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 Skincare

Home-use Devices

Written by: Becki Murray

Last Updated: 9 February 2024

There is a huge range of beauty devices designed for use at home: LED light therapy masks for targeting skin problems, ultrasonic skin scrubbers for deeply cleansing your skin, microcurrent devices to stimulate your facial muscles, and many others.

Let’s start with the key question: Are home skincare devices worth getting, or are they a waste of money?

devices

Is it worth getting home skincare devices?

Home skincare devices are a bit like home exercise equipment, though usually smaller and more expensive: they’re worth getting provided you use them regularly and, preferably, frequently. If a device becomes a regular part of your home routine, and you use it several times a week, you will see the benefits of the device, and it will be worthwhile. But if you just use the device a few times, don’t really get the point of it, and leave it to gather dust under the bed — then no, spending money on the device won’t be worthwhile.

What technology is used in home-use beauty devices?

Home-use beauty devices use various different types of technology, such as the following five types:

  • Lasers. Devices use various types of lasers for purposes such as hair removal and treating acne.
  • Intense pulsed light. Devices use intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat pigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.
  • LED light. Devices use LED light to various types of skin issues, such as using blue light to treat acne and using red light to stimulate collagen production.
  • Microcurrent. Devices use microcurrent to stimulate and tone facial muscles.
  • Radiofrequency. Devices use radiofrequency (RF) to heat the deeper layers of your skin.

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How can I choose the right skincare device for home use?

To identify a suitable home-use skincare device, follow these five general steps:

  1. Identify the skin issue you want to deal with. For example, you might want to reduce acne, tighten up your facial skin, or minimise fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Research suitable technologies for dealing with the issue.
  3. Identify devices that claim to solve the issue. Read reviews to help assess how well the devices work.
  4. Narrow down the list to devices that suit your skin type.
  5. Further refine the list to devices that fit within your budget and that come from reputable brands that offer good customer support.

Choosing the right home-use skincare device can be tricky. You may want to consult a dermatologist or skincare specialist to make sure you’ve correctly identified the skin issue and to choose a suitable device for dealing with it.

Can DIY skin treatment devices replace professional treatments?

DIY skin treatment devices can replace professional treatments up to a point. Home-use devices can be great for cleansing your skin and for treating concerns such as mild acne, minor lines and wrinkles, or dull skin. Even better, having instant access to skincare devices at home makes it easier and faster to tackle such concerns. 

If you have more complex or more extensive skin issues, you will likely be better off consulting a skincare professional who can treat the issues with their expertise and pro-grade equipment. 

Can radiofrequency devices be safely used at home?

Yes, home-use radiofrequency devices can be safe to use, but you’ll want to follow the instructions closely. These devices deliver radiofrequency (RF) energy in waves that generate heat when applied to your body. Even though most of these devices are less powerful than professional equipment, you still need to be careful to avoid irritating or burning your skin.

Are home skincare devices effective for anti-ageing?

Home-use skincare devices can help you keep your skin in good condition if you use them consistently. See the next section for examples of devices that can help reduce the signs of ageing.

How do at-home skin rejuvenation devices work?

Here are five examples of how at-home skin rejuvenation devices work:

  • Red LED light therapy can boost your skin’s collagen production.
  • Radiofrequency therapy can stimulate your skin to produce not only more collagen but also more elastin.
  • Microcurrent devices can stimulate your facial muscles to give a more lifted and toned appearance.
  • Ultrasonic devices and galvanic devices can help anti-aging serums and creams penetrate deeper into your skin, where their ingredients can do more good.
  • Laser devices deliver light energy to the skin to stimulate collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and may help with pigmentation issues.

    How effective are at-home laser treatments?

    For safety reasons, most at-home laser treatments are less powerful than the professional lasers used in clinics, so their effect is less dramatic. That said, many devices do gradually deliver effects if you use them consistently in the long term.

What are the benefits of LED light therapy at home?

LED light therapy devices offer red and near–infra-red light, which has proven benefits for the skin, and they’re easy and relaxing to use. The small dose of infra-red these devices deliver has measurable benefits, as it reaches deeper into your skin to stimulate its lower levels, and can stimulate bone repair, too. The infra-red also has a calming effect on your mind. Red LED light, meanwhile, encourages the skin to remodel itself from the inside, which means better hydration, firmer skin from increased collagen production, and a softening of pigmentation.

 

What are the latest trends in home-use skincare devices?

