Review: CLARO Acne Clearing Device

When I was first approached to test and review the CLARO IPL Acne Clearing Device from Solta Medical, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew the CLARO is designed to clear up acne, but I hoped the small device meant to remove blemishes from the face might also be able to remove my confounding and steadily multiplying age spots.

Upon receiving the CLARO, provided for free from Best Buy, I immediately scoured the instructions and safety precautions—and got scared by the five pages of warnings. So I decided to have my daughter be the sole tester of the product, not me.

No, I’m not a horrible mother who would place my daughter in harm’s way instead of myself. I chose not to test the device myself, you see, because the manufacturer’s safety precautions warned against using the CLARO on anything but mild to inflammatory acne. I don’t have acne; I have age spots. My 29-year-old daughter, Brianna, though, does have adult acne. Clearly, the CLARO was meant for her situation, not mine.

Brianna agreed without hesitation to be the CLARO tester. My role would be to direct the testing—so I’d feel useful, not because my adult daughter needed assistance—then write the review.

First, we photographed the spot subject to testing. 

Next, per the directions, Brianna tested her skin for light sensitivity. Why check for sensitivity to light? Because that’s what the CLARO uses to banish blemishes—strong pulses of light emitted directly onto the offending pimple.Once we knew her skin could handle the procedure, we proceeded.

We had read the directions in advance but to ensure we were doing it correctly when actually trying out the unit, I read the directions aloud as Brianna followed each step. (Which is what all daughters, regardless of age, are supposed to do, right? Follow directions from their mother?)

They’re pretty simple directions. Basically, the treatment of two 6-second applications goes like this:
1. Turn on the device.
2. Place CLARO over pimple to be treated.
3. Press control button to release 10 flashes of light on pimple
4. Lift CLARO from skin.
5. Place CLARO back over same pimple.
6. Press control button to again release 10 flashes of light on pimple.

Users are to close their eyes or wear protective goggles during the treatment. Because the CLARO comes with only one set of protective goggles, when Brianna zapped the light, I had to look away from her (and couldn’t take any photos, of course). Which set me to giggling. Which set her to giggling. I couldn’t help but liken the process to the pioneers of hair permanents connecting to electrical devices of scary proportions to provide curly coifs.

All giggling aside, though, the CLARO proved less hair-curling and impressively effective. The next day, Brianna administered, as suggested if pimple is not gone, one more round—at her house, with no help from her mother. Within 24 hours the blemishes were gone. 

Sure, those blemishes could have disappeared on their own, so how to prove it was the CLARO that did it? Well, just so happens Brianna had two more unhappy spots on her face that she zapped with two treatments, and they, too, cleared up within 24 hours. That is not the way breakouts typically go for my daughter.

Brianna was thrilled with the effectiveness of the CLARO. I, on the other hand, was jealous. I was delighted for my daughter, of course, but I wanted to be just as delighted at the disappearance of the age spots on my own face. Oh, well, I tell myself. Maybe the CLARO will indeed be proven one day to work in such a way. For now, though, I’ll leave the proving of that up to the professionals.

What we loved about the CLARO: It’s so simple. More importantly, it’s effective. What else could one ask for from a gadget of any sort? The CLARO does exactly what it’s supposed to.

What we didn’t love so much: You might expect this to be the point where I say something negative regarding the price of the CLARO device. It retails for $195. Neither Brianna nor I saw that as a problem, though, when considering that ineffective creams and other more invasive treatments can cost far more for far fewer applications. The CLARO can treat, per the User’s Guide, 200 to 400 blemishes, depending on the severity of the blemish. That’s a mere $1 to $2 per zit. And it works.

No, the one thing we didn’t love so much was that the device can be used by only one person as there’s no way to clean the CLARO Treatment Window that touches the user’s face. With the ability to clear up to 400 blemishes per unit, it would be nice—especially for those in households that have more than one teen—if the device could be cleaned and shared. That would make the cost even more reasonable, we thought.

Bottom line: Brianna loved the CLARO and will surely appreciate its zit-zapping ability several hundred more times as needed for future breakouts.

CLARO comes in Onyx Black, Cobalt Blue, or Hot Pink and is available at Best Buy, www.bestbuy.com. Visit www.myclaro.com to find out more about the CLARO IPL Acne Clearing Device and view instructional videos.

Disclosure: I have received the reviewed product from Best Buy for free.