Acne Anti-Aging Skin Care

What’s the Best Face Cleanser? Hint: Not Clarisonic

By Kim Crawford, M.D. Last updated: February 13, 2021
best face cleanser

The Best Face Cleanser is not a “Potion”

This blog is not going to be my typical heavy-science blog-it’s “for” my skincare-tips-appreciating-women. I’m doing this because I just loved finding out that the best face cleanser is not longer the mighty Clarisonic. No indeed; and I’ll get to why in a moment. Suffice it to say that if you want to know how to clean your face the most thoroughly and hygienically; with the least irritation and the maximal skin benefits; this will be a fun read for you.

The human skin acts as a barrier to protect the inside from the outside environment. A healthy skin sheds continuously while still forming a tight barrier. A damaged skin barrier allows irritants to enter the skin causing breakouts and other problems. To maintain healthy skin, surface deposits and shedded skin cells should be removed through proper cleansing.  Facial skin cleansing can be divided into different types of cleansers, mechanisms or by different skin types.

For example, a cleanser could be foaming or non-foaming, milky or salicylic acid-based for formulation types. Different levels or kinds of surfactants can be used to remove skin, makeup and oil deposits and improve the after-feel of the products based on skin types  Lastly (the point of this blog), facial cleansing can use different media, such as handwashing, use of washcloths, or use of automated devices. Up until now, the most popular automated device has been the Clarisonic-even I had one. However, head to head examinations of that product versus one I’ll tell you about today are just plain jaw-dropping.

  • What am I talking about?
  • How does it work?
  • Any clinical studies?
  • What about for sensitive skin?

The LumiSpa

best face cleanserThis handheld device has a soft silicone treatment head which oscillates to deeply clean the skin and do much more.

Unlike brush cleansers, it doesn’t strip away oil or irritate acne, eczema or rosacea. More about this data to come.

In addition, the soft silicone treatment heads are embedded with antimicrobial silver and are much more hygienic, less abrasive, and easier to clean than “bristle heads.”

How to Clean your Face with a LumiSpa

The LumiSpa gently (but deeply) cleanses away oil, makeup, dirt, and toxins via the oscillating, pore-purifying action of the mechanized head. LumiSpa’s proprietary micropulse oscillation technology allows the device to move at the exact (calculated) frequency needed to promote skin renewal, revealing smoother, softer skin and smaller appearing pores after just one use.

It delivers seven skin benefits: radiance, clarity, purified skin, reduced pore appearance, softness, smoothness, as well as improved skin density and volume. The benefits intensify over time when consistently used for two minutes twice daily. I keep and use mine in the shower and just put it in it’s charger about once every ten days.

You’ll see brighter, healthier, more youthful looking skin in as little as two weeks. The LumiSpa is gentle enough for twice-daily use. It’s skin-sweeping action lifts away loose cells to reduce the  appearance of pores. Unlike brushing facial cleaners, it doesn’t strip the skin- it retains the skin’s natural moisture balance as it deep-cleanses. It’s the newest skincare gadget I’m adding to my “look younger-no surgery required” list.

Twelve week study on 5 skin types 

One hundred healthy women, age 35-65, with (UV sensitivity based) Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV participated in a dermatological study to look into whether or not a handheld rotary face cleanser device (the LumiSpa) resulted in improvements in their skin.

Each subject was provided with written and verbal instructions on the proper execution of the 2 minutes, twice-a-day treatment (e.g.: cleansing) regimen. All women were  monitored by clinical staff during cleansing sessions to assure compliance with the instructions. Subjects returned to the testing facility at weeks 1, 2, 4, 8, and 12 for tolerability and efficacy assessments.

At the end of the study, all groups showed statistically significant improvements in skin softness, smoothness, texture, clarity, radiance, a reduction in dryness as well as improved overall firmness and overall appearance, including the appearance of skin around the eyes.

Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was measured to evaluate the skin barrier status. TEWL assessment confirmed that the cleansing regimen did not damage the skin barrier. And this TEWL data applied to yet another group of test subjects.

How to Wash your Face Thoroughly with Sensitive Skin: The Study

This particular study enrolled 16 female subjects, 25-65 years of age, Fitzpatrick skin types I-II, with either rosacea, eczema, atopic dermatitis or cosmetic intolerance syndrome. Subjects used the cleansing device twice daily for 14 days. The study subjects noted improvement in skin smoothness  and softness immediately after one use of the treatment/cleansing device. After 7 days, all 16 subjects noticed a statistically significant improvement in softness, smoothness, pore size, texture, with no issues of useage intolerance reported by the investigators.

The investigators noted immediate improvement following one cleansing in skin softness (p=0.017), texture (p=0.028) and smoothness (p=0.009). Further sustained improvement occurred in all of these attributes, including appearance of pores, with all parameters mentioned being highly statistically significant (p<0.001) after 7 days of use with continued excellent performance until day 14. I love mine so much that I became an “affiliate” of the company that makes them and am offering it to you, my reader. Here is the LumiSpa and cleansers. Enjoy! A big P.S. is that it helps fade acne scars, too.!


Center for Anti-Aging Research, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc., Provo, UT
Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, NC

A Unique Sensitive Skin Cleansing Technology
DG Kern, ZD Draelos, J Namkoong, M Riggs, HE Knaggs

Br J Dermatol. 2001, 145: 258–263.

Sensitive skin: an epidemiological study. 

Willis CM, Shaw S, DeLacharriere O, Baverel M, Reiche L, Jourdain R, Bastien P, Wilkinson JD.

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016, 30(S1): 2-8.

Sensitive skin. 
Misery, L., Loser, K. and Stander, S.

Skin Research and Technology 2013, 19: e453–e458.
In vitro prediction of in vivo skin damage associated with the wiping of dry tissue against skin. 

Koenig, DW, Dvoracek, B. and Vongsa, R

Center for Anti-Aging Research, Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc., Provo, UT, United States
Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, NC, United States

A Novel Device for Skin Type-based Treatment while Cleansing
Dale Kern, Jin Namkoong, Melanie Riggs, Brian Cook, Zoe D. Draelos, Helen E. Knaggs

Dermatologic Therapy. 17: 35–42 (2004)

Personal cleanser technology and clinical performance. 

Abbas S, Goldberg JW and Massaro M.


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