As an avid sheet mask fan, I was especially intrigued when the initial email detailing the Foreo UFO device arrived in my inbox. While the specifics were vague, the fact that it was described as "the world’s first smart mask treatment to offer spa-level facial treatments in just 90 seconds, combining LED light therapy with cryo-therapy, thermo-therapy and T-Sonic pulsations" certainly had my attention (FYI, LED light therapy is my form of meditation).
Fast forward, and I finally have one in my hands. To clarify, Foreo is a brand that specializes in professional-grade, beauty-related technology. You might be familiar with its best-seller, the Luna 2 cleansing device, a silicone dome that pulsates so that your cleanser or serum works more effectively.
The UFO—which stands for Ur Future Obsession—is Foreo's latest launch that combines sheet masking with LED light therapy, as well as thermal activity and pulsations (you can watch a short video here). The hype on the Internet has been real, so naturally, I was dying to give it a go.
If you're interested in how it went down, keep scrolling.
Best for: All skin types
Uses: Brightens complexion, reduces visible signs of aging, improves skin texture and tone
Star Rating: 4/5
Potential allergens: None
About the brand: Foreo is an incredibly innovative Swedish company specializing in state-of-the-art skincare devices and tools. Some of their most popular products include the Foreo Luna and the Foreo Bear.
I believe it's not a coincidence that the UFO looks like, well, an actual UFO. It's shaped like a small, flat circle and fits in the palm of your hand. The device itself is made out of soft, 100 percent waterproof silicone, with a flat side that houses the sheet mask and attachment ring.
When you open the package, you can expect to find a USB charging cord, instruction manuals, and a sheet mask, so that you can get started on your treatment right away. There's also a two-year warranty covering any defects or issues, should they arise.
The UFO has three separate modes:
- Cryo-Therapy Mode cools the skin to reduce puffiness and irritation.
- Thermo-Therapy Mode heats the mask within the device, making the active ingredients more readily available to penetrate the skin while giving you a soothing, relaxing treatment.
- T-Sonic Pulsation Mode delivers gentle sonic vibrations and also helps the mask ingredients absorb into the skin.
In addition to these modes, there's also red, blue, and green light LED light therapy, as well as the FOREO beauty app that you'll need to download on your phone before you can use the device.
Each treatment using the UFO lasts about 90 seconds, making it a great tool to use when you're short on time. The three specialty modes feel exactly as described: Cryo-therapy feels quite soothing; Thermo-Therapy is super relaxing, and the T-sonic vibrations have just enough oomph to feel like magic is happening, but not enough to irritate the skin.
Special Considerations: Additional Masks
This device is incredibly cool, but you should know that you will have to keep buying the FOREO Masks to use with the product. Each of the masks in the collection is formulated and made in South Korea, the reigning champion of sheet mask technology. The good news is, there are about 14 different masks to choose from. Some options include the Cannabis seed oil mask that calms and soothes irritated skin; Bulgarian Rose that hydrates dry, dehydrated skin; or the Call it a Night Mask designed to nourish and protect your skin while you're sleeping.
But the bad news is that each box of six or seven masks ranges from $10 to $20, which is a bit steep, in my opinion. Considering this device is meant to be used daily (and even twice daily) which means you're looking at spending between $40 to $80 bucks a month on masks, which is not realistic for a lot of people's budgets. Of course, if you plan on using the UFO intermittently or just when you need a skincare boost, then the price is slightly more justifiable.
How to Use
I'll admit I was very confused about using this when I first had a look. A quick YouTube tutorial had me feeling about 90 percent confident I was doing it correctly. Let's look it step by step.
- Remove the plastic ring around the flat part of the device.
- Place the circular, made-to-fit sheet mask (sold both with the device and separately) under the plastic ring before securing it back on.
- Scan the barcode of the sheet mask your using on the Foreo app.
- You then hit the "on" button (once for the a.m. function and twice for p.m.), and gently place the device on your skin, moving it around in circular motions.
To supercharge your UFO experience, place a bit of the sheet mask serum on the device before putting the sheet mask on for a megadose of hydration.
It's important to note that you must download the FOREO Beauty app before using the device. The Make My Day and Call it a Night Masks have pre-set options that technically don't need the app to function, but if you want to use any of the additional masks, you'll need to use the app to tailor the treatment and activate it. It's slightly complicated, but it does make the experience a bit more personalized.
For example, let's say you plan on using the H2Overdose mask, one of the additional options from the brand. You'll need to open the app, place the mask into the device, scan the barcode on the back of the packaging, and from there, the device knows the exact treatment needed to make this mask the best fit for your skin. This includes 30 seconds of Thermo-Therapy and red LED lights, followed by 60 seconds of intense T-Sonic vibrations, 30 seconds of green LED light therapy, and a lower, more gentle T-sonic vibration. Besides connecting the app with the mask, you don't need to do anything except gently move the device around your face.
The first few seconds were quiet. I moved the device around my face in circular motions feeling extremely unconfident, until a slow-building warmth and eventual red (for calming inflammation) and then green (for anti-aging) LED light convinced me I had it sorted. Next up came the pulsing. It buzzed around my face, pushing the hyaluronic serum from the sheet mask into my skin. I kept moving it around until the 90-second cycle eventually came to an end. The mask's serum had pretty much absorbed entirely, and my face was plump, glossy, and slightly pink (in the best possible way). When I woke up the next morning, the clarity was even more pronounced—I was into it.
It retails at $199, but considering the results are comparable to an in-salon facial, I think it's worth it. Also, the 90-second time-frame means it's doable. My final thoughts are that skincare fanatics everywhere will be low-key obsessed with this (I already am).
But I do have to add in the caveat of buying additional masks. I can definitely see how this device would be cool for a few months, but then you forget to buy masks, and then you see it on your shelf six months later and think, "Ah, I should buy more masks!" and then you never do. We've (and by we, I mean myself) have been there before.
Foreo UFO 2: Priced at $280, the UFO 2 is a more advanced version of the Foreo UFO. It features full-spectrum LED light treatments, upgraded Thermo-Therapy mode that heats five times faster than the original, and Cryo-Therapy cooling down to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overall, the Foreo UFO is an amazing piece of technology. I didn't think sheet masks could get any cooler, but somehow Foreo has managed to take a simple piece of cotton and marry it with technology (and personalization) to create an entirely new product. The price is a bit steep, but if you have the money to spend, I think it's a great investment.