Skin-Care Tools and Devices to Try At Home

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Over the past few years, technology and skin care have collided more than ever before, causing us to wonder: Could there soon be a day when all our precious serums and creams will be rendered obsolete, replaced by a bevy of high-tech tools and devices? The short answer is probably not. No product-obsessed person would ever dare say "see ya later" to their beloved top shelf, but that's not to say the aforementioned gadgets won't seriously upgrade the skin-care game — and potentially shake up the industry as we know it.

Need proof? We have a Food and Drug Administration-cleared LED mask that'll help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fight acne and a vibrating facial massage tool that mimics your body's natural lymphatic system. Oh, and there's an epidermal growth factor (EGF) Micro-Needling + Ion Infusion Kit from Georgia Louise to consider as well — which creates tons of tiny channels on your skin's surface.

The tech-based options we're exposed to seem to be increasing by the month, let alone year, so we've rounded up 17 dermatologist- and editor-approved skin-care tools worth trying out this year, including a handheld LED light that literally zaps away the appearance of fine lines over time.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare's DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro has three treatment options: red LED (light-emitting-diodes) lights to penetrate your skin's dermis and stimulate collagen production, blue LED lights to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce signs of fine lines, discoloration, and inflammation, and a combination of red and blue for all of the above benefits at once. And best of all? It only takes three minutes to do its magic.

LED light therapy has been a long-standing favorite of aestheticians such as Angelia Caglia, Georgia Louise, Joanna Czech, and Shani Darden — not just on their clients, but themselves as well.

Dr. Dennis Gross also offers a goggles-like LED therapy mask specifically to target and firm up your eye area.

Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand

The massage modes on the Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand mimic the wave- like motion of the lymphatic system and, when combined with hot and cool temperatures, help move stagnant or slow-moving lymph fluid so your face appears less puffy and dull. "Lymphatic draining may be achieved through massage or devices that put pressure on the skin to help move the fluid away from the skin, so it can be filtered by your lymph nodes," Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told ishonest.

Pair with your favorite exfoliating mask (for the hot settings) and sheet or cream mask (for cool modes), and treat your face and neck to a luxurious, at- home facial experience. And not to mention, the resulting glow is totally worth it.

Teresa Tarmey The Teresa Tarmey Cryo-Ball Kit

Pop this surgical-grade steel Teresa Tarmey Cryo-Ball into the freezer for a cool 24 hours before use and then revel in the goodness of a cryotherapy facial right at home. Not only will it wake you up from a mental slumber, but it'll also help reduce puffiness and sculpt the skin so it appears tighter and more lifted.

It also comes with a reusable silicone mask (syringed with pure hyaluronic acid), an exfoliating but gentle lactic acid toner, and hyaluronic acid gel to pair with the Cryo-Ball and help plump the skin with moisture.

Georgia Louise Hollywood EGF Micro-Needling + Ion Infusion Kit

The Georgia Louise Hollywood EGF Micro-Needling + Ion Infusion Kit is a two-step regimen designed to treat — get ready for this list — the appearance of fine lines, enlarged pores, pigmentation, dryness, dullness, and uneven skin tone. How? The device uses soft, single-use microneedle pins to create tiny channels on your skin's surface — in fact, 5,000 times per minute using 20 needles at a time. Simply pop on the micro-pin and guard, apply the EGF (which stands for epidermal growth factor, an ingredient made up of large proteins that float between cells and command your skin to replicate, repair, and rejuvenate) serum that comes with the kit, and work the device all over your face in an upwards and downwards motion.

"Microneedling devices can help improve skin tone, texture, and even fine lines by creating microscopic, low-grade damage to the skin — meaning it takes advantage of the skin's ability to heal itself," says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. While a lot of over-the-counter devices are rollers that focus on applying extra pressure on skin, he says that this EGF device is "more similar to a professional treatment and will not lead to unnecessary strain or pull on the skin."

He does however warn that over-the-counter microneedling devices aren't effective in treating acne scars, which can potentially be a painful, infection-breeding procedure, so "it should only be done by a board-certified dermatologist," Zeichner says.

