me to get a skin care system for my wife. Not because she needs it. Because, he said, it's spectacular.

With his recommendation came a stern warning: "This isn't just good, it's not just useful --- it's like heroin."

That's literal truth. How do I know? My wife uses it twice a day. And, in a fire, she'd grab the Clarisonic Pro Skin Care System before she looked for the cat. (Okay, we have no cat. But you get the point.)

I almost never feature a product on my web site. But the raves in my household were unceasing. And I did learn to share in kindergarten. So I wrote about the Clarisonic system. And my readers agreed: This is the skin care product --- for women and men --- of 2008.

How good is it? This good: You may want to think about postponing your next visit to a dermatologist. You may never need a facial again. [Which is why, for the price of two or three facials, you can call the Clarisonic a bargain.]

Why it is so great? Because it doesn't scrub. It cleanses --- a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second works on your skin to clean it, then smooth it.

How you use it: Wet the brush head with warm water and cleanser, power it up, and gently move the brush in circular movements across the face. Clarisonic recommends 20 seconds on the forehead, 20 seconds on the nose and mouth and 10 seconds on each cheek. When finished, rinse the brush. You can, with good eyesight, see the proof that something really happened --- down the drain go dead skin cells and dirt.

The good news: The Clarisonic handle is waterproof. You can use it in the shower. The unit beeps when it's time to move to another area of the face, so you don't need to watch a clock. It seems to help rosacea and acne. You don't need to buy special products --- any natural, high-quality cleanser will do. And if you use vitamin C and E serums, they are much more readily absorbed into the skin, making for a more effective treament and saving you money.

The less good news: You should buy new brushes every three or four months. And the power supply only works at 100-120 volts; if you're traveling abroad, you'll need a small transformer in order to recharge.

Some testimonials:
My skin looks and feels as it would after a microdermabrasion, but I get that feeling every day instead of a few times a month. I love that I can use any type of non-abrasive cleanser to address my facial needs.

Retin-A makes your skin peel like crazy for the first few weeks. But the Clarisonic brush was great with this because the gentle setting was easy enough on my skin but also hard enough to scrub the dead skin away nightly.

I did not at all expect the dark circles under my eyes to disappear, but they are totally gone. I haven't used undereye concealer for the past five days.

My facial products (moisturizer, toner, makeup) all absorb much better, allowing me to use less of the product. My toner especially feels like it's being absorbed deeper into my skin.

And this, from personal experience: Ever since my wife's been using the Clarisonic, we've been talking it up --- you can't not. But we don't get very far before women smile, raise a hand and stop us. It turns out the Clarisonic is the secret weapon of a lot of women we know.

Was the Clarisonic a secret where you live? If so, no more.

[cross-posted from]