There have been breakthroughs in the past few years on how to treat certain skincare concerns such as adult acne and ageing without resorting to surgery or an expensive course of prescription medicine.

The tools and machines we are going to talk about today all harness the power of science and technology to give you a non-invasive, convenient way to treat your specific skin concern without having to go further than your local drugstore. Here are some of the best we’ve seen:

OTC Tools Article Title 2

Technology: Blue Light

Skincare concern: Adult acne

Do you suffer from persistent adult acne, sebaceous dermatitis, or painful cysts? Adult acne problems are surprisingly common, but victims tend to suffer in silence. Devices such as Tria Acne Clearing Blue Light use a non-UV blue infrared light that targets spot-causing bacteria deep down under your skin. Painless, non-irritating to the skin, and convenient, you simply hold the device over a clean face for five minutes every morning (after which it shuts itself off) and carry on with your day. Users report that it is extremely effective, and although expensive at $245, it eliminates the need for expensive prescription medicine and topical creams, thus proving cost-effective in the long term.

Technology: At-Home Laser

Skincare concern: wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes

New fractional laser resurfacing technologies work by challenging your skin into a more rapid skin cell turnover. The PaloVia by Palomar ($499) has been FDA-approved for at home use and specifically for use on the delicate skin around the eyes (although there is no reason why you can’t use it all over your face). The company claims that 3-4 minutes of zapping a day will dramatically reduce wrinkles and fine lines within one month of use.

Technology: Red LED (Light emitting diode)

Skincare concern: Fine lines, loss of elasticity, and loss of facial “plumpness”

Ever feel that your face is getting more hollow as you age, especially under the cheekbones? The stars resort to fillers and injections, but anyone looking for a non-invasive way to fight this particular sign of ageing would do well to invest in LED devices. Recent research suggests that the reason LED is so effective is because it changes the molecular structure of the water layer in our skin to free up elastin, the protein in our skin that helps skin to bounce back when pulled and that naturally weakens over the course of our lives.

LED devices are light, handheld devices with panels that emit light and must be used three times a week over the entire face to see results. The results, it has been suggested, are nothing short of extraordinary and can be seen within 9 weeks of constant use. Generally, for anti-ageing and re-plumping the skin, LED devices with red light are preferred (blue light is for acne, and green light is for evening skin tone). There are quite a few good options on the market: LightStim Wrinkles edition targets wrinkled skin, the Baby uasar PLUS is a powerful red light only option, the Tria Age  has been FDA approved and proven to be very effective, and M&D Facial Secret also has its fans.

Technology: Microcurrent & Galvanic

Skincare concern: drooping, sagging skin, loss of firmness

Both microcurrent and galvanic devices work by sending out small electrical charges that stimulate facial muscles. Microcurrent devices work by stimulating the muscles directly and help to lift the skin and skin muscles without surgical intervention. Galvanic devices convert electricity into a direct current so that the electrons flow continuously in one direction, so must be used with a gel. The NuFace is a great starter device for those interested in microcurrents, and there are many rave reviews for Nu-Skin Galvanic Spa.

Technology: Rotating facial brush

Skincare concern: dull, flaky skin

Mechanically-operated facial brushes use sonic technology to remove impurities from the skin gently and thoroughly, cleansing 6 times better than manual cleansing alone. Although there are now many different branded models of facial brush, the Clarisonic mia is still considered to be the most effective on the market because of its high-speed rotating brush. In terms of anti-ageing, a facial brush like Clarisonic helps to make all your other skincare items like serums and creams far more effective, because it removes more impurities and dead skin from your skin than any other cleansing method, thus providing a clean slate.

Have you tried any of these over-the-counter gadgets and if so, how did they perform for you? Is there any other device I’ve forgotten that you think needs to be highlighted? Please share your tips!

Do you use any gadgets to improve your skin?

How to improve your skin without surgery - the best over-the-counter gadgets |

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