Friday, May 30, 2014

Product Review ~ NutraSonic ultrasonic facial cleanser and premature aging

All of us have something that our moms told us when we were younger that we really wished we had listened to. For me, that thing is wearing sunscreen. I grew up in Arizona where having an in-ground pool is a survival mechanism, and as I got older, I continued my summers outside in North Carolina by coaching a swim team, lifeguarding and teaching kids how to swim. In other words, I was outside. A LOT. And when I got to college, I spent a lot of my free time outside by the pool or on the sand when I could get to the beach. And for some reason, I actually believed that every summer, I just needed that first burn and then I'd be set for the summer.

My skin, however, has had other ideas, and while I'm very, very lucky not to have a lot of premature aging, there is enough that now taking care of my skin is one of my top priorities when it comes to my beauty regimen. I buy Neutrogena Helioplex sunscreen by the truckloads. I wear light-colored clothing to reflect the sun's rays. I still vacation every summer at the beach, but I do it under the safety of 100 SPF sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella. I have tinted windows in my car. I sit in the shade whenever possible. And if I have a choice? The moisturizers and makeup that have sunscreen built in win every time.

However, let's get real. The majority of the damage to my skin has already been done thanks to all those summers when I was a teenager when I went to work outside without sunscreen. I was working on my tan, right? Now, I have to do everything I can to try to halt that damage in its path. First and foremost, I watch every freckle and mole on my body to make sure it's not changing. I have already been to my dermatologist twice in my life to make sure melanoma isn't starting. I take the necessary precautions as we all should. I even have a spray for my hair that has sunscreen in it.

Two summers ago, I was at my favorite vacation spot in Destin, Florida, and indulging in a massage and facial at Massage Envy. Not many of the Envys have both, but the one in Destin does. I have been warned several times about the condition of my skin by aestheticians, warnings that I take very seriously, but this was the first time that one actually told me point-blank that my number one problem with my skin is sun damage. Now, was she being honest or just trying to sell me something? I don't know and frankly don't care, but when I was shown the sun damage in a magnifying mirror up close and personal, that was enough for me to pull out my credit card and buy what she was selling...which was a NutraSonic facial cleaner. It is the NutraSonic 1020 Professional 4-Speed Face and Body Cleaning System and I purchased it for $125 which included the cleaner, three brushes, a dock and charger and a carrying case.

I have been very hit or miss with using mine since I got it because that week when I bought mine in Destin, I got a pretty good sunburn on my face (go figure) and the last thing I wanted to do was put this thing with moving brushes anywhere near my red skin. Then I got home, plugged it in to charge, and know how it goes. However, when I began this blog, I immediately decided that this would be one of the first things I evaluated and wrote about because skin care is so important to all of us and these ultrasonic facial brushes are everywhere. And, they ain't cheap.

My suggestion is that if after reading this article, you decide you want to look into this further, do your research on the internet about which brand is right for you. If you have a dermatologist, you may even want to discuss use of this with him or her, although most aestheticians that I have discussed this with think that ultrasonic cleaners are very good. How can they not be? If used properly, they clean dirt and pollutants from your skin, they exfoliate, and from what I can see, they do a great job at eliminating lines and wrinkles. I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure don't want to be having plastic surgery when I'm older to reverse the signs of aging. I plan on doing what I can, using products that work for me, and drinking water to keep my skin hydrated, and hoping for the best.

The first time I charged it, I let it charge for a full 24 hours. After that, I only charged it once a week. It magnetically charges, so there are no batteries to pull out or doors to close. You just set it in place in the dock, make sure the red light is on, and walk away.

The rest of the time, it stays in my shower because...and this is the best is fully waterproof. It is encased in plastic and you can hold the entire cleaner under your shower spray without any worry that the cleaner is going to stop working. I prefer to wash my face in the shower because of several reasons, but the main reason is very simple; it's just easier that way. You don't have to worry about dripping water everywhere because you are already in a wet area. Your hair is wet so you don't have to worry about putting it back. Best of all, when it comes to rinsing off your cleanser, what better place to do it but in a place where you can take advantage of all the clean water rushing at you? I have a rain shower head, so when it's time to rinse, I simply tip my face up into the spray with my eyes close and let the water do the work.