After each session dispose the microneedle head (each kit comes with four heads, and you can buy refill packs), twist on the galvanic head, apply a bit more EGF serum, and run the device over your face again to activate the galvanic current — which is a type of current that increases blood flow, circulation, and pushes the serum (and any skin-care ingredients) deeper into your skin for soothing, hydrating, and brightening benefits. "Initially, galvanic current was used to infuse medicines into people that were sick because it basically pulsates nutrients and medicine into the dermis," Louise previously told ishonest.

NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

Our editor in chief Michelle Lee loves the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device because, quite plainly, it works. Microcurrent technology "gives a lift to the brows, cheeks, and jawline for up to 24 hours," New York City board-certified dermatologist Francesca Fusco previously told ishonest. All you have to do is apply the leave-on gel primer (that comes with the device) onto clean skin and apply gentle pressure while gliding the device over your face in upwards and outwards motions, which, over time, will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve facial contours, and help brighten skin tone.

NuFace also offers a smaller, travel-sized version, as well as an even more miniature one specifically designed for the lip and eye areas.

Foreo UFO

The Foreo UFO may look cute, but it very much means business. It combines Foreo's signature T-sonic pulsations with Thermo-Therapy mode, which helps infuse active ingredients into your skin and Cryo-Therapy mode, which helps firm, lift, and tighten skin. Add a healthy dose of LED light therapy to upgrade your sheet mask experience and ensure the mask's nutrients get absorbed into the deepest layers of your skin. Here's the lowdown: First download the Foreo app, which scans your device as well as the treatment mask you select, and then remove UFO's transparent ring, secure the circle-shaped, UFO-sized mask with said ring, and massage the device all over your face.

You can choose from four types of masks: a hydrating mask made with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, a radiance-boosting mask with olive oil and ginseng, a calming and antioxidant-rich mask with hyaluronic acid and calming red algae, and another radiance-boosting mask — but this one is formulated with caffeine, rose water, and niacinamide.

Nurse Jamie Uplift Massaging Beauty Roller

Free time is prime time for a facial massage, and we can assure you that this hexagonal Nurse Jamie Uplift Massaging Beauty Roller will feel amazing on your skin. It's designed with 24 tourmaline quartz stones, which warm up as they're rubbed on skin. This Khloé Kardashian–approved tool might even help temporarily lift and firm skin with continued use — because we're all about skin's long-term health.

Dermaflash Luxe Dermaplaning Exfoliation & Peach Fuzz Removal Device

Dermaflash Luxe is a 2018 Best of Beauty winner that allows you to dermaplane in the comfort of your own home, which means you can swiftly remove peach fuzz, dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin, and built-up debris without batting an eye — all without upsetting your skin's delicate nature. Cleanse and prep your skin with the included PreFlash Cleanser, and then hold your skin taut and glide the Dermaflash device across your face at a 45-degree angle and using short, feathery strokes.

"Think of dermaplaning as a deeper [form of] microdermabrasion," Neil Sadick, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously told ishonest. While microdermabrasion only takes off the layer above the surface layer of skin (and doesn't remove facial hair), Dermaflash's blade gently scrapes your skin so it "reacts by regulating certain growth factors, like fibroblasts and vascular, which in turn stimulate collagen production," Sadick says. This collagen production results in improved skin texture and tone, as well as reduced appearance of wrinkles.

After you've finished, dispose of the single-use Edge (each set includes four edge refills) and apply the PostFlash Moisturizer to hydrate and soothe skin. Without any barriers or buildup on top or beneath your skin's surface, skin-care products absorb more deeply and effectively.

Clarisonic Mia Smart

Clarisonic Mia Smart does so many jobs, you might have a hard time keeping track — cleansing, applying makeup (courtesy of the Sonic Foundation Brush), massaging, and more. Its gentle oscillating motions helps your face cleanser go the extra mile to remove every bit of makeup, oil, and dead skin lingering on your face. (Bye, blackheads.) If your skin is sensitive, "one or two times a week should be sufficient," Jeremy Fenton, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously told ishonest.

