At-Home Beauty Devices You’ve Seen On IG That Aren’t Worth It

Every day during my daily social media scroll, I pass by influencers, friends, and just general Instagram users who are now self-proclaimed skin care experts. You know, the friend who watched six TikToks and now believes she knows more about your own skin than you. We are living in a strange time where 15-year-olds dancing on an app are as influential as the Kardashians, and if you ask me, that signals the end of society—but that’s not really why we are here.

I have seen every skin care tip and trick in the book shared across these platforms, and while some tips are amazing, some are not so great. I know, hard to imagine that social media can be misleading! But, on a serious note, don’t believe everything you see (especially on the internet). Since I’m actually upfront about the fact that I’m not an expert, you don’t need to just take my word for it: I spoke to Candace Marino, aka the LA Facialist and Kourtney Kardashian’s trusted medical aesthetician. I asked her to break down the negatives of self-care at home, and which shiny new tools and tricks you may want to avoid.

“There are brands out there that want to cash in on professional services, making them ‘easy and convenient’ for at home use, but let’s be honest, they do not compare,” explains Marino. “Medical device companies spend thousands of dollars on research and development and clinical trials to ensure professionals can safely and effectively treat people with lasers, and microneedling, etc.”

If you’re currently worshipping your $150 at-home microdermabrasion tool, prepare to be heartbroken. So what products should you not bother with? We’re here to break it down for you.

Triple-Digit Tools

Bergdorf Goodman Face & Body Roller, $290

Let’s start basic and broad, because these are the tools that most of us have fallen victim to. Any massage tool, roller, gua sha, or sculptor with a triple-digit price tag is a ripoff. If something is real stone, it has the same impact whether it costs $10 or $100, and that is where the trouble comes in. “These prices are NOT worth the investment. I’ve seen these gorgeous facial rollers at Bergdorf Goodman for $290, I have to roll my eyes,” Marino explains. Because, as mentioned before, these expensive rollers are the same thing as an inexpensive tool.  Or you can even forego the tool entirely: “Save that money for a treatment that will actually do something for you,” Marino advises, “and massage your face with your hands.”

Her reason for passing on these products? “Half of you are going to see an ad, get jazzed about it, buy it, do it for one week and then lose it in your sea of beauty products,” she says. Okay, I feel attacked but also seen. I don’t want to say this rattled me, but I will admit that I’ve definitely considered splurging on a “good” gua sha or face sculptor. That being said, as long as the stone is real, it’s safe. And if you want to skip altogether, your hands are always free.

Facial Steamers

Pro Facial Steamer, $149.00

I am proud to say that while I’ve seen these all over the ‘gram, I have not been tempted to purchase. After all, I live in a Manhattan apartment, aka my windowless bathroom doubles as a steam room. “Are you really going to waste $50-200 on a facial steamer when steam is FREE? Boil a pot of water, throw a towel over your head and voilà,” Marino says, validating my thoughts. “Or simply jump in a shower. Plus, I don’t think people should be regularly streaming, it’s actually more harmful than good when done too much or too regularly. This is definitely not an essential piece of beauty equipment. Save. Your. Money.”

Dermarollers

GloPRO Microneedling Tool, $199.00

What is a dermaroller, you may ask? Well for starters, if you’re asking, you can mark yourself safe from these. But, if you search the internet, you’ll see that a dermaroller is a spikey little torture device used to poke holes in your face. JK—sort of. “These are NOT the same as professional microneedling,” Marino is quick to say. “I see people digging into their faces with these. First of all, you should not be puncturing yourself with anything that isn’t sterile. You’re opening up your skin to infection, and also potentially damage.”

Marino emphasizes, “I’m not an advocate of home dermarolling. Of course people are going to still do it, but I hope they have a professional to guide them. I’ve seen more harm done from these than good.” If you are going to use one, she advises, “make sure the depth is less than .5mm. Anything larger than that is just tearing the skin, and you should be leaving anything that punctures the skin to a trained professional.” I for one would never purchase one of these, simply because I don’t trust myself doing such a risky procedure. But, I do have many friends who own these, and furthermore rave about them. So for this one I’d say, (derma)roll at your own risk.

