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Ask Marta: Skin Care Gadgets

skin care gadgets

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January 28, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments

The great news is that in the past few years, at-home devices — based on technologies that were once only available to doctors — have become affordable and effective. The downside is that the choices can seem overwhelming. So it isn’t surprising that my mailbox is always full of questions about at-home devices, such as those with microcurrent, ultrasonic or LED. I’m sharing a few that the rest of you might find useful.

Dear Marta, I'm interested in firming and lifting skin. What would be better for me — microcurrent or ultrasonic? Should I use both?

The short answer is that you can’t go wrong with either. Microcurrent and ultrasonic are the best things I have found for lifting sagging skin. I have a personal preference for ultrasound, which in my experience is the more effective treatment. But I actually do use both — ultrasound around 2-3 times a week and microcurrent 1-2 times a week — because the technologies are complementary:

Microcurrent works at the muscular level
Microcurrent delivers a tiny charge that stimulates facial muscles. The charge is very tiny and sub-sensory, meaning if the device is properly used, you should not feel anything (very sensitive people may experience tingling).

Ultrasound works at the cellular level
As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head into the skin, they cause the vibration of the surrounding tissues — particularly those that contain collagen. Ultrasound cannot be heard by the human ear and cannot be felt (there is no vibration or other sensation).

Dear Marta, I'm looking to invest in a device but am on a budget. Is there an all-rounder device that could help all my skin concerns — wrinkles, sagging and sun damage?

Let’s take your skin concerns in turn and I’ll point to the best technology for them:

The best technologies for wrinkles are collagen boosting. This would be LED light. Specifically the red LED light helps treat wrinkles by targeting water layers on elastin, resulting in wrinkle reduction.

Ultrasound can really help firm things up. The rapid oscillation of tissue created by ultrasound energy promotes movement of fluid waves against cells, facilitating movement between the inner and outer cells and thereby increased fibroblastic activity and collagen formation.

Sun damage
For sun spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation, look to green LED light. Green light targets melanocytes, melanin-producing cells located in the bottom layer of the skin's epidermis. It prevents it from traveling to the skin’s surface, and breaks up melanin clusters to diminish existing discoloration.

Dear Marta, I'm approaching my 40s and am looking for a tool that'll help keep wrinkles at bay.

I do believe that cumulative results of ultrasound and LED light are preventative. I have a 30-something friend whose monthly esthetician visits for LED seem to be staving off her 40s in the most impressive way. As sagging is not an issue, I would keep things simple with our Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop), which has LED light (red and infra-red for wrinkles and blue for acne) and ultrasound, or Quasar MD Plus ($399) with red and infra-red LED light.

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  • December 8, 2017

    by Judith

    Can I buy this machine also in the Netherlands?

  • September 16, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Philma, I just want to quickly mention that none of these devices should be used on the eyelids - although under eyes and crow's feet area is fine. For jowls, ultrasound is the best technology that I have found as it does firm the skin and produce collagen with regular use. I find that LED light is good for wrinkles and plumping and that would be where the Quasar would come into its own. Truth Vitality Lux Renew has ultrasound and LED.

  • September 15, 2015

    by Philma

    Marta, I have heavy upper lids, puffy lower lids, and sagging cheeks. I have seen Nufage in a salon, but then I saw the Truth Vitaliy Lux Renew. I am 64 and want to stop the jowls. What about the Quasar MD Plus? Thank you for your time and assistance.

  • April 7, 2014

    by Marta

    Hi Detts, there is absolutely no fat burning with LED or ultrasound. Fat melting can only happen with thermal energy technologies and temperatures need to get to 56°C. Our machine, as you can feel, does not get hot. You can read more on LED and ultrasound in these articles (the one on ultrasound explains the fat burning issue):

  • April 7, 2014

    by Detts

    Hi Marta

    I use the red led light regularly along with the ultra sonic - I have the ultra renew plus. I have a lean face and can't spare to lose any fat - do you know if red led can cause any damage to the fat cells and cause volume loss? I enjoy the benefits of the unit to my skin and from what I understand red led ought to boost collagen but wanted to double check the fat loss question.


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