Dannii Minogue

Putting a new complexion on skincare ... Dannii Minogue swears by the Clairsonic. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

The package in the post didn't prick my interest, although the instrument within was unusual looking. But when there was not one full-page ad in Vanity Fair for it but two - the second for a cheaper copy - I thought it might be worth a second look. And when a dewy-complexioned Dannii Minogue spent most of our first encounter singing its praises, I knew it deserved a trial. It is the Clarisonic, a hand-held sonic-frequency skin cleansing device. Now I'm hooked.

It's a curious thing. It has super-soft bristles - similar to a newborn's hairbrush - that rotate and vibrate over the skin to provide a surprisingly gentle, very thorough cleansing. It's used with any old cleansing product - cream, gel, oil or foam - and takes about a minute for the face, though I enjoy the sensation so much I tend to go over that, continuing over the border to my decolletage. It leaves the skin feeling really soft and clean - as if years of grime, dead skin and makeup have been cleared. It feels like it plumps the skin, too, though it makes no claims for that. Dannii Minogue said that if she uses the Clarisonic in the morning after normal cleansing with just her hands the night before, foundation still comes out. You've got to love that.

It's the most exciting thing I've done in the realm of cleansing since I discovered Buf-Pufs as a pre-teen and almost wore away half my face (the T-zone half). 

It's not cheap. The mini version they sent me, the Clarisonic Mia, retails for $149, while the one I aspire to, the Clarisonic Plus, which has attachments for the body, is $299. A replacement head - needed after three months' use - is $34.95. But I use it with Cetaphil cleanser, which is about $30 a litre.

I don't know if it will prove a novelty and I will return to my self-massage cleansing techniques (I suspect so) followed by a warm flannel (admittedly I still follow the Clarisonic with a warm flannel - love a warm flannel, me) but for now it's the most exciting thing I've done in the realm of cleansing since I discovered Buf-Pufs as a pre-teen and almost wore away half my face (the T-zone half). And it's ever so much more enjoyable.

What do you do to cleanse? Do you have any cleansing tips or secrets? What cleanser do you like and what methods do you use?