Pore Vacuum

“This is a great way to break capillaries, damage your skin and cause bruising,” explains Marino, urging people, “Please don’t buy into the hype. It’s a $260 investment that will literally damage your skin. I’ve had customers debate me on this, saying ‘diamond glow and hydrafacial and microderm all use suction, how is this any different?'” The first is rather obvious: these are professional devices used by trained professionals who have the knowledge and skillset to properly treat skin issues. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but someone’s gotta do it: watching hours of YouTube does NOT make you a professional.

The second, less common-sense reason is that blackheads are waxy plugs in the skin (ew), so the approach with this device might be wrong from the start. “A vacuum isn’t the answer, it’s going to have to be awful strong to magically pull a true blackhead from the skin. What you do get is bruising, sensitivity, and broken blood vessels,” Marino explains.

Extractors

DERMAPORE Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser, $99.00

Again, if you’re like “wtf is an extractor”, do a little internet search and you’ll likely recognize these sneaky little tools. The good news is, these aren’t dangerous when used properly. The bad news is, your favorite influencer is probs using it incorrectly, and therefore you likely are too. “I see people digging into the skin…that’s not what they’re intended for,” Marino says. “You should be gliding the extractor gently, not pressing, which causes injury and may lead to scarring.” Yes, scarring. So be careful!

I also asked Marino to help debunk some myths floating around TikTok and the internet in general.

I recently saw a video that basically tried to *end* jade rollers, saying that jade stone holds in dirt and particles (gross). The video also mentioned rose quartz was the safe way to go, so I asked Marino what the truth is.

“The healing power of stones and crystals have been used for centuries—their ability to cool the skin, yet warm up once worked with makes them great tools to use at home and in the treatment room,” Marino says, confirming that jade is OK to use, when real. “When discussing the powers of rollers, I always say, don’t look for a miracle. This isn’t going to change your life or your face. Is it a good self-care practice? Yes, you’re doing no harm, you’re encouraging circulation and you’ll definitely look more plump, alive, awake. Go for it, just be realistic with your expectations.” *sigh* When rolling my face, am I expecting to come out of it looking like Bella Hadid? You bet I am. I guess I’ll have to live on with chubby cheeks for another day.

I also asked about the ever-popular ingredient debate. Are clean beauty ingredients really better? Are essential oils all safe for your skin? Are there any ingredients you should actively avoid? I, for one, have a skin care cabinet that could last me a lifetime, and I wanted to be educated by someone other than the internet.

“I don’t chat ingredients,” Marino says.  “What’s important is formulation. People want to talk ingredients like they’re chemists. They question simple things like an alcohol, an ester or an oil and automatically assume a product is bad… you can’t base a product on one ingredient alone.” To this I say, stick to your dermatologist’s advice. Different ingredients work for different people, and Marino can’t exactly diagnose all of our skin needs simultaneously.

So now that we’ve addressed the bad and the ugly, don’t be afraid to rid of your favorite tools. Trust me, a few dollars wasted today is better than permanently damaging your skin. On the bright side, I can keep my $12 jade roller and put that rumor to rest. On the even brighter side, I am now one step closer to being the first (naturally) blonde Kardashian. An all around win if you ask me!

Stay safe out there kids, and be good to your skin.

Images: Mariya_nova / Shutterstock.com; Candace Marino, Instagram; Bergdorfgoodman.com; Dermstore.com; Beautybio.com; rodanandfields.com

5 Beauty Products Celebrities Swear By That Actually Work

In my never-ending quest to be my most beautiful self, I am constantly buying new beauty products to try. Trust me, you don’t get to Sephora VIB Rouge status by purchasing an eyeliner just here and there. I’m pretty much guaranteed VIB Rouge membership until I’m 35, that’s how often I’m buying sh*t. And it definitely doesn’t help that I’m so easily influenced by celebrities. Oh, Kim Kardashian uses that? *Adds to cart.* Okay, I’m not that easy…I do my research before I blindly purchase (minus the time I ordered Flat Tummy Tea while in a manic state, which was a total waste of $130). That being said, I wanted to share some of the best products that I’ve tried and loved based solely off of celebrity beauty recommendations.  You know, so you don’t actually have to waste your precious money buying whatever beauty item the Kardashians are hawking this week. My credit card has already taken the hit for all of us, so it’s cool.

