The Ragdale Hall Clarisonic Facial – tested, twitched during, rated

If you check in this blog regularly, you’ll know I have been obsessing over whether to buy a Clarisonic cleaning brush or not.

To buy or not to buy, that is the question...

To buy or not to buy, that is the question…

In a nutshell, I have no patience and I don’t want to spend lots of money on something I won’t end up using because I can’t see noticeable results. In my book, it’s like vacuuming – unless you’re using one of those cleaners with a clear plastic bit that lets you see how much dirt you’ve sucked up, then what’s the point?

Hence my joy the other day when I got a press release regarding some new treatments they were offering at Ragdale Hall Health Spa, near Leicester. One of them, The Miracle Facial, involved the Clarisonic. This meant I could actually see what happened to my skin after using one and determine if I liked the results. Cue immediate begging email to let me visit.

It turns out I choose a great day to go – on Monday last week, Ragdale Hall opened a completely new beauty area offering fast treatments and so I got to try an even newer offering than the facial I had originally wanted to try.

Called The Sonic Cleanse, this takes 25 minutes, costs £30 – and doesn’t just use the Clarisonic, it also uses an extra blackhead-busting iontophoresis device to leave your skin squeaky clean.

Here’s how it went…

You sit on your chair in the open salon. I admit some people may not like this as it does mean everyone can see you. I figure everyone in a spa is there to be pampered so there is nothing wrong with this arrangement (but there again I used to have my eyebrows tinted in the middle of Debenhams) but if you’re shy, you might want to book the longer, private Miracle Facial.

I look vaguely serene in this one

I look vaguely serene in this one

First, they put on a cleansing gel – then the Clarisonic goes on. At this point, do not do what I did and go ‘ooooh, take my photo’  and open your eyes. If you do this, the gel will get in them and it stings.

The buzzy bit begins. On the cheeks and forehead the Clarisonic felt fine – like the Ayvo I’ve been testing but with a bit more of a buzz – but then she hit my nose, and, just like when I tried exfoliating with my sonic toothbrush, I couldn’t handle it – there was much wrinkling and nose twitching (and I opened my eyes again, so then there was also pain). My first thought was ‘well no point in buying one then, if I can’t use it on my main blackheady area’  – but the therapist assures me you don’t get the tingles when you use it yourself as you can press harder which reduces the tickly sensations.

After two swipes of the brush (and a second tingle attack) next up was an exfoliating gel – and on went the iontophoresis machine (which I’ve discovered online goes by the name of the Sonic Peeler). This uses a very high frequency current to push potions quickly in the skin – once everything is loosened, they then use the scraper end of the device to mechanically remove dead skin cells. Do try not to feel like a piece of  old wallpaper as they do this.

The Sonic Peeler - not to be confused with the one that tackles vegetables

The Sonic Peeler – not to be confused with the one that tackles vegetables

Despite the fact that this is emitting a charge, you don’t feel anything when it’s on the skin, but when it gets close to your ear it does emit an annoying high pitched whine. Thankfully there are (to my knowledge anyway) no dolphins in the vicinity of Ragdale Hall or I could image some kind of Seaworldesque leaping routine going on every time someone has a facial.

Finally, they finish with a hydrating serum, which again is given a boost into the layers with the iontophoresis machine.

Afterwards my skin looked squeaky and shiny, exactly the look I want. Now 24 hours later, it’s still looking brighter and my ‘congested area’  looks more like open pores than my normal nest of blackheads. The youthful shine has disippated though. I miss it already.

So, have I decided to buy a Clarisonic? I’m still a little undecided, but I think so. What I have I decided for sure is that I would like to move into Ragdale and become their blogger-in-residence (every spa needs one of those right?). Here I explain a bit more as to why that is – and why I love Ragdale Hall

If you’re already interested in booking a stay or a day package at Ragdale Hall, click to check out the deals on the SpaBreaks website.


  • This post contains affiliate links – but was written before I even knew what they were so rest assured it’s an honest review


  1. Claire Batty

    My friend Shelley has a Clarisonic, which she bought in th US last year and she loves it. It was also cheaper over there so if you are planning a visit … I am very tempted to get one I must admit.

    1. healthehelen

      Not going till August but it could take me that long to make my mind up!

  2. Crabby McSlacker

    The image of the leaping dolphins totally cracked me up. Hmm, I’m in San Diego…so perhaps I should take a quick Sea World field trip to see if women’s personal grooming products are causing any havoc there!

    And I think the Clarisonic folks should send you a “review” sample to test out; where are those pesky PR emails when you really need one?

    1. healthehelen

      I think you should buy a peeler and see if you can make them jump,……..just for the sake of research.

      Reply this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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