It’s the end of an era. Earlier this year, Clarisonic announced that from the 30th of September this year, they would be shutting up shop. Gone. Done. Goodbye to those oscillating brush heads. If you somehow missed its moment in the sun, the Clarisonic facial device—for cleansing, to be specific—was the beauty tool you constantly eyed up as a ‘one-day’ purchase. (Or were lucky enough to actually use and enjoy via your hard-earned cash or very generous gift-givers.)
Among its glowy celeb fans were Cate Blanchett, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and, uh, Oprah, all preaching the gospel of the Clarisonic. However, in 2020, the makeup style of the day has lightened and we’re becoming more aware of the importance of babying rather than sand-blasting our skin. Over-exfoliating and aggressive cleansing have destroyed too many faces’ moisture barriers. Even before they announced their closure the writing appeared to be on the wall for Clarisonic, especially in the era of skincare diets and ‘less is more‘.
If you are intrigued as to what adding a facial device could actually do for your skin, you’re in luck. While it once seemed like the facial device to rule them all, it’s simply not the case any more. In loving memory of the facial device that over-cleansed so many, allow us to introduce you to the new guard. Below, our pick of the best of the best beauty tech that we’re gifting this year.
Skincare Tools & High-Tech Facial Devices
Foreo LUNA Play Plus
The facial device range from Foreo is the one to watch if you’re looking for the next big thing in the world of fun face gadgets. Even before we had to farewell old mate Clarisonic, we were on board the Foreo train.
The cleansing devices in particular just make sense. We are big fans of these if you just want to bump up your cleansing situation—the device removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, makeup—without going HAM on new products. You’ve got T-Sonic™ pulsations, soft silicone bristles (that don’t need to be replaced!) and they’re much more compact and travel friendly that brush-style devices.
FOREO LUNA Play Plus, $75.00 from Sephora.
Foreo UFO 2
On the other end of the scale, we’ve got the facial device made to level up your mask routine. The aptly named Foreo UFO 2 is a smart mask treatment device that uses light therapy, T-Sonic™ facial massaging and heating and cooling sensations to push your mask goodness deep into your skin.
How does it actually work? Dw, it’s saucer-like appearance doesn’t make it immediately obvious. (This YouTuber’s demo is very informative.) The Foreo UFO 2 is designed to be used with Foreo masks: they’re similar to sheet masks but instead of placing them on your face, you place the circular sheets into the UFO 2. There are a bunch of different formulations for targeting different things, from hydrating to brightening to one made specifically for before you sleep (have we gone too far as a species?) and the packaging is recyclable. From there it’s just a matter of sitting back and moving the mask around your face as directed by the accompanying app. We can happily report super juicy, bouncy and very smooth skin post-use. Plus a general sense of feeling very pampered and extra.
Delightful, futuristic and indulgent. Highly recommend if you’re into all of those things.
FOREO UFO 2, $395.00 from Sephora.
Aira Ionic Facial Steamer
Let’s say you don’t want to put anything on your face, but maybe you’re interested in trying something facial device adjacent. If you’ve hovered your face above a fresh cup of tea or played dangerous games doing bootleg facials in the steam from a rice cooker, you’re aware that facial steaming feels great. As well as helping to stimulate circulation—thus aiding the whole looking alive thing—steaming your face has a bunch of other nice benefits. Think hydrating and softening your skin’s surface, making your skin more receptive to treatments and products and helping your skin release impurities.
While there are a tonne of different facial steamers on the market, this one from Aira comes highly recommended. Plus, you can also use it with your favourite essential oil for some aromatherapy action.
Aire Ionic Facial Steamer, approx. $124.03 AUD (currently on sale for $77.17) from Vanity Planet.
Gua sha, but make it high-tech. While most of us reading this probably aren’t super concerned with the ‘facelift’ effects of the NuFACE Trinity Mini all the time, this is a fun one if you’ve got some kinda special event (or special Zoom party) coming up. It works by stimulating the deeper tissues and muscles in your skin with gentle microcurrents, think of it as ‘waking’ everything up.
The microcurrent device, as absurd as it sounds, was actually one of the easiest things to sell at MECCA because of how easy it was to demonstrate that it really truly worked. Seriously, if for whatever reason you want extremely carved-out cheekbones and a jawline that could slice butter, give this one a try. (After chucking it on your mum or dad’s Christmas present list.)
NuFACE Trinity Mini, $319.00 from MECCA.
Panasonic Advanced Facial Device
If you’re looking for an all-in-one futuristic skin-baton, we’d have a squiz at the offering from Panasonic. Their wands (as lovingly demonstrated by It-gal Kiko Mizuhara) can be used in a multitude of ways. Turn it on while you’re cleansing and see if you can distinguish between the positive and negative ion currents—which apparently lift 60% more deep-set dirt and grease from your pores. After that, you can use it on the sonic vibration and heat setting, before finishing it off on cooling mode, which helps to soothe and lift your skin.
We’ve heard excellent reports of smoother, bouncier skin and better skincare penetration from friends who love theirs. Thanks for the great influencing Kiko. ✌🏽
Panasonic EH-XT20 3-in-1 Microcurrent Facial Enhancer, approx $214.00 from eBay.
Lead image via Instagram, @cristuchida.