By Autumn Henry
One question I am repeatedly asked is, “Do I need a _____?” Insert any number of skincare devices, tools, toys, etc. My simple answer is often “No” unless you are devoted to a multi-step skincare ritual, regularly sanitize your contraptions, and have ample storage room for all your skin gadgets. Most consumers I know who get excited about the latest greatest facial apparatus, will purchase and use their new prized possession for a few weeks and then inevitably get bored with it or “put it away” forever -- regardless of whether they truly love the device or not. Even I, a professional product junkie, do this with the few face gizmos I own.
I am not anti-appliance, but I feel obligated to educate my clients and manage expectations as if I were talking to my BFF. I want to have as little blame in buyers’ remorse as possible and most importantly, I want people to see results while enjoying their routine. Enjoying a routine means that folks will actually maintain and improve their results and the cycle will continue.
That being said, here are a few of my top picks for facial tools for my fellow product junkies:
Beyond a basic skincare ritual (cleansing, nourishing, protecting) I recommend using a silicone cleansing brush like the Foreo. It’s easier to sanitize between uses compared to the ever-popular Clarisonic bristled brushes. I also find the silicone to be much gentler on my mild rosacea while still allowing me the occasional deep clean in the nooks and crannies of my face. I love the added bonus of vibration which aids in lymphatic drainage -- use outward and downward strokes at the end of a cleanse to give the lymph a final exit.
LED light therapy, usually red or blue, can be difficult for people to understand and trust because it is a completely non-invasive treatment. However, there’s a reason it continues to grow in popularity for home use -- it produces real results and quickly. I mostly use my red light which sends the skin into “youth” mode regarding collagen and elastin production. The light wave dramatically energizes the dermis layer promoting skin that not only looks, but actually is healthier. Blue light works wonders to treat and prevent breakouts by controlling the anaerobic bacteria under the surface of the skin. Both lights are also very anti-inflammatory. I went the affordable route and own the Pulsaderm model but if I were to spring for another option, I would purchase a CellumaPro for its versatility in treating other body parts.
Lately, I’ve been bombarded with questions regarding skin rolling stones made of jade, rose quartz, or some other stone. My take on this trend is that, firstly, the devices are pretty and elegant-looking, making them special. Secondly, they’re often made with semi-precious stones which are mystical, “clean beauty” centered, and literally cool. The act of rolling a cold stone across your face means elongating the time spent on your routine which counts for something. It cools the skin thereby soothing inflammation. Directions for use typically indicate a pattern that follows the natural lymphatic drainage system in an effort to detox and depuff the face -- a traditional Chinese technique called gua sha. I do recommend having a facialist drag magical stones across your face before continuing your own practice as part of your home care.
Autumn Henry was born in Missouri, raised a Navy Brat and now calls Brooklyn home. Her career in esthetics was born out of a desire to perform humane Brazilian Waxing but quickly graduated into a full fledged career that focuses on holistic skin care and healing of the individual. Autumn is a fierce advocate for "graceful aging" vs "anti-aging" in a culture obsessed with unrealistic beauty standards. Follow her on Instagram @missautumnhenry.