All this time at home is leading beauty and skincare enthusiasts to opt for new at home treatments and tools in place of their monthly facial.
Empowering my clients to take their health and perception of beauty into their own hands is a big part of my work.
The ability to care for your spacesuit yourself, to nourish it, listen to it, and work with it to heal and thrive, is almost a superpower now. Being confined to one’s home certainly kicks the urgency of that into high gear. If you can’t get to your monthly facial, a nonessential service, then how will you take that time for yourself? How will you care for your skin, notice its cycles and its messages? Will you tend to something you’re used to outsourcing?
As more and more stores offer free shipping and discounts, those with the finances to do so are upgrading their home skincare tool kit to adjust to the new normal without fully sacrificing a spa day.
But are all of the tools available for home treatments safe, or even worth it?
In short, no.
I’ve pulled a few of the most popular at-home tools available now and weighed in with a final verdict for you, so you can trust that what you’re spending limited funds on will bring value to your self-care ritual.
Skin Scrubber Wand/Pore Extractor:
Before you go at your nose and chin with dirty fingernails or aggressive metal tools, I beg of you, step back, and take a deep breath. Attacking clogged sebum might sound like a satisfying evening between yourself and the magnified mirror you just ordered on amazon. But allow me to let you in on a secret: when estheticians perform extractions, we are doing so with hundreds of hours of training, sanitized tools, and at a specific angle that you can’t reach on your own face. All of this allows for a safe extraction with no damage to your mug.
I think this form of an extractor is interesting and extremely useful. This one gets a yes from me for at-home use. It can certainly help get into those stubborn areas on your face, like the folds of your nose, although I recommend doing so gently. Use with caution, I’ve watched videos of non-estheticians absolutely destroying their face by using too much pressure during extractions. You should not feel pain. The wands can also be flipped over, the vibrations stimulating the skin gently, and assisting in product penetration. This is a fun tool for the skincare obsessed who want a little something extra at home these days.
This tool is offered by trained estheticians for a deeper and more effective service to drain stagnant lymph, improve circulation, and lift and contour the face. Using this at home is very safe and very easy!
There’s more than enough tutorials on how to use a Gua Sha stone on yourself, and it can quickly become a soothing ritual. You’ll notice a clear difference when used in the morning as lymph is most stagnant from sleeping horizontally all night, but I like to use mine at night as a way to move from the yang energy of doing all day, to the yin energy of receiving and slowing down for rest and recovery.
Personal Microdermabrasion Kits
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation technique that involves the use of fine crystals to remove the top superficial layer of dead skin cells. It has shown amazing benefits for those with fine lines, pigmentation, and scarring. This is not your typical exfoliation. The machines are typically larger (and expensive) and the process, although not invasive, can be a much more heavy duty exfoliation treatment that requires some training to be done properly and effectively.
The personal microdermabrasion kits now offer an at-home treatment. I have urged many clients away from giving in to the temptation of this product. I find that most people already over-exfoliate as it is, and although you may be a good candidate for this type of procedure, this is best left to the professionals or you could end up with stripes and scratches on your face. We want to nourish our skin and bodies right now, not compromise our protective barrier
Micro currents are the trending treatment, or at least they were before we stopped touching faces, and for good reason. This non-invasive procedure offers dramatic results by sending weak electrical signals that mimic the body’s own electrical signals, into the body using electrodes. These signals enhance the production of collagen and elastin, improve circulation, and re-educate and tone the muscles in the face, offering an instantly lifted, firm, and more radiant appearance.
NuFace is a handheld microcurrent device for home use for anyone. You don’t need to be a professional to use this one, although typically a microcurrent treatment is done by someone with hours of training and proper equipment they’ve invested in. Not all microcurrent machines are equal, so don’t expect to see the results you would get from your esthetician by using this new toy. I recommend skipping this and investing that money in a professional service when we reopen our doors instead.
LED Light Treatments (Masks/Handheld)
Light therapy is well known and well studied, but still feels like somewhat of a secret. These handheld LED devices use UV-free light waves to heal the skin. Important to note: different wavelengths and colors of light offer different actions.
Blue for an antibacterial effect to help fight acne, red light to support circulation, reduce inflammation and build collagen and elastin.
Jared Jagdeo, associate professor of dermatology and director of the Center for Phototherapy, SUNY Downstate Health Science University, where he studies LED therapy, told the New York Times in 2019.
“There’s a specific receptor in the mitochondria of the skin cells that red light specifically acts upon,” he said. “And that’s why red light is an ideal wavelength for changing the way the skin functions.”
These devices have hefty price tags, but if you can swing it, they are safe and effective treatments.
- Face Sculptor
These face sculptors look and feel like your typical health store massage tool that you’d bribe your partner or roommate to use on you. Except they’re for your face! These claim to increase skin firmness, improve circulation, and smooth tense facial muscles.
Do you know what really does that? Certain herbal teas I’ve recently mentioned on this blog and using your own hands to massage your favorite serums and creams into your skin before rushing to the next thing.
Save your money, spend time with your rituals and time with yourself and your skin.
If you are ready to invest in some bigger tools for your self care kit: Really look into what your skin goals are to invest in the right devices and products for yourself. Reach out to your esthetician or dermatologist (or me!) for guidance if you feel you need it. We may not be able to offer treatments at this time, but we’re still available for guidance and support during these trying times.