Of course, electronic devices are not cosmetics, but we cannot but talk about this booming trend set to spread everywhere after summer (cleansing and skincare, massage, hair, and even makeup)… Let’s start with the bad news though: access to high-tech beauty is quite expensive. But the good news is: beauty toys arrive in supermarkets, and prices begin to be more affordable.
It is called home device, instrumental cosmetics, or electronic beauty, and even if it still represents a niche market (prices are still high), it is booming. There will be countless launches after summer, in all fields: face care, massage, eye contour, hair, heavy legs… According to the Kline research firm, this fast-growing market has almost doubled in five years. As expected, face care devices – mostly with anti-aging claims – weigh a third of the market.
Cleansing brushes are getting more sophisticated
They have really revolutionized the segment of face cleansers/makeup removers, the key for a beautiful skin, by cleansing six times better and much faster than manual cleansing, depending on the brands. The result is immediate on complexion radiance, pore tightening, and efficacy of the skincare products applied right after – they penetrate much better.
The craze for e-beauty actually started with them, in particular with Clarisonic, which developed several models (as from €159). Recommended by many American dermatologists, and purchased by L'Oréal in 2011, the brand has just launched Smart Profile Uplift™ for €360, a 2-in-1 brush which combines the power of the sonic cleansing system (whose timing has increased to 80 seconds to also reach the neck), with a new firming massage process to visibly reduce wrinkles and skin sagging (face, neck, chest). Clarisonic has discovered a non-invasive, unique, patented sonic frequency with a firming effect. Together with the new Firming Massage brush head made of soft silicone, the frequency generates 27,000 micro-firming massages per three-minute session. It is one of the very first examples of mechanobiology (a fast-developing research area which studies the cell response to mechanic stimulations), applied to the world of beauty devices. Endowed with a ‘smart' micro-chip directly integrated to the brush heads, the brush automatically adjusts to the cleansing or massage optimum frequency.
In the box, there is also a Turbo Body brush head that cleanses, massages, and exfoliates the skin for three minutes. The whole package goes with a two-year guarantee.
VisaPure Advanced by Philips (€199.99) also combines face cleansing with a massage, including on the eye contour. And the brand has gone even further, by designing VisaCare Microdermabrasion (€249.99), which associates aspiration (the skin is gently lifted and stretched to massage its deeper layers and stimulate the elastin and collagen production, for a firmer-feeling skin in four to six weeks), with exfoliation.
As for VisaPure Men (€149.99) – men are actually fond of this trend – it is regularly out of stock.
Luna cleansing & massaging brushes by Swedish brand Foréo are also worth a word (as from €39 for a mini cleansing brush at Sephora's). Their last model is an eye-illuminating device made of non-porous medical silicone (Iris by Foréo, €139).
And here is a last-minute launch: Puressentiel has just marketed a Diffuseur de Vapeur, Inhalateur & Hammam Facial (vapour diffuser, inhaler, and face hammam, nose tip + face tip, €57.80). This 2-in-1 product can be used to cleanse and free nasal fossae from impurities and allergens, as well as to cleanse the pores, for the easiest – and most efficient – skin cleansing!
Skincare devices are multiplying
We already knew about the Filorga devices (Lumitherapist, Photo-Regeneration Programme, €199) and Talika products (Light Duo, absolute youth programme, €295) against wrinkles, pigment spots, dark circles (Time Control by Talika, €99), and even heavy legs (Legs Tonic by Talika, €99).
Talika, a great specialist of instrumental cosmetics, has been studying the virtues of wavelengths for almost 15 years and became a pioneer in skincare through light in 2008. Their devices are inspired by research conducted by NASA with last-generation LEDs.
The same goes for Carita: as from September, the brand will make it possible for all women to buy a device usually reserved for cabin treatments (My C.L.E Cinetic Lift Expert, €390). They are experts in this field, as the Carita sisters have always believed in their beauty salons' device performances. My C.L.E offers four tailor-made beauty programmes at home (firmness, skin perfector, complexion evenness, radiance). It combines two energies: the micro-currents available in five intensity levels to be chosen according to your own sensitivity, and red LEDs (630 nm to stimulate fibroblasts and increase the skin production of elastin and collagen), blue LEDs (460 nm to act on blemishes and purify the skin), green LEDs (525 nm to even the complexion), or white LEDs (combination of red, blue, and green LEDs to enhance radiance). The whole treatment lasts four minutes: I have tested it only once, and the result is actually impressive, in particular in terms of firmness. The same can be said of the price!
And yet, e-beauty is now arriving in supermarkets – a first that was made possible thanks to Neutrogena (Visibly Clear anti-acne luminotherapy mask, €59.90). Much more accessible, this mask intended for teenagers treats acne at source for a cleaner, more even complexion within a month (clinically proven efficacy).
Hair care is not left behind
Dyson has reinvented hairdryers… it must be said they had hardly benefitted from any change since they were created in the 1960s! Dyson Supersonic™ still costs €399, but 103 engineers have actually worked on the project! Very technical, lighter, less noisy, and eight times faster than a standard hairdryer, it uses a fast, accurate airflow whose temperature is smartly monitored to both protect the hair from the damage caused by excessive heat and make it naturally more shiny.
Babyliss has launched Digital Sensor (€225), a hairdryer qualified as ‘smart', because it can detect the attached tip and automatically adapt the airflow power to different actions: blow-dry, smoothing, volume, or curls, under an even, constant temperature of 70 °C.
GHD has innovated with the Coffret Duo Styler Platinum & Soin (Platinum & Care Styler, €250), a hair straightener which offers an ideal, constant temperature on the whole plate surface for stronger, more shiny hair (breakage is reduced by more than 50%, according to a test performed on 146 consumers after only one use).
But one of the most original devices was developed by Kérastase – it is available on their website. It is actually the first brush connected to a mobile application for a daily personalized hair follow-up: Hair Coach (€189, as from October 2 in hairdressing salons). Thanks to its integrated microphone (it records the sound generated by the brush and warns the user if they are too brusque), as well as several sensors, the brush establishes a personalized diagnosis of your hair, analyzes its health condition in real time, follows its evolution on a daily basis, and personalizes your hair care routine. In a salon, the brush is used as a professional diagnosis tool. At home, it becomes a personalized coaching tool.
Blendsmart is the brand behind this makeup rotary applicator (€65.90 with a tip for foundation, exclusively on the Sephora website). Its mission is to simplify and improve the makeup application experience, compared to what standard brushes and sponges offer. The automated makeup brushes feature interchangeable heads that turn at a steady speed, faster than a human hand (190 turns per minute), and provide better coverage with less makeup for a perfect, invisible result. The brush heads get fixed to the applicator with a magnetic system. You can kiss embarrassing lines and streaks goodbye!
Ariane Le Febvre© CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques