Brushing away wrinkles: Sonic care improves appearance of photoaging skin


A sonic skincare brush has demonstrated effectiveness at increasing absorption of topical agents and improving the appearance of photoaged skin, one of the product's developers says.

Key Points

National report - Recent studies have shown that a sonic skincare brush (Clarisonic; Pacific Bioscience Laboratories) can improve both absorption of topical preparations and the appearance of photoaging, compared to manual cleansing.

The device, which cleanses skin through dual-brush sonic oscillation, is safe for these situations, he says, "and we know that doctors and spa offices are selling the Clarisonic to these individuals to maintain their skin until their next visit."

Study parameters

This study included 22 women with mild to moderate signs of photoaging. Researchers randomly assigned subjects to one of two topical antioxidant treatments and a split-face cleansing regimen.

The first group used a product containing idebenone and a copper peptide night cream, while the second group used a product containing vitamins C and E, plus ferulic acid and a copper peptide night cream.

Subjects cleansed a randomly assigned side of their faces manually with a gentle, non-foaming cleanser and used the sonic skincare brush and a manufacturer-brand cleanser on the other side. Then, they evenly applied the assigned topical antioxidant treatment.


Follow-up visits occurred two, four, six and eight weeks into the regimen. At each visit, subjects self-evaluated their skin, comparing the manually cleansed skin with the side cleansed with the sonic brush.

Researchers also took clinical photographs at each time point.

At eight weeks, subjects reported greater improvement on the side cleansed with the sonic brush in terms of fine lines and wrinkles (p<0.0001), skin softness (p<0.001) and skin firmness (p<0.0001).

Regarding fine lines and wrinkles, for example, 95 percent of subjects reported improvement in skin cleansed with the sonic brush, while 48 percent reported improvement on the manually cleansed side.

Similarly, 95 percent of subjects saw improvement in skin softness on the sonic brush side, versus 62 percent who reported improvement on the manually cleansed side.

Eighty-two percent of subjects reported that the sonic brush increased their skin's firmness, compared to 5 percent who saw increased firmness on the manually cleansed side of their faces (Henes EM, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58:AB25, P225).

While many efficacy studies report results after 10 to 12 weeks, he says, "We could show that women were already seeing improvement of the skin within two weeks. Also, around 15 percent of subjects thought they had fewer fine lines and wrinkles after just one use of the sonic brush."

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