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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

Hi. I bought my Clarisonic Mia 2 about 3 weeks ago. Before, I'd been a Proactiv user for about 2 years but it was becoming too expensive to keep up. Proactiv worked pretty well on my skin but I wanted to simplify my skincare routine. I have oily, acne prone skin. I bought the Mia 2 and used the Sensitive brush head for about a week before buying the Deep Pore brush head because I hadn't seen ANY visible results- good or bad. I don't have sensitive skin.

I've now been using the Deep Pore brush head with the Purity by Philosophy cleanser for 2 weeks. My skin is awful, it hasn't been this bad since I was 13. My forehead is very bumpy as well as my cheeks. My chin hasn't suffered as much but I've been getting larger pimples on my chin. I use my Clarisonic morning and night, and afterwards I'll use Argan oil on my face to moisturize. Since using the Deep Pore brush my skin hasn't been getting oily at all during the day like it usually does, but now I've noticed my skin it dry and a little red on my forehead. 


I'm not sure if I'm going through the purging stage or I'm jut not using the right products for my skin. I was thinking I should maybe consider using a different moisturizer, a different facewash like Cetaphil, or maybe even switching brush heads? Please help!!

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

I would try using a different brush head because i have heard horror stories about the deep pore one...People i have talked to said that it just makes their skin go crazy... definitely try another brush head, possibly the acne prone one! hope this helps! (Also, try using it only at night) 🙂 

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

I think you can definitely overdo the Clarisonic usage! and it is very easy to do so because its fun to use. I would lover your usage, also I have been told to stay away from anything that physically exfoliates the skin while an active breakout is occurring. It can cause the breakout to spread to other areas of the face and actually cause more breakout!

That being said, maybe you need a different cleanser! The Purity cleanser(while amazing for some skin types) may not be enough for you! Id suggest anything that is made for acne prone skin, and preferably something that suds up a little better than the Purity cleanser. Its all about fine tuning your routine, change up ONE part of the routine at a time to see what effects the new product will have, give each new product at least one month, (unless it totally kills your skin) because your cell turnover cycles through every 28 days. 

Also, Aragon oil can make people, especially with acne prone skin, break out!! Try sticking to products that say 'non-comedogenic' on them(non-breakout causing)

I really hope this helps!!

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

I love my Clarisonic. I didn't really have too much of a purging stage. Just a few pimples that went away in a few days. Make sure you keep the brush head clean.

I would reevaluate your cleanser. "Purity" by philosophy really isn't pure. Avoid foaming cleansers. Products with sulfates in them alkaline the skin and make them a breeding ground for bacteria. You want to keep the pH of the skin low (acidic) because the acidic environment kills the bacteria that causes acne. 😉 I love the Fresh Soy Face cleanser. It's amazing. 
Also, make sure you double cleanse. Once to get your make up off (no clarisonic), and twice (with the clarisonic) to clean the skin. 
Then tone: exfoliating toner first. The Mario Badescu glycolic toner is really nice. Then use a moisturizing toner after to start hydrating your skin. The rose facial mist from Mario is good, too.

Eye cream and serum if you want.
Moisturize after. 

Spot treat: for under the skin pimples, the Mario Badescu Buffering lotion is a god send. I also like the Tata Harper replenishing nutrient complex and the darphin matte mask. The Tata Harper mask is amazing for any regular pimples. Should clear up the problems in a few days. 
Good luck! 😄

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

the purity cleanser really doesn't lather.

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

I purchased the clarisonic to help exfoliate and make my other facial products work better via improved absorption post exfoliation. I went through the same thing when I started using my clarisonic (even started with the sensitive brush and switched to the deep pore)-- and I kept telling myself it was the purging phase.... 3 months later it still had the horrible break outs! (I normally had maybe 2 -3 large pimples pop up around my period each month, so having constant large pimples all over my face at age 24 was no fun)



I ended up cutting back my use of the clarisonic to 2 days out of the week (I chose Sunday and Weds)-- and used it AM/PM. Within 2 weeks my acne improved. I also switched from using the deep pore brush to the acne brush. All-in-all the change made a HUGE difference. I still get the exfoliating benefits of clarisonic, but I think for my skin type using the brush every day out of the week was just too much and promoted more break outs.



I have combination skin-- normal on the cheeks, and a very oily T zone that is prone to break outs as well. I try to only use oil free products on my skin (I'm loving the Skinceuticals LHA cleanser right now). Also, after every use of my brush, I detach the brush from my clarisonic, wash it with some antibacterial hand soap, and leave it separated to dry completely before my next use...


Hope this helps!

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

I use the Clarisonic Mia with my proactive... And I dont use the full three steps of proactive. I now just buy the super large bottle of the Deep Cleansing wash via Proactive, maybe once every 8 months, use a little on my Mia, day and night and I HAVENT BROKEN OUT YET and its been over a year! I used to regularly break out - at least two or three times a month right around my period. Seriously, no breakouts when the Deep Cleansing Wash and the mia are combined. 🙂  

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

Google "Clarisonic Caroline Hirons".  Her blog is brilliant, and she gives her opinion of using a Clarisonic in multiple places on there.


