After months of testing, I am here today to talk about the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution (C$265), which is designed to specifically target hyperpigmentation and prevent the appearance of future dark spots. The system that I was testing included the Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum, Brightening Solution Skin Illuminating Cleanser and the Brightening Solution Skin Renewing Peel Wash, along with the Radiance brush head for the Aria cleansing brush.
My skin is rather dry and sensitive. While hyperpigmentation is somewhat present on my face during the summer it is not a huge concern for me, as the spots typically disappear in the wintertime on their own accord. I was most hoping to see improvement to my blackheads and pore size around the nose area, and if the hyperpigmentation was lessened in the process, I would have considered that a bonus.
My first impression of the system is that the packaging looked very sleek. The aria cleansing brush has a very ergonomic feel to it, coupled with a nice weight, and a fancy contact-free charging stand. I am quite snobby about keeping my countertops as free of clutter and products as possible, but I was happy to add the aria system because of its great aesthetic appeal.
However, short of being a nice display item, I was rather disappointed with the system as a whole. The Aria system boasts that with regular use 37% of testers felt improvement in their skin’s texture after just one week. And after 12 weeks, a reported 86% of testers saw a difference in their skin’s radiance. I have been using this system for close to three months now, and my results are less positive.
I was initially impressed by how soft the Radiance brush felt to the touch, as I was worried about it being too rough for my sensitive skin. The system is meant to be used twice a day on the medium speed in the mornings, and on the high speed at night. I immediately found this regimen to be far too rigorous and painful for my skin – the brush head suddenly didn’t feel so soft when I was using it so frequently! My skin was left feeling very tender after each use, so I eventually tapered the frequency down from twice a day to once a day, and then only to three times a week total. Perhaps this lack of adherence to the instructions was a contributing factor to my lack of results, but I had to listen to my skin which simply felt raw after each use.
Also, if you are a self-tanning junkie like myself, be aware that the brush will scrub off any tanner that you may have on the surface of your skin. If you are using a developing tanning product that “stains” your skin, this brush exfoliates deeply enough to remove any trace of the tanner. So for the purpose of this review, I’ve had to tailor my make-up routine to match my significantly whiter face to my bronzed neck and body. You might want to stock up on a foundation that is a few shades darker than your natural color if you are embarking on using the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution.
In addition, as mentioned by some other bloggers, I found the buttons for the speed adjusting to be extremely stiff. I never quite got accustomed to how hard I had to press to get the brush to change speeds and it became a hassle when being used wet in the shower.
I alternated between using the system at night and first thing in the morning so that I would give the two cleansers provided equal use for testing. I followed up with the Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum after each use, prior to moisturising.
Brightening Solution Skin Illuminating Cleanser
I liked this product quite a bit. This cleanser has a milky consistency and it spreads over the face gently and easily. I also found that this cleanser helped combat some of the tightness and dryness I felt after using the brush, and it didn’t leave my skin stripped entirely of its natural oils first thing in the morning. This cleanser is probably not strong enough to remove makeup residue, but since it’s meant to be used first thing in the morning, you presumably wouldn’t be wearing any makeup anyway (unless you sleep in your makeup, in which case, shame on you!).
I would probably repurchase this cleanser. Priced at $30, it’s a good value!
Brightening Solution Skin Renewing Peel Wash
This cleanser is meant to be used with the aria system at night, and it is a thicker, transparent gel cleanser. This product foams and spreads easily when combined with water and it does an average job of cleansing. I felt like I had to wash my face with something else prior to using this product as it was best at just ensuring the last bits of my make-up were gone. Most of the time I used a liquid make-up remover on my eyes and skin before using this cleanser to get the remaining residue off.
However, my skin felt dry after using this product when coupled with the aria brush head, and I cannot see myself repurchasing this product in the future.
Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum
The serum was probably my least favorite product of the bunch. It is meant to be used each time after cleansing and before applying moisturiser. The texture was light and it spread on my skin nicely. It promises to reduce the appearance of age spots as well as illuminate and soften the skin, however I have found virtually no difference in my skin texture after using this product versus using my regular moisturiser on its own, so for the hefty price of $75 I would recommend skipping this product.
The final verdict:
Sometime in the middle of my testing period I went on vacation and due to being out and about in the sun, I have returned with a face full of freckles. So comparatively speaking, I have more “sun spots” on my face now than I did before using the Aria system, so I cannot truly comment on whether any hyperpigmentation was reduced, because even minor UV exposure provided too many freckles for me to keep track of. I saw a slight reduction in the number of blackheads around my nose and cheek area, but overall my skin was left feeling raw and tender after each exfoliation session, and the suggested regimen was so rough on my face I felt like I would have eventually seen damage from over-exfoliation if I stuck to the instructions.
Combined with the rather mediocre cleansers and serum provided, I would advise against spending the 265$ on this system. Perhaps the system would be better suited for someone older, and with less sensitive skin. Additionally, I feel like I could have gotten a better sense of the results had I tested the system in the winter when I have virtually no freckles, as my recent vacation-induced UV exposure greatly obscured the intended results.
Although to be truthful, even if the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution did exactly as it promised and both reduced the appearance of hyperpigmentation along with illuminating my skin, the continued discomfort I felt after using the brush head would not have been worth the results.
On the flip side, I have been using it once a week in place of my usual exfoliator just to scrub off any dead skin. It’s worked wonderfully as a physical exfoliator on a once-weekly level and not the twice a day regime that’s recommended. My skin is left feeling smooth and soft, and it also helps any products penetrate better to maximize efficacy. Although I don’t recommend using it for its intended purpose, I still found a good use for it and I will continue to use the Clarisonic as an exfoliator.
This review was written by Liza