Using the NutraSonic is very easy. To my knowledge, I believe you can use it with just about any cleanser, although I wouldn't recommend using it with a scrub or anything that has beads in it. I believe that might be too harsh on your skin. I keep my facial cleanser, Purpose, in the shower. After I apply conditioner to my hair, I pump a small amount of face cleanser in my hand, spread it all over my face with both palms, and's time for the magic. You have to experiment a little to see what speed works best for you, but I just use the lowest speed. I start with my forehead and just move left to right, working my way down my face, and making sure to scrub a little extra in my trouble spots where acne pops up. For me, those areas are my forehead, my chin and my jaw lines. After I'm finished, I rinse the NutraSonic under the water to rinse out the dirt and skin that it has removed and then leave it on for a few seconds after I have taken it out from under the shower spray so that any remaining water droplets fly off...similar to letting the beater run above the cake batter in the bowl so all the batter still on the beaters flies off. My routine is to rinse my conditioner and my facial cleaner off at the same time, so once I'm done, I'm out of the shower and ready for the next steps, which is toning and moisturizing. I use Oil of Olay toner and Purpose moisturizer during the day and Murad Essential-C Night Moisture at night. This works for me since I have combination skin with oily spots on my forehead, nose and chin, but every different type of skin responds to products differently.

Now, to the pictures! When I decided to start using this again, it had been roughly a year since I used it, so my face was in sore need of TLC. This picture was taken after my first shower using it on May 11. After my husband took the below picture, he made the comment that my face looked "fresh-scrubbed and clean".

On May 12, I noticed that my foundation, Bare Escentuals Matte Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Light, glided on and applied flawlessly. I didn't even need to finish it off with Mineral Veil, the finishing powder.

On May 15, I took a shower at night and used the Oil of Olay toner and Murad nighttime moisturizer. When my daughter and husband kissed me good night, both commented that my skin felt very silky and smooth.

On May 16, I was putting on my makeup and noticed, with great delight, that my under-eye circles were much less pronounced. They were still there with a purplish tint as I expected, but were not as pronounced. After further examination, I discovered that the apples of my cheeks had evened out and were less red, creating less of a contrast between my cheeks and the skin under my eyes.

Ten days later on May 26, I was putting on my spare foundation that I keep in my car, Bare Escentuals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in Light, and it glided on like my Matte Foundation does. I originally stopped using the Original formula because I found that the Matte applied better, but the Original went on so well, it almost looked like the Matte!

And lastly, on May 27, when I decided to conclude my time journal for use of the NutraSonic, I observed that my skin felt extremely silky smooth, both in and out of the shower and under my fingers as I smoothed on my Murad. The ever-present acne on my forehead is gone. The rosacea that I always had to use concealer on my chin and cheeks with has lessened. My crow's feet at the edges of my eyes are almost impossible to see. I have noticed every day when I apply my makeup that I use less and less, but yet the same polished look is still there. In short, I feel like a little bit of my fresh-faced twenty-something me is looking back at me in the mirror.

And if that's after sixteen days...well, I can't wait to see what my skin looks like in a few months! This little device is definitely going to be part of my daily routine from now on...who knows, maybe I can reverse some of the sun damage.

I realize that this is not a cheap investment at all, but to me, it was a worthwhile one, especially given the damage that I have done to my skin by working outside and not wearing sunscreen. The one I found like mine was available on Amazon for about the same price that I bought it, but I Googled Clarisonic just to see what came up and there were tons of hits...Nordstrom's, ULTA, Sephora, Macy's, QVC, and of course, hundreds and hundreds of reviews from people talking about how much they love their ultrasonic facial cleaner. The Clarisonic is more expensive than what I have to the tune of $225, and in reading reviews I saw that Oil of Olay makes a Pro-X Microdermabrasion system that is about $35. I also saw a Sirius Sonic Skin Care System, a Spa Sonic Skin Care System, a Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System, a SonicDerm Professional SPA Cleansing System...all ranging in prices. So as with everything that's the "in" thing, there are lots of choices for your skin type and your budget. Apparently the guys like it too from what I read because it makes their skin soft before shaving, so you never might be an interesting White Elephant gift at Christmas. I probably would start with a Honda first before investing in the Cadillac if I were just starting out with this since it is expensive, but that's just my opinion.

If you decide that this is the way to go for you, best of luck in your searches and please make sure to come back to let us know what you got...OR if you already have one, leave us a comment about what you have and how you like it! Everything mentioned in this article is featured on our Pinterest page. 

Don't forget your sunscreen this summer!

No comments:

Post a Comment