The pandemic has spawned its fair share of beauty trends—not least those that focus on the eye area in this era of masking. It has also made us realise that sometimes, skincare alone just doesn’t cut it. We get the best results when we combine home care with professional care, be it regular facials (so vital for skin health upkeep) or high-tech aesthetic treatments that deliver visible results pronto. As the world adopts a more cautious mindset around touch, at-home beauty tech is stepping up to the plate to meet your needs. If you haven’t already, hop on the bandwagon with these gadgets and tools that let you level up your beauty routine without having to step out of the house.
Photography: Phyllicia Wang
Styling: Daphne Tso
Packed with tech, this nifty gadget utilises microcurrents, micropulsations, pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy and LED light therapy to tone and lift while promoting collagen production, improving skin barrier function and enhancing overall skin radiance. The device also measures the skin’s moisture level, thanks to a built-in hydro sensor at its base. It is designed to be used with the +SABI AI app, which helps take the guesswork out of which combination of therapies to use on the device: It makes AI-driven recommendations of customised facial treatments based on the unique condition of your skin at any time. This is determined by using a skin analysis tool on the app as well as diagnostics on lifestyle and environmental stressors that can affect the skin.
This is one smart skin buddy you’ll be delighted to have. Want a deep cleanse? Positive ions in the galvanic current draws out all the negatively charged impurities embedded in pores. Face looking puffy and skin, dull and tired? Sonic vibration therapy can help improve blood circulation and reduce puffiness, both of which can be further aided by a heating and cooling pad: It heats to a temperature between 35 and 45 deg C to enhance circulation and cools to between 12 and 15 deg C to suppress inflammation. Lastly, a mix of red, blue and green LED lights boosts collagen synthesis, reduces acne-causing bacteria and brightens overall skin tone.
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Marrying microcurrent and LED light therapies, this comes with three attachments that help lift and define facial contours while promoting a glowing complexion. The FaceTone and EyeTone attachments—for use, respectively, on larger surface areas such as the cheeks and forehead, and more precise locations such as the under-eye area, nasolabial folds and lip area—utilise microcurrents to activate facial muscles, giving them a face-sculpting workout. The LED-Power-of-4 attachment, meanwhile, emits red, blue, yellow and mixed LED lights to calm skin and encourage collagen production, reduce breakouts, even out skin tone, and improve skin clarity and radiance respectively.
Give your face a full workout with FOREO’s BEAR Microcurrent Facial Toning Device, which emits microcurrents to stimulate facial muscles, cell growth and collagen production for a more defined visage. The accompanying app from FOREO makes the process fuss-free with preset treatments that have easy-to-follow instructions, thanks to detailed graphics and animation. The device needs to be used with a water-based serum to improve the conductivity between the skin and the electrodes. The tingling sensation you’ll experience may be shocking at first, so start with the lowest setting and work your way up once you’re used to it.
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The eye area tells on you when you’re fatigued, had a bad night or binged on K-dramas till the wee hours. So keep it looking fresh with ést.lab’s OptimaLift A+ Intelligent Eye Revitaliser 2.0, which utilises LED light and heat therapies as well as sonic vibrations (in three different combinations) to stimulate collagen and elastin production, relieve fatigue, and improve microcirculation to reduce puffiness and lighten dark eye circles. It’s also said to boost the absorption of eye-care products, so be sure to use it together with your regular serums and creams, which can also help the device glide smoothly over the area. The best part? You need only use it for a minute to reap the benefits.
Since NASA discovered that red LED light can help with wound healing and cellular repair, the beauty industry has been quick to harness its benefits. Among the plethora of devices out there that make use of LED light therapy, Dr. Dennis Gross’s DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro stands out for its hands-free convenience and the fact that it works on the entire face at once. Tackling a range of issues from fine lines to redness, an uneven tone and discolouration, it boasts a whopping 162 LED lights in red and blue to stimulate collagen synthesis while reducing inflammation and eliminating the bacteria that causes acne.
