Over the past few years, technology and skin care have collided more than ever before, causing us to wonder: Could there soon be a day when all our precious serums and creams will be rendered obsolete, replaced by a bevy of high-tech tools and devices? The short answer is probably not. No product-obsessed person would ever dare say "see ya later" to their beloved top shelf, but that's not to say the aforementioned gadgets won't seriously upgrade the skin-care game — and potentially shake up the industry as we know it.
Need proof? We have a Food and Drug Administration-cleared LED mask that'll help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fight acne and a vibrating facial massage tool that mimics your body's natural lymphatic system. Oh, and there's an epidermal growth factor (EGF) Micro-Needling + Ion Infusion Kit from Georgia Louise to consider as well — which creates tons of tiny channels on your skin's surface.
The tech-based options we're exposed to seem to be increasing by the month, let alone year, so we've rounded up 17 dermatologist- and editor-approved skin-care Facial Device worth trying out this year, including a handheld LED light that literally zaps away the appearance of fine lines over time.
Massage guns, also known as percussion Massagers, percussive therapy and vibration therapy, offer many of the benefits of massage without the expense or the hassle of a visit to the massage therapist — something currently forbidden, with physical distancing. These electric tools, which start at about $100 and resemble power drills, deliver a vigorous massage and typically come with a selection of attachments, such as balls of varying firmness and finger-like tips, and have different settings. While they’re designed to be used by anyone, they’re most popular among endurance athletes such as triathletes and ultramarathoners, says Hugh Williams, the marketing director of Addaday, a massage gun manufacturer. But with the benefits come a few risks as well. Here’s what you should know before using one.
Like a traditional massage, the Body Hair Device aims to reduce inflammation by flushing extracellular fluids such as lymph fluid and venous blood out of the muscle tissue and into the circulatory system. It can help relax tight muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions, and minimize muscle soreness and tension. A small study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found percussive therapy to be as effective as massage in preventing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Unlike with many other forms of bodywork, it’s not only possible to perform percussive massage on yourself but it’s recommended. According to Alan Novick, physician and chief of the Memorial Rehabilitation Institute in Hollywood, Fla., if someone else is using the gun on you, regardless of their credentials, skill and experience, they can’t tell how much pressure they’re exerting on your body or how much pain you might be experiencing as a result. “You could actually hurt somebody,” he says.
On the other hand, if you’re using it on yourself, “you have that direct feedback loop and you’re not going to apply as much pressure,” Novick says.
During the 1940s, many hospitals began utilizing UV-C energy for the control of airborne infectious diseases. With the arrival and proliferation of antibiotics, use of germicidal UV began to wane. During the 1990s, drug-resistant “superbugs” and hospital-acquired infections renewed interest in UV-C, which can kill virtually any microorganism, including antibiotic-resistant germs.
ASHRAE has recognized that the UV-C wavelength inactivates virtually all microorganisms living on HVACR surfaces, with kill ratios of up to 99 percent, depending on the intensity of the UV-C and the length of exposure.6
UV-C dose is determined by the amount of germicidal energy a pathogen absorbs over a specific period of time. In other words, UV-C dose is a function of time multiplied by intensity. Consider, for example, a surface-disinfection application involving cooling coils. The Disinfection Device target (the coil surface) is stationary, so exposure, or “residence,” time is continuous. As a result, the intensity of the UV-C energy striking the surface can be relatively low. In the case of a moving air stream, however, exposure time is limited—a mere fraction of a second, in some cases—so UV-C intensity must be much greater.
It is important to note that microbe inactivation is a nonlinear function of UV-C exposure. In other words, “If a certain UV exposure kills 90 percent of a bacterial population (frequently referred to as ‘one-log kill’), doubling the exposure time or intensity can kill only 90 percent of the residual 10 percent, for an overall germicidal efficacy of 99 percent (‘two-log kill’).”7