A great deal of innovation is happing in home-use skincare devices. Here are four of the latest trends to watch:

  • Multifunctional devices. Instead of getting one device for radiofrequency treatment, another for LED light therapy, and a third for delivering a sonic massage to your face, you can get a single device that combines all three functions. A multifunctional device may offer better value for money as well as give you a fuller skincare routine.
  • Smart technology and customisation. Home-use skincare devices increasingly connect to your phone or computer via Bluetooth to deliver smart features, such as AI-powered analysis of your skin and its problems. Connected apps enable you to configure your skincare devices easily, to log your usage of the devices, and to monitor your skincare progress.
  • Professional-grade home-use devices. Up till now, most home-use devices have not been powerful enough to do much good unless you use them zealously. But increasingly, companies are releasing professional-grade devices aimed at the consumer market. These devices are higher powered and typically cost more.
  • Smart safety features. Along with greater power comes greater responsibility, but home-use devices now incorporate smart safety features, such as automatic shut-off functions linked to sensors that monitor your skin for burning or other damage.

What are the best home-use devices for skincare?

That’s a wide-ranging question, and as you might imagine, there’s no definitive answer. But here are three home-use skincare devices well worth trying:

  • Dermalux Flex MD. The Flex MD is a medical-grade LED light therapy device. It’s primarily designed for smaller clinics, but you can also buy it for home use. Using it consistently several times a week for several months can give measurable improvements in skin wrinkling, pigmentation, and skin redness. The effects are cumulative, so you just need to put in the sessions — and that’s much easier to do at home rather than going to the clinic. There are many lower-powered home-use LED devices available, though the lights in these are rarely powerful or precise enough to achieve genuine improvements in the skin.
  • NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device. This gadget runs microcurrents through your face, improving the circulation, helping reduce fine lines and, by tweaking and toning the face muscles, helps to give your face a lifted appearance. Do microcurrent gadgets work? Yes, particularly if you use them consistently — like going to the gym for the rest of your body, these gadgets work best if you develop a routine and keep it up, rather than popping in every 10 days or so.
  • FOREO LUNA 3 Facial Cleansing Brush. This brilliant cleansing brush uses vibration and its soft silicone ‘bristles’ to gently shift dirt, oil and makeup off your face in just a minute. The bristles really work the cleanser into your skin by vibrating with sonic pulses that more or less bounce the dirt out of your pores. This gives you a really thorough, deep cleanse and also means that any products you use afterwards will be better absorbed.

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ASK ALICE

Alice answers your question. Want to ask Alice a question? Pop it in here and check back in a few days for the answer.


Is the dermaflex pro worth the money?

Yes, if you know that you will find the time to use it. Take a look at the videos here to show what it did for me (and I still love it just as much as I did during lockdown).

Hi Alice, I bought the Dermalux Flex MD LED Light Therapy Device after watching your video of recommendation. Which serum do you think is best to use after the treatment please?

Do the treatment with a clean, dry face – and afterwards, use any serum that you like. During the day I'll go for a vitamin C serum, a hydrating serum, moisturiser and sunscreen, and in the evening, a retinoid then moisturiser.

Hi Alice, how much electricity does the Dermalux Flex use in a 20-minute session?

The cost of running the Dermalux Flex for a half-hour session is about 10p, says Dermalux, so a 20-minute session would be slightly less.

Can you use the Dermalux Flex after nose to mouth fillers?

Yes absolutely - your practitioner will suggest that you wait for two weeks after treatment, as that is the standard recommendation.

Can you use the Dermalux Flex if you have had a BCC removed from the face, and will it improve other sun damage?

Yes you can (I checked with Dermalux) and it will help with the healing. And yes, it will also help with other sun damage on your face.

Can I use the Dermalux Flex every day on my face?

In a word: yes. The benefits of LED treatment are cumulative, so the more you do it, the more benefit you derive.

My Nuface Trinity start button failed at 13 months. What other product will give the same results?

Nnngh, is that just when the guarantee ran out? That's bad luck, my original Trinity lasted for years and years until I dropped it onto a tiled bathroom floor. I'd suggest replacing it with the NuFace Mini which delivers the same power as the Trinity (unless you are fond of the different attachments you can use with the Trinity). The FaceGym Pro does the same job but it is much more expensive.

Hi Alice, I'm really interested in the Dermalux Flex. It's a lot of money but reading your review has convinced me even more. I have other tweakments and am saving up for a lateral brow lift as well as a neck lift maybe when I turn 50, but not quite...

Hello, yes it's a lot of money but yes in my view it is totally worth the investment. It's a medically certified treatment, it works and the device is robust and will last for a long time.

Hi. Do you still use the Dermalux Flex? Do you recommend it? I am considering buying one but am wondering if it is worth the investment.

Yes, it's fab, yes I recommend it and yes I'm using it – I lent it to Georgia (TTG editor) earlier in the year but have now nicked it back and I'm not the only one in the family who uses it!

