Lasers. LED lights. Sonic vibrations. The at-home beauty world has gone decidedly high tech. New tools and devices are coming out seemingly every day, promising smoother, cleaner, firmer, brighter skin, and using techniques previously only available at a dermatologist’s office. Some of them, no wonder, cost a small fortune.
Derms are wary of many off-the-shelf products promising clinical-level results. “We live in that world based on technology and devices, which has now spilled over to our skin-care,” Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai, tells SELF. “I warn my patients not to be too influenced by the promise of high-tech devices that may not deliver the results you may be expecting based on what you pay for them.”
But there are some beauty devices that even the skin experts believe are worth a try—and worth the cost. We asked five dermatologists which at-home skin-care tools really work. These are the ones they stand behind.
Facial Cleansing Brushes
Hair Removal Laser
This hair removal tool uses the same laser technology as dermatologists do in-office to target the hair follicle and stop (or seriously diminish) hair growth. Truth: $400 is a lot to drop on a beauty device (or most things for that matter!). But that’s about how much a single laser hair removal session might cost you, and you’ll typically need three to eight depending on the size of the area you’re treating, so the value is there.
That being said, the results probably won’t be as good or as fast as getting a professional treatment (according to the website, you use it every two weeks until you start seeing the results you want). “I have had patients that have used it with good results,” says Dr. Jaliman. “However, you will not get the same results from a laser hair removal treatment done at a doctor's office or medical spa.”
Dr. Schlessinger believes this tool complements in-office hair removal treatments. “It’s a great touch-up or maintenance hair removal device to have at home after completing a hair removal laser treatment regimen at your dermatologist’s office,” he says. “It’s effective at permanently reducing light brown to dark hair types, plus it’s safe to use on the face.”
Dr. Green points out that it’s only approved for light skin colors and darker hair. It’s not for use on dark skin, and white, blonde, red or grey hair will not absorb enough energy to disable the hair follicle.