FEMAIL tries the latest at home facial gadgets


Many Britons have embraced a new beauty regime during lockdown, with salons across the country having been closed for months on end.

Even though many are now open as restrictions continue to ease, the convenience and cost effectiveness of being able to do certain rituals from the comfort of your own home makes it an appealing option.

If you fancy broadening out your skin routine from the odd face mask, there are dozens of gadgets on the market which offer luxury spa style facial treatments.

From an at-home laser that helps combat acne to a clinical grade exfoliation device which claims to leave skin instantly smoother, the variety is vast – though some will set you back thousands of pounds.

Here FEMAIL reviews a selection of the hottest facial gadgets that claim to offer salon-quality results. Time to treat your face to a spot of pampering…

PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro £269

What is it? The PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro is an at-home anti-ageing exfoliation device, which buffs away dead skin cells and increases collagen production. 

The PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro is an at-home anti-ageing exfoliation device (pictured)

The cordless device features three speeds, and uses the same aluminium oxide crystals found in professional machines, which make up a flat coarse disc that has a deeply exfoliating effect on the skin. Different coloured discs suit different skin type sensitivities. 

The vacuum action of the device activates the innate skin healing mechanism that stimulates cell renewal. It’s recommended you use the device once a week, and it’s said to reduce the appearance of fine lines, light scarring and wrinkles while improving the overall skin tone, and fading uneven pigmentation and blemishes. 

Microdermabrasion also helps to reduce the formation of acne as it helps to clear out clogged pores and release trapped dirt and oil. 

The verdict: The PMD feels like a quality product (even if it looks a bit like a sex toy), and its short-but-sweet user manual made it easy to get the hang of and use – it also came charged which was a bonus. 

Hayley before using the PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro

Pictured after using the device once a week for three weeks

Using the PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro feels a bit like hoovering your face, but Hayley was impressed with the results (pictured left before and right after using the device once a week for three weeks)

After having a peak in the cap afterwards when Hayley removed it to wash it, she could see all the dead skin cells which was quite satisfying

After having a peak in the cap afterwards when Hayley removed it to wash it, she could see all the dead skin cells which was quite satisfying

As recommended I practiced on my leg first – it was a very strange sensation, it felt like I was essentially hoovering my skin. It took me a few goes to get the knack for it and perfect the angle so that I could feel the benefit.

When I moved onto my face, I was done in seconds (you don’t linger on a spot, you have to keep moving the device otherwise I expect you’ll end up with marks which resemble love bites).

I was very impressed with the results – my skin did instantly feel smoother, and after having a peak in the cap afterwards when I removed it to wash it, I could see all the dead skin cells which was quite satisfying. I also used the blackhead cap to work it around my nose – I felt I needed to up the speed a bit to get more suction. Afterwards I applied REN’s Summer Limited Edition Daily AHA Tonic (they recommend a toner – but this smells incredible) and followed with my moisturiser, and my skin was literally glowing.

Hayley graduated to using the green, more coarse discs but it didn't suit her sensitive skin and left two angry red marks

Hayley graduated to using the green, more coarse discs but it didn’t suit her sensitive skin and left two angry red marks

I started on the white ‘training’ microdermabrasion disc, and used this for the first couple of weeks before deciding to graduate to the ‘green’ disc, which is a bit more intense. This was a mistake – I clearly have quite sensitive skin, and it left me with two painful, angry-looking red lines across the top of my cheek which scabbed over and took a few days to fade. 

Overall though I was initially impressed by the product and do think it’s effective, I worry others might be tempted to do what I did and go for a disc that’s too abrasive and end up causing their skin more harm than good. Don’t be tempted to get too carried away, less is more!

Rating:

FOREO UFO 2, £249

What is it? The UFO 2 is an upgraded version of the award-winning UFO which made its debut in 2018. The ‘smart mask’ treatment offers multiple treatments; choose from eight LED light settings (from collagen-boosting red to brightening green), thermo and cryo-therapy settings, and T-sonic pulsations. It also comes with compatible face masks.

Despite its high price point, Chloe said she believes the FOERO UFO 2 is worth every penny (pictured using the product)

Despite its high price point, Chloe said she believes the FOERO UFO 2 is worth every penny (pictured using the product)

The verdict: The FOREO UFO 2 impressed from the moment I opened the product. Easy to set up, it was simply a case of securing the UFO activated mask by clipping the attachment ring into place, with the FOREO logo facing up. 

