By Dianna Mazzone
Updated Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:15 pm
Credit: Courtesy

The Clarisonic brush is one of the biggest beauty innovations of the new millennium, but—despite its mega popularity (there have been more than 10 million sold)—a lot of people are totally using it the wrong way (raise your hand if you’ve ever waited, like, a year to replace your brush head). So, we went to straight to the source and asked Dr. Robb Akridge, known in the industry as Dr. Robb, co-founder of Clarisonic, for a rules refresher:

#1 Don’t skimp on cleanser. "Because of the speed at which the brush is moving, you need to use a lot of cleanser and a lot of water," says Dr. Robb. "We tell people to use a quarter-size blob of cleanser."

#2 Replace your brush head every 3 to 4 months. "It may not look physically different, but the base of the brush head collects cleanser, which prevents the bristles from performing at their best," says Dr. Robb, who also recommends taking the opportunity to switch the type of brush head you're using based on the season. Example: You might opt for a sensitive brush head to suit your dry winter skin, but switch to normal to cut through sweat and oil in the summer.

#3 You don’t need to remove your makeup first—unless you're a "stage performer who wears thick layers of foundation," says Dr. Robb. "Clarisonic is designed to take off makeup. Just rinse off your brush head accordingly to remove extra residue."

#4 Continue to use other forms of exfoliation. "Though regular use of Clarisonic will give you a certain 'glow,' sonic cleansing is not to be confused with exfoliation," says Dr. Robb. "With Clarisonic, you're removing the surface cells that need to come off that day, but exfoliation works on a deeper level." So, feel free to use a physical (such as scrubs) or chemical exfoliator (like an AHA) as normal.

#5 Go easy on the pressure. "If you push too hard, it prevents the bristles from moving,” says Dr. Robb. “That defeats the purpose of sonic cleansing.” Instead, he says to “let the brush float on your skin."

#6 Give your device a regular deep-clean. “I recommend taking off the brush head and cleaning the inner portion at least once a week," says Dr. Robb. "Cleanser and gunk tends to collect there." As for daily upkeep, Dr. Robb suggests scrubbing a bit of shampoo on your brush head and shaking off any excess water immediately following each use.

#7 Yes, you can use it every day. "With proper use, the brush is gentle enough to be used twice-daily," says Dr. Robb.