Ask The Expert: Are At-Home Devices Putting A Dent In Your Pocket?

Dermatologists around the US weigh in on the efficacy of at-home beauty devices, and offer their picks at devices that actually work! In an era where it seems you can get anything you want with the click of your mouse, wouldn’t it be nice to know whether or not they actually work before you spend the big bucks?

The only at-home device I’ve tried myself was the Noxema Exfoliator I talk about below. I actually really liked it when I had it – but once the puffs ran out, I didn’t find myself running back to the drugstore to buy new ones. I know Erin has tried ansr (below) and know she liked it, but that might be the extent of our at-home devicing. (Bear with me)

Below we have 5 at-home devices that have been rated BY dermatologists, and if you’ve got the money – you might give them a try!

For Exfoliating

Attach a single-use puff containing ultra-fine aluminum oxide crystals to the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator and massage damp skin to remove dead cells. “It makes your skin glow by smoothing its surface,” says Dina Yaghmai, a Chicago dermatologist. It may also help topical skin treatments that you apply afterward (like retinol) to penetrate more deeply, says Linda K. Franks, a New York City dermatologist. Use it up to three days a week (avoid it if you have severe acne or rosacea).

To buy: $40 at drugstores; comes with 12 puffs.

For Cleansing

The Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Brush oscillates more than 300 times a second to loosen and lift dirt from skin. Dermatologists agree that it does a good job of deep cleaning, and it removes dead cells from the surface, which can make your skin look and feel smoother temporarily. They suggest applying light pressure to the brush, which is used daily with cleanser, and washing it once a week with soap and water so it doesn’t harbor bacteria. Think of this device as an electric toothbrush for the skin―not a necessity for cleaning, but something that will get into every nook and cranny. A boon for those prone to clogged pores.

To buy: $149,

For Targeting Wrinkles, Redness, or Breakouts

For anyone looking to troubleshoot more than one skin problem, the Ansr: Beam acts as a multitasker. Aim its blue LED onto your skin for five minutes to kill the P. acnesbacteria that cause blemishes; switch to the red LED to help stimulate collagen production, which may help reduce lines and redness. “Red and blue lights work at different depths and therefore on different problems of the skin,” explains Ellen Marmur, a New York City dermatologist. (A similar treatment offered by doctors is stronger and covers a larger area at one time.) Many experts view this device as a good adjunct, when used daily, to a topical skin-care regimen that includes treatments containing retinol or peptides.

To buy: $148,

For Treating Blemishes

By delivering heat to a pimple for about two minutes, the battery-operated Zeno Mini Acne Clearing Device destroys P. acnes bacteria and helps heal inflamed, clogged pores. The heat concept is a sound one, say experts, citing the old strategy of using warm compresses to coax pimples to come to a head. “It can help a blemish clear faster and decrease the chances of scarring,” says Franks. To reduce the size of a single blemish at a dermatologist’s office, you would pay anywhere from $75 to $100 for a cortisone injection (which may be covered by insurance). If you suffer frequent and more severe breakouts, try the Tända Clear Acne Light Therapy Treatment ($250,, which uses the light from blue LEDs to kill bacteria over larger areas.

To buy: $89,

For Removing Body Hair

The Tria Laser Hair Removal System diode laser is absorbed by the dark pigment in hair, and that heat inhibits new growth. “Use it on small areas, like underarms or the bikini line, at least once a month for six months to see the most lasting results,” says Marmur. (You would need two to six sessions in a doctor’s office, at about $500 each, making this device less expensive in the long run.) Note: The laser works well on coarse, dark hair and fair skin, say experts. It’s not as effective on lighter hair, and it can cause pigmentation spots on deeper skin tones. The laser should not be used on the face or the neck, and the small head may not be practical for large areas, like the legs. For those, try Silk’n SensEpil ($500,, which uses pulsed light and covers more area.

To buy: $395,

So my question is, how much are you willing to spend on an at-home device? I would think that these at-home devices aren’t putting a huge dent in dermatologists pocket, but how about yours? Are you willing to spend big bucks to do these things yourself? Would you drop $395 on a laser hair removal system?

I would just be afraid whether or not it really works. You know if you go to a dermatologist, you’re actually going to SEE results. If you don’t get what you want – you just go back and try again! But if you drop $400 on a system at home, and it doesn’t work, what then? You’re out the $400!

How much are you willing to spend to skip the dermatologist’s office?

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