• 19 July 2016
Dr Robb has an enviable track record. First he revolutionised how we clean our teeth with the Sonicare Toothbrush, then to prove it was no fluke he changed the way we clean our faces. 10 million + faces that will never be cleaned with hands alone to be a little more accurate...
As an official partner to L’Oreal’s biggest selling beauty device Clarisonic, we were given exclusive access to the man behind it and the factory where it is put together.
We are continuing our theme of educational messages for consumers keen to learn more about selecting the right beauty device. We met Dr Robb on our own ‘turf’ in London where we posed questions ranging from the history behind the devices to his personal views on the beauty industry. We then went in search of what really sets Clarisonic apart.
CB - Was there a ‘eureka’ moment during the extensive years of research and testing when you realized you had made a major breakthrough on a par with the Sonicare success?
DR ROBB - We recruited a group of estheticians to test our prototypes and would get their feedback each round. We’d create one prototype that each esthetician would have for a week. One round, I went to the first esthetician’s house to pick it up and she asked if she could keep it for another week. All of the estheticians loved this particular prototype and we knew we were onto something. You know you have something great when you have to pull it out of their hands.
Early Clarisonic prototypes
CB - What was the one defining moment that helped make Clarisonic a household name in the US?
DR ROBB - In 2007, Clarisonic was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. She held the device up on screen during her show and after, you couldn’t find a Clarisonic on shelves anywhere. That is when we knew we had created something great.
CB - What makes you most proud of the success of Clarisonic?
DR ROBB - You can only be successful if your customers are happy. It has always been important to us to create products that are clinically proven to be safe, gentle and effective -- we create devices that work. In fact Clarisonic works so well people tell me it has changed their life. You have got to be proud about that.
CB -The beauty market often produces products that don’t deliver and Clarisonic’s success has been a game changer in that respects, what is the one message you have for people using any beauty device for the first time?
DR ROBB - Do research before you buy to better understand what results you should expect. Determine if the device company conducts clinical research for safety and efficacy. Clarisonic stands alone in its extensive testing and clinical claims that ensure we’re actually providing the results we promise. It’s never great for anyone in the beauty device category when first-time consumers purchase a device that doesn’t deliver results.
Clarisonic clinical trial for the Sonic Radiance system
We were whisked off to the production line by Bill Bryant who has overseen virtually every one of the 10 million or so devices made. Before Clarisonic, Bill was part of the Sonicare toothbrush team. We donned the safety goggles and the lab coat and selected our very own Mia 2.
The Mia 2 hand made by CB’s Emily in Seattle
Each step has a reassuring clink, clunk much like closing the door on a Mercedes. Quality checks on each stage of the line until our own unique Clarisonic was ready for its final road test.
CB Founder Laurence Newman completing testing on the Mia 2 he made
Having hand assembled a Mia smart ourselves, it was more than clear why Clarisonic is the undisputed market leader but we went on to ask Dr Robb what he thinks sets them apart…
CB -Although there are many, can you tell us say three key differences that separate Clarisonic from other facial cleansing devices on the market?
DR ROBB -
Patented Technology: Clarisonic has a patented sonic frequency that no other brand can replicate. This sonic frequency works with the skin’s natural elasticity to gently and effectively cleanse skin.
Cleansing Method: A Clarisonic brush head makes more than 300 back and forth oscillations per second, gently flexing pores to lift away dirt, oil and debris. This movement also forces water off of the brush head bristles into pores to flush out impurities. This novel method is backed by scientific proof that Clarisonic cleanse skin 6x better than hands alone.
Professionally Used: Clarisonic is used in top spas and dermatologists’ offices. In fact it is so popular, Clarisonic is the number one device recommended by US dermatologists.
In part two Dr Robb tells us more about the significance of his patented brush heads, and we meet Dr Tadlock, practising dermatologist and Vice President of Clinical for Clarisonic.
You can view Dr Robb Akridge's Bio here.
Clarisonic invented sonic skin cleansing in 2004 and today has sold over 10 million of its patented – and much loved – devices that help to reveal healthy, younger-looking skin.
Available in over 50 countries around the world, Clarisonic’s mission is to beautifully transform skin and it does that by cleansing skin 6X better than hands alone. Gentle enough for twice-a-day use, Clarisonic devices are the #1 most recommended by US dermatologists and are proudly hand assembled at Clarisonic headquarters in Redmond, Washington, USA. Clarisonic’s award-winning devices are distributed through dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, spas, prestige retailers and online at Clarisonic.com. Clarisonic is part of the L’Oreal Corporation.