Remember when skincare used to be simple? Clean hands, wash face, apply moisturizer, the end. Now? not so much. We have become increasingly more comfortable with adding essences, toners, serums, oils, masks and more into our routines. As we gained more knowledge on the benefits those add ons brought into our skin, a new category then emerged and it may just be the most confusing one yet. We’re talking about the growing-by-the-second sector of at-home skin-care devices.
From Eastern traditions like jade rollers and gua sha stones that have recently increased their popularity in the West, to LED machines and many other gadgets that were once only being used by trained, skilled handed dermatologists and estheticians. With these tools now showing up more and more on women’s vanities all over the world, I needed to find out what was so beneficial about making the time to incorporate one of these bad boys into your skincare routine. Below, I break down what you need to know about each tool and if it should make the cut of landing onto your bathroom shelf.
Facial Massaging Tools-
Facial rollers, massaging wands and gua sha stones are the most popular at-home-skin-care tools on the market and also the simplest to use. Although they all vary in shape-rollers look like miniature paint rollers, massaging wands are usually more cylindrical whereas gua sha stones are flat with curved edges- all three essentially are used for the same premise. Use them to boost circulation, reduce wrinkles, lift and de-puff the skin along with relieving tension. There’s even evidence that jade rollers have been a part of beauty rituals as far back as seventh- century China. Jade was used specifically as many believe the stone has healing properties that can be transferred to the skin. Just be sure to use these tools properly in order to prevent any unwanted bacterias. Spritzing it with alcohol prior and after use should do the trick. Also, be sure that you have clean, dry skin, before using your facial massager. Be mindful that using it with a serum or face oil is a way to avoid skin-tugging friction and help with absorbing the product.
If you’ve never heard of this, you’re not alone. Gua Sha, from the Chinese word for scraping, is the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension. This action causes light bruising, which often appears as purple or red spots known as petechiae or sha. Facial gua sha is a therapy we can apply to uncoil the daily buildup of stress we experience in the face, and restore health, vitality and glow. Skincare specialists do recommend going to a pro for a lesson if you’ve never done it before, but if you want to try it on your own, being gentle is a must as well as proper technique. Start out with the gua sha tool angled as close to parallel with your skin as possible, place the fingers of your free hand close to the tool’s edge to provide some resistance, and then gently sweep the tool up and out toward the perimeter of your face. At the end of each stroke, give the tool a little extra wiggle to help release additional tension. Repeat each stroke three times, and concentrate on puff-prone areas, like the cheeks and under eyes.
These might be one of my favorite at-home skin-care tools! What’s so great about facial rollers is that there’s not any real right or wrong way to use it, which is part of their appeal. However, there has been a suggested technique when face rolling to reap the maximum benefits. Start by rolling up and down your jawline to firm up sagging jowls. From there, go up into your cheekbones to massage away tension and to contour. Next, use the smaller end of the roller (if yours has one) to roll under eyes to help increase circulation and reduce puffiness. Continue moving up the face and roll in between the eyebrows to relax the “angry 11” Finally, don’t forget to roll the neck area, which is often neglected but needs massaging and TLC. Always make sure you are moving the roller from the center towards the outside of the face.
MICRO NEEDLING TOOLS
When I first heard about micro needling, my initial thought was “Ouch!” It definitely isn’t for the sensitive types. Microneedling is the process of poking holes in the top layer of the skin with a series of needles as a way to encourage the production of skin-plumping collagen and elastin. Many dermatologists offer it as an in-office treatment and tend to favor it due to it’s smoothing and tone-evening benefits. In addition, micro needling can help skin care products to absorb into the skin more effectively. This all sounds great, right!? Well, there are some drawbacks when using this tool. Although it made our list of at-home-skincare devices it’s recommended to have this treatment done by a professional, which unfortunately can get costly as one session will set you back a cool $250 on average. Keep in mind that multiple sessions are advised for best results. So, is micro needling really worth the pain in your face and wallet?
Well, hello technology! I can only speak for myself on this, but when I think of LED I imagine people with crazy looking full face-covering masks that light up with red or green lights behind them. And yes, if you follow the Kardashians then you know that Kourtney Kardashian had hand in the treatment du jour to go viral on social media. Interestingly enough, NASA actually used LED technology in plant growth experiments on board the space shuttle in the ’80s, so you know we’re talking about some serious science here. Dermatologists explained that when LED lights are being used consistently, over time the lights are thought to penetrate the skin at different depths and cause various reactions in your skin, such as fighting acne-causing bacteria and reducing wrinkles. The most commonly used LED lights for skin care are blue and red. Blue light kills bacteria that causes acne and red stimulate collagen production as well as helps speed up the skin’s natural healing process. Like all skin care treatments, the cost is always taken into consideration. If you choose to give yourself an LED face mask treatment at home, it’s going to be a bit of an investment. These impressive light up anti-aging masks can hit a price point as high as $435. But, with the reviews I’ve personally seen online, I think it’s totally worth it.