11

My Favorite Skincare Tools and Devices

Skincare tools and devices. Everywhere you look we’ve been inundated with rollers and gua sha tools and electronic gadgets…which ones work? And should we spend our money on all this biz?

Friend, take my hand and let me lead you into the wonderful world of skincare tools. (Settle in…this might be a long one.)

A little bonus – my friend Suzi from Gurl Gone Green just posted her favorite skincare tools and devices as well. We have a few overlapping favorites, but she’s tried one that I haven’t and am DYING to. Check out her full post here!

gua sha review

GUA SHA

Gua Sha has been all the rage for the past few years and the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. I personally love gua sha for de-puffing and waking up my face, as well as massaging chronically tense muscles. #jawclenchersunite

What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is traditionally used in East Asian and Chinese medicine and can help with a myriad of issues from migraines to muscle pains by essentially sweeping flat stones across your face. Gua Sha can relieve tension in the facial muscles, boost blood circulation, and encourage lymphatic drainage which results in a reduction in the appearance of congestion and pimples, wrinkles, sagging and dullness, under-eye darkness and puffiness. You may notice a more clearly defined jawline, more toned neck and jowl, lifted appearance of the eye and an overall brighter skin complexion after just one session.

How do I perform Gua Sha properly? 

I personally love and use the Lanshin Pro Gua Sha Tool which has several specifically-shaped edges to use on different parts of the face. There are tons of online tutorials, but I follow this one by Sandra Lanshin, who I revere as The Gua Sua Guru. Once you get this down, it only takes about 6-8 minutes to complete.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I will always utilize Gua Sha in my skincare routine because I feel it really contributes to my overall well-being. Just the act of massaging tense facial muscles and stimulating blood flow to the skin has proven to make such a difference! My skin is clearer, happier, and certainly less puffy when I am regularly using my Gua Sha tool.

joovv go review

RED LIGHT THERAPY

Oh, how I loooove my Joovv Go, but let’s back up for a sec and talk about red light therapy.

How does red light therapy work?

Red light therapy devices deliver natural light directly to skin cells. This reduces inflammation, improves circulation, and increases ATP energy production. Joovv devices use medical-grade LEDs to shine natural red and near-infrared light on your body – just like the wavelengths of light your body needs from natural sunlight, but without the heat or UV rays that cause sun damage.

Red light therapy is backed by thousands of peer-reviewed medical studies and clinical trials, which have shown overwhelmingly positive results, and an almost total lack of side effects or health risks. It is used at the highest professional levels – by elite athletes for training and muscle recovery, by natural health leaders and cutting-edge physicians for chronic pain management and inflammation relief, and by top estheticians for optimal skincare, collagen density, acne treatment, and breakouts.

However, consistency and proper use are key for effective red light therapy.

What are the benefits of red light therapy?

Red light therapy has been shown to produce a wide range of natural health benefits, like inflammation and pain relief, skin rejuvenation and collagen production, muscle recovery, boosting melatonin, improving sleep disorders, and balancing circadian rhythm.

What are the benefits of red light therapy in terms of skincare?

Red light therapy can help with increasing collagen, skin clarity, skin texture, and wound healing. A controlled trial from 2017 showed that women ages 30-55 who did a course of red light therapy improved the moisture content of their skin, with diminished facial wrinkles. Other studies have shown the reduction of fine lines and smoothing of skin roughness. (Study sources can be found at the bottom of the page here.) Red light therapy is also used for healing acne scars and burns, and targeted beauty treatments like improving complexion, pimples, and breakouts.

How do I use a Joovv device properly?

1. Position yourself about 6 inches from the device
2. Expose your skin for best results
3. Use for approximately 10-minutes per coverage area

You can use the device daily – I prefer to use mine right when I wake up. It’s in the drawer of my bedside table so I just grab it and get crackin’ first thing!

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

I was blown away very early on with this device. I had been using it daily upon waking for about two weeks with good results – my facial and chest skin seemed way less red (which was my initial reason for trying the device), but the true test came about when I clumsily burned my neck with a curling iron.