Within a matter of moments, I felt as if I’d been transported straight into a relaxing spa.

I’ve always been a fan of face masks, but the cheap ill-fitting sheet masks I’m used to provide uneven coverage and an unrelaxing experience as a result.

While the UFO2 is undeniably at the higher end of the price range at £249, it’s easy to see why – and as far as I’m concerned, it’s worth every penny.

The FOREO UFO 2 impressed Chloe from the moment she opened the product (before)

The FOREO UFO 2 impressed Chloe from the moment she opened the product (after)

The FOREO UFO 2 impressed Chloe from the moment she opened the product; pictured left before and right after

The unique combination of heat, light therapy and sonic pulses help to open the pores, allowing the nourishing ingredients of the Korean-inspired masks to penetrate deep within the skin – and what’s more is it can be targeted to suit different skin types.

If I was being super picky, it’s a shame it’s not angled or small enough to fit tight around the nose or mouth area – but the positives far outweigh the negatives – or the single one I could think of, anyway!

I’ve been using it twice a week and my skin not only feels softer, but has never looked so glowing. The perfect addition to my skin routine – and a real game changer!

Rating:

GLED Mask, £1,063 

Worth the expensive price tag: The GLED Mask offers four different light wavelengths combined into three treatments with different aims: elasticity, skin soothing and vitality. Pictured, Steph wearing the GLED Mask

The mask

Worth the expensive price tag: The GLED Mask offers four different light wavelengths combined into three treatments with different aims: elasticity, skin soothing and vitality. Pictured, Steph wearing the GLED Mask (left) which comes on a stylish stand (right)

What is it? The futuristic GLED Mask offers four different light wavelengths combined into three treatments with different aims: elasticity, skin soothing and vitality.

It also offers a galvanic massage option which is designed to drive nutrients from a specially designed sheet mask deeper into the skin. 

The mask itself is comfortable and lightweight. There are soft rubber shields for the eyes so you can watch TV while wearing it, and the head strap is easy to adjust. 

The settings are navigated using a wireless remote control and voice prompts give information on the selected treatment, time remaining and battery life. The mask charges on a stand that plugs easily into a standard USB port. 

The verdict: Yes, it’s expensive. But ultimately the GLED Mask is worth the money for anyone serious about taking their at-home skincare regime to the next level. 

After just two weeks of using the GLED Mask, I felt like my skin was smoother, more even and my pores appeared smaller. I could only imagine that the results would be even better in time.

Only slight issue is the price and the fact that the accompanying sheet masks, needed for the galvanic massage, cost extra. The product is currently in its prototype stage. 

Rating:

BeGlow TIA MAS, £279 

After a couple of days of using the brush and the microcurrent, my skin felt brighter and smoother, and I felt each clean was thorough

Tia Mas by BeGlow, retailing at £279, promises to both cleanse and rejuvenate the skin with its vibrating brush (bottom) and its advanced microcurrent technology, which encourage the production of collagen to get rid of pesky wrinkles

Tia Mas by BeGlow, retailing at £279, promises to both cleanse and rejuvenate the skin with its vibrating brush (bottom) and its advanced microcurrent technology, which encourage the production of collagen to get rid of pesky wrinkles

What is it? This easy-to-use item from BeGlow promises to deeply cleanse and tone the skin. It aims to smooth and soothe, reduce fine lines and correct imperfections. 

One end is a facial brush that vibrates in order to get rid of dead skin and impurities, leaving the skin smooth and fresh. The vibration adapts to the head, in order to avoid irritation of certain areas.  

The other is a microcurrent technology which sends high intensity energy to the deepest layer of the skin in order to encourage the skin’s collagen production and rejuvenate it.  

The energy shots are concentrated in a point of convergence which is directly in contact with the skin. 

There are three possibly levels of intensity of microcurrent, so you can decide how deep you want to go. 

The device needs to be charged before it can be used, but reaches a full charge in one to two hours.  

The verdict: Overall, this is best-suited for people who are looking to go the extra mile when it comes to taking care of their skin, and who are committed to a long-term new skin ritual.  

I felt the vibrating cleansing brush was very satisfying. It got to all areas of my face and it did feel like I was cleaning my skin thoroughly, without irritating it. 