Hi Alice, I’m thinking of buying the Dr Harris Sleep Mask... more for actual sleeping than wrinkles! What do you think? Also, the Lyma laser? Worth the hype/ cost... actual results? Thank you.

The Dr Harris mask, yes totally, I am totally hooked on it and wear it every single night (for it's calming benefits, rather than wrinkle-relaxing). Lyma, no. I have tried it but I'm not a fan – I used it every night for months on end in spring 2021 (on one side of one wrinkle on my neck, and on the knuckles of my left hand, as advised by the brand founder), without getting any results. My laser-manufacturer acquaintances laugh at it when I ask them what they think of its supposed powers of rejuvenation. Why? 'Look, this isn't competition to us,' said one. 'Laser?' laughed another. 'That's more of a laser pointer.' It is not a...

I’m interested in buying a red light therapy kit for home use but don’t know where to start. Have you reviewed any or have any recommendations? Much thanks, Anya.

Hi Anya, the one I love is the Dermalux Flex because – as you can see from the video on the page – it worked wonders for my skin during lockdown. Unlike the cheaper portable-mask type of LED devices, this is medical-grade LED, i.e. the device is medically certified for treating specific skin conditions, which puts it into a different league to the cheaper devices. The other brand of home-use LED to look at is Celluma, which is also medically certified and one of the originators in this field.

I’m using the NuFace Trinity regularly but am due to have Profhilo and possibly some fillers next week. How long before I can use the NuFace again? I imagine that I do need to have a break from it?

Hi, yes, your practitioner should advise you that you should leave off using the NuFace for a couple of weeks after any procedure, including Profhilo.

Hi Alice, do you have an opinion on the Nira laser please?

No, I don't know the Nira so can't recommend it. I see it has a 60-day money-back guarantee on it so I guess if you use it consistently and don't see results with it, your money is fairly safe.

I don’t like going to salons for treatments, is it worth investing in the Cellreturn Platinum Mask?

It's the lovely Liz Earle's daughter who has brought the Cellreturn mask into the UK, and Liz tells me it's very good. If you're considering spending that kind of money on an LED mask though, we love the Dermalux Flex – it’s 3 times more powerful than any other portable LED device and has been proven to make real improvements to all manner of skin concerns. Read more about it at that link, and there are also a couple of videos.

I was wondering if you offer advice on cellulite treatments for a slim fitness addict in her 40s!

We’ll have info on cellulite tweakments on the site soon but for the time being, the one treatment I've found that consistently makes the most difference to the appearance of my cellulite is the Body Ballancer which is a lymphatic drainage treatment that can be done in a salon or clinic, or if you have the budget you can buy the device for home use. There are videos on that link with more information about it.

I have noticed I have uneven eyes when I laugh/ smile in photographs. Is there anything non-invasive I can do to fix this?

Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. You could try a home-use device like the NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device. Alice has personally found it to give a great (albeit temporary) lifting effect to the facial muscles, and it’s safe and small enough for use around the eyes and on the brow bone. It uses low-level electrical microcurrent, and with continued use it may start to ‘retrain’ those muscles to hold a more permanent lift. If you did at some point decide to go down the tweakments route, I had some toxin carefully placed to ‘lift’ one of my eyes (one of my brows sits slightly lower than the other and I have more hooding on that eyelid)...

Can you test the Lyma supplement and at-home laser please?

I have tried the Lyma 'laser' but I'm not a fan – I used it every night for months on end in spring 2021 (on one side of one wrinkle on my neck, and on the knuckles of my left hand, as advised by the brand founder), without getting any results. My laser-manufacturer acquaintances laugh at it when I ask them what they think of its supposed powers of rejuvenation. Why? 'Look, this isn't competition to us,' said one. 'Laser?' laughed another. 'That's more of a laser pointer.' It is not a medical-grade phototherapy device. The Lyma makes enormous claims, claiming the sort of results that it normally takes several rounds of in-clinic...

Can you recommend the best home device for wrinkles and texture for smoothing the skin on the face, please?

Hiya, TTG editor Georgia here. There aren't really any devices as such for treating texture at home. Aside from DIY microneedling with a roller – which Alice and I rarely advise – your best bet will be a home peel and active skincare, something with smoothing AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) to regulate textural issues. This will also help address wrinkles at the same time, as will a retinol product – which you should absolutely be using in your daily routine. If you did want to invest in a device for your wrinkles alone, you could try the NuFace Line Fix Smoothing Device, which is particularly good around the eyes and mouth, but it's not...

