Beauty has come home with easy-to-use gadgets that deliver salon-worthy results if you can just be a bit patient. Rosie Green chooses her top five
The beauty industry is now awash with at-home gadgets which are easy to use, less expensive than salon treatments and allow everyone to benefit from the latest skin-transforming technology.
It wasn’t fair. Until recently skin-transforming machines were restricted to the dermatologist's clinic or the elite facialist's salon. The wrinkle-reducing lasers, acne-fighting lights, skin polishers, pore uncloggers and permanent hair removers we all read about were only available to the privileged few who lived near to their clinics and could afford their fees. But now, hallelujah, with new at-home versions, we can all share in the very real results they deliver.
Chic Harley Street dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting says she is "all for women being able to take control of beauty issues such as laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation, and being able to perform them in the comfort of their own home". She adds: "It just makes sense, both for the sake of convenience and economically."
She says that users do need to accept that devices will deliver results more slowly since the power of these appliances has been turned down for at-home novices. "There has to be a trade-off," she says. For instance, in the case of the laser skin rejuvenation machine Philips ReAura, she says "the technology is the same, but at a lower energy and density than its grown-up, professional relative". Thus patience is required, as is diligence.
However, the costs are still high (eye-wateringly so in some cases), so you need make sure that the machine is the right one for you and that you can commit to the required regime. Legendary make-up artist Mary Greenwell agrees. "You have to do your research and you need to have the time, energy and money to invest," she says. She is an ardent fan of the Clarisonic, saying the £130 price tag is worth it. "It gets rid of any residue, cleanses, exfoliates and polishes the skin brilliantly. I can tell if my clients are using it, it means their skin is smooth and radiant, never dry and flaky. It’s just a brilliant beauty tool."
1) Skin Polisher. Clarisonic Mia 2, £130. Call 0800 988 4864. The company’s latest launch is travel-friendly, has two speeds and uses sonic technology to clear debris and reduce the appearance of fine lines, dry skin patches and blemishes.
2) Skin Rejeuvenator. Philips RéAura, £800, Space NK ( http://uk.spacenk.com/ ) and John Lewis ( www.johnlewis.com ). ReAura uses Fraxel laser technology which was previously confined to the dermatologist's clinic. Using a lower intensity than the salon versions, it has many skincare benefits from smoothing fine lines and removing pigmentation to delivering a more even skin tone. The skin is stimulated into producing fresh collagen, leaving skin more radiant.
3) Spot Eraser. Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light, £229, www.triabeauty.co.uk . Long a favourite of dermatologists, blue light eliminates the bacteria in the skin's pores that cause acne, resulting in clearer, smoother and healthier skin. The manufacturers promise a 70 per cent reduction in acne in two weeks.
4) Pore Cleaner. Bliss 'Pore'-fector Gadget, £125, www.blissworld.co.uk . As with the Clarisonic, this device uses sonic vibrations to loosen debris and deep clean. Described as "impurity-extracting, skin-smoothing and complexion-improving", it’s a beauty editor’s favourite.
5) Hair Eradicator. Philips Lumea Precision Plus, £450 ( www.philips.co.uk ). An updated version of the super-successful original, this hair removal system uses laser technology to greatly inhibit hair growth. Now offering the fastest treatment time ever, it slides across the skin (no more lift and click). It’s cleared for facial use, and the less hair you’ve got there, the brighter and younger you’ll look.