I Test Products For a Living—These are the 5 Innovations I’m Most Excited About

New products, tools, and techniques come out in the beauty and wellness space every day, each one promising life-altering results. That's the reason we spend so much time researching the science behind their claims and testing the formulas out for ourselves. We swatch, massage, apply, pat, and blend at all hours of the day and night, hoping to find just a few new products to get excited about. And, trust me, there are so many gems out there. So much so, I began making a list at the beginning of 2019 of all the coolest innovations and contacted founders of the brand, experts in the field, and doctors who have administered the various treatments for their thoughts. Ready to find out more?

Below, I go through each one (five, to be exact) and explain exactly why these products and treatments are something to get excited about. There's skincare and haircare products blended specifically for your personal needs, new ways to make use of Botox and filler, brands with CBD-based products, and innovative body-contouring treatments. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about all of them.


Hallie Gould

Emsculpt, one of the newest (and arguably coolest) body-contouring treatments is a 30-minute procedure that is not only noninvasive but completely nonthermal, non-ionizing, and non-radiating. So it's not cold like CoolSculpting or hot like SculpSure—in fact, it's not uncomfortable at all. The difference in innovation here is that Emsculpt has to do with both your fat cells and muscles. "This treatment is a complete game changer for the industry, as it's a first of its kind, the current approach to body-shaping contours through the elimination of fat and circumferential reduction," notes Bruce E. Katz, MD, the director at Juva Skin & Laser Center. "Current body shaping techniques fail to address muscles, which greatly affects our body's contour. Emsculpt finally goes beyond just waistline reduction and elimination of fat cells to provide a dual treatment to address fat and muscle tone," he says.

Previously, these contouring treatments could only work on your fat cells, but now, the technology promises to treat and tone the muscles beneath the fat in a way that isn't addressed with traditional exercise. "Emsculpt works to tone and tighten musculature while decreasing fat," Marnie Nussbaum, MD, explains. "It uses magnetic field technology to penetrate through your skin and create a micro-current that contracts your muscles. One 30-minute session is equivalent to 20,000 crunches," she says. For best results, they recommend four treatments in the course of two weeks (so, one every few days). Myself and Faith both tried the treatment on our stomachs (you can read about her experience in full here) and found the results to be decidedly astounding. Once you're strapped in, the machine vacillates from contracting to resting and back again for the entire duration. During the contractions, it feels akin to doing a plank. But, because it only lasts a few seconds, it never feels painful or exhausting. Throughout, there's a tapping sensation to break up the lactic acid in your muscles, which stops you from getting sore the next day. As someone who very literally doesn't move her body save for walking to the subway, I can happily report it really works to nix any aches or pains. After the initial four sessions you can go back and have a touch-up every few months if you so choose. Additionally, Emsculpt also works to lift and tone your butt, so, that's next on my agenda.

CBD Skincare

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion
Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion $40.00

CBD skincare has been making huge shock waves in the industry, offering up a lot of really innovative, efficacious products as well as, arguably, a lot of confusion. Faith recently demystified a lot of this—explaining, "Not every skincare product that says 'CBD' or even 'cannabis' in its name actually contains the CBD you’re thinking of. In fact, a lot of times, it might just contain hemp seed oil—also called cannabis sativa oil and hemp oil—which has been a common ingredient in skincare products for a long time. It’s not, however, the same thing as CBD." Pretty much, hemp seed oil is a nice hydrator—nothing else. That being said, full-spectrum hemp extract (which is the CBD that offers up all those exciting benefits) is, according to Ashley Lewis and Meredith Schroeder, co-founders of new online CBD retailer Fleur Marché, "a potent antioxidant, highly anti-inflammatory, and has been shown in multiple studies to soothe irritation, reduce redness, and potentially combat acne." Charlotte Palermino, co-founder of cannabis education website Nice Paper, who is in the midst of creating a CBD skincare line herself (more on that below), shares that additional studies show potential for soothing psoriasis and even helping slow down signs of aging because of its neuro-regenerative and antioxidant properties. Another hot tip? Lord Jones' High CBD Formula Body Lotion ($40) works to prevent and soothe aches and pains associated with wearing heels all night (bless). 

