While you’re bound to get your best results when under the care of a professional, whether that be a dermatologist or an aesthetician, some at-home devices can provide a pretty powerful payoff. Devices have come a long way, with new innovations constantly popping up in the industry. Over the past couple of years, while stuck at home, at-home devices experienced a boom in popularity, and it seems they’re continuing in this stride. We heard from experts on which devices are actually worth your time and money and will really make a difference in your skin.
LED light therapy
Delray Beach, FL plastic surgeon Miguel Mascaró, MD says low-level laser light therapy with red LED works very well to improve blood flow to the skin, enhance overall appearance and boost skin health. It “can improve the skin without needing any sort of mechanical treatment such as microneedling, etc.,” he adds.
Robin Ashley, also known as the Dallas Facialist, notes that LED light therapy is “backed by NASA, literally, so you know it works.” She explains that “the skin uses the LED light as a source of energy to fuel and repair damaged cells and restore optimal cellular function to increase collagen production.” When it comes to a specific device, we heard a few recommendations. Ashley says “the best device for comfort and results” is Omnilux Contour FACE ($395).
Celebrity makeup artist and aesthetician D’Andre Michael recommends SolaWave. Michael says the SolaWave Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy & Serum Kit ($169) can address wrinkles, fine lines, wound healing and more. If you opt for the Anti-Breakout Skincare Wand with Blue Light Therapy & Serum Kit ($159), you’ll be able to banish bacteria, breakouts and blemishes.
Celebrity aesthetician, Shani Darden, suggests LightStim for Wrinkles ($249), which “features 72 LEDs in amber, light red, dark red, and infrared to boost collagen in the skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles for more youthful, glowing skin.” LightStim for Acne ($169) uses a combination of both red and blue LED lights to calm breakouts and reduce inflammation.
“When done properly, cosmetic microneedling increases penetration of products by about 70%,” says celebrity esthetician Joanna Czech. What makes this product especially great is its gold plate, which is antibacterial. Czech notes that before using any device, it’s “important to read directions and consult with a professional, so you get the best results and avoid damaging the skin in any way.”
As its name suggests, this device is magical. With four settings—hot, hot massage, cold and cold massage—the Magic Glow Wand is super versatile. Celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy says it helps “soothe inflammation, de-puff and create a glowing complexion.” If you have sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea or dermatitis, Joy recommends the cool gentle massage setting.
Joanna Czech Facial Massager ($189)
Czech tells us she created this device “to replace manual massage and make it easy for anyone to massage their muscles.” She adds that when used properly, “it increases blood flow bringing more oxygen to the tissue and stimulates collagen production. It also helps to lift and sculpt cheekbones and jawline.” It’s super easy to use, Czech even refers to it as “Netflix friendly,” and only requires five to seven minutes a day to see results.
Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles Crutchfield III, MD says at-home UVB devices, a form of ultraviolet light therapy, can be “life-changing” for people living in remote areas with vitiligo, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.
Ranavant Kansa Wand ($70)
“A Kansa wand is a handheld wooden, Ayurvedic tool whose rounded tip is made of copper and tin,” explains Ashley. The benefits of the Kansa Wand include balancing pH levels, purification of toxins to improve the health of your skin, lymphatic drainage, reduced puffiness, decreased muscle tension and increased oxygen in the blood, which helps provide a natural, healthy glow.
Cryo sticks help combat skin inflammation and irritation. Joy says the smooth, cold surface is especially great for “relieving inflamed, painful acneic skin that suffers from hormonal pimples.” If kept in the freezer, as they should be, cryo sticks stay cold for long periods of time. Joy says she loves implementing cryo sticks into her facial treatments and uses them about 80-percent of the time. These Bloomeffects Black Tulip Cryo Sticks ($115) are a great pair for beginners.
Darden says she’s been using vibration therapy in her facials for over 15 years, and it’s one of her favorite treatments that delivers worthwhile results, which is why she’s excited to offer an at-home option. It uses acoustic sound waves to provide deep muscle stimulation, beyond what hands can achieve, which “targets crow’s feet, eyebrow furrows and nasolabial lines at their origin under the skin’s surface, rather than on a superficial level.”
The vibrations also help stimulate circulation to improve skin oxygen uptake and help fight aging. “Skin appears firmer, more contoured and radiant with regular use,” she adds.
Ashley calls microcurrent “the unsung hero of anti-aging treatments.” She explains that the “low-voltage electricity mimics the body’s own electrical impulses and charges cells by increasing their adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content. This results in stimulating key cellular activities such as collagen and elastin production, lymphatic drainage, toning and tightening.” It’s a no-brainer for Ashley. “Sculpt, lift, tighten, tone, while you binge-watch Real Housewives…need I say more?”
Gua sha helps those that aren’t masters in facial massages achieve a soothing, result-driven massage at home. “Gua sha offers flexibility so you can be precise with your own facial massage in harder-to-reach areas,” says Joy. “The gua sha’s smooth texture and particular shape make it well suited for toning the jaw and neck areas, making it easier to get behind the ears in those long swooping moves down the neck for healthy lymphatic movement.” She recommends popping the tool in the freezer for an anti-inflammatory boost.
According to Ashley, reducing inflammation is key to anti-aging and skin health. Using an ice roller sends fresh blood to the area. “Think of blood flow as the nutrient-rich river that supplies our cells with the proper fuel to function optimally,” says Ashley. “This, in turn, will aid in lymphatic drainage, which detoxifies your skin and flushes away toxins and reduces water retention. Ice rolling sculpts and tones the muscles and also has a (temporary) tightening effect; a soothing, refreshing sensation.”