Hard truth: Not all skincare yields fast results. Take retinol, for example: If your goal is to reduce acne lesions, you'll have to wait at least three months to see results. And if you're using retinol to target fine lines and wrinkles, you won't notice a marked difference until the six-month point. Patience is a virtue with many products, which can feel frustrating and discouraging, especially in a fast-paced world where consumers want results now. So when a unicorn product comes along that serves up instant gratification, you can bet we're going to sing its praises from the rooftops.
One product in particular that deserves an encore tune is Dermaflash's latest launch. The brand's namesake product is an electric dermaplaning tool that removes dead skin cells and peach fuzz to not only smooth the skin, but also help forthcoming skincare penetrate deeper as any barrier-forming buildup has been removed. I'd heard team Byrdie rave about the tool so much that when I'd gotten word that the brand would be launching another tool called the Dermapore ($100) targeted at ultrasonic pore-cleansing, I excitedly RSVPd to the launch party.
What It Is
At the event, I had the pleasure of getting "'Pored" so I could feel (and see!) the magic of the product in action. After misting my clean face with water, the brand rep placed the metal spatula at a 45-degree angle against my skin (bent-side up) and slowly ran it across, particularly in areas of congestion along my nose and chin. After a few passes, she showed me the surface of the spatula, which had a satisfying amount of gunk along its edge. Turns out that by working on a wet surface, the sonic current of the device pushes water into the pores which is then shot out like a geyser as you slide the spatula along.
This, along with the pressure you apply—in tandem with the ultrasonic waves—pushes dirt, gunk, and oil out of pores.
But wait—there's more: Flip the tool around and give the power button another press, and this side of the spatula can be used to push your skincare deeper into your skin: Rather than a constant "buzz" that's emitted in "extract" mode, the "infuse" mode lets off a series of short, quick pulsations to break down your serums and essences into nanoparticles and drive them deep into the epidermis. The duality of the product is the one-two punch I need for clean, dewy skin; after just one use, I was hooked.
In fact, after raving about it to my husband (who could care less about skincare and considers a routine putting body lotion on his face once a year), I caught him using it multiple times.
What Dermatologists Think
The fact that I can physically see the product working renders it effective in my eyes, but I wondered what dermatologists thought of using a product at home that licensed skincare professionals also offer in-office. Is it safe? Are there any drawbacks?
"The device works by applying physical pressure along the skin and pushing the sebum or oil out of our pores; it also has a sonic vibration that enhances penetration of ingredients in products such as serums and creams," says Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD of Schweiger Dermatology. "It’s safe to use in the right hands, but there’s a lot of room for user error. With too much pressure, the skin can break and tear, pores can permanently enlarge, and small blood vessels can break." Nazarian warns that if your goal is to deeply remove blackheads, this tool is better used as a physical exfoliator for the surface of the skin and should only be used once or twice a week so that the skin has time to heal and regenerate.
David E. Bank, MD, FAAD of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery also recommends proceeding with caution, but is a bit more lenient about use frequency. "As long as sonic spatulas are not used too frequently (no more than every other day) and light pressure rather than heavy pressure is applied, they are generally safe to use. They also improve the absorption of products, as the pores are more open after exfoliating the top layer of skin."
Which Products Should Be Used With Dermapore?
Both dermatologists recommend gently cleansing prior to use (Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar for Nazarian and Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser for Bank). After rinsing, use the spatula on wet skin. Then, Bank suggests applying a product such as Environ Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream to further assist with gentle exfoliation of the skin while moisturizing.
For hydration in "infuse" mode, try a serum with sodium hyaluronate (which is smaller than hyaluronic acid and therefore better able to penetrate the skin) like SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel or other actives like niacinamide (for its hydrating, brightening, and anti-oxidant properties) or squalane, an emollient that also reverses UV damage.
Up next: How to prevent cheek blackheads.