Not only does having a regular skin care regimen give you the feeling that you’re doing everything that you can for your skin, it can actually be fun. But if you’re not a skincare addict and have never used anything but plain water or maybe a washcloth on your face, shopping for high-tech beauty devices might be intimidating.
But as long as you’re familiar with your skin type and are aware of any sensitivities you may have (say, to certain mask ingredients or to light), you’re already well on your way toward choosing a gadget suited to your skin’s needs. And, if you aren’t totally sure what kind of device or treatment your skin might benefit from, talk to your dermatologist.
Below, we’ve listed the best beauty gadgets and skin-care products you can find, from light therapy devices to pulsating exfoliators, according to recommendations from board-certified dermatologists, as well as online customer reviews.
This handheld skin “toning” device is designed to address such aging concerns as fine lines, wrinkles and facial contour, all the while improving overall skin tone through the use of microcurrent technology.
Reviewers note that, naturally, it isn’t as powerful as skin devices that a dermatologist might use for in-office treatments of the same concerns, but they still saw results, from a visible lift in the eyes and jawline to firmer and tighter skin quality, giving them younger-looking skin overall.
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Dr. Carolyn Jacob, associate clinical instructor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and medical director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, recommends this blue light treatment to her acne patients as part of their whole beauty and skincare routine. But she adds that acne light therapy is especially useful for people who need an alternative to topical or oral treatments: “We have a lot of young acne patients who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, and for them, we’re limited in what we can prescribe. Blue light is totally safe, so it’s a good option for these patients,” she explains.
Online reviewers were generally happy with the results they saw with the Tria Blue Light: It reduced the appearance of their blackheads and whiteheads, and gave them smoother skin. However, they noted that it takes about four weeks before improvements are noticeable.
The UFO’s name doesn’t just refer to its appearance — it also speaks to what it can do, which seem like something out of science-fiction at first glance. Made to be used in tandem with Foreo’s single-use facial masks (which are sold separately), this app-enabled beauty device heats, cools and pulses in order to boost the skin’s absorbency, which, in turn, makes the serums and ingredients in the mask penetrate more deeply. One reviewer called the UFO the “face mask lover’s dream gadget.”
New York-based dermatologist Dr. Amanda Doyle lauds Eterno’s LED device for its versatility. The device’s red light is meant to boost collagen production and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Doyle notes that it’s also useful for reducing inflammation and redness when used with a solid acne regimen.
One online reviewer warned that the device can heat up to an uncomfortable extent while in use, while another wrote that they wish they’d “taken a ‘before’ photo” prior to starting to use the device to show just how much it’d improved their skin.
As far as skin cleansing tools go, Dr. Jacob recommends the Clarisonic, the standard-bearer for facial brushes that clean and exfoliate the face. “Nothing gets you cleaner,” she says, adding that she personally uses Neocutis’ Neo Cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser with the brush.
While some online beauty reviewers pointed out that switching between brush extensions isn’t as seamless as it could be, others were too focused their results (notably, skin that felt newly “soft” and “fresh” after using the Clarisonic) to consider that a mark against the device.
Yes, the most dramatic-looking item on this list is also the most expensive — but its effectiveness, according to online beauty reviewers, makes it worth the money (and weird looks you’ll get while wearing it). This LED light therapy mask uses both red (to boost collagen production) and blue (to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce redness) lights, claims to smooth, even out and clear skin with 10 weeks of use.
Many reviewers noted that it undeniably requires patience, but they were still pleased with their results, especially those who used it to reduce inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and the appearance of acne scars on their skin.
This is easily the lowest-tech beauty item on the list, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver results. Meant to be used with a face wash of your choice, this massager’s pulsing mechanism enhances the exfoliating effects of its brush’s nubby texture and leaves the skin feeling deeply clean.
Some reviewers appreciated the brush’s shape, which easily fit into the contours and creases of their face, while those with sensitive skin praised its various pulsation settings, the gentlest of which didn’t irritate their skin.
More skincare coverage at CNET
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.