Do These Fancy Beauty Tools Actually Work?

A skeptic's take on recent buzzy skincare products.
Reading time 4 minutes

I consider myself somewhat of a skincare tool skeptic. My main reason is that I've never had any need to buy one — I have two hands and access to beauty products intended to cure any ailment; rosacea, wrinkles, sallow skin, discoloration, fine lines, and acne don't stand up against the arsenal of serums, oils, masks, washes, toners, and scrubs I have accrued over the years. Another reason is that I have a long-standing fear that they will actually be worse for my skin. Being only in my 20s, wrinkle reducing isn't at the top of my list, but when those new facial rollers started popping up all over my Instagram, I decided I needed one, and fell down a bit of a beauty tool spiral. Surprisingly, I discovered some must-haves in the process.

The Facial Massage Roller

Ah, where it all started. I went with Shiffa's Jade Facial Massage Roller to start off because Shiffa is a brand that focuses on merging both modern and ayurvedic practices into its beauty products. Shortly after opening, my cat mistook it for a toy and knocked it on the floor. I can now confirm this roller's durability. Upon first use, it was cool on the skin. I used it ritualistically for about a week, but as I don't have wrinkles, it showed no come-to-Jesus signs of general skin improvement. That's okay with me. Now, I keep it in my fridge, and use it when I need to relax. The cool sensations are wonderful, and it does help with lymphatic drainage — important for skin recovery.

The Silk Pillowcase

The Slip silk pillowcase is something that had been sitting in my Sephora cart for a while. Like, a long while, and now I regret every night that I didn't sleep with a silk pillowcase under my head. $79-$99 sounds like a heavy price to pay for a pillowcase, but we humans spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Even I am shocked to be saying this, but I truly believe that should exclusively be done on silk pillowcases from now on. Never again will I make fun of the concept as an unnecessary bougie luxury. My rosacea has lessened, my hair has less flyaways, and sleeping overall feels like a more luxurious experience. Even without the skin and hair benefits, the comfort of the silk pillowcase alone would be enough for me to recommend the product.

The Microneedling Roller

When I first received the GloPro I was terrified. I know that celebrities like Kim K and Sienna Millerr frequently get in-office derma- and microdermabrasion facials in order to have their best skin. But something about poking my face with what I imagined to be a million tiny needles didn't really sit right with me. Thus, I made sure to try it out on a day I had nothing to do and nowhere to be, in case the worst happened. However, the roller turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I thought—in fact, it did exactly what it was purported to do. The needles on the roller create small injuries (so small you can't see them) on your skin, which stimulates collagen production and allows for deeper absorbtion of beauty products like serums and oils. Specifically with the GloPro, red LED lights and vibrations help to repair your skin as well. It's now a consistent part of my beauty rotation.

The At-Home Facial

My first thought when I pulled the ZIIP machine out of the box was, admittedly, "how the hell do I do this?" And honestly, there was a learning curve, but I mastered it after some Googling. You slather your face and neck in conductive goo—which feels gross, but don't worry, washes off easily with water—and then run the machine across your face in a ton of different directions. The way in which you run the machine across your face is determined by which facial you select on an app. You preload the facial onto the machine via bluetooth. Electrical facials are all the rage at spas, but I've never in my life used an at-home product that gives such a satisfying result. Every part of my face that I wanted to be better-defined was. The ZIIP may come with a hefty price tag ($495,) but it's going to save me thousands in facials. And with fashion week on the horizon, it's my new best friend. 



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