Skincare Tools To Use At Home

Nikki Butler

Nikki Butler

Skincare Tools - Are they worth it?

Skincare tools are something I am asked about a LOT. And with so many to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones work and which ones are (to be frank), a total waste of your time and money! In this blog, I’ll recommend my TOP 3 skincare tools, that I have tried and tested, and know work. The reality is, that skincare tools that are designed to be used at home, won’t give you WOW results, but they can really enhance the results from clinical treatments, skin care products and lifestyle factors.  Read on to find out more! 

Skincare tools and anti-ageing

Before we look into skincare tools, and how they can help you with ageing skin concerns such as lines & wrinkles, tone and texture, and saggy skin, it’s important to understand the ageing process. What you’re seeing on your skin, is the tip of the iceberg.  The changes that we see when we look in the mirror, are down to the following; 

  • Changes in the skin, due to declining collagen & elastin, sun damage and lifestyle factors. 
  • Changes in the fat pad volume in our face, which gives our face it’s fullness.
  • Changes to the bone structure, as bones move during the ageing process.
  • Changes to muscles in the face.

So, when we look at skincare tools, it’s important to understand what they are capable of treatment, so you have realistic expectations, and can see where it’s best to invest in clinical treatments. 

Clinical treatments v at home skincare tools

It can be hard to know which ageing skin concerns need to be treated in a clinic or salon, and which can be treated with at-home skincare tools.  The bottom line is, nothing that’s available to a consumer will ever be as powerful or effective as an in-clinic treatment. BUT – there is a way to prioritise your treatments, and invest in good at-home skincare tools.  Here’s how. 

Number 1: Invest in treatments that you CAN’T do at home (well, not safely, anyway). 

Number 2: Know which at-home brands help to achieve good results, and how. 

Number 3: Have a clear plan of how to manage your ageing skin concerns, with a combination of at-home skincare tools, clinical treatments, and lifestyle factors. 

Don’t worry, I’m going to help you figure all of that out right now! 

Understand what can be treated

At the beginning of this blog, we talked about the factors that play a part in the ageing skin concerns we see, when we look in the mirror.  A quick recap !

  1. Ageing skin, lines & wrinkles, saggy skin, caused by loss of collagen and elastin. 
  2. Loss of muscle tone, making the ageing skin look saggier and more wrinkles. 
  3. Loss of fat pad volume, which means that we lose that plumpness under the skin, that prominent in our youth. 
  4. Change in bone structure, due to ageing and the loss of all of the above three!

There are actually only two of these areas we can fundamentally change, and that’s the quality of our skin and muscle tone. We CAN’T directly influence loss of volume of fat pads (although word of caution that some treatments can speed up this loss, always check with your practitioner).  And we CAN’T directly influence bone changes. 

Whilst lifestyle and nutrition factors can help with all of the factors that influence ageing, the only things we can actively treat are your skin and muscle tone.  Let’s look at how.

Skin & Muscles skincare tools

We’ve established we can treat skin and muscle, in a bid to fight the signs of ageing. We’ll look at both clinical treatments, and at home skincare tools for each, and then I’ll share with you my advice for what you can treat at home, and where it’s worth considering clinical treatments. 

SKIN: We’re talking collagen induction, sun damage and uneven skin tone and tightening and lifting! 

MUSCLE: Think, workout for your face! By stimulating the muscles, you can help to keep those muscles underneath your skin toned – which will improve how your skin looks.  

At home skincare tools won’t help with sagging skin or significant sun damage, as there really aren’t safe or powerful enough devices to get effective and long lasting results. However, there are some great tools for more subtle collagen boosting, and even better ones for muscle stimulation. Let take a look. 

Home skincare tools - what the can and can't do

Here’s a little overview of what you can and can’t achieve with skincare tools, at home. That said, there are some great options for at-home treatments that will help with the early signs of ageing. They will also help to maximise your results from clinical treatments too – so it’s well worth considering.  We will go on to look at how lifestyle and nutrition can improve your skin too (more than you may imagine!)

The magic comes when you combine the following; Lifestyle, nutrition, skincare, at-home treatments, clinical treatments. Each has it’s unique place, in giving you the best possible results, both in the short and long term.

My advice is to consider your skin concerns and goals, so you can focus on your priorities.  Start out with a targeted skincare routine, to strengthen and protect your skin, and make some simple changes to lifestyle and nutrition.  Do this for 6-12 weeks, to see the difference you can achieve from these things alone. 

 

Skincare Tools - are they right for me?

