The new wave of high-tech beauty gadgets promise professional standard results in the comfort of your own home. By Anjana Gosai
Spas and dermatologists have been using electrical appliances to treat all sorts of beauty concerns for decades. Recently, these professional machines have been miniaturised for home use, allowing you to treat issues from unwanted hair to acne with advanced technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LED) and lasers, in your own space. But do they deliver?
According to Dr Dan Dhunna of the Court House Clinics, these gadgets certainly have a place in the market, but they must be looked at with caution.
‘Home use machines can be useful for managing various issues like acne and skin rejuvenation, but they are less powerful than their clinic counterparts. But if you’re unwilling or unable to go to clinics or beauty salons and, as long as you have realistic expectations it's a good concept’, says Dhunna. ‘If you’re considering purchasing one, seek out an experienced clinician to talk you through correct usage.’
Here are some of the latest mini-machines that are worth considering…
1: THE HAIR ERASER
What is it? Philips Lumea Hair Removal System
Best for: Shifting unwanted hair
How does it work? This hand-held fuzz zapper uses intense pulsed light to heat up the hair root and make it inactive. As a result, hair sheds naturally and the re-growth process is inhibited. It can be used to get rid of hair all over the body. Treatment time can be lengthy - it can take up to an hour to treat one leg, plus like clinic-based laser sessions, the results are not instant. The treatment process should be repeated every two weeks for the underarm and bikini area and every four weeks for the legs.
Some lasers can cause pigmentation, so make sure your skin tone is suitable for treatment before investing.
How much? £399: www.philips.co.uk/lumea
2: THE UBER SKIN CLEANER
What is it? Nutrasonic
Best for: Facialist-standard skin cleansing
How does it work? This battery operated face brush is designed to wipe away make-up, pollution and daily grime from the skin. The device is waterproof, so it can be used in the shower. It also comes with four speed settings, so you can adjust the intensity according to the sensitivity and condition of your skin. The ‘jitter’ mode allows for the deepest cleanse and is ideal for polishing away dead skin cells, plus removing hard-to-shift residue that can be left by sunscreen and foundation.
How much? £124.95: www.nutrasonic.co.uk
3: THE PORE BUSTER
What is it? Bliss Porefector
Best for: A thorough skin clean
How does it work? This pore-purging tool generates sonic vibrations, which coupled with a toner, creates micro-jets on the skin to dislodge dirt and deep clean clogged complexions. It can also be used to drive products such as moisturisers into the skin more effectively. 100 per cent of testers felt that the device helped cleanse their pores, while an impressive 82 per cent reported less prominent pores.
How much? £125: www.blisslondon.co.uk
4: THE AT HOME FACE-LIFT
What is it? Tua Trend
Best for: Tightening the skin
How does it work? Kate Moss is rumoured to be a fan of this face-lifting gadget, which uses low voltage micro-currents to firm up lose skin on the face and neck. The hand-held gizmo comes with two electrodes, which need to be soaked in water to conduct the electrical pulses. When the machine is switched on, the muscles begin to contract, which increases blood circulation leading to tauter and more radiant skin. It also promises other benefits such as a reduction in wrinkles, eye bags and double chins. One treatment takes thirty minutes and results are visible after three months.
How much? £209: www.tuatrendface.com
5: THE FAT MELTER
What is it? Evita Slimsonic
Best for: Stubborn pockets of fat
How does it work? This mini-machine is designed to reduce flab, cellulite and stretch marks. It employs a combination of technologies, including ultrasound to break down fat cells, electrical muscle stimulation to speed up lymphatic drainage and tissue repair heat therapy to revitalise the skin. Using it for just ten minutes a day, should lead to visible results within two weeks. But don’t expect it to work on large areas of fat, such as that found around the thighs and bottom. This gizmo will only work on smaller pouches of fat, like love handles, pot bellies and bingo wings.
How much? £270: www.slimsonic.co.uk
6: THE ZIT ZAPPER
What is it? Lumie Clear
Best for: Clearing mild acne
How does it work? This spot clearing gadget uses blue LED light, which penetrates the skin to attack acne-causing bacteria and to make the complexion more resistant to breakouts. It also uses red light to stimulate healthy tissue growth. Lumie Clear can be used as a handheld device or for a hands-free treatment; you can attach the machine to the base unit.
Testers have reported a 75 per cent reduction in acne after using the machine for 15 minutes a day, for 12 weeks.
How much? £149: www.lumie.com
7: THE WRINKLE BUSTER
What is it? Tanda Anti-Ageing Light Therapy Treatment
Best for: Treating early signs of ageing
How does it work? This hand-held machine uses LED light in the exact frequency employed by clinic-based treatments. The head of the device is fitted with tiny bulbs, which emit a red light that works to reduce lines, boost collagen production and smooth the skin in as little as two weeks. It takes around 15 minutes to treat the face and it is easy to use, thanks to a built-in timer, which beeps every 30 seconds signaling you to move the device to the next area.
During clinical trials, 88 per cent of users saw an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after using the gizmo for 30 days.
How much? £225: www.harveynichols.com