After suffering with active acne for many, many years, I’m unfortunately left with marks of pimples past. I do everything in my power to get rid of them, be it excessive SPF to prevent them from darkening, a chemical exfoliating routine that I follow routinely, or even pricey laser facials. While the laser facials were working to reduce both scarring and active breakouts for a while, I simply couldn’t keep up with the price tag. This was all until I discovered Steph Shep’s holy grail product: a portable laser priced at a whopping $30. As a skincare junkie, this of course inspired me to find a handful of devices that would help target my skin issues – and the internet delivered.
Before we really dive into it, I know the idea of doing an at home laser sounds a little scary – even my esthetician expressed concern – so let’s start with the basics. To avoid over usage and potentially damaging the skin, only use it for 10 minutes per week. This is a device meant to (lightly) mimic the results you see from using similar devices in the dermatologist’s office and it can be easy to over do it. Over doing it, though, often leads to results of the exact opposite nature we were going for. Got it? Good.
I know you’re wondering what the device even does, so let’s break into it. Simply put: High frequency lasers promote a natural cleansing and antibacterial action on the skin, which helps to treat active acne, as well as helps to prevent the onset of newer breakouts. It also helps to break up spots of hyperpigmentation, often leftover by past acne. If you’re looking for more well rounded benefits, the laser also promotes the production of collagen, to help plump the skin. In just a few weeks of use, I noticed my scars were lightening and my breakouts were far less massive – a huge win in my book.
When it comes to usage, clean the appendage with 75% isopropyl alcohol before and after. Prep the skin with a face mist or a light serum, and turn the machine on low. Press against your hand to test, and increase power as you see fit.
The facial steamer is a favorite for many reasons, but primarily because it can be used for so many different things, from a steamer to a towel warmer. Regardless of the extra functions, I truly love using this steamer. Again, because I’m not an esthetician, I only do this once a week for a little less than 10 minutes – you truly don’t want to over do this. Adding a steamer into my masking routine has seriously optimized results. The steamer allows my pores to open up, in order to fully take in the effect of the mask. I find the best results (meaning, reduced breakouts, smaller looking pores, and glowy skin) when the steamer is coupled with a clay mask or a chemical peel mask.
Usage on the steamer is much easier. Simply turn it on to allow the water to heat up. In this time, wash your face. You shouldn’t use a steamer on a dirty face. When your face is clean, sit in front of the steamer for about 10 minutes, and then apply your mask.
Last but not least is this little blackhead vacuum – a staple for me as I suffer from larger pores and vastly oily skin. This little device works to exfoliate and vacuum simultaneously, to ultimately reduce the overall look of your individual pores. This device is not great for all over usage, as it can be too intense for areas that don’t really need it – instead, look to treat stubborn problem areas such as the nose, chin, or wherever you find your blackheads cluster together. This device can also be used to treat fine lines, I simply can’t speak to those results because I’m never looking for that turnaround. That said, it is a cheap Amazon buy, so if it’s a concern, why not try?
To use, clean your face and apply a gentle exfoliating serum to help loosen dirt and oil from the pore prior to the vacuum. This will help the process go along smoothly and will help to prevent any irritation. Redness following this process is normal, but should subside shortly.
Of course, when all is said and done, these are all temporary fixes for long-term problems. If you wish to see an esthetician to help you find the right products, book a facial at Chillhouse.com.