Palermino discusses her own forthcoming skincare brand, Dieu X: "Dieu X is working with chemists and a dermatologist to create a cannabinoid-based skincare line based on the research and findings from our education and consulting platform; Nice Paper. We love CBD, but we're exploring how active ingredients can meaningfully alter your skin. As we know, CBD may interact with receptors in your skin to help with inflammation, oil production, and even potentially skin regeneration. With this preliminary research, we're taking the appropriate steps to get the formula right and are in the early stages of formulation. I'm seeing a lot of brands flood the marketplace with no research, only the vague claims skincare companies can make without attracting too much attention from the FDA."

To sum up—CBD is a really cool, innovative skincare ingredient and has the potential to soothe ailments that can otherwise cause a ton of frustration. All you have to do is make note of whether or not the product you're using (or contemplating purchasing) touts real, science-backed claims and the ingredients to back it up. Look for any of the following in the formula: CBD, hemp CBD, full-spectrum hemp extract, phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil, hemp extract oil.

Personalized Haircare and Skincare

It's clear at this point that haircare and skincare can no longer be marketed as one size fits all—because, well, they aren't. Every single one of us has different skin and hair, whether that be type, tone, or texture. And, as such, they respond differently to every product. For that reason, personalized formulas have made a huge impact in the industry, offering up a bespoke regimen based on our various needs. Along with the aforementioned differences, factors like climate and whether or not you live in a city come into play. Think: humidity, dryness, pollution, and the like—it all affects us. Skincare brands like Skinsei, Younique YouologyPour Moi, and Proven have utilized technology and science to offer personalized skin assessments through their products and, often, a comprehensive quiz on their respective websites. The line of questioning is meant to create an experience similar to sitting down in front of a dermatologist. Afterward, they offer a customized skincare solution that's reflective of your skin type, skin goals, lifestyle, ethnicity, and climate. Same goes for hair, as brands like Prose, who give both online and in-person assessments with a stylist to identify your hair's specific needs. Then, they formulate a personalized product in just five days. It's a way to better take into account your bio-individuality each time you hop in the shower.

New and Off-Label Injections


The world of injections is a fascinating one. These non-invasive procedures promise to do everything from smooth wrinkles, slim your jawline, carve cheekbones, and nix under-eye hollows in ten minutes or less. And then there's their off-label uses as well. "Off-label" doesn't mean not safe, as an FYI, it just means it has yet to be approved by the FDA. First, there's Botox to help fix your posture. The Thirty's managing editor, Victoria, worked with Lauren Pack at GoodSkin to do just that. When she came in complaining of tension in her jaw, Pack told her injecting in her neck and shoulders would encourage her to shift the work her jaw was doing to her core muscles—pulling her shoulders back, correcting her posture, and even potentially giving her abs a nice workout in the process. Another? Using Botox in your jaw to help treat TMJ and teeth grinding. "A lot of people think mouth guards help, but these only protect against your teeth," Lisa Goodman, also of Goodskin, told me. "Botox works to relieve that jaw tension and pain," It can eliminate headaches, teeth grinding, and lockjaw by relaxing the muscle that unconsciously creates such stress. This will keep your jaw muscles from looking defined and your jaw from seeming wider.

While Botox has been the leading skin-smoothing, muscle-relaxing agent for decades, there's now a new brand on the scene to cater to your unique needs. Jeuveau is used just like Botox, however adding another solution offers up more options for consumers based on what exactly they're looking for. The differences are subtle, but I'll take all the options I can get.

A More Effective Way to Sheet-Mask

Pulse+Glo Ion Enhancer
Pulse+Glo Ion Enhancer $170.00

"For noticeably hydrated, bright, and dewy skin in just 20 minutes," celebrity facialist Georgia Louise shares, "I always use the Pulse+Glo Ion Enhancer ($170) with my sheet masks." According to Louise, this device uses galvanic current to penetrate the active ingredients deeper into your skin for an instant glow. So, rather than just slapping on a mask and calling it a day, this device promises to help yield faster, more visible results each time.

FYI: Here are six hair products Byrdie editors say will be bestsellers in 2019.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Baswan SM, Klosner AE, Glynn K, et al. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and DisordersClin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:927-942. doi:10.2147/CCID.S286411

  2. Kwon KH, Shin KS, Yeon SH, Kwon DG. Application of Botulinum Toxin in Maxillofacial Field: Part I. Bruxism and Square JawMaxillofac Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019;41(1):38. doi:10.1186/s40902-019-0218-0

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