After using the brush for the first time, I felt fresh and ready to start the day. It was easy to use with a little bit of my usual cleansers. 

Now, the microcurrent side was another story. Having never used such technology, I was a bit oblivious to the fact I would be feeling a sort of electric shock on my face the first time I used it. 

The shock is less painful than plucking your eyebrows, but it definitely took me by surprise, and it made the process less relaxing than I had thought. The microcurrent definitely demands some practice before it can be used instinctively as part of your beauty regime.  

I tried my best to follow the instructions on how to use the microcurrent but I’m not sure I was totally successful. 

At £279, buying the BeGlow Tia Mass is an investment that could satisfy beauty enthusiasts who want the salon treatment without the painful monthly bill.  

Rating:

LYMA LASER, £2,000

Bridie's skin is pictured before using the laser

Bridie's skin is pictured after using the laser

Before and after: Bridie is pictured before using the laser (left) and after two weeks of use (right) 

Bridie used a primer and activating primer and her own moisturiser before using the laser on her chin for 15 minutes

Bridie used a primer and activating primer and her own moisturiser before using the laser on her chin for 15 minutes

What is it?  Until now, laser light therapy has only been available in clinics due to its size and the need for professional supervision. But the LYMA laser  incorporates breakthrough laser energy dispersion, which is 100 times more powerful than LED. 

Its internal ultra-diffusers have been exclusively developed to ensure safety, dispersing the coherent laser energy over a wide area, 25,000 times larger than traditional lasers. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, and so safe that it can be used to treat skin around the eye area without the need for goggles. This is a world first.  

At the core the of the LYMA Laser is a deeply bio-stimulating infra-red (near invisible) medical- grade, continuous output laser, operating at 500mW of power at the 808nm wavelength. This precise specification ensures the laser not only is able to reach the deepest layers of the skin, but also the fat and muscle tissue underneath, with sufficient power to stimulate skin regeneration.

The blue glow generated by the LYMA Laser is from the four 10mW (total 40mw) LED’s operating at a wavelength of 470nm, providing optimal anti-bacterial performance to the skin’s surface.

Users put on a serum and an activation gel before using the laser on a designated area for 15 minutes.

The verdict: Having never used a laser before, I was equally apprehensive and excited to try out the LYMA.

From the moment it arrives it has the feel of a luxury product; it comes in a sleek black box with a laser, activation serum and primer.

The instructions in the box are very clear to put the primer, serum and a moisturiser of your choice on and then glide the laser over your treatment area for 15 minutes.

I used the laser on my chin, where I get acne, but it can also be used for wrinkles, fine lines, rosacea, and sagging.  

Having to put the laser on for 15 minutes can feel like ages (you have to do this every day for two weeks before reducing it to once weekly), but after a few days it became part of a daily ritual.

Ultimately, I saw my skin improve a lot in just two weeks – and imagine it would get even better in time – but it is very expensive and I’m not sure if it’s quite worth £2,000. 

Rating:

Hollywood Smoother £49.95

What is it? A multi-functional dermaplaning device, the Hollywood Smoother removes unwanted facial hair and exfoliates the complexion, leaving skin soft and ‘glowy’ with no redness or irritation.

It can be used to re-shape overgrown eyebrows and remove ‘peach fuzz’ from upper lips, sideburns and uneven hair lines, whilst simultaneously exfoliating away the top layer of dull skin using its sonic technology – leaving a clean, smooth base. This allows for skincare products to absorb and penetrate more effectively and provides a smooth base for make-up, especially foundation.  

The verdict: I was really excited to try the Hollywood Smoother because, although the hair on my face is very fair, there’s a lot of it and it sticks to my make-up which makes it look heavy and cake-y and the hair more obvious.  

Georgia used the Hollywood Smoother to remove the 'peach fuzz' hair from her chin and upper lip which her make-up would often stick to

Georgia used the Hollywood Smoother to remove the 'peach fuzz' hair from her chin and upper lip which her make-up would often stick to

Georgia used the Hollywood Smoother to remove the ‘peach fuzz’ hair from her chin and upper lip which her make-up would often stick to

My skin was instantly soft after using the Hollywood Smoother, although it took a few tries to get rid of all the hair so it does take some getting used to. I was quite surprised by how glowy my skin looked immediately afterwards, without using any of my other skincare first.   

