7 best electronic skincare tools
To seriously up your beauty game, check out the latest in plug-and-play skincare that’s about to invade your dressing table
Using your hands for skincare is so 2018. There’s now a multitude of tools that cleanse more effectively, penetrate product better and roll back the years faster than your worn out paws.
However, electrical gadgetry has grown up since the days of zapping yourself thin (Slendertone pads anyone?). These gizmos are savvy, painless partners in beauty crime, promising top notch results.
We’ve rifled through the ever increasing market to curate a pick ’n’ mix of the best electronic beautifiers across the board.
Foreo UFO smart mask treatment device: £249, Amazon
If you’re one who finds lolling around with a sheet mask on a tad time inhibiting, you need this in your life. Swedish company Foreo’s UFO beamed down on to UK terrain last year with a selection of custom-made masks using Korean specialist formulas. It’s claimed this one will give you the same results as your favourite sheet masks in just 90 seconds.
Firstly, download the app and switch on your gold-topped UFO. Pop the mask on top of the disc on the back and secure. Then, scan the barcode of one the available masks, with names such as Make My Day and Shimmer Freak (each is tailored to be used at certain times of the day and reacts with the Foreo device to target different needs, and intuitively your device knows which mask you’re using).
For instance, Make My Day is to be used in the morning and heats up temporarily with red LED light therapy, cooling with green LED light towards the end of the treatment for a brightening effect, while Call It A Night for bedtime is more heat-focused, with primarily red light treatment to give you calm while you’re catching some zzz’s.
There’s a very “zen” woman chatting to you via the app with some suitably spa-esque music to guide you through the 90-second hyper-treatment. Gently move it around your face distributing the product evenly and then the Foreo automatically switches off. The app woman may suggest you repeat the treatment, and so do we – get the remaining essence from the sachet and go for broke a second time.
The reason why this gets top spot is not only for its ease of use and coming up with the goods it promises, but it’s also a real treat with well-made masks to suit all needs, and it certainly makes a statement on your shelf.
ZIIP Beauty nanocurrent skincare device: £425, Cult Beauty
“Electrical esthetician” Melanie Simon had been looking for a way to bring her famous nanocurrent facials to the home market for years, and cracked it with ZIIP in 2015. This is for the dedicated but definitely worth it.
The device has four different treatments ranging from acne-busting to specific anti-aging to eye treatment, varying from two to 12 minutes in length. Download the app and let’s get to it.
Firstly you have to slather your skin in one of ZIIP’s conductor gels – gold is for firming and anti-aging while silver is for hydration and moisturising. After sending your treatment to ZIIP via bluetooth, Melanie herself will personally guide you through the treatment via a video tutorial – a nice touch. Varying these treatments two to three times a week is recommended for optimum results.
The treatment is essentially tiny electrical currents that are passed through the device and penetrate the skin – it’s like taking your facial muscles to the gym. While this all sounds like something from Total Recall, it’s surprisingly gentle. The only time we felt anything peculiar was on the neck – but it wasn’t aggressive, just a tad more noticeable.
Over time, our faces looked well rested and generally back-to-life, with a little lift. It’s a big commitment both pricewise and timewise, but if you want a tool that does several things cleverly and with no compromises, this is the go-to for you.
BeautyBio GloPro microneedling regeneration tool: £199, Selfridges
If there was ever a poster child for a beauty brand claiming their product is better than Botox, it’s Jamie O’Banion with her GloPro. Home microneedling has always been a contentious subject – well, going at yourself with needles could be a tad worrying. GloPro, however, has needles at 0.3mm – smaller than the usual 0.5mm sold for home use.
Cleanse skin and prep with the GloPro pads, or you can use your favourite face oil. Switch on the roller and you’ll notice the red LED light come on. Roll over the face four times in each direction. Upwards, across and diagonally.
Small punctures are made on the surface of the skin, which forces it into a regeneration process, a bit like when you make a small nick and the skin repairs itself. The new cells begin to outnumber the old and in turn give you a better complexion overall. Equally, these tiny punctures help the skin absorb your pricey products better as they won’t just sit on the surface.
While this all sounds a bit barbaric, it’s not nearly as ghastly as it seems – it’s not painful in the slightest, though if you’re super-sensitive, you might experience some redness, so go slow. Results are an undoubtedly more lively visage and a beautifully even complexion.
Big stipulation: use at nighttime and cleanse thoroughly before use, otherwise you’ll just press dirt into the skin. Also, clean the device with alcohol and leave to air dry after every use. Treat this like a mogwai from Gremlins – follow the rules and you’ll live happily ever after.
Dr Dennis Gross spectralite eyecare: £172, Space NK
LED light therapy at home is a booming industry, and this is one of our faves we picked up. If you’ve ever wanted to look like one of the X-Men, or just terrify the unsuspecting, then this is a terrific tool. But most importantly, your dark circles and fine lines get a seeing to while you’re at it.
