Do You Need to Spend $149 to Clean Your Face?

Now, don't get me wrong — I love Sephora just as much as the next girl. But for the most part, I prefer makeup of the CVS and Duane Reade variety. Aside from a few favorite products, I just can't justify spending upwards of $50 on beauty products. For years I've heard about the Clarisonic, a cutting edge "toothbrush" for your face that allegedly gives you moisturized, plump, blemish-free, glowing skin. For $149. And then you have to buy the $25 head replacements. And the $47 gel. Oh. OK. I'm good, but thanks.

Recently, though, my skin has become even more temperamental than usual, breaking out and getting dry in patches. Really fun. Try not to be jealous. So, after my dermatologist suggested the Clarisonic, I bit the bullet. I purchased the Mia2 Skin Clearing System, which gives you the actual Clarisonic, a brush, a gel, and a face mask for $149.

Clarisonic promises that your skin will be clearer in just three days, which sounds like a lie, and, plus, I've been wary of promises like that ever since Greg Ackerman said he'd call me after the weekend five years ago. Still — and I really don't think this was just a hallucination that I came up with to justify spending the $149 — I noticed results after the first use. I mean, not life-changing results, but my skin was definitely smoother. I had to resist the urge to keep touching it all night like a weirdo.

About three weeks later, my skin tone is noticeably more even and my skin is softer. My favorite part of the Clarisonic, though, is its exfoliating powers. Skincare 101 tells you that it's important to keep exfoliated in order to allow your skin to soak up all the other products you use (serums, moisturizers, creams). Otherwise, those products will just sit on top of your face. The vibrations of the Clarisonic really get all the gunk out of your pores, far better than any exfoliator or scrub I've ever tried. Oh, and it kind of tickles. So, that's fun.

The only downside I've found to the Clarisonic is the upkeep. You have to change the brush head every 3-4 months, and each of the heads cost $25. The gel that you put on the brush before using costs $47, and you're supposed to "apply liberally." The kit I purchased came with a 'Normal' brush, which claims to be excellent for all skin types, but it was a bit harsh on mine. I had to purchase the 'Sensitive' brush a few days after I bought my Clarisonic.

So, the most important piece of information in any review: Is it worth the money? Honestly, I think it depends on your skincare needs. If you're the kind of lady who just uses soap, water, and a bit of moisturizer, you probably don't have a need for the Clarisonic. However, if you have issues with dry skin and occasional breakouts, the Clarisonic might be your new best friend. Just keep in mind that it's not a miracle worker. To reiterate, the best part of the Clarisonic is that it makes it easier for other products to be absorbed by your skin, so make sure you're still using cleansers, serums, and moisturizers in combination with the Clarisonic. Oh, and if anyone judges you for spending $149 on a skincare tool, just remember that she doesn't get to have her face tickled every night. You win.