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While Singapore has an average relative humidity of 80 percent, you can still experience skin dryness in air-conditioned spaces. Cue OSIM’s uGlow Mist, a portable face humidifier that delivers a fine mist to the skin to ward o dehydration. It’s sized like a regular BB cushion, making it super easy to bring around and whip out whenever you need a moisture boost. Its 2,000mAh battery also doubles as a power bank when your phone runs out of juice.
Ideal for time-strapped individuals, FOREO’s UFO 2 is a revolutionary masking device that cuts the typical 10-to-20 minute mask time to just two (yes, really). While its predecessor, can only be used with the brand’s UFO-activated sheet masks, the UFO 2 can be used with any regular sheet mask. It also boasts faster heating and cooling times to boost circulation, efficiently prep skin to absorb the actives in the mask, shrink pores, soothe redness or irritation, reduce puffiness, and lift and firm. The eight LED light settings— up from the previous three—offer a spectrum of benefits that come with each wavelength (or colour). T-sonic pulsations further boost the absorption of actives while delivering a relaxing face massage. Another welcome change: To start the programme, you can now select the mask on the accompanying FOREO For You app, which offers guided mask routines, lets you create a masking ritual with your favourite masks, and gives you customised control over the temperature, pulsation strength and colour of the light.
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Those who hate reading instruction manuals will be enamoured of LG’s Pra.L Ultrasonic Cleanser, which comes with voice guidance that gives you a step-by-step on where to clean and for how long. And clean it does, with 370,000 ultrasonic vibrations per second that break up and gently removes dead skin cells and impurities. Generating up to 4,200 micro-vibrations per second, the silicone brush head—with bristles in varying heights and thickness arranged in the Fibonacci spiral—creates microbubbles when in contact with your cleanser, which penetrates deep into pores for a more thorough cleanse. Certified safe for bringing into the shower, the ergonomic device comes with four strength and two duration settings. When not in use, keep it docked in the accompanying base, which also serves as a wireless charger.
With mask-wearing, it’s ever more important to take care of the eye area. Why not have some fun while you’re at it? Put on Skin Inc’s Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light Glasses For Bright Eyes and live out your sci-fi heroine dreams— 10 minutes is all it takes for the device to work its magic. Using red, yellow and orange light, it promotes collagen synthesis, lightens dark under-eye circles, reduces eye bags and general puffiness, and helps ease the eye strain caused by the blue light emitted from electronic devices. Tip: Wear it like a headband and your scalp can reap the benefits of light therapy too.
Keep your locks in gorgeous condition with Vedure Hair‘s LED Hair Regrowth Scalp Activator, which delivers a hair spa right at home with phototherapy and sonic vibrations. Helping to maintain the lushness is red light, which promotes microcirculation in the scalp—crucial for healthy hair growth—and stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate to help maintain the hair’s growth phase. Blue light, meanwhile, helps you get a fuller look by regulating sebum production, and targets acne-causing bacteria to soothe itchiness and inflammation. Wrapping things up are sonic vibrations that enhance circulation, stimulate hair follicles and improve the penetration of scalp care. Bonus: Blue light also stimulates serotonin production, so expect some feel-good vibes along with the aesthetic benefits.
For a cleansing device that pulls double duty, there’s OSIM’s uGlow IonCare that not just dives deep to get all the makeup, dirt, dead skin cells and impurities right out, but also drives skincare ingredients deep into skin for enhanced absorption. In Cleanse mode, the device emits positive ions that draw out negatively charged impurities embedded in pores, which are then swept off the surface with pulsing micro-vibrations, making for a thorough cleanse sans abrasion. When in Nourish mode, it does the opposite, generating negative ions that push skincare ingredients into the deeper layers of the skin to maximise their efficacy. There’s also a Warmth mode that soothes facial muscles while improving blood circulation.
