Say you have already perfected your skincare routine, but you are looking for a little more oomph. You want your skin to be blemish-free, your cheekbones to cut glass and your sheet masks to absorb deeper into your skin. You are a skincare savant making a long-term investment and that is why you need to implement gadgets into your routine. Technology that mimics high-end facial treatments is available for at-home use and you are still using apricot scrub and praying for the best? While initially you may suffer sticker shock, remember that none of these products expire.
The best thing about beauty gadgets is that the odds are stacked in your favor. These tools each target specific concerns like cleansing, anti-aging, tightening the skin, removing hair and clearing acne. Dermatologists and estheticians have been using these technologies for years. It is about time we get to join in on that fun. Keep reading for five at-home devices that really work to elevate your beauty routine.
PMD Clean Pro ($149)
The Claim: This smart facial cleansing device uses SonicGlow technology (7,000 vibrations per minute) to break down dirt and oil within our pores. Made with ultra-hygienic silicone, you will never need to replace the brush head because it is odor resistant, antibacterial, hypoallergenic and waterproof. The PMD Clean works for all skin types and is powered by an AA battery (great for traveling). The pro version also offers an ActiveWarmth facial massage option on the backside which helps activate the ingredients in your serums and moisturizers.
The Verdict: I truly cannot believe it took me these many years to introduce a cleansing brush to my daily routine. This device does a great job of cleaning the skin without being abrasive. Each morning I use Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser on my skin and alternate between modes one and two to really get the gunk out. I then apply my serums and use the heated side to massage my skin and help with product absorption.
The best part of the PMD Clean is that it is made of silicone. I grew up in the age of Clarisonic everything and remember the constant replacement of brush heads in fear of mold. It has been a few weeks of consistent use and I have a more even skin tone, and far less whiteheads and breakouts. I also know that I am getting a much deeper clean because when I use my cotton wipe and micellar water at the end, it comes off clean, whereas before there was always a hint of makeup residue.
ReFa CARAT ($290)
The Claim: This multi-angular roller was designed to replicate the nuanced massage techniques of an esthetician. Made in Japan, this tool uses microcurrent technology to draw power from indoor light to infuse mild currents in your skin — you will not feel any stinging or tingling. By mimicking our body’s natural current you can help slow down the effects of aging. The CARAT can be used on your jawline, face, underarm, waist, inner thigh, neck and chest. Over time you will notice a tightness in your skin, reduced fine lines and a firmer facial contour.
The Verdict: The double disco balls really work. My face is often puffy when I wake up, so I grab my ReFa (making sure not to cover the solar panels) and I gently roll it on my skin after applying moisturizer. Since it is platinum-coated and waterproof, you can submerge it in the tub or gently glide it around shower. The product also helps with lymphatic drainage by reducing tension and fluid retention in the face, leading to a more contoured and less puffy appearance. I focus a lot of my time on my jawline and the hollows of my cheek. I have always struggled with double chin, but after repeated use of my roller I can safely say it is one-fourth chin now.
DERMAFLASH LUXE ($199)
The Claim: This at-home dermaplaning device uses patented Sonic Edge technology to remove dead skin cells, facial hair and built up environmental debris. The device comes with a preflash cleanser that is formulated to prep your skin by removing all traces of oil and residue. There is also a postflash moisturizer that hydrates and soothes the skin post treatment. The device comes with four exfoliating blades that need to be replaced each time. Once you get the gist of it, you gently glide the device over your skin. The entire process is very quick and in the end you are left with smooth baby-faced skin.
The Verdict: Professional dermaplaning involves a scalpel, extensive training and a steady hand, so I wondered how I, a mere clumsy mortal, could mimic those results. Turns out it is really easy when using a device that makes it nearly impossible to mess up. The hummingbird design was created to make it very easy to “fly” over the skin in any direction. In layman’s terms, it is a vibrating blade on a stick. I was afraid of cutting myself but there is a safety cage around the edge which makes it impossible to hurt yourself. After applying my prewash, I make sure my skin is dry and turn on the first speed. It is best to start at speed level one and only moving onto the second more invigorating speed when you are comfortable.
Dara Levy, founder of DERMAFLASH, says it is perfectly okay to go over the same area multiple times. She recommends holding the skin taut with the opposite hand and to use short feathery strokes versus long sweeping ones. Levy adds, “I love to Flash and put on my favorite sheet mask immediately afterwards. Our skin is like a sponge after Flashing and products absorb beautifully.”
ZIIP Microcurrent Device ($495)
The Claim: Created by electrical esthetician Melanie Simon and mechanical and product development engineer David Mason, the ZIIP device makes nanocurrent technology accessible at home. This handheld skincare device pushes tiny energetic currents into the skin through positive and negatively charged discs. These currents have been clinically proven to increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production by up to 500 percent. ATP is a chemical compound that fuels chemical processes in the body and helps to produce collagen and elastin in the skin. In addition to its anti-aging protection, ATP production also helps to moisturize and sooth the skin, increase blood circulation and diminish bacteria in the skin.
After connecting your device to the iPhone/Android app you select a treatment depending on the results you want to see. Currently there are eight vastly different electrical facial treatments offered on the device (more are in the works). Each treatment — acne, anti-aging, sensitive skin or eye — features a step-by-step video of Simon doing the selected treatment.
The Verdict: The idea of currents running through my skin intimidated me, but in the name of vanity I charged up my ZIIP device and downloaded the app. I cleansed my face and let it dry before applying the Golden Conductive Gel serum ($129). This serum pulls the waveforms into the skin and allows the device to properly glide across the skin.
After syncing my device, I select the two-minute primer treatment which should always be used first. The brand recommends layering treatments to get the best use out of your device. The golden gel uses 24-carat gold to calm and strengthen, hematite to firm and tone, snail venom peptide to relax lines and bio-placenta to regenerate cell damage. I then move onto the energize treatment that is designed for all skin types and promises to firm, tighten and brighten the skin. I thought it was a little challenging to keep up with Simon’s pace, but eventually I caught up to her pace. Since I lack patience, I prefer her shorter treatments like total clearing that works to treat and prevent acne. It lasts anywhere from one to eight minutes depending on how long you want to concentrate on certain parts of your face.
For best results they recommend using the device at least three times a week. After layering a few treatments, I let the gel sit on my face for 15 minutes because it also functions as a mask. I then cleanse my face again and go about my nightly skincare routine.