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Everything You Need to Know About Facial Tools, According to a Derm

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Amazon, Thirteen Lune
May 5, 2022

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Celebs on your Insta feed wearing light-up masks that look like Transformers. Influencers rolling tools on their faces while eating pasta. Raise your hand if you’ve seen these and wondered: Is any of this legit? Same. So we enlisted the help of Dr. Nazanin Saedi, a Philadelphia-based dermatologist, to figure out which facial tools are worth investing in — aka the products that will actually help you get glowing skin and aren’t just a gimmick.

Spoiler: None of these tools are as effective as in-office treatments, according to Saedi, but are a convenient way to extend the time necessary between derm appointments. Ready to find out which tools actually yield results and are worth adding to your skincare routine? Let’s get rolling.

Face Rollers

Ah, the humble jade roller. Saedi says these tools actually are “a good way to help your lymphatic draining and to help get rid of any facial puffiness.” While she notes that effects are not long term, and you’ll only see results with consistent use, boy, does it feel good. Stash one in the fridge and wake yourself up by rolling it along your jawline, cheeks, and under the eyes in an outward and upward motion out from the nose. And Saedi says it’s especially important to disinfect these tools after every use. Wash with soap or use an alcohol wipe to make sure no bacteria is left.


A facial roller perfect for beginners…

This one from a trusted all-natural skincare brand is made of jade, which promotes healing and reduces stress. Apply a few drops of oil to your skin before rolling so it glides easily. As always, don’t forget the neck. Customers say the handle is sturdy enough to grip with ease. ($30, Amazon)

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A rose quartz facial roller to show yourself a little love…

This roller is made with rose quartz, which is thought to promote self-love and acceptance. The pink is also just cute sitting on your countertop. Don’t forget to apply serum or oil before rolling, and use the smaller stone on the bottom for the delicate under-eye area. ($28+, Amazon)

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Thirteen Lune

A facial globe specifically designed for puffiness…

If you tend to wake up a bit swollen (or you’re recovering from a late night out), pulling this globe from the freezer and pressing around your face will soothe your skin and depuff instantly. Plus, it’ll also shrink your pores. Just be sure to move the glass globe around your face in an upward motion and clean it once you’re finished. ($14, Thirteen Lune)

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LED Devices

Saedi says she trusts LED devices more for acne treatment (since they’re anti-inflammatory) than for targeting fine lines and wrinkles. She also likes LED better in a spot treatment form as opposed to the full-face masks you see on Instagram. Though the full-face masks are definitely more convenient for multitasking. Just be aware that you should be protecting your eyes by simply closing them, and be wary of using it directly on the sensitive under-eye skin.


A cleansing brush with heat therapy…

Saedi likes to use this once a week as part of a deep cleansing and exfoliating routine. It vibrates and heats up to lift away dead skin and firm what’s underneath. It has bristles on one side and jade on the other, so you can flip it and smooth the jade over your skin like you would a jade roller. The heat actually allows your skin to soak up skincare products better too. ($125.30+, Amazon)

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An LED tool you can use every day…

This one is a spot treatment wonder made for acne. It works best if you use it daily, especially if you’re already suffering from breakouts. The LED light kills acne-causing bacteria. Once your skin has cleared, you can continue to use it daily or as needed. Customers say it’s really helpful for clearing cystic acne. ($169, Amazon)

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An LED wand that combines the best parts of all facial tools…

If it’s good enough for Sydney Sweeney, it’s good enough for us. You only have to use this five minutes three times a week, and you should see a reduction in redness, acne, and discoloration thanks to the combination of red light therapy, microcurrent vibrations, and warmth. The head swivels from a T-shape to an elongated bar, so you can customize the experience for different parts of the face. ($149, Solawave)

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Microcurrent Devices

Microcurrent devices are the only ones that actually improve facial tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, Saedi says. They work by vibrating electric currents through the skin. You may have heard of the NuFace, popular with celebrities and derms alike, but newcomers on the scene are becoming contenders with similar results.


A kit to get you started with microcurrent…

The NuFace Mini is perfect for those who are new to microcurrent devices. The kit also includes a gel primer that must be applied before using the tool (moving it in an upward motion on your face). It’s recommended you use it five days a week for five minutes to see the best results. Many customers have noted a firmer jawline and less-visible fine lines after use. ($209, Amazon)

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An all-in-one tool from the makers of the massage gun…

What do you get when you combine a massage tool, microcurrent, and three different LED light settings? The TheraFace Pro. Oh, and did we mention there’s also a cleansing head? We’re not sure there’s anything this device can’t do, so if you’re looking for a multitasking tool, this is the one for you. While it was just released, early reviews say it’s definitely worth it. ($399, Amazon)

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Dermaplaning and Microneedling

Both dermaplaning and microneedling are safe to do at home, according to Saedi. Dermaplaning uses a tiny blade to shave off dead skin and tiny hairs on the outer layer of face skin, while microneedling is the use of tiny needles to stimulate the top layer of skin for improved circulation. Neither are as scary as they sound, but Saedi does caution against overusing either, as you can potentially cause scarring. But FYI, those little hairs you shave off won’t grow back darker. That’s a complete myth. Phew.


A tiny blade to help you dermaplane at home…

Designed by a licensed aesthetician, this will help you shave off dead skin and peach fuzz to reveal softer, clearer skin that will soak your skincare products right up. It’ll also make it much easier to apply makeup. You can hold the tool upwards or downwards, and, pulling the skin taut, apply light strokes to the top layer of skin. The blade is equipped with a protective plastic guard that won’t allow you to accidentally cut too deep. ($75, Amazon)

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A microneedle roller to stimulate circulation…

While tiny needles rolling over your skin may sound like something out of “Final Destination,” the needles are so fine you won’t even feel a thing. What will happen is the tiny punctures will signal to your skin to produce collagen, filling in fine lines and wrinkles, healing scars, and closing up large pores. Your skincare products will be better absorbed, and you can even use this to promote scalp circulation for healthier hair. Worth it. ($38, Dermstore)

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