We all want smoother, tighter, more youthful skin, but how do you achieve those kinds of results? With so many products, devices and treatments available today, it can be hard to figure out what’s really worth it. Not to mention the time, effort and money it takes to visit a doctor’s office or spa for each and every treatment. With so many advances in at-home beauty treatments and tools, it can be tempting to go the do-it-yourself route. Even those options can be expensive though, not to mention downright scary. (Sure, go ahead and aim a laser at your face. It’s fine!) Don’t you wish you had a trusted girlfriend who doesn’t mind being the guinea pig? Luckily, we’re foolishly adventurous enough to try these home treatments out first so you don’t have to! Here’s our roundup of the best at-home devices using doctor’s office technology and a few that you should skip.

Please note: We are not offering medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning a new skincare regimen.

The LumaRX Pro IPL Beauty System

Laser hair removal is more efficient and cost-effective (in the long run) than shaving and waxing. I’ve done two rounds of five sessions at doctors’ offices over the past several years and have been very pleased with the results. That being said, the office visits are expensive upfront and lack a certain amount of privacy, which some people may find uncomfortable. I researched several different at-home lasers before settling on this one because of its stellar reviews and sale price (it’s currently not on sale). The laser is easy to use and relatively painless (especially compared to waxing).

In-office cost: Packages can range from $300-$1,000 or more depending on the number of visits and body parts covered.

At-home cost: $549 for the LumaRX home laser; others are similarly priced. (I did find it on sale at Dermastore for 20% off during their friends and family event.)

Is it worth it: Yes! I may not be the best case-study since I’ve had professional laser hair removal done already, but this device has been fabulous at maintenance. I haven’t gone to an in-office session since I purchased this, and I only use it once every six weeks to maintain results. If you want further proof, my sister has now stolen it from me and reports smoother underarms after just two or three treatments.

at-home beauty treatments

The Cadillac of home laser hair-removal devices, the LumaRX Pro IPL Beauty System, is worth every penny! Image: Luma-RX.com

Microneedling

Microneedling is touted as the latest in non-surgical and non-laser skincare advances. The procedure involves rolling a device (called a dermaroller) with very fine needles across your skin to make tiny puncture wounds that prompt the skin to make more collagen to repair itself, thus resulting in smoother and firmer skin. In-office treatments use rollers with deeper needles, and the trained professionals are certainly more skilled in executing the procedure. However, the at-home cost is astronomically less, so I just had to try this (terrifying and painful) treatment for myself. I prepared by watching multiple YouTube videos because those are obviously a great substitute for formal medical training and years of experience. (KIDDING!)

In-office cost: Packages of three treatments range widely from about $500-$1,200.

At-home cost: You can purchase dermarollers on Amazon or from your favorite beauty store. They range in price from $10-$100 most places.

Is it worth it: No! It turns out that the dermarollers you buy online will not be as effective as the ones used by professionals. I used it one to two times weekly for about three months and saw no results. Maybe I needed to use it longer as I have read reviews that say it can take up to two years to see real changes in your skin. The microneedling process is too painful and time intensive to do at home on a consistent basis for years. Stick with the pros for this one.

at-home beauty treatments

A dermaroller from SkinMedix, $28, is no match for the pros. Image: SkinMedix.com

CO2 Lift Facials

The CO2 lift facials are fairly new to the market and have risen in popularity over the past year. The facial promises a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles and pore size and a firmer, more lifted appearance. The theory is that when carbon dioxide is applied to the skin, the body works to send oxygen to that area through the process of vaso-dilation. The oxygen in turn stimulates cells that produce more collagen and promote cell turnover. The process involves applying a gel-like substance to the face and then not moving a muscle for 30-45 minutes. The mask dries tightly on your skin and can produce a “zombie-like” appearance (as demonstrated by Drew Barrymore on Instagram and by me, below).

In-office cost: $200-$350 per treatment

At-home cost: The Hanacure facial promises the same results for $29 per treatment, or $110 for a set of four treatments.

Is it worth it: Yes and no. When I first washed the mask off, I couldn’t tell any difference in my skin. I did notice that I kept touching my skin in the hours afterwards and remarked several times on how soft my skin felt. Over the next 24 hours, my skin started to look firmer, clearer and more even-toned. The results lasted for about three days. I have no doubt that an in-office mask has a higher concentration of the active ingredients, so this one is really a toss-up. Do you want to pay $110 to do this once a week at home to get pretty good results, or do you want to pay over $200 to do it once and get a bit better results? It’s up to you! I will likely order the pack of four Hanacure facials to do at home before my next big event, but would not do these on an ongoing regular basis just due to the high cost.

at-home beauty treatments

Yours truly sporting the Hanacure mask, $29.

Microblading/Eyebrow-Enhancing Methods

These days, it seems like eyebrows are the new lips — the bigger, the better. Oh how I wish this trend had been around when I was a little girl sporting a rather impressive unibrow. It was so bad that my mother started taking me to get my eyebrows waxed when I was in the second grade. Fast forward to the late ’90s, and I had the eyebrow equivalent of a thin mustache in the place where my eyebrows used to reside. I’ve been trying to grow them back for my entire adult life with little success … until Latisse happened. This beauty treatment comparison is a little unfair given that I’m comparing a topical serum solution to microblading, which is actually tattooing dark ink onto your face. (Think about that!) I’ve seen the pictures and some results in person, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. Post-microblading eyebrows appear surprisingly natural and surely cut a step out of most women’s makeup routines.

In-office cost: Microblading costs around $400 for a tattoo that requires touch-ups every few years (at an additional cost).

At-home cost: Latisse costs around $120 for a two-month supply.

Is it worth it: Again, this comparison is a little different in that the at-home treatment is actually more expensive long-term than the in-office procedure. However, Latisse is the real deal. I use it three times a week on my eyebrows and my eyelashes and have seen dramatic growth to the point where I am consistently stopped and asked if my eyelashes are real (see the image above of me for reference). Call me crazy, but I think I’ll pay a little more to have a great result that doesn’t involve tattooing my face.

at-home beauty treatments

An example of microblading | Image: Pinterest

Do you use any at-home miracle beauty devices? Or have you been too scared to try something yourself?  If so, please share! Leave a comment on Instagram or Facebook or email me directly at [email protected]. I’ll try (most) anything once!

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