If you’re a little confused about whether skincare tools are for you, then I hope this will help you to see where they can fit into your anti ageing skin care routine.

  1. If you only noticing early signs of ageing, you might want to start with skincare tools at home. Age guide 25-30.
  2. If you are 30-40 years old, and have noticed more significant signs of ageing, then you can either start with at home skincare tools, and then consider clinical treatments. Or, you could have clinical treatments and use home skincare tools to maximise your results, and prevent premature skin ageing. 
  3. And, if you’re 40+, then I would recommend starting with clinical treatments, and using skincare tools at home to boost your results and reduce the risk of premature ageing.

This is just a guide, as everyone’s skin ages differently. There are so many factors that affect our skin. It’s entirely possible that someone in their late 20’s has significant signs of ageing, and someone in their 50’s can have incredibly youthful skin.  I’m always happy to have a chat with you, to help you decide what’s right for you.  BUT – I will ALWAYS advise you on lifestyle and nutrition factors, and skin care, as without looking at these – everything else will fall over! 

My TOP THREE skincare tools

Now, lets look at my TOP THREE skincare tools that you can use at home. I am going to say that not all devices are created equal, and not all are safe!  I’ll recommend my top brands, that are tried and tested, but if you are looking at alternatives, please do lots of research. 

A note on ALL at home skincare tools, consistency is essential. Some devices will require you to use them for up to 30 minutes. If you know you can’t commit to this on a regular basis, save your money!  I’m a fan of ‘quick and easy’, and for that reason I favour my Foreo Bear Mini (see below), because it takes less than 5 minutes a day, so is manageable. On the other hand, I wouldn’t invest in something that I need to spend 30 minutes a day doing – it just won’t happen! 

No1. Collagen induction with LED Face Masks

I know you’ve seen these alarmingly (but rather amusing) looking masks on social media, and in the press. They have been super popular for some time now.  The questions I get asked a lot is ‘do they work’. The answer is ‘some do, some don’t’. 

I am a huge fan of LED light therapy, as it stimulates collagen at a cellular level, and is incredible for both skin health and also wound healing.  Red light is a super hero for collagen production. 

Blue light is great for breakout prone skin and acne, as it kills the bacteria that causes it. Combine blue light red light, and you’ll speed up the healing after breakouts too. 

At home devices are not the same as Celluma (my fav) or Dermalux clinic/salon devices – as they are weaker. But there are some great consumer options. Check out Current Body LED Face Mask.  

Steer clear of the tiny handheld devices – they are likely to do very little.  Red and blue lights (and near infrared) are the only ones that have been through clinical trials, so all the other colours available on your mask are ‘nice to have’, but not clinically proven to do what they claim. 

No2. Microcurrent Skincare Tools

When it comes to at home skincare tools, microcurrent technology is my FAVOURITE, and the one I highly recommend you invest in! 

These little devices stimulate the muscles in your face, and I swear by mine.  I personally use the Foreo Bear Mini, but there is a standard size one, for larger areas. NuFace is also a fantastic option, and has a mini and full size option. 

Full size is great for larger areas, and the mini is great for targeting smaller areas, such as around the mouth, the eyes and forehead (particularly between the brows – it’s great for my frown lines). 

You do need to use it daily for the first few weeks, and the stick to a few times a week to maintain the results.   With anything that’s working the muscles, it needs maintenance – think of it as going to the gym, for your face! 

This is a great at home alternative to CACI treatments, and well worth the investment, in my opinion. Treatment time is short – around 90 seconds per area. 

No3. Manual skincare tools

Manual skincare tools like rose quartz rollers, gua sha and ice globes can be lovely to add into your skin care routine, at home. If you’re someone that loves to have some ‘me’ time each day, and can happily commit using them, then you’ll love them.  If, like me, you’re rubbish at using tools like this regularly, I’d skip them – because consistency really is key! 

Rose quartz rollers can help to improve circulation and promote lymphatic drainage, great for reducing puffiness! Gua sha (that’s the flat stone) can help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increases blood flow to the face – some also claim this helps with sculpting the face. 

Ice globes are also worth looking at, they reduce puffiness, especially around the eye area. If you don’t like the cold – avoid these!

