High-end skin care has gone DIY, thanks to a new generation of devices designed to provide salon-quality exfoliation, microdermabrasion, deep-cleansing, anti-acne treatments and hair removal at home.
Brands such as Clarisonic — considered the pioneer in at-home deep-cleansing devices — have been joined by numerous others that use everything from LED lights to low-frequency ultrasonic waves to improve skin quality and lengthen the time between salon treatments.
"There has definitely been an increase … in sales" of these devices, said Shawn Tavakoli, president and owner of the Beauty Collection stores.
Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi, founder of the Obagi Skin Health Institutes, suggests users steer toward appliances that focus on cleansing, be wary of devices that generate heat and be careful with sensitive skin.
The Clear Bi-Light from Michael Todd True Organics contains a system of blue and red LED lights — which are used in treatments in dermatologists' offices — configured to a specific wavelength to zap acne breakouts and prevent further eruptions. $195, michaeltoddtrueorganics.com
The recently launched Skin Perfecter by Le Mieux hits all four criteria of a full salon facial — cleansing, exfoliating, extracting and infusing — for a complexion that should look smoother and clearer in a couple of weeks. Ultrasonic waves resonate at 28,000 vibrations per second through a small metal spatula tip. The Skin Perfecter can reduce the appearance of large pores and extract blackheads. $225, skinperfecter.com
Among its newest offerings, Clarisonic has a packaged regimen called Sonic Radiance that includes the Aria Cleansing Device with a new brush head (softer filaments) and a trio of skin-care products to cleanse, brighten and exfoliate. $249 for the set (also sold separately) at clarisonic.com, Sephora and other retailers.
Touted as being 10 times more effective than cleansing skin by hand, the new Philips PureRadiance Facial Cleansing System is great for getting rid of stubborn makeup and kick-starting circulation. It comes with a choice of brush heads tailored to normal or sensitive skin, plus a separate one for exfoliation. A timer reminds the user to rotate every 20 seconds to make sure the whole face is covered. $122.99 or $149.99 depending on number of speeds. The lower-priced one is at amazon.com, the other at Bed, Bath & Beyond and philips.com.
The Skin Cleansing System by Skin Authority cannot offer the intense microdermabrasion you'd find in a medi-spa, but the Honeycomb Head of this easy-to-use system does buff away rough patches on skin and evens out texture. The unit also comes with a cleansing brush for polishing and the Conical Head sponge, which snaps on and gently circulates over foundation to make it look flawless. $59, skinauthority.com
Remington's new iLight ProPlus Quartz is based on the popular intense pulsed light technology, known as IPL, offered by many dermatologists to aid with hair removal and skin rejuvenation. It an be used almost anywhere on the body. The system uses 110-millisecond light pulses that heat the follicles, causing hair to fall out and discouraging regrowth. It's worth noting, however, that this system is not for everyone: darker skins might absorb too much light, leading to discoloration and blistering, so read the material before buying. $349.99, at Ulta and Ulta.com