With a bevy of devices tackling all your skincare woes on the market, from LED masks to facial massagers, it can be just as difficult finding the one that works for you as it is trying to find a favourite serum. And as the majority of at-home skin care devices come with a hefty price tag, you want to know that they will deliver and not just deplete your bank account. I tried the best skincare gadgets to find the ones worth investing in, and it was a journey.
The marriage of technology and skincare to create devices that can be used from the comfort of your sofa, is only on the rise. According to global market research Mintel, 41% of beauty consumers use skincare devices to prolong the effects of professional treatments. Co-founders of The Light Salon, a LED light based salon in Harvey Nichols and creators of the first silicone LED Boost Mask Laura Ferguson and Hannah Measures, explained their rise in popularity to me.
“Self-care is hugely popular, from eating well, exercise, meditation to good skincare. We’re more educated, aware and curious with access to better information and technological advancements. Just like you invest in good skincare in between facials, people want and expect to maintain results from their professional treatments, meaning their investment goes further as results are maintained at-home.”
So, to help you navigate the growing market of at-home devices that will enhance your existing carefully curated skincare routine, these are the five tools worth your hard-earned money.
1. Herbivore Jade Roller
I have oily, acne-prone skin that I’m constantly trying to mattify, and while there are so many effective facial oils out there, I’ve never enjoyed the feel of applying oil to my skin as it often feels greasy. That said, it is recommended to use a jade roller with a facial oil however to increase absorption of your products and deliver a more potent glow. So anything that’ll make me look radiant, sign me up.
First, I applied two to three drops of the Herbivore Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oiland got to work. I rolled in short strokes across my forehead, over my cheeks and chin, before switching to the smaller roller at the opposite end of the tool for the delicate skin round my eyes. I also popped the tool in the fridge for ten minutes each morning, and the cool stone did wonders for my puffy eyes and cheeks, usually a result of sleeping on my front. The result? Glowy, dewy and healthier-looking skin than I’d had in ages.
It’s also incredibly relaxing and a great companion to a new book or the latest Netflix show you’re watching. Sitting in front of the TV and rolling away felt like a mini-meditation and it’s my new favourite way to unwind before bed. This is also at the more affordable end of the spectrum, so win-win.
Herbivore Jade Roller
2. Sarah Chapman The Facialift
I was very sceptical of this hazardous, wishbone looking tool, which is designed to mimic Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Facial made famous in her London clinic. Even Meghan Markle’s a fan of the facialist, as Elle reports.
I quickly found out that the key to using this effectively was to point it toward my chin at a 45 degree angle and roll. Using it at any other angle is just painful. Like the jade roller, it’s a manual tool which is rolled along the side of your neck, along the jawline, and up under the cheekbones.
Once I’d removed my makeup, I applied a light layer of Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse, a soft, buttery cleansing balm for my second cleanse, and massaged away. What I loved about this was how smooth it was to use and how relaxing it was. The 5 minutes I spend using it each evening became the best part of my day. I’m a jaw-clencher, and I found that this released tension in my jaw. It’s also the closest you can get to a firm facial massage at-home, that leaves you feeling like you’ve just had an expensive luxury facial.
Sarah Chapman The Facialift
3. Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpotLite Blemish Reducer
LED light therapy has long been popular for its ability to tackle a myriad of skincare woes, from rosacea to acne to fine lines, wrinkles, and discolouration. Not to mention it’s the most pain-free treatment you can find with no downtime needed at all. Dr Dennis Gross created this target treatment for acne as a stand alone at-home treatment, making it one of the first to bring LED light therapy to handheld devices.
This particular tool employs red and blue LED light. While the different colours tackle problem skin in different ways, when used together, they offer a much stronger preventative treatment for future blemishes on the horizon. Blue light penetrates just beneath the skin’s surface to treat the bacteria build up causing your spots, while the red light penetrates deeper to heal skin, fighting inflammation and redness.
This palm-sized tool looks like a mini torch, and with a click of a button (it comes with a battery ready for use) you simply hold it directly over a spot. After three minutes it will turn off and you can then repeat the process on other spots if need be. It’s recommended to use post cleansing and acids, and followed up by your serums and moisturiser. This was the easiest tool I have ever used. It’s the perfect size to travel with and easily slotted into my skincare routine without much fuss or fanfare. There was no tingling sensation, no flushed skin after making it perfect for morning and night use.
While it won’t get rid of your spots after one use, it did reduce inflammation, redness and the overall size of the hormonal acne I had on my chin (see pictures above). It also took away that tight, sore, and uncomfortable feeling that comes with a cyst too, which always pop up just before my period.
Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpotLite™ Blemish Reducer
4. The Boost LED Mask
This innovative LED mask is certainly an investment. It’s created by LED specialists Laura Ferguson and Hannah Measures to maintain the results of your existing skincare routine, from the products on your bathroom shelf to in-clinic treatments.
What makes this unique is it’s silicone structure that moulds to your face, held in place by the two secure straps either side. Handily, it’s lightweight enough that you can walk around while using it if you need to, which means it slotted easily into my existing routine. It lays out entirely flat and comes with a soft pouch for travelling with ease, along with global adaptors so you can charge it no matter where you are in the world.
There’s a slight warmth when you wear it, but no pain, no tingling sensation, or redness after. It delivers both red and near-infrared light, for both problem areas and vulnerable skin. The red light stimulates collagen and reduces swelling and inflammation in acne, while the infrared-light improves blood and lymph circulation and improves the appearance of sunspots. After I used it, my skin was brighter, healthier looking, and much clearer. I’m impressed.
The benefits of LED light therapy come with regular application, and if you use the Boost mask three times a week over a four week period, it delivers a cumulative dose of light that you would receive in one salon treatment of their signature Skin Health & Rejuvenation LED facial.
The Light Salon The Boost LED Mask
5. BeautyBio GloPro Microneedling Regeneration Tool
Micro-needling, also known as dermarolling, was one of the first handheld skincare devices that made their way from the dermatologist offices to our bathroom cabinets. Put simply, it’s the process of rolling tiny needles across the skin, which promote a surge of collagen to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles.
The GloPro tool comes with 0.3mm needles, skin prep pads, a charger, and spritizing bottle to clean your tool with. It’s a multi-purpose product that can be used with the LED light setting or without.
While the thought of needles seems intimidating, it isn’t painful at all and feels like tiny little nicks on the skin. That said, if it’s your first time using a dermaroller, go gentle. I rolled the tool in short strokes for 60 seconds at a time over my cheeks, forehead and chin, upwards, across and diagonally.
It’s designed for use two to three times a week after cleansing in evenings, and just like all the other tools I tried, I followed it with my serums and moisturiser. As I have sensitive skin, I did experience some redness in the areas I’d rolled over, along with a tingling sensation that quickly went down within half an hour. I found a spritz of my Pestle & Mortar Balance Spray soothed any discomfort.
After continuous use over two weeks, my skin was much more even, smooth and my overall complexion felt rejuvenated. For an intense treatment created for professionals, its very easy to use and with the combination of both LED light and the microneedling roller, means you’re getting bang for your buck.
BEAUTYBIO GloPRO® Microneedling Regeneration Tool