Cleansing your SD skin with a Sonic Brush (Clarisonic)

The study below is targetting a new cleansing method for those who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis.

SD is associated with an excess of sebum which may lead to irritation. A sonic cleanser that is gentle enough for those who also suffer from rosacea could be a useful addition to a cleansing routine.

Firstly some background on the sonic cleaner, which comes from the same company that developed the sonic toothbrush.

Clarisonic Skin Care Systems, Brushes and Cleansers is a proprietary sonic technology and a two-way oscillating brush system to safely, deeply cleanse and clarify the skin. Two times as effective as manual cleansing leaving skin feeling and looking smoother that makes a clear difference in skin care.

In an article titled Enhancing Cosmetic Surgical Dermatologic Procedures, written by Michael H. Gold, M.D. (who is closely related to Pacific Bioscience Medical Marketing Board) are the following comments ;

The Clarisonic skincare cleansing device, manufactured by Pacific Bioscience, uses sonic oscillating brushes to deeply cleanse, stimulate and clarify the skin by differential manipulation of the microanatomy of the skin for deep cleansing without stripping skincare layers. The device, developed by the lead inventor of the Sonicare toothbrush, brings the proprietary sonic technology to skin care. The Clarisonic MD, which is available only through skincare professionals, adds a third power to the original dual-power device.

Clarisonic works with the natural elasticity of the skin to provide gentle daily cleansing. Oscillating at a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second, it works deep within the pores to loosen dirt and oil, and leaves the skin looking and feeling softer, smoother and healthier.

The Tennessee Clinical Research Center, with which I’m affiliated, looked at a prototype of the Clarisonic device for skin cleansing in patients with acne vulgaris by looking at Sebutape Skin Indicator Strips and evaluating trans-epidermal water loss. Five individuals completed the trial and all agreed, in questionnaires, that the device was superior to their previous skin cleansing systems. They reported their skin felt “stimulated” while using the device, and that the skin felt smoother and cleaner after using the device. They noted that the sonic brush made their faces feel rejuvenated following cleansing, reduced the oily feeling on the skin, and exfoliated better than other methods. Most significantly, the individuals noted improvement in their acne vulgaris as a result of the use of the sonic skin-care brush.

The Clarisonic, and now the Clarisonic MD, have been very useful for our patients and our overall revenue stream. Our patients find it safe and effective for their daily cleansing of the skin, and our staff finds it very useful as a back bar-item. According to Patricia Buchanan, Director of Operations for Gold Skin Care Center, “The use of the Clarisonic brushes in our practice has greatly impacted our revenue. The use of the brush by the aesthetician when performing a facial or our laser staff before using lasers/light sources or fillers leaves a lasting impact with the client as they discuss their experiences with their friends.”

I found this product after reading the following abstract from the recent AAD meeting. If anyone has experience with this new form of skin cleansing please do let us know by leaving a comment below.

An efficacy assessment of a novel skin cleansing device in seborrheic dermatitis,

Zoe Draelos, MD, Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, NC, United States; Robert Akridge, PhD, Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, Bellevue, WA, United States.

Objective: Seborrheic dermatitis requires the thorough removal of fungus, sebum, and skin scale to normalize the facial skin.

A study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of a sonic skin care brush (SB) on the traditional treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.

Methods: Twenty adult subjects with mild to moderate seborrheic dermatitis were enrolled in a 2-week skin study.

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups of 10; one group used the SB at home two times daily with a sodium sulfacetamide cleanser, and the other group was assigned to twice-daily use of the sodium sulfacetamide cleanser alone.

At baseline, the dermatologist, blinded to treatment, assessed the amount of facial skin scaling, erythema, extent of involvement, and overall assessment of seborrheic dermatitis on a scale of 0 to 3 (none, mild, moderate, and severe, respectively). Noninvasive transepidermal water loss and corneometer measurements were taken.

Results: All 20 subjects completed the study. The investigator began to note statistically significant reductions in skin scaling, redness, extent of involvement, and overall assessment by day 7 in both treatment groups with continued and significant reductions in the SB group continuing to day 14.

At day 14, improvement from baseline was statistically significantly greater in the SB group over the cleanser only group for erythema (P 5.001; ManneWhitney test), extent of involvement (P 5.005), and overall assessment (P 5.008).

Significant improvements in scaling over baseline scores (P 5.02) were observed at day 14 in the SB group whereas a trend toward improvement was noted in the cleanser only group (P 5.106); no statistical differences between the two treatments were noted.

No statistically significant increases in TEWL were noted at any evaluation time point during the study. No reduction in skin hydration was observed in either treatment.

Discussion: These results indicate that the sonic skin care brush does not damage or dry the skin and confirms that the sonic brush may be safely and effectively used on patients with seborrheic dermatitis.

This was a small pilot study of only 20 subjects, yet there is significant indication that combining the sodium sulfacetamide cleanser with the sonic skin care brush may lead to significantly improved resolution of seborrheic dermatitis than using the sodium sulfacetamide cleanser alone.

Poster Abstract P544, American Academy of Dermatology, 65th Annual Meeting February 2-6, 2007, Washington, DC. Published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Volume 56, Number 2.

Study sponsored by Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, Inc.

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Feel free to post your comments below on how you like this unique cleansing solution.

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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6 Reader Comments

  1. Barb says:

    I have been diagnosed with Rosacea and Seborrheic dermatitis. After much trial and error re cleansers and moisturizers like Cetaphil and meds like Metronidazole, whether gels, lotions or creams, none seemed to produce anything but acne. Ater my skin rejecting even the mildest of cleansing gels, I resorted to using Almond Oil as a cleanser on what has always been an oily complexion. Much to my surprise it has kept things under control and keeps my pores running freely, but I feel that my skin may eventually reject it too. Am I doing myself any harm by using the Almond Oil?

  2. Hi Barb,

    There doesn’t seem to be much information around about almond oil and rosacea. Best of luck with it, and do please let us know how you get on with it in the future.


  3. Jordyn says:

    i am 13 years old. and i am starting to get acne. HELP!! does this thing really work??
    or am i gonna pay $150 dollars for nothin??!

  4. Jordyn, this is more for seborrheic dermatitis or very hard to clean skin. I’m not sure that it will help early stage young acne. Perhaps there might be a salon somewhere you could try it rather than fork out the $$$.

  5. SkinCare says:

    I am the manager of a day spa in Newport beach. I want to thank you for the great tips and comments on day spa and skin care. I love this website and think every day sp manager should visit this site. great job guys.

  6. Marge says:

    Would this be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis of the scalp?

    Thank you.

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