Well, let me tell you, that dark brownish hickey-looking burn was GONE within 4 days of using the device. Normally, it would have taken twice as long to heal. I was in disbelief. Needless to say, I’m a convert!

Anything you could possibly want to know about the Joovv devices can be found here. Use the code WHOORL for a free gift with purchase!

nuface mini fix review

MICROCURRENT DEVICES

How do microcurrent devices work?

Microcurrent devices like the NuFACE Mini use micro-currents—tiny electric pulses—to gently stimulate the muscles in the face. This stimulation helps to ease tensions in the skin that eventually lead to wrinkles while improving circulation for increased collagen production. The MINI stimulates the larger surface areas of your face and neck with gentle microcurrent, going beyond skin deep to improve facial contour, facial tone and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What are the benefits of using microcurrent devices?

Looking damn good. Enough said. ;)

Okay okay, you want details. More defined facial tone and features, softening of fine lines and wrinkles, improved circulation, and tighter skin, to name a few.

How do I use the NuFACE MINI?

I personally use the MINI for 5-10 minutes per day, 2-3 times per week. When you start with this device, you should use it 5 days per week but after 2 months, you can go into maintenance mode which is only 2-3 times per week.

You must use a primer to conduct the microcurrent during your routine. NuFACE has its own primer (which comes with the device) or you can use a water-based gel, such as Aloe Vera gel. Badger Fair Trade Aloe Vera Gel is my favorite and I’ve tried lots.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE MINI

I go into full detail in this video, so take a look! (I use both the NuFACE Mini and the NuFACE FIX Line Smoothing Device in the video. The Mini is the workhorse while the FIX is for fine-tuning.)

THE BIG QUESTION. IF I HAD TO CHOOSE ONE…

I really view each one of these tools as integral to different facets of my skincare, but for me, I would have to go with the NuFACE MINI device. It’s made the biggest difference in my 45-year-old skin and I can’t imagine not using it! So for overall lifting and firming, I would go with NuFACE. If redness and/or acne are your biggest concerns, I’d choose the Joovv Go. For facial tension and puffiness, I would go with the Lanshin Pro!

I hope this was helpful for you all – as always, feel free to comment with any questions you might have about the devices!

3

Bluh Alchemy Botanic Retinol FTW

My top skincare focus in 2020 is finding you the best clean retinol and bio-retinol products out there. I mean, let’s get real…I am 45 years old and keeping my skin fresh and youthful in a natural manner is fairly important to me. Innovative ingredients are being introduced to the market almost every day, with the much-talked-about Bakuchiol at the top of the list. (Stay tuned for a full-on deep dive into Bakuchiol next week!)

I was so thrilled when I received the newest Beauty Heroes Discovery a few weeks ago and it contained a bio-retinol serum by none other than Bluh Alchemy. Now, if you are not familiar with the Multi-C Serum and the Toning Elixir by Bluh Alchemy, let me just say, WOW. The Beauty Heroes Discovery last year featuring these products sold out in record time. This brand is legit.

In this month’s Discovery is the Bluh Alchemy Botanic-Retinol (30ml | $140) and the Eye Oil Serum (10 ml | $82).

(Yes, it’s a $222 value for $58.95…even less if you subscribe to multiple months!)

Botanic-Retinol (30ml | $140)

From Beauty Heroes:

Blüh Alchemy’s latest product innovation continues to reinforce Becky Blüh as a leader in potent plant alchemy with formulas that feature a suite of complementary actives that boost the efficacy of the other. Botanic-Retinol is a transformative concentrate powered by Bakuchiol. While Bakuchiol is a buzz-worthy ingredient on its own, in this cell renewal concentrate it is supported by four additional plant-derived sources of vitamin A: fig, cacay, carrot seed oil, and watermelon bioferment to increase bioavailability. While plant-based vitamin A is not drying, Becky includes lupine ceramides, lupine amino acids, tamarind seed cellular extract, Tasmanian kelp cellular extract, and resurrection plant, which are all rich in water-loving polysaccharides, vitamins, and minerals, to ensure skin is drenched in moisture.

