Suction, irons, needles, oh my! It seems like every day a new beauty gadget pops up, vying for a place on your vanity. Our need for the next best thing in beauty has created a $445 billion a year industry for marketers and entrepreneurs.
This extreme focus on beauty has led to some extreme devices. What is to make of these products? Do they hurt or help? The BioElementis team did some digging and even sampled a few products to find out what’s behind some of the most popular beauty products that can seem, well, a little scary.
This one isn’t as much painful as it is weird, Japan’s Trend Shop made waves this year with its Face Slimmer Exercise Mouthpiece, designed to reduce wrinkles and sagging and give your face a lift. The creators of the product claim that results can be achieved in three minutes per day by popping in the mold and saying vowel sounds repeatedly, producing regular and methodical exercises that will strengthen the twelve facial expression muscles comprehensively.
Does it work? A reporter from the Daily Mail gave it a try, and noticed some subtle increases in firmness, but didn’t see any significant results.
Wait, you want me to roll hundreds of needles across my face? The concept of microneedling can be a little daunting. The practice first entered the history books in 1905 when German dermatologist Ernst Kromayer started experimenting with various-sized dental burrs to treat scars, birthmarks, and hyperpigmentation. Microneedling, as we know it today, became popular with dermatologists in 1995 and became a staple of anti-aging treatments.
Now you can get the benefits of microneedling at home, from one of many rollers on the market. But do they work? In short, yes! Once we reach our mid-twenties, our bodies stop producing collagen. Eventually, the lack of production of this plumping material causes our skin to wrinkle and sag. Microneedling uses a spiked roller to damage the dermis and firms the skin by creating damage which in turn promotes collagen production, creating firmer, smoother skin.
The treatment isn’t without some side effects. Microneedling can cause redness, dryness and skin sensitivity. Applying light pressure and using your favorite serum before and after you use a microneedle roller can help lessen any negative side effects.
Expert dermatologists warn that these devices can cause an increase in telangiectasia and other issues if used incorrectly. Telangiectasia is permanent, broken capillaries under the skin. Many users, including one of the BioElementis team who tested a blackhead vacuum experience bruising, increased redness and even bleeding.
The mission to get plumper, fuller lips have been very popular as of late, and products like lip plumpers claim to do the trick without the need for fillers or plastic surgery. Using these devices is relatively painless, you simply place your lips into the device’s designated slots, inhale and abracadabra - plump, full lips!
The effects last about two hours, and despite the hype, lip plumpers have some not so pleasant side effects. Depending on skin sensitivity, the side effects can range from mild to severe. If your lips are already irritated, when using a lip plumper they may become dry, crack, bleed and be painful. The biggest risk comes with the repeated application over a period of twelve to 24 hours. If the product is applied repeatedly to achieve maximum fullness, damage including bruising and broken capillaries can happen.
Yes, you read that right. An iron. For your face. Facial irons have actually been around for some time - since the 1930’s! The device looked like a modern-day iron claimed to erase lines and wrinkles quickly became a hit. It used a combination of heat and upward and outward facial massage movements across the face to provide a lift.
The newer versions are far more advanced than the originals. Some combine heat with muscle stimulation, so they are part facial iron and part electrical muscle stimulator. Other devices use high-frequency currents to generate heat in the dermis. This alters the natural quality of the collagen proteins to produce oedema (swelling) which temporarily fills out the skin. Following the procedure, new collagen is laid down and the skin firms, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
There are lots of beauty tools available on the market today. Some of them are scary and some are not. They’re all created to help us firm and fix these things we don’t like. A good dermatologist can help you better understand your skin and recommend some amazing products for home use. A consultation doesn’t have to break the bank and could save you a lot of money down the line!