What do you think about Orlaya Skin DermaDeep RF? Is it effective in comparison with other RF devices? On the other hand, I'd like your opinion about Oxyjet Go and if it is OK to use with my own serums. Thank you in advance!

I think the Orlaya Dermadeep looks fab, and practitioners speak well of it (unusual for a home-use device!) as it's strong enough to be effective. I don't know the home-use Oxyjet device but the in-clinic version is a nice, gentle skin-rejuvenation treatment. Re using your own serums, it might work ok with your own water-based serums, though if the brand has a product which is specially formulated to enhance the results of its device, I reckon it's worth using to see what results you get, before downgrading to another product that may or may not do the job.

I was going to buy a Current Body LED face and neck mask. Is it worth the money? My skin looks good but I have a crepey neck and jowls. Thanks for your help.

I know a lot of people enjoy using these masks but I really don't think they're strong enough to make a noticeable difference to crepey skin – you need a clinic-strength LED light for that. You'd be better off with a skin-reconditioning treatment like injectable moisturisers, or in-clinic LED light sessions.

Hi Alice. I get RF facials done and I also had HIFU last September. I just had another round of HIFU done. What I want to ask is, I bought the Sensica Sensilift RF handheld tool mini version – has this had good results?

Hi the Sensica ought to give results if you use it enough, but as with all home-use devices you will need to be very consistent with it, follow the instructions to the letter and use it as much as they tell you to, in order for it to get a chance to work like it's meant to.

Hi Alice. I’m interested to know how the home RF devices compare to salon-strength devices. I have a NEWA Beauty RF device but don’t appear to be getting any results. Am I wasting my time? Or, more worryingly, damaging my skin?

How devices compare to clinic/ salon equipment rather depends on the device in question. The NEWA is not very powerful but it ought to give some results if you use it enough (don't worry, you won't be damaging your skin). The home-RF device that I'm most curious about at the moment is the Orlaya Dermadeep Pro, as that is many times more powerful than the NEA/ Tripollar/ Sensica home-use RF devices, so that is very likely to give results.

I am looking for a device to tighten and lift my skin for my face and body. I have Profhilo, toxin and fillers and was wondering which of the following would work best for me: Lyma, Wellbox or Dermalux Flex? Does the Dermalux tighten and lift? I am...

I hate to say it but none of those will give you noticeable lift and tightening. The Lyma is highly unlikely to achieve anything, it doesn't have the power. I don't know the Wellbox. I love the Dermalux – it's a medically-certified device – and while this will help a lot with the condition of your skin, helping it regenerate from the inside and become stronger and better hydrated, reducing redness and helping pigmentation a little, your skin will look younger and smoother, but it doesn't make any claims for tightening and lifting. In-clinic treatment with something like radiofrequency microneedling is a better bet – find a great...

I have had cataract surgery done recently. Is it safe to do radiofrequency treatments after two weeks following surgery? Is it safe to use Nuface device and red LED mask following eye surgery ?

I would double check all these things with the surgeon who did your cataract surgery and follow their advice on that and wait until the healing is complete.

Hi Alice, I have been using Carita My CLE facial device which is a microcurrent plus LED device. I understood I should not use this on toxins-treated areas which makes sense as this would work against the effect of toxins. But what about after...

Hi, oddly enough, microcurrent devices work really well on faces treated with toxin - because the microcurrent helps keep muscle tone in the muscles while they aren't being worked by the usual facial expressions (toxin doesn't do anything to the muscles; it disables the neurotransmitters that send messages to the muscles to contract. So, microcurrent is not directly counteracting the treatment). All the device manufacturers suggest you wait for two weeks before using microcurrent after toxin injections, and the same after filler injections (after two weeks, the filler will be properly settled).

Hi Alice. Is it worth investing in NuFACE as I've seen mixed reviews. I’m 50 with deep wrinkles above lip - do you think microneedling, fractional laser or biorevitalisation?

Hi, yes the NuFACE is a great device, as long as you commit to using it enough. It helps to tone the muscles in the skin and improve circulation but it won't give you a facelift, nor will it get rid of deep upper lip lines. For those, I would suggest having a read of my factsheet all about barcode lip lines – which you can download on the associated tweakments page here. Recently, I have seen good results from both Belotero Revive (which is a type of injectable moisturiser) and the Halo laser. The deeper your practitioner is prepared to go with a laser like this, the better the improvements that you can see, but there's a period of...

Buying from your website post-Brexit – I live in France... will I be charged import taxes?

There's always a chance you'll be charged import taxes but we can't say for certain either way. Please email us at [email protected] with details of what you'd like to order and your address, and we will give you a shipping quote which will include any extra costs/ taxes we are informed about.

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