Want to take Mia into the shower with your? No sweat, it's totally waterproof. Plus, the Smart Clarisonic app syncs with Mia Smart for customized skin-care routines and tutorials — so consider the Mia Smart your upgraded, better-than- just-your-fingers cleansing routine.

Angela Caglia Skincare Rosebud Eye Treatment

Angela Caglia's Skincare Rosebud Eye Treatment consists of two rounded rose quartz tools that perfectly pair with your favorite face oil to help diminish the appearance of puffy, tired-looking eyes. Simply apply light pressure and glide stones in outward motions directly under your eyes. Think of it as a more targeted version of a jade roller.

Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment

The blue light in Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment is super helpful in targeting and killing acne-causing bacteria and speeding up the healing process of breakouts, while the red light helps reduce acne-induced inflammation. And best of all, this FDA-cleared, UV-free tool is compact, safe to use on sensitive skin, and leaves no residue or mess like a regular spot treatment might.

Skin Inc Supplement Bar Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light++

Can you believe that this one device offers not two or three but five different benefits? It's no gimmick. Depending on what your complexion needs, the Skin Inc Supplement Bar Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light++ can help with nearly any skin- related concern you might want to address, whether it be fine lines, acne, or hyperpigmentation.

Inspired by NASA technology, the LED device comes highly recommended from Melissa Levin, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She explains that blue is generally used to target bacteria that causes acne, while others, such as the red light, are excellent for promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation. Time to blast off towards clearer skin.

Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar

The Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, aka an extremely luxurious and sleek addition to your skin-care lineup, is made out of 24-karat gold — or magic, as Bruno Mars might say. It lifts and sculpts your skin with gentle vibrations that are supposed to mimic the effects of a professional massage.

Those vibrations will reduce puffiness, improve circulation, alleviate tension in your muscles, and make your skin appear smoother and tighter. Pair it with a moisturizer for the best results and say hello to instant relaxation. Did we mention it's a favorite of Jennifer Aniston and Michelle Lee, our editor in chief?

ReFa Clear

ReFa, the Japanese brand beloved for its skin-cooling S Carat roller, dropped the world's first handmade Kumanofude cleansing brush with 3D Sonic Ion technology — an innovation that allows the device to extract hard-to-reach impurities (we're talking deep in the pores) that weren't accessible until now.

One might think the ReFa Clear would make for a harsh cleansing experience, but it's quite the opposite. The tool has ultrafine, tapered bristle tips at various lengths to effectively bring dirt and grime to the surface without stripping or irritating the skin. Use in conjunction with your favorite face wash for a cleanse so good you won't want it to end.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

Three minutes are all it takes for PMD Personal Microderm Pro's vacuum suctioning to increase blood flow and boost collagen production. Because it's a microdermabrasion tool, its spinning aluminum oxide crystal-coated disks scrub away your dead, dull skin cells. It also "helps fade sun spots and get rid of dead skin, which accentuate pores and wrinkles, more efficiently than scrubs or cleansing brushes," Jeannette Graf, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, previously told ishonest.

Just remember to start off with the gentle white training disk (there are a variety of disks to accommodate skin sensitivity levels), move the device quickly over skin and don't hover, only do one pass per section of your face, and always sweep from the center of your face, outwards.

LightStim for Wrinkles

Another touted LED light for Levin is LightStim for Wrinkles, a handheld, completely portable device that uses skin-rejuvenating wavelengths of red-light energy to stimulate collagen and subsequently fade fine lines and wrinkles over time.

Safe for every skin type, it takes a mere three minutes a day to use, making it perfect for someone who's constantly on the go or often strapped for time. Sure, it's one of the more pricey LED gadgets on the market right now, but the before- and-after photos will make your jaw drop (and then you'll run out to get one of your own).

Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer

Ever dream about having your face therapeutically misted with steam? Well, you can make your at-home facial dreams come true with Vanity Planet's Aira Ionic Facial Steamer, which uses an ion generator to help the steam penetrate more deeply into your pores.

"Facial steaming can help hydrate and soften the outer skin layer, enhancing penetration of active ingredients into the skin," Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, previously told ishonest — meaning your masks, serums, and moisturizers will absorb better.

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