LED light therapy works with different colours that have different properties when tackling skin issues. Red light in particular gives a boost to the skin’s natural cells and promote collagen as a result.
This mask is extremely comfortable, with a thick, gel-like fitting. Post cleansing, attach the orange drawstring as this will help the mask sit comfortably on your face. Switch on, wait for three minutes and the device automatically turns off. Done. Then repeat every day.
What’s particularly good about this is that you can continue doing other things while it’s on. We wouldn’t recommend doing a spin class in it, but you get the gist.
Sure, it’s initially pretty bright, but you quickly become accustomed to it and, with continued use, we definitely saw an improvement on the brightness and general va-va-voom around the eye area. There’s was also some noticeable difference to our frown lines afterwards, which we welcomed very much.
Clarisonic Mia Smart facial cleansing device: £180, Amazon
The original sonic cleansing brush has recently had a revamp with the Mia Smart, which can come with your pick of attachments for different uses.
Primarily, the cleanser is a gentle, oscillating brush that deep cleans and flushes pores. While the sonic eye attachment whips your under-eyes into shape, there’s even a makeup attachment that helps airbrush your foundation – this one does it all.
Another one with a nifty app, this one helps sync routines for you specifically by having skin goals to work towards – so if you’re wanting to “uplift skin” for instance, the app will guide you towards that goal – with a series of suggestions and video tutorials to boot.
The brush is gentle enough to work on all skin types, but do start slowly if you’re particularly sensitive, as the effective whizzing might send you in a tizz.
It’s perfect for those who want something low maintenance as this does all the work for you and keeps track of your progress so you don’t have to. We noticed brighter, clearer, squeaky-clean skin. Get this is you’re heavier on the lazy scale but want to look like you’re a regular at the spa.
Kat Burki micro-firming wand: £82, Space NK
This is the one we were most sceptical of yet, after testing, were most surprised by. A very unassuming silver wand – the size of your index finger – promises to penetrate product up to 40 per cent deeper than just applying onto your skin. You don’t plug this in. No app. No bells and whistles.
However, sometimes less is more and this is testament to that fact. Once you place the product onto your skin, grab the wand and move in small circles gradually until fully absorbed. It works with your body’s natural energies to activate.
The wand uses “iontophoresis”, which basically means that those tiny electrical currents, along with the vibrations, aid towards the permeation of your favourite products. Serums, oils and moisturisers are all welcome here.
Particularly wonderful things about this are, first, you don’t need to use as much product – which we loved – and second, after a couple of weeks use, we definitely noticed a difference, specifically on our crow’s feet. They were much fainter than usual and under the eyes certainly felt more energised.
A good tip as well is to slather the lips with your favourite balm and use the wand there for a plumper pout. This also works equally well on frown lines and around the mouth area too. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
Foreo Luna 2 for men: £169, Amazon
Foreo makes it on to the list again, but this time for the fellas. The Luna originally housed its T-Sonic pulsation technology in pastel pinks and blues; the Luna for men, however, not only comes in slick black silicone, but also has a few different tricks up its sleeve. For example, the sonic technology has had the ante turned up with double the vibratory oomph to suit men’s thicker skin.
If you were thinking: “What will a vibrating piece of rubber do that my hands can’t?” (stop sniggering at the back...), you wouldn’t be alone.
Well, the device works by popping your favourite cleanser onto your face, pressing the circle on the front of the Foreo and gently massaging over the skin. The vibrating device prompts you every 15 seconds to move to a different facial area so you’re not just rubbing your skin into oblivion.
It gave us a super-clean feeling with no irritation and a great base for products to sit. Rinse under water and flip over to reveal the “anti-aging” side, which when pressed against skin helps absorb product more deeply. Since it’s silicone, bacteria and muck can’t stick, so it gets brownie points in that department too.
The claim that we were most enticed by, however, is that Foreo says using it helps stave off razor burn and keeps razors lasting longer. Whilst sceptical, we gave this to someone with particularly sensitive skin in the shaving department with a rather plain, disposable razor, and we are happy to say that the bathroom didn’t look like a scene from 28 Days Later and a clean shave was the only thing leftover – if that ain’t a plus, we don’t know what is.
The original Luna is also available for different skin types in Insta-worthy colours.
The verdict: Electronic skincare tools
The Foreo UFO gave good results, had wonderful ease of use and pledged to help get a glow, hydrate or calm – depending on what you fancy. The Kat Burki wand surprised us – useful specifically if you’re wanting to wake up the eye area with no fuss. ZIIP Beauty’s nanocurrent facialiser might be pricey, but it’s the don in its field.
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