At-home beauty and skin care devices can be a great solution to prolong the results of the professionally done in-office procedures as well as a stand-alone at-home treatment. Nowadays, there are numerous anti aging devices on the beauty market designed specifically for a safe use at home. In this article we will explore different types of anti aging tools and point out some of the best at home anti aging devices.
To point out, when using face tools designed for home, it is important to have realistic expectations. In comparison to the medical-grade devices used in-office, home devices are less powerful and deliver milder results.
Additionally, at home devices may also be more time-consuming, and require discipline, commitment and consistent routine in order to achieve desired results. On the bright side, these devices usually cost less than a single professional treatment, and are safe and user friendly.
Types Of Anti Aging Devices
To be honest, there are way too many beauty devices on the market, and it is easy to get confused which device to choose. That’s to say, some of the best at home anti aging devices fall into the following categories:
- Microneedling (dermaroller, dermapen, dermastamp)
- Face massager (rollers, bars, gua sha, cupping)
- Face steamer
Even though all these anti aging devices have many similar benefits, they usually target a certain skin concern, and are unique in the way they perform. That being said, in order to select the device you’ll be happy with, you should first identify the main skin concern and few secondary concerns you want to address. The following are the most common signs of aging:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sagging skin/loss of firmness
- Dark spots (pigmentation, discoloration)
- Enlarged pores
- Thinning of the skin
Once you figured out your skin issues, use the chart below to narrow it down to the type of anti aging device that targets your skin concerns.
Anti Aging Devices
Microcurrents are often referred to as toning or contouring devices, and are often compared to a facial workout or face yoga, as they are very effective in lifting skin and toning facial muscles. These devices use a low level electrical current that stimulates facial muscles by mimicking our body’s natural current. In fact, this treatment is very effective and a safe alternative to other more aggressive and invasive medical procedures. Since microcurrent devices are non-invasive, the procedure is painless and there is no downtime for recovery.
How it works. The device is slowly glided on the skin’s surface in upward motion, while the pulsating currents release energy into the muscles. Not only does this process normalize physiological activity within the cells, but it also energizes muscles and increases muscle tension (hence lifting effect). To point out, microcurrents should be used in a conjunction with a conductive gel, which protects the skin from zapping and also allows the electric current to reach the necessary depth.
Benefits. Microcurrents are one of the best at home anti aging devices. In addition to facial lifting and toning, microcurrent also provides cellular rejuvenation, improves an overall skin qualities, reduces swelling, increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and slightly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is recommended to do microcurrent treatment at least 3 times a week, and spend about 5-20 minutes per session for optimal results.
Also, you can learn more about microcurrent therapy and how to use it at home by checking out the following sources:
(dermaroller, dermapen, dermastamp)
Microneedling is a minimally invasive resurfacing procedure that is becoming very popular for treating a variety of skin conditions. Also, this procedure is known as skin needling or collagen induction therapy. To point out, microneedling can be done with three different types of devices: dermaroller, dermapen, or dermastamp. Even though these devices have very distinctive features, they all work in a similar manner by causing a controlled micro damage to the skin with micro needles.
How it works. Microneedling device is applied repetitively (rolled or pressed, depending on the type) on freshly cleaned skin, which creates microscopic puncture wounds in the skin. As a result, skin’s natural inflammatory response gets triggered, which stimulates the release of growth factor, and leads to the activation of collagen and elastin production. Also, it is important to point out that microneedling devices come with different needle lengths (0.13mm – 3mm), which cause different penetration depths and address different skin concerns. However, keep in mind that microneedling with needles longer than 0.75 mm can be painful and numbing cream might be needed.
Benefits. In addition to stimulating collagen production, microneedling is known for its numerous anti aging and rejuvenating benefits. For example, it helps to increase epidermal thickness, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, soften scars and stretch marks, reduce hyperpigmentation, improve skin structure and texture, tighten skin, and increase penetration of skin care products. Moreover, it is safe for people with all skin types including dark skin.
If you are considering trying microneedling at home, read our more in depth articles about the microneedling procedure, safety, devices, and aftercare.
LED devices are considered some of the best at home anti aging devices as they are safe and don’t cause skin damage or irritation. In fact, LEDs (stands for light emitting diodes) treat variety of medical and esthetic conditions and have a broad range of applications. Not to mention that you can use these devices as stand-alone tissue repair and healing treatment or in combination with other procedures.