For me and my blemish-prone, oily, cystic acned skin--it's a no-no.  Physical exfoliants are all no-nos.  What I use instead is Murad's Pomegranate Mask to use enzymes to get the dead yuck off.  No breakouts in 4 solid months now.  Literally!

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

They've discontinued the pomegranate mask, Arielaaaaaaaa (however many As there are supposed to be 😛 ) confirmed with customer support on murad's website today. If you can find some stock up!

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

Mayeb you should try only using the Clarisonic a few times a week.  The cetaphil cleanser works great with the Clarisonic because the wash is so gentle.  I love cetaphil products because they are so gentle but work really well.  I don't have acne prone skin so I can't really relate to you on that but my skin gets pretty oily.  I use the normal cetaphil cleanser once a day to wash my face.  I use the oil control one about every two or three days.  I don't use the oil control one with my Clarisonic though because foaming cleaners strip your skin and that would be too much with the exfoliation of the brush.  Your skin could be reacting to the Argan oil.  Some peoples skin can't handle esstenial oils like argan.  I really hope you find something that works for you. 

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

The other users have some points about not irritating your skin, however, I think that the root of your issue is that you're a recovering Proactiv user (been there myself).


After I stopped using Proactive I got the worst acne of my life (as a 22 year old, that was fun).  Every other person that I know that have used Proactiv had the same issue when they stopped using it -- for the reason that its super expensive and a pain to order.  Based on my experience, I think that Proactiv "works" because it completely strips your skin and pores of oil (I used to have to slather on moisturizer multiple times a day), which reduces the oil, but once you stop using it....your skin flips.  out.  


Stick with the Clarisonic, but dial down the deep pore brush.  Find a good basic oil-free cleanser and a light exfoliator, and try using a salcylic acid acne treatment (make sure it too is oil-free) and an oil-free moisturizer.  Be patient.  It takes time for your skin to clear up, and I sincerely doubt that the acne is because of the Clarisonic (I have one, and I love it). 


Hope this helps,

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

It sounds like you are irritating  your skin, especially if it is turning red.  As Krunce said, try the acne brush, which might work a bit  better.

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

Also, Alainah, the Deep Pore brush head is the most vigorous brush you can possibly buy for the Clarisonic. This, combined with Proactiv, which is heavy in salicylic acid, is probably really irritating your skin.


If the sensitive brush wasn't doing it for you, but you like the density of the deep pore brush, try the head for acne. Basically, it's as dense as the deep pore brush, but with longer, softer bristles so it's less irritating. 

I would also suggest just using the Clarisonic once a day.

Lastly, don't amp up the Clarisonic routine because it isn't working fast enough. Be patient. Any change in your skincare regime can take weeks to begin to appear in your skint exture. 


Dermatologists (that I've seen talking about this online) feel that the "purging stage" isn't actually possible. Your skin can't really keep a reserve of pimples hidden under the surface. Pimples appear when, hormonally or physically, your skin believes something is blocking the pore and they send white blood cells to kill it which build up and then become either cystic acne, a white head, or a black head. If your skin is breaking out, it's because something about the Clarisonic brush is irritating your skin. So try another brush head.

If none of this works after another 2 weeks, and you got all the brush heads and Clarisonic brush from Sephora, you can always return it for all of your money back 🙂

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

How long had you been using the purity prior to the clarisonic? Could be that. I honestly couldn't tell a difference between the deep pore and sensitive, and i bought the 4 pk that came with just the 1 DP to try for the summer,  but maybe switch to the delicate or acne head.


Also i 2nd not using it twice a day, i feel like thats too much exfoliation. i use it just once a day at night when i remove my makeup. In the morning i wash my face like normal. Try reducing it to just nightly and use a different cleanser if that one is fairly new.

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

try using Cerave. stay away from purity face wash! cut down on the brush also. NOBODY should be using that brush twice a day, even if it suggests to. You should only use it at night, maybe 3-4 times a week. If you over use it, you're going to strip your skin of its natural oils.. which will then cause your oil glands to produce even more. hence why you're breaking out. 

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

You might try changing the face wash, it could be iritating your skin.  i use a clarisonic 2 times a day and i use it with cliniques facial soap in mild. Cliniques products are all really great and don't contain anything that will iritate your skin.


As far as blemishes go, I definetely can't get away with using just the clarisonic and facial soap.  I have to use some sort of acne treatment every night before bed or I will break out like crazy.  I use a benzoyl peroxide cream from clean andclear and it works the best for me, plus its only $5.00 at Walmart.  you might look into finding s simiar cream to use.

Re: Clarisonic purging stage -- should I switch my routine?

Hi Alainah, that sounds frustrating.  I know some skin types don't react well to using the Clarisonic that often.  You may want to reduce your usage to 1x per day or even every other day, especially with the deep pore brush head.  While the Clarisonic is a great cleansing tool for getting a deeper, more thorough cleansing, clients with acne still need to continue to use products that treat the acne itself.  I think that adding acne clearing products to your routine (perhaps incorporating Proactiv again, since that worked for you in the past) will help more than switching brush heads.  Hope this helps!  🙂 -Laura

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