My take? This brand new serum is fabulous for keeping the skin looking even, feeling firm, and creating a nice glow. The green gel-like texture is very smooth and easy to apply and absorbs rapidly. Leaves my skin super soft, but I do need an additional layer of moisturizer afterward. (Which should be expected as it’s a treatment serum.)

For my Blue Tansy lovers, you will ADORE the scent. If you aren’t familiar with Blue Tansy, it’s the scent in products like May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon, deMamiel Skin Recovery Blend, and Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream. The scent is herbaceous, earthy, and slightly sweet, although if you are extremely sensitive to scent, I would steer you away. However, I consider myself relatively sensitive to scent and I have no problem with this one.

This is such a great option for those of you wanting the results of retinol, but don’t want to deal with the sensitivity and redness retinol can cause. Win-win.

Eye Oil Serum (10 ml | $82)

But there’s more! The biggest surprise for me personally in this box was the Eye Oil Serum.

Um, I LOVE THIS STUFF.

From Beauty Heroes:

If you haven’t yet had a chance to experience Blüh Alchemy’s Eye Oil Serum we are so excited to be able to share it with you! This month’s Sidekick is packed with vital bioactives including Kakadu plum designed to stimulate cell regeneration and a reduced appearance of hyperpigmentation, and green coffee bean to reduce the signs of dark circles, tighten and depuff, this innovative treatment pulls in potent antioxidants to draw out skin’s brightest, tautest appearance. Another pleasant surprise is the oil’s delicate scent of vanilla, an unlikely aroma in an eye treatment that adds an anti-inflammatory benefit and a heightened sense of luxury, two hallmarks of Blüh Alchemy.

This eye serum proved to be such a treat and is now what I’m using regularly as my eye moisturizer/treatment. First off, I love the slightest hint of vanilla in the scent. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it smells divine. Secondly, I love that it’s oil yet still absorbs really well. In the past, I’ve tried a few eye treatment oils that had to be reserved for nighttime due to absorption issues, but I can apply this one in the morning as well! By the time I’m ready to apply makeup, the oil has absorbed yet also leaves a really nice and hydrated undereye area for makeup application, which is key.

All in all, this serum ticks all the boxes for me and I’ll be using it frequently!

Now down to the nitty-gritty – this month’s Beauty Heroes Discovery Box dropped this morning and if it’s anything like last year’s Bluh Alchemy box, things will move fast. Click here to get yours while you can! And always, leave me a question in the comments and I’ll be happy to help out in any way I can. Happy Saturday!

3

Odds and Ends

1. Online-dating horror stories. These are painful, y’all.

2. Have you seen Delta’s new parallel reality flight info boards? WHAT IS THIS SORCERY

3. This is the best sweater of all sweaters and yes I will fight you on it.

4. Man, I’m going to miss David and Alexa when this last season ends. Also, this video is everything. #schittscreek4evah

5. What?! Not everyone has an internal monologue? I would like to join that team for a bit.

6. People are always asking me about the best clean unscented moisturizer without essential oils…Votary is incredible. (And it’s 75% off in this month’s Boxwalla box through tomorrow, 2/1!)

7. Please tell me you’ve heard the Dinosaur song. It’s sent me into an existintial crisis.

8. “You can’t be liked by everyone,” says therapist who hasn’t seen Jerry on Cheer. Also, best Cheer memes ever. I’m going to start using #3 ASAP.

9. David Sedaris is one of my favorites and I adored this essay about his sister, Amy.

10. In Denmark, empathy classes are part of school curriculum. Let’s follow suit!

11. I am now obsessed with this Brooklyn bakery.

Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend…it’s going to be 70 degrees here. #wtf #globalwarming

image credit: audrey bodisco