To clarify, LED devices use non-thermal light that doesn’t produce thermal injury. The design of these devices vary greatly from brand to brand, but the most common ones are LED face masks and LED handheld tools that have to be glided across the face.
How it works. LEDs use light that stimulates photobiomodulation process in the skin, which results in collagen synthesis, production of growth factor, and enhanced blood flow. To put it simply, different light colors represent different frequencies or so-called wavelength ranges that are used to address certain skin concerns.
For example the blue range (400–470 nm) is used for treating acne, the green range (500–570 nm) helps to calm the skin and lighten hyperpigmentation, and the red/infrared range (700–1200 nm) is great for skin rejuvenation as it speeds up the healing process in the skin, stimulates collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and reveals brighter skin.
Benefits. Overall, LEDs offer noninvasive, painless anti aging treatment that doesn’t cause skin damage or irritation. Even though the benefits depend on the light color, LED devices rejuvenate skin by producing lifting, firming and tightening results, softening wrinkles, and improving skin tone and texture. However, keep in mind that it might not be suitable for photosensitive skin.
Try these best-rated LED face tools for home use:
Radiofrequency (RF) is a noninvasive skin tightening, contouring and rejuvenation treatment. A typical RF device uses electric current to produce heat. This heat is being delivered to a certain depth level of the skin causing thermal injury. As a result of thermal injury, the body triggers the healing process, which results in collagen contraction and skin tightening.
Benefits. It stimulates collagen production, improves elasticity, tightens skin, and treats fine lines and wrinkles. Overall, radiofrequency devices are good for treating sagging skin, photo aging (sun/light induced aging) and reducing cellulite. In addition, it is safe for all skin types and colors.
Try these best-rated RF devices for home use:
- Silk’n Titan Skin Tightening and Lifting, radiofrequency + LED (on Amazon)
- MLAY RF Facial & Body Skin Tightening Machine (on Amazon)
- Tripollar Stop X Device (on Amazon)
Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive, nonchemical resurfacing procedure that is considered less aggressive alternative in comparison to dermabrasion and chemical peels. To clarify, it is a popular form of mechanical exfoliation that involves abrasion of the skin. In addition to being an effective rejuvenating and anti aging tool, microdermabrasion is also a great device for those with congested and acne-prone skin.
How it works. The device consists of a handheld vacuum system and tip with abrasive crystals, which gently exfoliate, and remove dead cells and the outer layer of the skin. In particular, the tip of the device is pressed against the skin, and is glided across the skin area while the abrasive particles buff away outer layer of the skin. At the same time the vacuum suction clears pores, lifts impurities and removes the debris from skin surface.
Benefits. All in all, microdermabrasion promotes skin rejuvenation, stimulates collagen production, reveals softer and more glowing skin, treats signs of photoaging, uneven skin tone and texture, enlarged pores, reduces scars, stretch marks, and mild wrinkles. Moreover, it improves absorption and delivery of topical treatments. But keep in mind that multiple treatments are needed in order to achieve visible results.
You can learn more about microdermabrasion, different types of devices, and a complete list of benefits by reading second half of our article “Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion.”
Try these best at home microdermabrasion devices:
- Wet/Dry Sonic Microdermabrasion System by Michael Todd Beauty, $99 at Ulta
- Personal Microderm by PMD, on Amazon
- Trophy Skin Microderm MD, $299 at Lovelyskin
Facial massage is a great treatment for promoting healthy skin and overall rejuvenation. Not to mention that it is a very pleasant and relaxing procedure that can be easily done at home. A traditional facial massage is done with hands, however there are also many massaging tools available for your convenience. For example, some of the most popular face massagers include gemstone rollers, double drainage rollers (like ReFa), ice rollers, beauty bars, gua sha, and cupping.
How it works. Regardless which face massage tool you’ll choose, the device is usually rolled or glided (from the center of the face to the side) in a slight upward motion. Not only the massage stimulates skin making it tighter, but also it tones facial muscles and improves the overall appearance of the skin. That’s why face massagers are considered among some of the best at home anti aging devices.
Benefits. As numerous studies have shown, massaging your face for five minutes a day can stimulate blood flow, increase lymphatic drainage, reduce puffiness, induce structural changes in the skin, provide mild toning effect, and improve overall appearance of wrinkles. Also, face massage aids in deeper penetration of skincare products, and helps to amplify the effect of anti-aging serums and creams. And did we mention that it is also a great way to relive stress and relax facial muscles?
