At JTAV Clinical Skincare on the Upper East Side, founder Joie Tavernise fields endless questions about the latest, greatest gadgets. Ever since pandemic lockdowns left her clients with nothing to do but stare at a 10x magnifying mirror, curiosity about tools that tackle the signs of aging, acne and other skin issues has skyrocketed.
“Before COVID, my clients were more interested in product regimens for home,” Tavernise says. “The maintenance between treatments was usually making sure they were keeping up with the routine I had set up for them, and rarely involved tools other than facial rollers and gua sha.”
Now, it’s Dermapen this, microcurrent that and lots of love for light-emitting diodes, better known as LEDs.
As chief executive officer of CurrentBody, a digital wonderland of skin-enhancing devices, Laurence Newman has also witnessed a sales uptick in tools that mimic the results of in-office treatments, along with an expansion in the age range of the beauty junkies snapping them up. “Previously it was 35 to 55,” he notes. “But it’s widened significantly — on both ends.”
LED devices are still going strong, beloved for their ability to soften fine lines and wrinkles, boost radiance and collagen, and provide a soothing self-care timeout. Celeb facialist Shani Darden — who counts Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley among her glowy, eternally youthful clients — recently introduced a sinister-chic light mask with separate neck attachment. Another new LED entry, Luminance Red for acne, promises to blast blemishes in a scant 24 hours. For south of the clavicle, the DRx SpectraLite BodyWare Pro by New York-based super derm Dennis Gross can be moved anywhere crinkles, pimples and even sore muscles are surfacing.
Devices offering multiple treatment attachments are gaining traction, delivering beaucoup bang for the buck. TheraFace PRO, by the makers of the sleek massage gun soccer god Cristiano Ronaldo shills for, comes equipped with three percussive attachments to counteract the effects of stress-related jaw-clenching and brow-scrunching, and separate rings for LED, microcurrent, cryotherapy and cleansing.
Too lazy to change heads? Try the multifunction SolaWave (a favorite of Joey “Bullet Train” King and Sydney Sweeney of “Euphoria”), which combines LED, microcurrent and heat massage in one tool. For peach-fuzz removal, exfoliation and a gradual lightening of age spots, there’s Dermaflash Luxe+, a jacked-up iteration of the famous dermaplaning device. Now powered by 14,000 sonic vibrations per minute, it also boosts cell turnover — and all you have to do is slide in a fresh “edge” (that’s Dermaflash-speak for blade) with each use.
“We’re so excited to bring our customers this even better device,” says Dermaflash founder Dara Levy. “Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it could get any better, but it did.”
Also trendy in tools: air, which device-makers claim markedly improves product absorption. Medicube’s Age-R ATS Air Shot, billed as a “needle-free pore-tightening dermapen,” eliminates the downtime sometimes associated with microneedling. The Breeze Airbrush Skincare System, by airbrush makeup experts at Luminess, comes with potent anti-aging and hydrating serums that are jet-propelled in a “micro-droplet mist” designed to penetrate the skin ultra-deeply.
Tech-phobes will be happy to know that not all the cool new tools come packed with a charger cord. SBLA Beauty’s simple-genius rollerball Eye Lift Wand dispenses a measured dose of peptide-spiked anti-aging serum with every pump, and is good for up to 100 uses. And two just-launched gua sha devices — the 24-karat gold-plated Ginto by Omni Hiraya and Osmosis Beauty’s Epic Duo — rely on good old-fashioned elbow grease to stimulate lymphatic drainage, sculpt, tighten and tone.
Whatever your poison, patience and consistent use are key, says Tavernise, who recommends setting a daily reminder on your phone to make sure your gadget doesn’t start collecting dust in the back of the bathroom cabinet.
“A lot of times I’ll hear that someone tried a device for a few days or weeks and didn’t see any results, so they stopped. My advice? Keep at it.”