Kim Kardashian

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48

Pretty much any product Kim K. has recommended, I’ve bought. Given that the Kardashian-Jenners are like, so rich and have access to everything, they’re only using the best of the best. The Kardashians are iconic for their contour, highlight, and glowy skin. So when I saw that Kim said that she uses this particular spray to achieve her dewy skin, you know I had it in my Sephora cart faster than you could say, “Bible.” And straight-up, I highly recommend it. You can use this product under your makeup, over your makeup, or just as a makeup refresher to spritz on throughout the day. I totally recommend using it all three ways. It’s composed of a bunch of natural anti-aging and hydrating ingredients, aka sh*t to make your skin really glowy. It’s a bit pricey, but if you can afford to add it to your regimen, I can’t recommend it enough.

Chrissy Teigen

Crème de la Mer, $175

La Mer is the moisturizer of the elite because it’s expensive af. But it’s expensive because it works, and celebs can’t get enough. I first tried the moisturizer because I saw Chrissy Teigen uses it, and Chrissy Teigen is pretty much goals for everything she does. She not only uses this on her face, but all over her body. I mean, perks of being married to someone with an EGOT—you can afford to do that. For us mere peasants, we’re lucky to be able to afford the trial size option just to use it on our faces. But if you can scrape the pennies together to do so, I definitely recommend purchasing it. This moisturizer is super hydrating, and you don’t need to use a lot because it’s so thick. It actually will last you a while, if you can just force yourself to make the initial investment. Life hack: Go to a high-end department store and visit the La Mer counter and pretend you’re interested in buying the product, but say you want to try a sample first. They’ll make you a little sample size pot of it so that you can try it out before dropping the big bucks. And I mean, if you’re a real broke-ass b*tch, you can just keep going around to all the La Mer counters at your local malls and never even have to buy any! But seriously, save yourself the trouble and buy it. You won’t regret it.

Stassi Schroeder

Sephora Perfection Airbrush Foundation, $28

This is probably the most affordable beauty product that I’ve tried based on a celebrity recommendation. Stassi Schroeder swears by this foundation, and for good reason. The name says it all, and this product actually lives up to the hype. It’s a thin foundation that gives a flawless airbrushed finish that doesn’t scream, “I’m wearing foundation!” I recommend spraying it onto a damp beauty blender, rather than directly onto your face. If you try spraying it directly onto your face, then you’ll probs end up getting it in your hair and on your clothes…which is a hard left from your “unattainable no-makeup makeup look.” It sells out fast online, so you may need to try your local Sephora store to see if they have it in stock.

Kylie Jenner

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30

You know how it’s super obvious when someone’s wearing makeup, because they get those crevice lines under their eyes? Yeah, that’s never the look you want. This concealer is light, moisturizing, easy to use, and most importantly, won’t give you those ugly crevice lines that make you look like a cracked claymation figure. This was an OG Kylie Jenner recommendation, before she started making her own concealer. Idk how the Kylie Cosmetics version is, but I can definitely vouch for this one. This concealer is one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it!

Gigi Hadid

Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tinted Tan Mousse, $54

If you know me, which you don’t, you’d know I’m a self-tanner addict. It is simply a product I cannot live without, and trust me, I’ve tried them all. I decided to give this one a shot when I read online that the impeccably perfect Gigi Hadid uses it, and I fell in love. Of course, it’s pricey and runs out super fast, but it’s a great freaking product. The tan actually lasts, and doesn’t fade all gross and splotchy. Not to mention, it uses “pHenO2 technology” (whatever the f*ck that is) to create a natural-looking tan that doesn’t have that orangey spray tan look. Particularly for the self-tanning novice, this is a good one to try, because it goes on seamlessly and looks super natural. Oh, and the best part? It doesn’t have that nauseating self-tanner smell to it that every other one does. It’s just…amazing.

Look, I know these products aren’t cheap, but did you really expect famous celebs to be using drugstore foundations? Not a chance. That’s not to say that there aren’t great options out there, I’ve just personally never read about a celebrity using one that wasn’t sponsored by said brand. Look, as my mom would say, “beauty is pain.” And by pain, I mean painful AF for my wallet. 

Images: @glowrepose / Unsplash; Sephora (4); Ulta
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