March 28th 2022
The facial tools that doctors and aestheticians use at home
July 3rd 2020 / 0 comment
The dermarollers, LED masks and beauty gadgets worth spending your money on
From microneedling to radiofrequency and LED light therapy, the list of in-clinic treatments we’ve been missing in recent months goes on and on. If you’re thinking of investing in an at-home device to ease the separation anxiety, these are the tools tried, tested and approved by the cosmetic doctors and aestheticians, who use them on themselves.
The microneedling tool: ZENii Radiance Roller, £65
Loved by: Dr Johanna Ward, cosmetic doctor and GP
"I always recommend that my patients commit to a good and consistent home skincare routine. A home derma roller is a vital part of that programme and should be done two or three times a week.
Home micro needling increases the blood supply to the skin, increases the amount of oxygen that gets to the skin and increases the penetration of topical skincare applied to the skin after the procedure through the tiny micro-channels that it creates.
"Home rollers have needle depths of up to 0.3mm so they penetrate less deeply than the clinical ones, which can go 1–2mm deep. So while they don’t stimulate collagen renewal and new collagen production they are great for increased radiance of the skin resulting in a brighter and more luminous complexion.
"For extra anti-ageing effect, I encourage my patients to microneedle the skin and then apply a topical antioxidant such as vitamin C or a retinol (vitamin A) serum. The results are divine. Microneedling technology is so simple but so effective, that's why I created my own home roller for my skincare range Zenii. It has 540 needles with a 0.3mm depth and comes in fine surgical steel."
Facialist Joanne Evans (more on her later) also loves a microneedling tool, favouring the Environ roller. Joanne uses a 0.01 needle at home and told us that the biggest needle you can use is for at-home devices is 0.03. She rolls hers over the lips, eyelids and face for five minutes up to five times a week to increase the powers of her skincare.
The LED mask: Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro Mask, £430
Loved by: Dr Johanna Ward
"Light-emitting diode (LED) therapy has really come into the mainstream over the last five or so years. The science behind LED technology is legitimate and clinically evidenced. NASA first used LED technology for wound repair and in dermatology, we use light to treat a number of different skin concerns such as acne and rosacea, for skin healing, for wound repair, to stimulate collagen renewal and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
"An at-home LED device will never be as effective as in-clinic light treatment, but when used consistently, home devices can give noticeable results. I recommend Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro mask; it has a combination of blue and red light technology. Blue light is helpful for killing off the bacteria involved in the development of acne and the red light is good for reducing inflammation."
The Infrared sauna for your face: Luminir Sunlighten, £249
Loved by: Dr Johanna Ward
"Near-infrared (NIR) is a healing and rejuvenating wavelength. Infrared energy is part of the sun’s invisible light spectrum and is necessary for all living things to grow and flourish. Near-infrared is the shortest infrared wavelength but it can penetrate the skin by as much as 6mm to promote better oxygenation of the skin, cellular renewal, improved cell health, better wound healing and tissue growth. I have an infrared sauna in my home and will often go in it with the NIR mode on for skin rejuvenation and renewal. The Luminir is a handheld version of that same technology."
The wrinkle buster: LightStim for Wrinkles, £249
Loved by: Dr Sophie Shotter, founder of the Illuminate Skin Clinic
This clinic-grade LED home device reduces and eliminates fine lines and wrinkles, restoring the skin’s youthful appearance by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin with red, infrared and amber lights for skin rejuvenation. You press it gently onto the skin and hold it there for three minutes – you will feel some warmth where you're holding it and it can be used on the face and back of the hands too. It's a pretty relaxing treatment; while it gets to work you're free to read a book or watch telly - though probably not get on with cooking dinner as one hand needs to hold it in place. "The LightStim is really easy and comfortable use, quick, and effective," says Sophie. "I’m all about tools that don’t take hours to use but deliver clinically validated results - brighter skin with less fine lines and wrinkles, who wouldn’t want that?"
