BEAUTY: the latest home treatments
Tech gadgets, dinky applicators and scientiically-backed ingredients have upped the home skin-care game. Sharon Hunt explores how the next generation of skincare is turning back the clock from the comfort of your bathroom.
Cleanse. Tone. Moisturise. In bygone years, this was about all that was expected of a home skin-care routine, with intensive treatments and heavy-duty formulations reserved for spas and dermatologists’ of ces. Oh, how times have changed. The beauty industry is innovating at breakneck speed and it’s not just the beauty professionals bene ting; increasingly beauty brands are taking the latest research ndings and implementing them into their consumer products. The pursuit of brighter, tighter and all-round more youthful skin has seen us venture outside the box – or at least the standard moisturiser jar. Clearly, we’re willing to seek out the latest innovation. UK research organisation Mintel notes that 30 per cent of women have trialled a new beauty product in the past three months.
Tech-based devices are leading the home skin-care revolution. The professional market for device-based treatments is thriving, with a 2017 American Society of Plastic Surgeons report revealing that women are annually undergoing more than two million minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments – and coughing up an average $414 per treatment.
While the initial outlay may hurt the hip pocket, it’s a drop in the water compared to ongoing professional treatments. Unlike a salon experience where you simply lay back, relax and let the expert do all the work, these at-home devices require you to do the work to reap the bene ts. Most DIY devices offer instructional video tutorials to help perfect your technique, but it’s all on you to stick to the program. Consistency is crucial.
Meanwhile, you’d have to be living under a rock (charcoal, of course) if you’ve missed the sheet mask trend currently eclipsing the need for seeing a facialist. The appeal of sheet masks lies in the precision application of the easy-to-use, single delivery sheet. The sheet mask has spawned a broader category of single-delivery skin treatments. Serum capsules and pods offering a one-off concentrated active ingredient, applied in a precise and potent quantity to achieve instantly tangible results. Who doesn’t want that?
Trends come and go, but what has emerged above the noise are two expert-backed treatments: hydration via hyaluronic acid and regeneration via vitamin A retinol. Both are a mainstay on treatment-room shelves, but now high street and even chain store brands are incorporating these active ingredients into formulations.
So why are these two ingredients so revered? Well, hyaluronic acid has a documented ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water, making it the most powerful moisturising ingredient for skin. Meanwhile, retinol is the trump card for skin rejuvenation. A landmark University of Michigan Medical School study identi ed the ef cacy of retinol by observing its ability to increase the production ability of the skin’s structure, resulting in a renewed skin appearance. Skin care brands have really come of age by cross-pollinating across categories. This means we’re now seeing crossovers like hydrating face masks that are applied with a magnetised infuser tool, or single-dose retinol capsules massaged into the skin with a micro-needle roller. The future of skincare has of cially arrived – and you don’t even need an appointment.