All the best skincare tech that we tested and loved (and some that we didn’t)
There’s no getting denying the uptick of at-home skincare tools on the market. Even if you’ve only spent half an hour on social media within the past year, you’ve more than likely seen an article about SolaWave and its red light and microcurrent technology or videos of celebrities including Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney raving about how much they love the brand’s skincare wands.
The skincare space has also seen brands like Therabody (yes, the massage gun company) enter the market with all-in-one devices like the TheraFace PRO that claim to rejuvenate skin.
To learn more about the technology behind these products taking over the skincare world and how they work, we spoke with New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, Carmen Castilla, M.D.(Opens in a new tab) and Erum Ilyas, M.D(Opens in a new tab)., MBE, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist, Schweiger Dermatology CEO, AmberNoon.
Is red light therapy worth it?
Red light therapy can be worth it if used consistently for a prolonged period. Dr. Castilla explains that “there is some scientific support that red light is effective if used consistently for a number of weeks. However, the device needs to emit a certain amount of energy to be effective. [One should] expect any noticeable improvement to take at least 8-12 weeks.”
Dr. Ilyas adds that “purchasing an over-the-counter device may or may not achieve the same benefits [as medical grade devices] based on the power of the device and the length of time required for use.”
Does Solawave help with acne scars or dark spots?
When discussing SolaWave, Dr. Castilla explains that “in order to be effective, a red light device needs to emit a certain amount of energy to deliver an adequate red light dose to make a biological impact on the skin. This is not a cumulative dose spaced over several sessions, but the dose required per session. The lower the power emitted, the longer you have to be exposed to the light to receive an adequate dose.”
As a low-energy device, the SolaWave likely won’t be as effective as an in-office medical treatment. Dr. Castilla mentions that the SolaWave wand is likely to see the best results when used as a maintenance tool after an in-office treatment by a board-certified dermatologist.
Does microcurrent tighten skin?
Within medical studies(Opens in a new tab), there have been “benefits noted in wound healing studies [such as the] stimulation of fibroblasts [and] the collagen-producing cells of the skin,” says Dr. Ilyas. “In this way, this technology may have the benefit to tighten skin.” While Dr. Ilyas was unable to locate studies(Opens in a new tab) evaluating the ability of at-home devices to tighten skin specifically, medical studies offer a glimpse into microcurrent’s potential benefits.
Dr. Castilla adds that “you can think of microcurrent as the opposite of neurotoxin (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, Jeuveau) which are aiming to relax muscles to smooth out fine lines.”
Whether you’re looking for a skincare wand with red light therapy or personalized products sent to your home every few months, we’ve got you covered. Continue reading for the best skincare technology of 2023.
How we tested
We hands-on tested each of the skincare tech tools in this list. Many were chosen because of their social media hype — we wanted to see if they actually lived up to all their praise.
Some factors we considered while testing were:
Best bang for the buck: We compared gadgets at various price points to see if we thought they delivered on the value considering the included accessories and how much our reviewers’ skin improved throughout their time testing each product.
Comfort: Let’s be real, skincare tools may not always be the most comfortable for everyday use. We tested to see how comfortable the products were when using with regard to temperature, intensity, vibrations, and the overall feeling when on the skin and after using.
Ease of use: Skincare tools can feel daunting because, well, it’s your skin we’re dealing with here, and we want to make sure no unnecessary damage is caused. We tested a variety of skincare technology tools from facial wands with red light therapy to LED masks to see how easy or difficult the instructions were to understand and follow as well as how user-friendly the products were.
You’ll notice that this roundup is made up of reviews previously published on Mashable. If you want to learn more about any of the products that have been previously featured on our site, click on the review link in the product cards to head to the full write-up.