You’ve likely seen the variety of home-use skin devices featured on the shopping networks and on the internet. They promise amazing, anti-aging, face-lifting, skin resurfacing and skin tightening results. Maybe you were intrigued and wondered what they’re about. I thought I’d share a little information with you about the different types of devices available so you can decide for yourself if you would like to buy one.
I. Passive and Non-Passive Facial Exercisers
There are several facial exercise devices available that fit into the passive – does most of the work for you; and non-passive – you have to participate in the use of the device.
Non-Passive: Two of the most popular devices are actually quite similar, Facial Flex, and Flex-a-way. Although of different design, they both consist of a flexible mouthpiece using special rubber bands that allow flexion of its two sides. You insert the mouthpiece between your lips and perform 2 minutes of flexing the mouthpiece by closing and opening your mouth. This movement works the muscles of your cheeks, chin, neck, and around your mouth mostly.
Its clinical research states a 70% improvement in the tone of the face, chin and neck and a 10% increase in facial blood flow. It has many satisfied users with pleasing before and after photo results. The Flex-a-way device has a bigger, somewhat awkward mouthpiece to insert and hold in place. It does require a little learning curve to master. Yet, once correctly in place, this facial muscle flexor can be seen working on the muscles above the cheeks as well – including eye, eyebrow and forehead muscles. It promises a total face-lifting effect with before and after pictures that do show facial lifting. It too has many satisfied customers. Both cost about $50.
Passive: There are several of these devices out on the shopping networks – the most well-known is actress, health and fitness researcher/writer, Suzanne Somers Face-Master. Touted as a “facelift in a box”, this device works on a microcurrent delivered from a rechargeable battery. It has two wands – one that you hold stationery to one part of your face; the other wand delivers the muscle stimulating microcurrent as you move it around your face to strategic points. The current actually causes the muscle to contract.
It promises to stimulate collagen production in skin increasing its volume, banish puffy eye bags and hollows beneath eyes, lift sunken cheeks and eyebrows, improve nasolabial lines that run from nose to mouth, for a more youthful, rested look. The newest version, Facemaster Platinum, costs about $230 and shows impressive before and after photos and many satisfied users on its website. There are also several other popular devices in this microcurrent category that some users claim work better with more ease of use – some for less money, some for more. Several of these have also have been favorably reviewed on Rachel Ray and NBC News as well as by customer testimonials on their websites. They include Derma-Wand, Tua Viso, NICO, and NuFace Trinity. They promise re-oxygenation of the skin, stimulation of collagen, tightening and lifting of the facial skin, pore shrinkage and a more youthful look, priced from $200-400.
TriPollar is another brand of at home radiofrequency device that promises similar results as its larger, professional model used in salons around the world. It has two versions, the STOP, for the face and neck, and the POSE for the body. The STOP promises to stimulate collagen, tighten skin, and reduce facial wrinkles. The POSE can be used everywhere but the face and promises to shrink fat deposits and significantly improve cellulite. The STOP is about $342 and the POSE is about $490. Most of these devices work on a rechargeable battery but the Dermawand and Tripollar are electrical.
II. At-Home Dermabrasion Devices
At-home dermabrasion devices promise in-office dermatology, medical esthetic results, for much less money. They include NuBrilliance, which has a diamond-tip wand that claims to exfoliate the top, dead layer of skin cells. It also has a suction feature which lifts and stimulates the skin promoting collagen and elastin. Before and after photos on their site show reduction of facial lines around the mouth and eyes as well as a brighter, more youthful effect. Costs about $230. Another similar device, Crystalift, uses encapsulated fine-ground crystals within its suction wand to dermabrade the skin. NBC, Newsweek, and E have favorably reviewed it as well as the Tyra Banks show. It promises to diminish fine lines, soften deeper wrinkles, fade age spots, deep clean and improve skin tone for a more youthful look. Cost about $200.
III. Skin Cleansing/Exfoliation Devices
Several cosmetic manufacturers make hand-held skin cleansing devices, some that sell at cosmetics counters in retail stores and pharmacies or through private catalog. A few of these include Neutrogena, Clarisonic, L’Oreal, Mary Kay, et al. Well-known actress Susan Lucci’s Youthful Essence also has a well-reviewed waterproof device. These are basically hand-held battery charged devices that have a variety of interchangeable brushes, massage tip, or cream-applicator tips, that deep clean, massage, and stimulate the skin.
They do a lighter exfoliation than the microdermabrasion units listed in Section II, and can be used daily, or every other day. They promise clearer, brighter skin,diminished fine lines caused by dry, dead, skin buildup, fading of age spots and reduction of superficial scars and sun damage. These devices have many satisfied customers but there have been some complaints that, if used too vigorously, too-often, these cleansers can result in inflamed and damaged skin. The brushes need to be kept very clean as well, to avoid pushing bacteria into the skin. Most of these range in the $40-50 range.
There you have a basic review of several of the more popular anti-aging skin devices that are available. Although many of these products claim to have very satisfied customers and impressive photos on their websites, results may differ on your skin or in your facial muscle tone. Do a little research before buying. Keep in mind that information on websites and infomercials are designed to sell the product and may have biased testimonials. You can, though, generally find unbiased customer reviews of many of these products on individual internet review boards. Above all else, keep your skin clean, well-nourished and healthy!
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Natural Health News
Facial Flex, http://www.facialflex.com/product.php?id=22
NuFace Trinity, http://www.mynuface.com/whynuface.aspx
photo credit: faceliftcream999.com