WRITTEN BY Lesley Holland Downey
I love a gadget. My drawers are filled with them to make my life better and easier. So that’s why I was intrigued by a few beauty tools I hadn’t used before in my skincare routine. I thought I’d try them, and share a review of how they worked.
The first is the Clarisonic Opal. This handheld device is a cousin to the Clarisonic brush which really does clean and exfoliate your skin at a deeper level than cleansing alone. The same concept applies to the Opal. Used with your current eye cream or serum, the Opal promises to deliver the active ingredients to your eyes at a deeper level (6x deeper, according to them).
Because our eyes are usually where we show age first (think crow’s feet, smile lines, puffiness, dark circles) I was more than happy to plunk down good money to try to it. Though I was skeptical, I have to say the Opal does give my eyes a smoother look—especially in the mornings when my eyes are puffy and dark.
If you’ve ever had a facial, you most likely have noticed how much better you look after all the facial massage and product application. This mini-massage with the Opal helps diminish puffiness and smooth lines. It has a timer so that you literally spend just one minute using it (about 30 seconds per eye). It can also be used on other age-prone areas such as the “elevens”—the vertical lines between your brows, or the nasolabial folds, the “parentheses” around your mouth. So, if your schedule and budget permits, I’d recommend the Opal. I am not sure how we’d know if it does make products penetrate better, but it does a give smoother look, at least temporarily.
The second gadget is the Age Revolt’s Micro Needle Roller—the Roll & Renew. I became intrigued about the micro-needling concept when I saw the Rodan+Fields version (the AMP MD Micro-Exfoliating Roller) reviewed on the Today show a few years ago. Micro-needling does a few things:
1) It creates very small channels in the skin’s surface, purportedly to allow better penetration of skin care products, allowing active ingredients in serums and creams to work better.
2) It creates micro injuries in the skin in a controlled way, which promises to make your skin plumper and tighter by increasing collagen production. This made sense to me because many cosmetic procedures, such as lasers and dermabrasion, create controlled injury to the skin so that it renews itself.
In the interest of full disclosure, the folks at Age Revolt sent me their starter kit to try. I have to say, I loved the idea of a micro-needler and I asked my aesthetician if she thought it worked. She said there is clinical data that this works well for normal skin types (without acne, rosacea, sensitivity and other skin conditions) for anti-aging. The feel of using it takes some getting used to because it doesn’t feel “good” in the way that the Opal does. Age Revolt makes a serum that is used right after the Roll & Renew, which contains retinol in a mild form that most skin types can tolerate. I used mine with a prescription strength retinoid that I already used.
There are some impressive before and after pictures on their website. I do think the roller has helped my lines between my eyebrows. I also met with Beth Heesman, Age Revolt’s cofounder, and her skin is amazing. She says she can use her micro-needler in a flash, which is always the goal.
THE BOTTOM LINE: These beauty aids will only work if you use them consistently, so you need to decide how much time and money you are willing to invest in your skin. I am a full believer in amassing a full arsenal with my skincare routine and these two are keepers.