Staying at home due to Covid-19 and the inability to get professional facial treatments as frequently have fueled my interest in facial tools and devices for at-home use. Tools are also great for maintaining results in between professional treatments. You will see noticeable results with consistent use.
There are many options available nowadays for consumers to use at home, however, it is very important to take caution and care when using these tools. I have learned about the effectiveness of these tools and how to use them more thoroughly in esthetician school, but I advise anyone starting out to read the instructions as well as watch brand tutorial videos in order to use them as safely as possible on your skin.
You should also not use them if you have extremely sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, sunburn, skin irritation, open cuts, abrasions, or sores. I also make sure not to use any more than one or two devices a day to not overwhelm my skin. It is important not to use more than their respective recommended time limits (such as for high-frequency devices where you use it for no more than a few minutes max), and for micro-currents, they recommend taking a day off if you use it the entire week. You need to listen to your skin and so it is kept healthy and happy!
Below are a few recommendations grouped in their respective categories.
Facial massage has many benefits. It can involve simply using your own hands or using a tool such as a gua sha stone or jade roller. Gua sha is an ancient Chinese healing technique. As these stones are cool to the touch, it helps with brightening the skin, reducing tension and puffiness, stimulating lymphatic drainage, and improving blood circulation (studies show by up to 400 percent!), as it takes away toxins and brings in oxygen and nutrients.
Cold tightens the skin to minimize puffiness, inflammation, and redness while reducing the look of pores. It also helps to relieve facial tension, headaches, sunburned or irritated skin. I love using ice globes in the morning after my skincare routine (before applying sunscreen). Please refrain from using raw ice directly on your skin however as it can slow blood flow, depriving the tissues of oxygen, leading to permanent damage to your skin and underlying tissues.
Heat helps with detoxification and allows skincare to penetrate more deeply. It is perfect after applying a serum or at the end of your skincare routine.
LED effectiveness has been proven by NASA light technology studies. It helps to diminish dark spots, lessen scars, fight against breakouts, stimulate collagen synthesis, and reverse signs of damage while helping your skin become stronger, firmer, plumper, smoother, and brighter. The difference between top-tier masks is the number of LEDs, materials used (consumer vs medical-grade), and modes of treatment offered. If your skin concerns are mild, you may not use an LED device regularly enough to see visible effects.
Red: for collagen and elastin production, firms and plumps the skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Blue: for destroying acne-causing bacteria and treat breakouts
Green: for treating hyperpigmentation and brightening the skin
Blue & green: for calming irritated and sensitive skin
Infrared: for boosting skin healing and blood flow
Microcurrent firms, tones, and lifts the skin. It uses low-voltage electricity to stimulate muscle and increase adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in skin cells. It helps erase fine lines and wrinkles, firms skin, and defines features. It improves muscle tone, reduces puffiness, increases cellular activity, collagen production, and tightens pores. The NuFACE and ZIIP are both great at delivering results. The ZIIP uses nano current, which is a lower, yet more potent frequency. I find it to be very comfortable and easy to use and find myself reaching for it often.
Dermaplaning requires the use of a sterile, surgical scalpel to gently “shave” the skin’s surface, removing the top-most layer of dead skin. This type of physical exfoliation removes built-up debris and triggers the cell regeneration process. Dermaplaning removes “peach fuzz” or excess fine hairs that can often accumulate dirt and oil, and creates a flawless canvas for makeup and skincare products. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, visible acne scars, and dark spots to reveal smooth, radiant, younger-looking skin.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure (a type of exfoliation) that uses a special applicator with an abrasive surface to gently “sand” away the thick outer layer of the skin to rejuvenate it. It can renew overall skin tone and texture, as well as improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, melasma, and other skin-related concerns and conditions. There are two types, crystal and diamond-tip, although diamond-tip is more often used today. At-home tools are effective, however, you must be very gentle and careful when using them as not to cause bruising or over-exfoliation.
High-Frequency (also known as the Tesla high-frequency current) was originally developed in the late 1800’s by scientist Nikola Tesla. Argon(Violet) gas emits oxygen when hitting the skin killing acne-causing bacteria. This helps heal and treat current acne and prevent breakouts from occurring. Neon(Orange) gas promotes blood circulation, encourages cellular turnover rate and improves product penetration. You can use these devices for 3-5 minutes on one specific area and up to 20 minutes on your whole face. For argon, you can use it as a spot treatment or every day. However, if you use it every day it may cause some dryness so just listen to your skin and know when to decrease usage if need be. It has been my most effective method of spot-treating acne.
Steamers soften dead surface skin cells, sebum, makeup, and dirt. It expands pores and increases product penetration, helping to more thoroughly cleanse the skin. It’s believed to help eliminate toxins, increase blood circulation, and improve cell metabolism. Facial steamers should be used sparingly if you have sensitive skin (or you can try positioning further from the face), acne, rosacea, couperose (dilated capillaries), sunburn, skin irritation, open cuts, abrasions, or sores. Make sure to use purified, distilled water to avoid mineral deposit build-up in your machine as well as have it steamed into your face.