You can learn more about different face massage tools and how to use them at home by checking out the following sources:
Facial steamer is also known as facial sauna, and is a great way to prepare your skin for exfoliation or to enhance the benefits of skincare products. In fact, this treatment is good for all skin types, especially those with dehydrated, aging or congested skin, and enlarged or clogged pores.
How it works. Once you filled up your facial steamer with water, the device will start producing a consistent stream of steam. You should position your face about 5-10 inches away from the steam and let it run for 5 to 15 minutes. Ultimately, the warm temperature and mist help to soften the skin, loosen up debris and oils, purify pores, and replenish natural moisture within the skin.
Benefits. Face steaming provides deep hydration and deep cleansing, helps to decongest pores, clears complexion, softens skin, promotes circulation, improves radiance, and prepares skin for further skin treatments (exfoliation, masks, etc.) Not only the skin look more subtle after the steaming, but this procedure is also very relaxing.
Try these awesome at home facial steamers:
- Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer 3-in-1 (on Amazon)
- Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer (on Dermstore, $149)
- Aira Ionic Facial Steamer (on Vanityplanet, $79)
*All prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.
Skin aging is a complex process that includes visible changes in the appearance and structure of the skin, and decline of skin functions. It is influenced by both internal and external factors. As a matter of fact, there are two types of aging, and they both contribute to the process of skin aging:
- Chronological aging (intrinsic). It includes changes to skins structure due to the passage of time. For example, cell turn over cycle slows down, self-repairing capabilities decrease with age, collagen and elastin production declines, and outer layer of skin gets thinner. Additionally, genetic factors and hormonal changes also contribute to chronological aging.
- Environmental aging (extrinsic). This type of aging includes exposure to solar irradiation (aka premature aging or photoaging), pollution, smoking, lifestyle, etc.
Topical prevention and treatment:
- Photo protection (broad spectrum sunscreen, avoiding sun and tanning beds)
- Antioxidants (vitamins, polyphenols, flavonoids) help fight free radicals
- Cell regulators (retinols, peptides, ceramides)
- Anti aging face tools
In conclusion, home use devices may be used adjunctively with the treatments provided by dermatologists or aesthetician, or as a stand-alone at-home treatment. When searching for the best at home anti aging devices, it is important to have realistic expectations and not anticipate an overnight miracle. In general, most at home devices will yield noticeable results within 6-8 weeks of continuous use. So you can improve your skin and achieve good results if you are consistent and patient!
Ablon, G. ”Phototherapy with light emitting diodes: treating a broad range of medical and aesthetic conditions in dermatology.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Feb. 2018, Vol. 11
Ablon, G. “Safety and effectiveness of an automated microneedling device in improving the signs of aging skin.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Aug. 2018, Vol. 11
Caberlotto E, Ruiz L, Miller Z, Poletti M, Tadlock L. “Effects of a skin-massaging device on the ex-vivo expression of human dermis proteins and in-vivo facial wrinkles.” PLoS One, Mar. 2017, Vol. 12
Calderhead R.G, Vasily, D.B. “Low level light therapy with light-emitting diodes for the aging face.” Clinics in Plastic Surgery, Jul. 2016, vol. 43, Issue 3
El-Domyati M, El-Ammawi T.S, Medhat W. “Radiofrequency facial rejuvenation: evidence-based effect.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Mar. 2011, Vol. 64
Ganceviciene R, Liakou A.I, Theodoridis A. “Skin anti-aging strategies.” Dermatoendocrinol, Jul. 2012, Vol. 4
Gold, M, Biron J, Levi L, Sensing W. “Safety, efficacy, and usage compliance of home‐use device utilizing RF and light energies for treating periorbital wrinkles.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Dec. 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 1
Gold, M. “Noninvasive skin tightening treatment.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Jun. 2015
Newton V. L, Mcconnell J. C, Hibbert S. A., Graham H. K, Watson R. E. “Skin aging: molecular pathology, dermal remodeling and the imaging revolution.” Giornale Italiano Dermatol Venereol, Dec. 2015 Dec, Vol. 6
Rittié, L., & Fisher, G. J. “Natural and sun-induced aging of human skin.” Cold Spring Harbor, Jan. 2015, Vol. 5
Shah M, Crane JS. “Microdermabrasion.” Stat Pearls, Jan. 2020