The design makes it easy to use, as you simply hold the device to your skin and the way it is shaped gives it the 45-degree angle needed.  

It wasn’t painful at all, and was quite easy and my make-up has looked so much nicer and less heavy since using the device a week ago. 

My face still feels soft, and does not feel prickly or stubbly where the hair is growing back, and it is still glowing more than it was before using the device. 

Rating:

PRIORI UNVEILED LED Mask £320

What is it? With built-in temperature and time control technology, the Unveiled LED mask is designed to give your complexion the perfect 10-minute touch up with minimal effort. 

Delivering clinical results in the convenience of your own home, UNVEILED is an easy to use, portable and non-invasive treatment which requires no downtime. 

Powered by a small rechargeable battery, and is easy to carry. 

With built-in temperature and time control technology, the Unveiled LED mask is designed to give your complexion the perfect 10-minute touch up with minimal effort

With built-in temperature and time control technology, the Unveiled LED mask is designed to give your complexion the perfect 10-minute touch up with minimal effort

Delivering clinical results in the convenience of your own home, UNVEILED is an easy to use, portable and non-invasive treatment which requires no downtime

Delivering clinical results in the convenience of your own home, UNVEILED is an easy to use, portable and non-invasive treatment which requires no downtime

The verdict: I have incredibly sensitive skin – you name the problem, I’ve got it, from acne, acne scars, eczema, rosacea, dry and greasy spots – the whole hog.

It means I’m always super nervous about trying out new products because I’m so wary of the damage I could be causing. However I was looking forward to the Unveiled LED mask, which I’d heard rave reviews about and always wanted to give a go.

After giving the mask a charge, I cleansed my face with my usual cleanser before relaxing on the sofa and popping the LED lights on.

The lights are extremely bright, and the strap which is supposed to secure the mask in place behind your head was a bit flimsy, which meant all I could do while the treatment was ongoing was lie on the sofa with my eyes closed. 

The treatment, which lasts for 10 minutes, is definitely relaxing, and I was almost disappointed when I realised it was over. 

I’ve since been using it two-three times a week and, while I’m not sure how much of a drastic improvement my skin has had, it’s quickly becoming a really enjoyable part of my skin care routine.  

Rating:

COLLAGENIUS EMS FACIAL TONER WITH LED LIGHT THERAPY £94.99 

What is it? The small and portable LED light device is designed to treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne, age spots and uneven skin tone using different coloured light therapy and low-level laser therapy.

It includes blue light to target the upper layers of the skin to effectively kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce the overproduction of oils that cause breakouts.

Yellow light targets skin damage such as scarring, sunburn, rosacea, and eczema. It stimulates the skin to heal itself and also helps in boosting collagen production and the rejuvenation of the skin cells. Meanwhile the main benefit of red light is that it reduces fine lines and wrinkles by greatly boosting your collagen production.

The handheld device also uses electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) to apply tiny electrical currents to stimulate, tone and tighten your facial muscles.

The Collagenius EMS Facial Toner with LED Light Therapy is designed to treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne, age spots and uneven skin tone using different coloured light therapy and low-level laser therapy

The Collagenius EMS Facial Toner with LED Light Therapy is designed to treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne, age spots and uneven skin tone using different coloured light therapy and low-level laser therapy

The verdict: The packaging for this product was nice and simple, but it came with an ink stain on it, which was disappointing for a product costing nearly £100. The instructions were vague and said to enhance results by applying Collagenius toning gel, which wasn’t provided with the product. There was no safety warning about using another gel so I used a similar product (designed for a facial toning device) that I already owned.

I opted for the light red therapy as I have some light scarring on my face and thought anti-ageing and sun damage would help my skin see the best results. I used it once daily for two days – though the instructions don’t make clear how long it will take to see an impact or how frequently to use it.

I was slightly confused during my first time using the product as it’s not very clear when it’s actually on and it’s difficult to feel any impact unless using a gel alongside the device. 

During my second use it made a crackling sound and actually started smoking. This happened twice until I turned it off and the space in between the electrode and the device was red hot. I looked at the safety guidance and it didn’t mention anything that could explain why, so I stopped using it immediately and haven’t since. Overall I wasn’t really able to get a clear picture of how well the device worked so I don’t feel I can give it any stars!

Rating:

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