THE IN-TRAY

Everything you’ve been wanting to know about skincare devices but haven’t asked

As you continue to invest in and future-proof your skin, it’s likely you’ll go beyond creams, serums and the like, and begin to explore the world of devices. Rollers, LED masks, cleansing tools and microcurrent-powered toners are an unfamiliar territory for many of us, but try them once and they’ll revolutionise your skincare routine forever (seriously, MECCA HQ are hooked).

To clear up any questions or concerns that might be stopping you from investing in a device—or from using the devices you already own more confidently—we reached out to the MECCA Chit Chat Facebook group with the opportunity to get their questions answered by our resident skin genius and skincare education manager, Lucy Shaw. Here’s everything you need to know.

ROSE QUARTZ ROLLERS

What are the most common noticed improvements from using a rose quartz roller?

“Thanks to its cooling nature,” says Shaw, “rose quartz rollers will help to de-puff while calming redness and inflammation,” making them the perfect device if you’re the type to wake up with puffy, fluid-retaining skin after a big day (or a big night). Quartz rollers also aid in the draining of the lymphatic system of the face, which increases the flow of lymph (a clear, slightly yellow fluid that transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells, collecting toxins along the away), and decreases the toxins present in your face, which can cause breakouts, blotches and swelling.

WATCH MORE: How to use a rose quartz facial roller to drain the lymphatic system

LED LIGHT

How do LED masks work to improve skin? Are they really worth it?

We’re true LED fanatics at MECCA and consider it to be a crucial ingredient in our skincare routines—just as we do hyaluronic, retinol and niacinamide. For many of us at MECCA HQ, using LED masks in-between Zoom meetings has been a huge work-from-home perk. As for the treatment’s efficacy, it’s proven: “red LED light is clinically proven to stimulate collagen production and reduce inflammation,” says Shaw, adding that blue LED light works to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Take Dr. Dennis Gross’ DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro, for example: it has a combination of 100 red lights and 62 blue, which penetrate deep within the skin’s dermis to effectively reduce the visible signs of ageing (like wrinkles and discolouration) thanks to an increase in collagen, while treating current and preventing future acneic breakouts.

“For best results,” the skincare education manager advises, “LED needs to be a treatment that you use frequently to maintain results.” It’s the reason Shaw prefers at-home LED treatments over those in a salon or clinic; “they can be used daily as a part of your skincare routine.”

READ MORE: Space-age skin care

I have the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro—am I better off alternating the red and blue lights on different nights, or should I use both lights together? Does it make any difference?

According to Shaw “there is no benefit to using the different lights separately,” explaining that each colour is a different wavelength and therefore works its magic on different parts (or layers) of the skin’s surface. If you’re wanting the benefits of both, she says, “use them together to save yourself time!”

Where would an LED mask go in my routine? Are there any products we can use with it to enhance its effect? And then how long and how often do we use the mask?

There’s a fine art in incorporating a device into your routine, and Shaw has it down to an exact (and most effective) science: “cleanse and peel,” she says, “then device, then the rest of your skincare.” As our skincare guru says, “LED needs to be used on clean skin to ensure that the light is not blocked or reflected by anything.” A peel/exfoliator will ensure lingering dead skin cells don’t dilute the effects of your LED treatment. Then, by increasing circulation and warming up the skin thanks to your LED device, “your serums and moisturiser will absorb better.”

As for how long or how much to use an LED mask—make sure to follow the directions supplied by the brand (Shaw suggests three minutes per day if you’re using the aforementioned Dr. Dennis Gross mask, and three minutes per target area, per day if you’re using the NuFace Trinity Wrinkle Reducer Attachment).

READ MORE: The MECCA guide to peels: what they are and how to choose the right one for you

SONIC CLEANSERS/FOREO

How does a sonic face cleaner work, and how often should you use it to see results?

Your mum likely said it when you were coming into your teens, and according to Shaw, the sentiment sticks; “cleansing is the most important part of any skincare routine—this is what will prep your skin for skincare to be applied, plus, it’s really important to remove pollution, SPF and longwearing makeup at the end of the day.” Rather than just cleansing the very top layer of our skin, a sonic device like that of Foreo’s uses vibrations to really clear out those pores, and shake away the dirt and residue you’d often miss (or require a second or third cleanse to reach).

“Consistency is key,” guides Shaw. “Use the device daily, when you are cleansing skin, ideally for one minute—your skin should immediately feel smoother and look clearer, and if you continue to use it regularly the results will stick around.”

You might experience some slight purging when you first begin to use a sonic cleansing device as it deeply clears your skin, excavating and lifting up the sebum resting deep in your pores, but rest assured, you can expect smooth, clear skin from then onwards.

What skin types would you recommend them for?

“All skin needs thorough cleansing, regardless of your skin type,” says Shaw. But if you are weary of extra-sensitive skin or feel that a standard-powered device might not be strong enough for you, our resident skin guru suggests the Foreo Luna 3. “It has different options for combination, normal and sensitive skin types, and you can also tailor your cleanse according to your individual skin needs by inputting your preferences into the Foreo App.”

MICRONEEDLING/DERMA ROLLER

Is it better to apply skincare immediately after using a derma roller, or should I wait a while before applying products? Will a roller affect the absorbency of products used after it?

“Any products that you apply after derma rolling will be absorbed better,” advises Shaw. “The rollers create small micro-channels in your skin… it’s like putting your skincare on a freeway!”

In saying that, don’t go gung-ho on the actives—derma rollers promote healing and regeneration (they’re incredible for fading stubborn acne scarring!), so it’s important that any adjacent skincare has the same end goal. As Shaw says, “keep it simple.” “Don’t go for something super active as your skin will be actively healing and regenerating after using the roller, focus on hydration, antioxidants and products that will help reinforce your skin barrier.”

There aren’t enough days in the week to get through everything while keeping my skin calm! How regularly should I be using a device (like a derma roller)?

“It really just depends,” says Shaw. And while that might not be the exact answer you’re after, it’s the truth. “LED is great for daily use, microcurrent is also suitable for daily use, but a derma roller I would recommend using once or twice a week, as you don’t want to overdo it and risk irritating or causing unnecessary stress to the skin.” Personally, Shaw finds that it actually takes a few days for her skin to kick start its renewal process after a roll. ‘If I want to look good for the weekend, I’ll use the roller on Wednesday to allow for this.”

To find your perfect device, “find the device that first and foremost targets your skin priorities, and secondly, fits in with your routine and lifestyle—this will vary for everyone.”

READ MORE: The road-test: NuFace Trinity

GENERAL DEVICE QUESTIONS

What’s a good entry point for devices that is generally anti-ageing and quite versatile?

Shaw recommends LED for anyone and everyone, as it targets a wide range of skin concerns—anti-ageing, acne, inflammation, and redness included.

What device would you recommend for specific ages?

There’s no fine science to this as it really does depend on your skin type and your desired outcome—you don’t necessarily graduate from one type of device, ready to move onto the next. “LED is great for all ages and concerns,” starts Shaw, “and microcurrent is particularly good for mature skin that is losing elasticity or muscle definition and tone—it’ll help to retrain lazy facial muscles.”

READ MORE: DIY facials with tech: how to pick the best beauty device for at home use

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