Cleaning your Clarisonic seems as redundant as disinfecting your washing machine, but you’re not giving your face a thorough cleansing if the very tool you’re using to wash it isn’t truly clean itself. In fact, you could actually be making your face dirtier if you’re not regularly cleaning your beloved electric brush.
“Not cleaned properly, rash, inflammation, contact dermatitis, and bacterial infections are all not only possible but probable,” Beverly Hills-based board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban tells Allure — and that’s true of any kind of brush that comes in contact with your skin. “Expensive, thrifty, natural fiber, cellulose, synthetic bristles of all kinds, including Clarisonic, are porous and can become contaminated.”
In addition to looking out for your health, proper cleaning of your Clarisonic means an overall better cleansing of your skin. That means you need to not only use the correct technique but also do it frequently. “Daily use products, including the Clarisonic brush, should be thoroughly cleansed weekly and replaced every three months,” Texas-based board-certified dermatologist Heidi Prather tells Allure. “If there is visible soap or makeup residue on the brush head, you may want to cleanse more often.”
Here’s how Clarisonic itself recommends cleaning its brushes — along with some additional expert advice from dermatologists.
1. Unscrew and remove the brush head. You can also squeeze the white grooves to pop out the center piece and be extra thorough.
2. Squirt a few drops of soap on your fingers or a toothbrush and scrub the bristles and crevices first. Don’t worry about harming the brush head — the bristles are built to take some abuse. Rinse with warm water and repeat with the handle.
Both Prather and Shamban say any soap will do — even dish soap. That said, Prather recommends avoiding harsh detergents and chemicals that you would not want on your skin or face. “Harsh detergents and chemicals can damage the bristles but also leave a residue on the brush that you do not want on your skin,” she says. Furthermore, Clarisonic advises against using abrasive cleaners or chemicals.
Another gentle, effective option, is a mixture of one tablespoon of household white vinegar and a pint of tap water. “You can soak your brush head in this solution for five to 10 minutes, agitate, then rinse,” she says. “If you have more debris in your brush head, consider adding a small amount of your favorite gentle facial cleanser to the mixture to help remove any additional residue.”
3. Let the brush head air-dry separately from the handle overnight.
Shamban cannot stress the significance of drying the brush enough. “The drying part is equally important, as mold and fungi present all around us proliferate on damp moist surfaces, especially if they are in the dark,” she warns, noting that drawers are not an ideal place for Clarisonics to dry. The same goes for leaving your Clarisonic in the shower. “Viruses and bacteria love those moist damp spaces. I suggest drying with a warm hairdryer.”
4. To keep your Clarisonic cleaner longer, store it properly after each use. The brand says the Best of Beauty Award-winning Mia Smart can go upright in its charger stand. For Mia devices without a charger stand, like the Mia Prima, keep them in a clean, dry location.
5. Expect to need to replace your Clarisonic brush head every three months. “If you notice wear sooner, replace sooner,” Prather says. “However, a single brush head may last longer than three months for an occasional user, as long as regular cleaning is maintained to preserve the integrity of the brush.”
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