A Quick Overview of SkinCare Tools: Brushes, Rollers, Microneedles & LED
Cleansing brushes, jade rollers, microneedles, oh my! Perusing the anti-aging blog-o-sphere can make you feel like Dorothy in Oz. (“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”) So here’s our succinct take on at-home “spa” beauty tools—what you can realistically expect, and what you can expect to spend.
Cleansing brushes help tighten pores, clear blackheads, and move you a tiny bit closer to firm, radiant skin. And they get bonus points for providing a smooth, exfoliated palate (your lovely face!) for serums and moisturizing creams.
At the lowest price points (about $25), these brushes are likely to have nylon bristles, but as you go up in price (they top out at around $350), you’re more likely to find antibacterial silicone or specialized bristles, such as the super-soft filaments used in Clarisonic’s Mia brushes. But make sure to change and clean your brush heads regularly—particularly if you’re using nylon bristles. Because you know, if you’re brushing bacteria and mold onto your skin, that completely defeats the purpose. (You can read a review of several different face brushes here.)
Along the same lines, you can use the Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System (available at our office for a 25% discount) around your eye, lip, brow or forehead areas. It’s a rechargeable, palm-sized device that rotates at 125 movements per second, infusing your eyes with serum, more deeply and effectively than your fingers alone. It’s a great way to target fine lines, puffy eyes, and under-eye circles, and it feels like a gentle massage.
Jade Rollers generally de-puff your face and specifically target eye bags. The pressure from the roller stimulates both your circulatory and lymphatic systems, to help eliminate toxins and give you clear, glowing skin. Plus, if you keep your roller in the refrigerator, it feels like an esthetician’s cool, soothing fingers. And—fun fact—many cultures believe jade absorbs negative energy, so they celebrate it as a symbol of prosperity and purity.
Jade rollers are fairly affordable ($20-60), and they’re effortless to use. Clean and moisturize your face before rolling, and then roll upward and outward. Remember to work against, rather than with, gravity.
Professional microneedling is amazing for stimulating collagen production and healing acne scars and hyperpigmentation. (We offer this service in-office, if it’s something you’re interested in.) At-home microneedling is much more affordable, but it’s less effective at evening skin tone. However, it can still give your complexion a noticeable pick-me-up and allow your moisturizer to penetrate deep beneath the surface of your skin. And at-home microneedlers may cost as little as $30, although they do have to be replaced every three months or so, to keep things sanitary.
Microneedles (both the at-home and in-office variety) are between 0.2-1mm thick, which means they’re tiny enough to be relatively painless. And they’re quick and easy to use—add moisturizer, roll, and add more moisturizer. Viola!
LED lights are a safe and effective skincare tool, but you’ll only see results when you use them regularly. LED doesn’t heat your skin or cause damage, like other light waves. Instead, it sends waves deep into your skin, triggering intracellular reactions. Different wavelengths, or rather, colors of light, achieve different effects.
Amber is used to build collagen and elastin, while red is a strong anti-ager, reducing inflammation. And blue light is anti-bacterial. The lights can be used singularly or in tandem (red and amber for youthful skin, red and blue to target acne) to achieve your desired results.
LED lights are available at various spas and estheticians’ offices (some of our office facials incorporate LED lighting), but you can also buy at-home devices. (We found an at-home product overview here.)
Hope this quick guide helps you make sense of the myriad of home facial offerings. Remember—stimulation, circulation, and light exfoliation are great. Sandpapering your skin or rubbing it with something moldy and icky—not so much.
Posted in: Elizabeth Adams MD, Skin Health