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Good cleansing is the basis of any skincare routine, and ReFa’s Clear Cleansing Brush does a superb job with a 3D Sonic Ion Technology that combines sonic vibrations and positive ions. Adding to the comfort and efficacy of the cleanse are the ultra-fine bristles crafted by Japanese artisans from Kumano, a small town in Hiroshima famed for brushes; the width of each bristle is said to be smaller than even a pore, while the bristles in various lengths cater to the uneven surface of the face. The device is also waterproof, which means you can use it in the shower. Choose from three modes: Soft, for a gentle one-minute morning cleanse; Clean, for a one-minute cleanse that removes makeup and the grime of the day; and Deep, a 30-second intensive cleanse.
The gua sha treatment has gained popularity lately, in part due to the relatively friendly price points of its tools. Typical treatments in traditional Chinese medicine, which aim to alleviate muscle stiffness and promote circulation, customarily involve the use of a blunt tool, such as a ceramic Chinese soup spoon, to scrape the skin, often causing bruises. In the beauty world though, the tools are made with crystals and semi-precious stones such as rose quartz and jade and used with facial oil to reduce the friction between the tool and the skin. While gliding the tool over the face, gentle pressure is applied to stimulate the muscles and encourage lymphatic drainage, bringing about a host of benefits such as suppler, more radiant skin and firmer, more defined facial contours.
The Sacheu Beauty facial roller is another beauty tool inspired by the gua sha technique of traditional Chinese medicine. Created by beauty influencer Sarah Cheung who wanted to create hygienic beauty tools, the roller is made with stainless steel as opposed to the natural stones it is conventionally made with. The non-porous material doesn’t absorb skincare products nor harbours bacterial build-up. It can easily be washed, cannot be broken when dropped and is also naturally self-cooling to help refresh and depuff skin. Use it together with your toner or serum and roll from the centre of your face outwards for about 2 minutes daily to help with lymphatic draining. The bigger side is great for the jaw, forehead and cheeks while the smaller side works around the eyes and brows.
Korean beauty is renowned because of how seriously they take their skincare. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they have created ingenious beauty tools to elevate their game as well. The Age-R device was built to lift and sculpt the face as it employs medium-frequency energy currents to massage and relax sub-dermal muscles. The Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology utilises electrical currents of reverse polarity to also stimulate inactive muscles in the skin, resulting in a more toned mien. According to Medicube, electrical stimulation has also been found to be potentially helpful in promoting ATP synthesis, unlike unipolarity microcurrents.
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Thorough cleansing is often the first step in any facial treatment as it helps to get rid of excess dead skin and gunk stuck within the pores. This tool delivers up to 24,000 ultrasonic vibrations per second to achieve that goal so that your subsequent skincare steps like serums can penetrate deeper and be more efficacious. Cleanse from the centre of your face outwards and upwards along the forehead. The Lumiscrub also has moisturising and lifting functions that you can use in conjunction with skincare for up to 10 minutes.
Different wavelengths of light have been proven to impart different effects on the body. Here, Joovv uses a combination and red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths in this compact handheld red light therapy device. The wavelengths emitted have been found to reduce pain, relax muscles and joints, and increase blood flow. Research has also found that these wavelengths help cells produce more energy thereby stimulating microcirculation and collagen production, resulting in firmer, smoother, healthier skin. As such, you can use the device to not only give yourself light therapy at home but also use it whenever you’re feeling sore and achy either from a bad night of sleep or exercise.
At-home cryotherapy has been gaining popularity thanks to the accessibility of ice globes and cold facial rollers such as this from Skin Gym. The premise of such therapies is that the cold shock makes the blood vessels constrict while firming and tightening the skin. When the blood vessels warm up subsequently, the increased blood flow is believed to enhance the benefits of active skincare ingredients. This roller employs a stainless steel barrel roller to create that effect. You can also use it to massage and relax tense facial, jaw and neck muscles. Keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling sensation.
Don’t forget to pamper and relax your body too. The ReFa For Body rollers uses microcurrent technology to deliver lymphatic draining massage to improve skin elasticity and firmness and increase its radiance and suppleness. The multi-angular rollers have also been specially designed to deliver four points of the spiral kneading technique to tone the skin across all parts of the body. ReFa massagers are also built with solar panels too, so they do not require any charging or external power source to run.