By: Hannah Hartz
Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz shares her favorite skincare devices.
I absolutely love an amazing at-home skincare device in my arsenal to keep my skin healthy and glowing in between professional-grade treatments. Personal skincare tools can be the perfect boost your skin needs to amplify results and solidify your trajectory towards your healthy skin goals! But it goes without saying that where there is epic, there is also abysmal – and there are certainly a number of devices out there that run the gamut, from just not "doing the trick" to actually putting a user in potential danger. Without further ado, here is a list of my favorites and least favorites of the skin tool world – and why.
We can all benefit from some help in the cleansing department! Unfortunately, with all the pollutants and irritants our skin is exposed to on the daily, our hands just don’t quite cut it. Cleansing brushes are able to gently exfoliate and loosen dirt, oil, tough makeup remnants and other nastiness from out of the pores. This means exponentially cleaner skin than washing with your hands alone, which means better penetration of your products, and leads to stronger results all around. My absolute favorite cleansing brush is the Luna by Foreo. This guy is made of bacteria-resistant silicone and uses transdermal sonic vibrations to ensure that you get all of that gunk off your face. I find this type of design more sanitary as the silicone is infinitely easier to clean than the traditional brush form, and also is less rough on your skin. Mega shout-out to Foreo!
Home-use dermarollers are the same concept as going to a dermatologist or a medical spa and getting a micro needling treatment – only in the comfort of your own home! I adore micro needling. It’s one of my favorite in-office treatments for plumping the skin, minimizing scarring and pigmentation issues. It is also a pretty intense treatment, one that is designed to create tiny controlled wounds in the dermis in order to stimulate healthy healing for new collagen production.** Awesome, right? But not the kind of thing you would really want to be left in the hands of untrained individuals. In addition to the amazing results micro needling can offer, it can also cause some pretty rough unwanted reactions if done improperly. At-home dermarollers are readily available to purchase online and have needle points as deep as 2mm; that goes all the way to your dermis! That opens you up (literally!) to way too many opportunities for injury and negative reactions.
That being said, if you get yourself a dermaroller with a needle tip of .25mm or smaller, this little guy can do you some real good at home. Keep those needles out of potential range for dermal penetration and let them merely perforate your very outermost layer of skin, similar to aerating a lawn! You’re giving the skin a little light stimulation, while opening up passages for your products to absorb more and work harder. Keep it gentle, and you are good to go.
LED light therapy technology is pretty impressive. Light energy is delivered through the skin, emitting wavelengths that provide awesome therapeutic benefits. Different wavelengths can help with a variety of issues, such as skin laxity, blemishes and wrinkles. It’s super easy to use at home with basically no potential risks. The sole caveat of investing in an LED light therapy home device is that it is incredibly important to use a device from a trusted company – not just the cheapest one you find off the internet. I know it sounds obvious, but as the real beneficial tools can be a little expensive, it can be tempting! Just remember that anyone can put some bright lights in a little hand-held tool, so you want to make sure it’s actual beneficial LED. Visible results can take up to two months, so make sure you are diligent with your usage! My favorite LED home device is LightStim’s LED for Wrinkles, which uses amber, deep red, light red and infrared wavelengths.
Microdermabrasion is a deeply exfoliating treatment usually performed by a skincare professional in a dermatologist’s office or a spa. It works by sloughing off the outer layer of dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth and ready to absorb your next treatment products. Microdermabrasion is also pretty fabulous as it stimulates blood flow in the skin, bringing up freshly oxygenated blood to the surface while stimulating collagen production.** An at-home microdermabrasion device is definitely less risky than dermarollers that are used at home. If done carefully, they can produce some lovely results. Still, proceed with caution. Overuse is very easy and can result in distended capillaries and vessels** and if used on damaged skin, may lead to further scarring.** Follow the directions, don’t overdo it and, like the LED therapy, make sure you go high quality!
More totally neat technology: Microcurrent devices safely pulse through the skin to the muscular tissue beneath. It then stimulates collagen and elastin (what gives our skin its “lift”) production, as well as stimulates the facial muscles. The muscles on our face are actually connected right to the skin tissue, so through toning the facial muscles, you can achieve a toned and firmed facial structure (full facial workout!). At-home microcurrent devices can be easy to use, effective and low-risk. They also cause little to no discomfort! I recommend the NuFace device, an elegant, easy and ergonomic microcurrent tool. It even has attachments specially designed for the delicate eye area for an extra lift.