08-06-2020, 04:22 AM
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from NYTimes 8/5/2020
R.I.P. Clarisonic 

Once it was everyone’s favorite new thing, but it turns out that washing your face with an oscillating brush is not a good idea. 
By Courtney Rubin 
  • Aug. 5, 2020 
Shortly after Clarisonic introduced a $195 electric facial cleansing brush in 2004, Oprah Winfrey named it one of her favorite things, Cate Blanchett and Lady Gaga used it, and pretty much every women’s magazine in America deemed it a must-have. 
“I had to start using one just to disprove the hype,” a Glamour magazine reviewer wrote in 2009 before admitting she, too, was “now pretty addicted.” Eventually, the gospel of Clarisonic — Skin brightening! Acne fighting! Improves absorption of all your expensive skin care products! — spread to more than 50 countries. 
But in July, the company that basically invented the market for luxury at-home facial devices abruptly announced it was shutting down on Sept. 30. A note on the Clarisonic website read: “This difficult decision was made so that L’Oréal can focus its attention on its other core business offerings.” (L’Oréal acquired Clarisonic in 2011.) 
Fans took to social media to vent, especially after most brush heads, which are supposed to be replaced at least every three months, sold out in less than 24 hours, thanks in part to a 50 percent off sale. 
“It’s terrible, especially during a pandemic when people are relying on these tools,” said Mona Hurst, 40, a makeup artist and aesthetician in Phoenix. Ms. Hurst also tweeted her displeasure. 
She first picked up a Clarisonic in 2004 (before the hype) and stayed loyal because she likes how well it takes off her makeup and tightens her pores. Ms. Hurst estimated she has bought five models over the years, including a new Mia Smart in November, for which she paid $175, that is now useless because she can’t get any replacement heads. 
Customers may have been caught off guard, but there were signs that all was not glowy at Clarisonic. In 2016, the company laid off 120 workers; last year, it laid off another 92. There were persistent complaints that the devices caused breakouts (probably not helped by users forgetting to clean or change brushes) and were too harsh on skin. 
In response, the company introduced new models that came with a “soft start” option that lowered the device’s power for two weeks so people could get used to it. (L’Oréal declined to comment.) 
In the end Clarisonic’s biggest problem may have been that skin care science has moved on. It turns out washing your face twice a day with an oscillating face brush — which uses sound waves to dislodge bacteria, dirt and dead skin cells from your pores — is not as good for the skin as doctors once thought it was. 
“Initially we thought, ‘Oh, you need the skin to be squeaky clean,’ and we thought that oil was causing acne,” said Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York. “Then we learned, ‘Wait a second, actually you need healthy robust bacteria to protect the skin.’” Dr. Bowe briefly carried Clarisonic in her office, recommended it to patients and even used it herself. She gave it up by 2014. 
“We’re always on a learning curve,” she said. 
Scrubbing the skin too much or too hard with anything — a brush, yes, but also a washcloth or even your fingers — can damage the acid mantle, the protective film of natural oils, amino acids and sweat that covers your skin. 
“I have never seen scientific data that shows evidence of positive impacts of applying such a treatment,” said Christian Surber, a professor of dermatopharmacology at the University of Basel and the University of Zurich and an author of studies on the acid mantle. “I find it unreasonable to scrub and abuse the skin in this way.” 
(Pro tip: Use your fingers to lather on cleanser and then rinse immediately. The entire process should take less than a minute, said Dr. Nada Elbuluk, an associate professor of dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.) 
Dr. S. Tyler Hollmig, the director of dermatologic surgery at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, said he recommended Clarisonic only for very, very occasional use, like to help speed removal of sun damage that’s been treated with a laser. 
“It was a really nice Zamboni,” he said, referring to the machine that cleans ice rinks. There are now skin care potions that perform the same cleansing and exfoliating functions, he said, but in “a more elegant and often less irritating way.” 
At the same time, the at-home device market seems to have shifted away from exfoliating and cleansing the outer surface to reaching deeper to treat fine lines and tighten the skin via collagen stimulation. Sales of facial cleansing devices have been in double-digit decline for at least three years, said Larissa Jensen, the executive director and beauty analyst at the NPD Group market research consultancy. 
But in the last six months (and partly inspired by the pandemic), sales of laser light therapy devices are up 41 percent while facial toning devices like Ziip are up 150 percent, according to NPD data. (In contrast, makeup is down 37 percent, and skin care products are down 13 percent.) 
“People are creating the spalike environment in their homes,” Ms. Jensen said. “There’s the opportunity to experiment.” 
Robb Akridge, one of the Clarisonic inventors, said he was “a little sad” about the end of the device but also not entirely surprised when his phone lit up with people texting about the news. 
“Clarisonic was the best thing to cleanse your skin, but what the consumer wants has changed,” said Mr. Akridge, who has a doctorate in immunology. “They want something they can adjust to their needs.” 
Later this year, Mr. Akridge, who left the company in 2018, will try for another runaway hit when his new company, Opulus Beauty Labs, introduces a device he said is like a mini-lab for creating personalized skin care products. The team that built it: overwhelmingly veterans of Clarisonic.  

69 2,087
 08-06-2020, 05:10 AM
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Don't care; I'm still enjoying mine Smile

3 7,422
 08-06-2020, 07:09 AM
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I'm familiar with the product, but never used it.  Not supporting the product by continuing to offer replacement brush heads is a lousy way to treat loyal customers.  However, there seem to be generic replacement brush heads available.

60 10,884
 08-06-2020, 01:50 PM
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Agree - there will be a booming replacement market soon. I quite like my Clarisonic - I generally only use it once to twice a week

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