Gear / Wellness

5 At-Home Skin Care Gadgets You Should Try Now

Once I hit 40, I really started to kick my skincare into high gear. And because I live in Los Angeles and am surrounded by celebrities (and the age-defying treatments they subject themselves to), I have felt the pressure to do invasive things to keep my face looking pretty. There’s no chance I’ll be letting anyone wield a scalpel or needle near my face any time soon, and while the non-invasive therapies are intriguing, unless you have Kardashian money, they’re a non-starter.

So as my skin ages (and honey, it’s happening), I’m on the lookout for treatments that you don’t need a white coat in a Beverly Hills office to achieve. In the last few years, I’ve seen an explosion of gadgets for home use that employ some pretty sophisticated technology to get some pretty effective results. Here’s a few ways you can be your own skin care guru.


iluminage: At-Home Skin Care Gadgets

Smooth Wrinkles

Professional laser treatments can zap fine lines around the eyes and mouth, but they are also pricey. The Iluminage Skin Smoothing Laser is an at-home machine you can whip out every night in your own bathroom. Here’s how it works: Pulses of light trigger collagen regeneration in the deeper layers of the skin, and with the skin’s support system reinforced, the wrinkles are significantly reduced. And yes, this has been cleared by the FDA.

How To Use

The company recommends at least five times a week to start, and after you start to see results, you can adjust from there for maintenance. After you wash your face in the evening, place the wand on the wrinkles and crinkles around your eyes and mouth. Watch and listen for the light and sound tones as your cue to move to the next location. The whole process will take about three to four minutes.

Does It Work?

In clinical trials, 78 percent of test patients demonstrated a significant improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles within 2 weeks of using the laser and 95 percent did by the 12-week mark. We also give the design itself high marks: Simple, futuristic, the arch will look cool on a countertop without visually cluttering your bathroom.

Good To Know

Users report that it feels like rubber bands snapping against the skin—a sensation they say one gets used to—and that afterward, the skin feels a bit warm.

Tria Acne Blue Light: At-Home Skin Care Gadgets

Banish Breakouts

I keep waiting to be old enough not to get the occasional breakout, but I guess I haven’t side stepped puberty just yet. Adult-onset acne is actually quite common, especially for women. Birth control pills, hormonal fluctuations and stress are all to blame (Check. Check. Double Check.). Tria’s Acne Clearing Blue Light uses an FDA-approved dose of blue light to kill off bacteria deep within the skin, eliminating blemishes.

How To Use

You’ll need five minutes a day, either all at once or broken up into two sessions, once in the morning and once at night. The sensor automatically turns on the blue light when the treatment window touches your skin, and a digital interface monitors the treatment time for you. Voila! A clear complexion.

Does It Work?

You should see results within about two weeks of use. Clinical results published showed the blue light treatment was “effective and well tolerated, offering rapid, gentle, and convenient treatment of inflammatory acne.”

Good To Know

The device requires a separate blue light cartridge to activate it. When the cartridge runs out, the display will signal that it’s time for a new cartridge.


Luna Foreo At-Home Skin Care Gadgets

Cleaner Cleanser

Please tell me you’re not still using a washcloth to wash your face? There are so many better options out there. The next-generation silicone facial tools, like Luna by Foreo, are way more hygienic. Luna uses sonic pulsations to remove 99.5 percent of dirt and oil off your face, as well as makeup residue and dead skin cells—ew. Because it’s gently exfoliating, the Luna face brush also improves the absorption of skincare products like serums and creams—bonus!

How To Use

Daily. Apply your regular cleanser (though you should avoid grainy cleansers so as not to damage the silicone device), then wet the waterproof Luna and turn it on. Glide it over your face for 60 seconds. Rinse off your face and you’re done. To wash the brush, use soap and water, rinse, and pat it with a towel.

Does It Work?

In independent clinical testing, users experienced 97 percent more deeply cleansed skin; 97 percent, softer, smoother skin; and 87 percent healthier-looking skin. I use one, personally, and I really feel that it’s changed my skin— it feels more stimulated, if that makes sense? Kind of like how a vibrating toothbrush feels vs. a regular one… and it’s a lot less abrasive than those spinning bristles.

Good To Know

The device is rechargeable and comes with a USB cable. An hour of charging can last for months, according to the user’s manual, and an LED indicator will flash when you need to charge the facial brush.


PMD MICRODERM At-Home Skin Care Gadgets

Brighten Up

Professional microdermabrasion treatments have been available in the U.S. since 1990. They remove layers of dead, dull skin, treating everything from fine lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, large pores and blemishes. A PMD Personal Microderm does the same job as an in-office treatment, but at home. The spinning disc has aluminum oxide crystals to remove the top layer of skin, while a vacuum suction pulls the blood flow to the skin’s surface to build collagen and elastin.

How To Use

Once a week only… don’t get overzealous! Cleanse and dry skin. Use the tool by pulling the skin taut and running it over each area one time only. Then apply toner and moisturizer.

Does It Work?

PMD entered a clinical study at the University of California, San Francisco with 54 patients. Physicians noted a 70 percent improvement in wrinkles; 80 percent improvement in sun damage; and overall skin improvement of 70 percent.

Good To Know

The system uses discs for the abrasion, which need to be replaced every three to four uses. On the plus side, the discs come in a variety of options, such as for ultra sensitive skin, very sensitive skin, moderate, coarse, etc., so you can customize your treatment.

Bliss Wand: At-Home Skin Care gadgets

Red & Puffy

No, that’s not a hip hop duo— and hopefully it’s not what’s happening on your face. If it is, or if you’re just feeling a little tired, jet lagged, or craving a little face massage, you could use the Bliss Climate Control Hot and Cold Facial Wand to fix. The device uses heat, cold and sonic vibration to treat a variety of skin woes.

How To Use

Daily; the treatment takes about five minutes. After washing your face, switch on the warm mode to infuse creams and serums more deeply into your skin by sliding the head of the wand over your face and neck until the products are absorbed. Switch it to cold mode—it takes the gadget three seconds to cool down—and depuff under-eye areas, and treat redness and enlarged pores. Finish off with a sonic vibration for a massage.

Does It Work?

The wand is sold with a stable form of vitamin C in a cream, to further brighten and clarify skin.

Good To Know

If you have a pacemaker, are pregnant, or diabetic, you should check with a doctor before using this appliance. [Source: Sephora]


Ready to take these anti-aging and skin-beautifying tech gadgets into your own hands? Tell me which ones you try, and how they work out. And check out even more must-try ideas for great looking skin.

Photo borrowed from Glossier

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