 

What you need to know about skincare tools

As I mentioned, skincare tools can  be a great introduction to your fight against ageing. However, they are not miracle workers, and they really place a supporting function for the key factors in supporting your skin.   Here’s some things you need to know, when you’re considering which skincare tools to invest in; 

  1. I’m like a broken record, but the NUMBER ONE important thing for your skin, is lifestyle and health. I’ve written many blogs on this, you’ll find lots of information about the importance of sleep, managing stress and nutrition. No skincare tool, treatment or product will let you cheat and bypass this.
  2.  Skincare tools are not as powerful as clinic/salon treatments, so please don’t expect the same results. See your skincare tools as maintenance between treatment, to maximise results. 
  3. Please don’t attempt treatments like microneedling/skin needling at home – leave this to the professionals! I’ve seen some awful outcomes from clients that used at home skin rollers and microneedling pens, that they purchased online, the damage they caused to their skin was shocking. 
  4. Think about what you’d like your skincare tool to achieve. There are no skincare tools that will tighten and lift your skin, so if you’re primary concern is this, you’ll need clinical treatments. 
  5. Consider the time you’ll need to set aside to use your skincare tools. Always check the recommended usage, and how long each treatment takes, and consider if you can commit to that. This is why I love my Foreo Bear Mini – 90 second treatments are a win for me!
My advice would be to have a consultation with a skin specialist, and ask their advice. A GOOD one, will be happy to advise you on all elements of a skin care program, not just the treatments they offer. Working out what your skin concerns and goals are, plus what you’re able to commit to in terms of time and money – means that you’ll end up with a skin transformation program that is right for you.   Sometimes, that means starting really simply, with lifestyle and nutrition tweaks, plus skincare, plus at home skincare tools.  

Skincare tools + skin care products

In addition to your skincare tools, your skin care products also have a huge role to play.  Using targeted skin care products can speed up and improve your collagen production, reduce lines & wrinkles, reduce pores and sun damage. The right active ingredients are improve rosacea, acne and brighten dull, tired looking skin. 

So, using things like face masks and gentle exfoliators will also help you to get the best from your skin. 

Products work really well with many home skincare tools – just be sure to read the instructions carefully, especially with microcurrent devices, as the gel you use matters. 

And ALWAYS wear your sunscreen. 365 days a year, come rain or shine – minimum factor 30, facial formula. UVA rays are present all year round, and they damage and weaken collagen – they are responsible for up to 90% of premature ageing. 

Anti Ageing Treatments

When you’re choosing between skincare tools and clinical treatments, then I always recommend thinking about your end desired results. 

For tightening and lifting, forget home devices – you’ll need  clinical treatments, such as radiofrequency microneedling or HIFU. You can then use skincare tools like the Foreo Bear, to target your muscles. 

If you have deep lines & wrinkles, then consider radiofrequency microneedling, and you could support at home with and LED mask and a microcurrent device, for muscle stimulation. 

If you have very minimal signs of ageing, and are looking for preventative measures, then you could start with an LED mask and microcurrent device, or manual tools – alongside your lifestyle and skin care choices – until such a time that you feel you need something more powerful. 

One final thing

OK, so not technically a skincare tool, but I am constantly asked about the benefits of collagen supplements. First things first, they do not have the miracle results that many of the brands lead you to believe. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a supplement to suddenly transform sagging skin and sun damage.  Read my blog below, on the ageing process – and you’ll see why. 

That said, collagen supplements can be beneficial. They can help boost our depleting collagen levels, and for me – they come into their own with wound healing.  So if you have an inflammatory skin condition, surgery, injury, or you’re having scar treatments – these can be beneficial, especially for those of us at 40+ years old. 

And there isn’t a ‘best brand’, in truth. But look for ones with around 8-10,000mg, and ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, biotin, B vitamins and zinc.  And think about the way you’d like to take it. I’ve tried powder, gel and liquid shot – my preference is the latter.  My personal favorite brand (tried and tested) are Rejuvenated Collagen Shots powder, Absolute Collagen gel, and the one I personally take – Reverse Life Marine Collagen liquid.

 

I'd love to help you

Nikki Butler Skin Clinic

If you’ve been struggling with skin ageing concerns, and would like to learn how to improve your skin, AND achieve long term results, then please get in touch. 

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my blog about skincare tools, and found it helpful.   I’d love to welcome you to my aesthetics clinic is based in Alton, Hampshire. I am right on the Hampshire / Surrey border, and just 15 minutes from both Basingstoke and Farnham.  

If you would like to book a no obligation Skin Consultation You can book your appointment via the button below. If there are no slots available, then please add yourself to the waiting list, or use the contact form, and we will be in touch when an appointment becomes available. 

I offer online services for skin care prescription and advice, so if you’d like some help, but you’re not local to me – that’s absolutely fine, I can still help you. 

I look forward to hearing from you.  Best, Nikki 

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