“I feel like a lot of these home devices are misleading the consumer.”
I spent a lot of money in the name of beauty. As many. I’m always looking for the next best gadget, treatment, product or technology. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. But unfortunately for my bank account, not everything gave the promised results.
TLDR; I have wasted a lot of money in the name of beauty. I have tried microneedling, radio frequency needling, gua sha, jade rollers, every face mask under the sun, every hair mask under the sun, hair and skin vitamins, botox, brow lamination, lash lift – I digress, but the list goes on.
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After much trial and tribulation, I was curious to know exactly which treatments aren’t worth your hard-earned dollar (and sadly, there are plenty). I turned to Dr Shyamalar (Shammi) Gunatheesanfounding dermatologist at ODE Dermatologyfor a professional overview. Here’s the scoop that tech and tools believe Dr. Shammi on do not do living up to their hype.
Microneedling derma rollers
These hand-held devices cost $59.95 a piece in Makkah, among other beauty stores. They are advertised to promote healing and improve the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines, pores and acne scars. But with his 540 titanium needles just 0.3mm deep, Dr Shammi disagrees.
“It’s not going to penetrate your skin properly because the top layer of our skin is quite impenetrable and has a natural barrier,” she tells me. “So unless it has a good 1.5mm depth that gives you precise bleeding, it’s not worth it. The real benefit of a microneedling device you can get from La Mecca is probably overrated. Will it hurt you? Probably not, unless you’re too aggressive with it.
LED face masks
These home devices use a combination of red and blue LED lights and are said to fight acne, reduce wrinkles and help with discoloration. But they can get pretty sexy, like the Dr Dennis Gross Spectralite Faceware Pro, which costs $649 – ouch. But is it worth the price?
“I’m a little uh and ah about these because I think if you’re consistent it has value. it has this gradual buildup of red light on your face that should help with collagen or reduce acne scarring,” says Dr. Shammi.
“But it really needs twice a day treatment, so consistency is key. I think a lot of people buy it and use it once a month, that’s when you’re better off train and make a much more powerful version every month.
“If you spend that much money on a home device and end up using it once a month, it won’t give you the same effect. But if you regularly use it twice a day, it has a beneficial effect.
Although they’re pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things, Dr. Shammi thinks these popular exfoliating tools do more damage than good. “I think [they’re] a total waste of time. They may give you that initial feeling of squeaky clean, but they damage your skin barrier in the long run because they’re too harsh.
These handheld tools help deflate your face, stimulate circulation and aid lymphatic drainage. But with many priced above $150 and promoting anti-aging properties, they can be misleading.
“You can’t say it’s going to stop aging or plump up collagen,” Dr. Shammi tells me. “I feel like a lot of these home appliances are misleading the consumer.
“It’s not the end of the world if you pay $25 for a jade roller, but you can’t tell people it’s going to anti-age your face. Yeah, I think it might help you look better because you get that lymphatic drainage and you get better circulation momentarily. But you can’t claim that it will produce collagen.
This professional skin tightening treatment involves a device that produces plasma and smoke to heat the dermis layer of the skin, which then peels off to form new skin and collagen. It is basically a non-surgical method for eye lifting, tightening loose skin and more.
But with treatments starting at $400, it might not be worth your pennies. “With the money and the downtime, it’s not worth it,” says Dr. Shammi.
“The redness that lingers and the lines and dots that appear on your skin…a lot of beauticians love it but it’s terrible. There’s so much fake hype about it. I’ve seen a lot of bad cases in the industry where people could have dealt with the same issues without too much pain and downtime.
Radio frequency needling
This form of microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that uses tiny needles and radio frequency waves to plump the skin and improve the appearance of acne scars and wrinkles. “Personally, I think radiofrequency microneedling devices are very harsh,” Dr. Shammi tells me.
“I think you can do a lot more without affecting the skin barrier too much. It’s very popular with acne scars, but it’s very painful. There are more advanced laser technologies and shapes that don’t require as much downtime. I think anyone who has to commit to five or six laser sessions, in today’s tech world…that’s overselling.
To learn more about the best skincare devices, try this.