It doesn't always seem like technology and green beauty are natural companions. So what happens when you mix equal amounts tech and beauty? You get the best (and most futuristic) products on the market. Enter the newest wave of DIY at-home devices, whose main draw is to improve upon what you already own. "Who said plant-based couldn't be high-tech?" says green beauty aficionado and licensed medical esthetician Jordana Mattoli. "You're concerned about what goes on your skin, what you use, and how you use it. And yet, there's a host of treatments that are for the most part, relegated to the cutting room floor because of negative perceptions," says Jordana.
In the world of green beauty, not only have high-tech innovations taken product formulations to new heights, but the advent of knowledge (and acceptance) around cutting-edge ingredients and treatments have sparked a wave that's pushing boundaries and changing the way we view beauty. "We’ve come a long way since skin was categorized as dry, oily or combination, and how we look after our faces has become a game-changing pursuit," says Jordana. Instead of "skin typing", think of the approach as an all-encomappsing endeavor that goes beyond the basics to embrace lifestyle and intentions as influences on your skin’s behavior.
At its basis, all the information readily available—which makes us smarter and more informed then ever to make decisions about what's important to us—is really just akin to a skin-enhancing algorithm. "There is only so much topical skincare can do," says Jordana. "Hi-tech refers to lasers, lights, radio frequency, ultrasound, and micro-current that kickstart your skin to do specific things naturally; we just give them a little push!"
But how do you incorporate these at-home skin-pushing-boundary tools into your rituals? "It's so easy to catch up on your favorite TV show and let an enzyme exfoliant work its magic on your skin, or do some microcurrent lifting or skin plumping LED at the same time. A lot of these devices are FDA-approved for safety, and easy to use, hence almost impossible to use incorrectly," says Jordana.
Here, a rundown of beauty gadgets and ingredients that aim to upgrade your daily routine. You're welcome!
The at-home alternative to a derm chemical peel: fruit acid peels and enzyme exfoliators.
This collaboration between “hands on” meets “high tech” is endless exciting. "Skincare and all forms of appearance enhancement, just like everything else in life, is about balance. I have plenty of clients that are immersed in a green lifestyle and still do peels, laser treatments and even botox, but stick with using green skincare on a regular basis. You have to do what is comfortable for you! Wanting to look your best is never something to be ashamed of."
- White & Elm Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, $32.
- Marie Veronique Probiotic + Exfoliation Mask, $50.
- Derma E Overnight Peel, $18.75.
- Grown Alchemist Enzyme Exfoliant, $69.
"Used once a week, enzymes and acids remove dead skin to brighten dull skin, fade acne marks, and help with overall anti-aging." says Jordana.
The at-home alternative to laser: handheld LED device.
At this point, LED light therapy is still a relatively niche skincare technique in the United States, most often found in estheticians' or dermatologists' offices and medical spas. "The Light Emitting Diodes deliver light energy to the skin in a similar way plants absorb light energy from the sun," says Jordana. "The LED energizes skin cells and stimulates the skins natural healing process to regenerate cells and build new proteins. The blue is for destroying acne bacteria and the red is for increasing collagen, circulation and reducing inflammation."
These devices are FDA-cleared and have their own app for you to keep track of treatments, usage, and results. Bonus!
The at-home alternative to microdermabrasion: gentle scrubs.
When President Obama signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which banned plant microbeads—a common ingredient in personal care products—tiny microbeads in products have have turned out to be a big problem, even in natural products. "Here's four exfoliating scrubs you can use up to twice a week (without any worry of microbeads) that also happen to be very effective," says Jordana.
- One Love Organics Microderma Scrub & Masque, $12.
- Juara Radiance Enzyme Scrub, $7.50.
- Shiva Rose Saffron Rose Facial Scrub, $50.
- Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant, $54.95.
The at-home alternative to micro currant: mini facial toning device.
Microcurrent stimulates the fluid trapped under the skin to initiate de-puffing. The NuFACE Mini Facial Toning device is a tiny FDA-cleared gadget with two spheres that deliver 335 microamps of gentle stimulation just under the sensory level, so you feel little to no sensation—and the included gel primer prevents any pinching or stinging. "You can adjust the intensity to any one of the three settings at any time during treatment, although the device should not be used around the eyes or mouth as those areas have circular muscles and need to be treated according to muscle direction," says Jordana.
NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, $199.
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