Home Skincare Tools - Are They Worth the Hype?

We love how our skin feels after a facial - fresh, smooth and free of congestion. Over the past two years with the pandemic and global lockdown measures in place, many of us have been deprived of our regular facials. It would perhaps come as no surprise that, during this same period of time, we have witnessed a surge in skincare tools being made available in the market, promising to replicate the post-facial glow that we have all missed.

But not all skincare tools are made the same; here’s our two cent’s worth on which are worth the time and investment, and which are more fad than functional.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Devices

Yay! LED technology has been shown to improve conditions including but not limited to skin ageing, acne, psoriasis, wound healing and even musculoskeletal pain. However not all LED devices are made the same - make sure you enquire from manufacturers regarding specifications before making your purchase as these tend to come with a steep(er) price.

Home Microneedling | Dr Mandy Mak | The M-ethod Aesthetics | London Premium Doctor-Led Skin Clinic

Microneedling Roller

Yay! Cosmetic skin rolling creates micro-channels on the surface of the skin, and when performed correctly, can enhance penetration of topically applied skincare actives and improve outcomes in facial rejuvenation.

This should not be confused with medical-grade microneedling, which involves needle lengths of 0.5mm and above. This should only be performed in-office with a certified clinician, to reduce complications such as pain, infection and allergic dermatitis.

Sculpting Tools

Hmm… Sculpting tools such as jade roller, Gua-Sha and cooling globes promise to reduce water retention, improve blood circulation and even stimulate hair growth when used on the scalp. While they certainly feel great on the skin, other claims have not been backed up by clinical research.

Dermaplaning

Hmm… Recent innovations have rendered dermaplaning possible at home, instead of exclusively in-clinic. Not all kits are manufactured the same, however, and it should not be performed on active acne, rosacea or open wounds. Again, robust evidence for this technique is currently scarce.

Electric Brushes/ Pore Suction Devices

Nay! While the idea of manually purging out dirt and impurities from our pores sounds like a fine one (and deeply satisfies our OCD tendencies), these devices sadly do little to address the underlying issue of skin congestion. Furthermore, some devices can do more damage than good to the skin barrier.

Our advice? Opt for skin actives and a good exfoliator to tackle congestion at its core.

 

Regardless of what skincare tools you might decide to invest in, keep in mind our “three rules of tools”.

1 Hygiene - most skincare tools come in direct contact with our skin, so it goes without saying that attention to hygiene is key. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions, sanitise before and after use, and do not share your skincare tools with others.

2 Consistency - just like skincare (and everything good in life generally!), these gadgets take time and consistency to have an effect on your skin health. If you don’t think you can commit to using them on a regular basis as recommended, it’s best to leave them and opt for alternative treatment options, like an in-office treatment or focusing on your skincare regime.

3 Technique - certain skincare tools, despite being marketed as being safe for use at home, can result in skin damage when used incorrectly. Make sure you follow instructions; if you need more advice and guidance, book in with the M-ethod™ to receive one-to-one training.

 

References:

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2011, Volume 35 Supplement 6, pages 1151-1159

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2022, Volume 21 Supplement 8, pages 3479-3478

Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, 2014, Volume 32 Supplement 2, pages 93-100

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