The nifty masking tool: Foreo UFO 2, £249
Loved by: Dr Sophie Shotter
“I’m loving this at-home masking gadget that combines sonic waves with LED and heat for good penetration of products and only takes 90 seconds, I'm using it a lot." says Sophie.
The colourful tool, which looks like a spaceship – hence the name, combines sheet masks with facial massage to leave the skin looking smooth and radiant. Rather than putting a mask directly onto your face, you attach them to the tool instead (there are set masks you buy to go with the device) turn it on and smooth over your face for 90 seconds. It emits 10,000 sonic pulsations per minute to massage your face and it incorporates LED light therapy too, using different wavelengths of light to enhance the mask’s benefits.
The on-the-go LED mask: Rio FaceLite LED Face Mask, £349.99
Loved by: Joanne Evans, clinical facialist and founder of Notting Hill clinic Skin Matters
This flexible, easy-to-put-on mask improves skin firmness, plus tackles fine lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin feeling plumper and rejuvenated. It clips around your head with a velcro strap and can be charged up so you don’t have to hover near a plug socket when you’re wearing it. Joanne recommends ten minutes sessions three or four times a week to see a difference, lauding the mask for how easily it fits into your lifestyle (you can walk around the house with it doing its thing, for example) and can be used lying flat on the chest or shoulder or even the stomach. The LED is anti-inflammatory and calming to repair breakouts and soothe sunburn and there’s absolutely no downtime.
The skincare booster: Environ Electro-Sonic DF Mobile Device, £355
Loved by: Joanne Evans, clinical facialist
If you’re looking for a tool to supercharge your skincare, this is it. It uses ultrasound to help your active ingredients penetrate into the skin, allowing them into the cells to strengthen the skin, stimulate collagen and tightening the skin. Joanne points out that it does feel prickly on the face and gives some warmth, so go gently if you have sensitive skin.
The home radiofrequency tool: Newa Radiofrequency Facial Device, £300 available in clinics and £349 direct from Newa
Loved by: Joanne Evans and Dr Sophie Shotter
When two respected experts name the same device in their top three, it's got to be good and this just launched at-home radiofrequency device is seriously impressing our experts.
This at-home radiofrequency device tightens the skin and promotes collagen and elastin production, targeting crow’s feet and the under eyes, under the chin and reduces puffiness. If you’re used to radio-frequency in-salon you’ll find this isn’t as hot as those treatments though you will feel some warmth when using it.
It comes with an activated gel and you rotate it around the face in tiny circles and deep sweeps, with the device telling you when to move on to a new area. Joanne suggests using this four or five times a week, explaining that radiofrequency has a shrinkwrapping effect on the skin, causing it to tighten. "All of my clients who I have recommended this to have seen amazing results straight away," Joanne told us. "It's really great if you're puffy around the eyes as it helps with drainage, which also makes it great for lifting the jowl area."
It's so new it's currently only available via clinics. At Skin Matters Joanne Evans is pricing it at £380 with a free SPF.
Sophie Shotter is a fan too: "It's made by the makers of in-clinic radiofrequency device Endymed and is FDA cleared (Food and Drug Administration, an American standard ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical devices). It's super easy to use and I’m impressed as to get FDA clearance they have to have extensive trials to show that they are safe and that they work. Even though it's an American ruling, it shows me that a device reaches a certain standard."
The lymphatic drainage tool: Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, £195
Loved by: Dr Terry, founder of Dr Terry Clinic
Made from 24kt gold plate, this face-smoothing gold bar uses subtle vibrations to make the face appear more sculpted. Just sweep it along your facial contours to see results. "I put mine in the fridge and use it in the morning around my eyes to reduce any puffiness when I wake up," says Dr Terry, "During my weekly home facials I also use it on top of my hydrating sheet mask and after I remove my mask so it helps the serums to penetrate deeper. The movement helps the lymphatic drainage and the cold temperature helps to firm up the skin.
"I recommend it to my patients especially after aesthetic treatments to help reduce swelling and speed up recovery."