Laser treatments in your bathroom? 10 at-home products as good as a trip to the dermatologist

At-home laser treatments
Silk'n; StriVectin; PMD

Get Stuff We Love

Subscribe to our newsletter.
SUBSCRIBE
By Katie Anderson

You’ve mastered masks, teeth whitening and even D.I.Y. hair color. But at-home lasers and dermabrasion? Yep, the future is now. We rounded up the most impressive products on the market, from gravity-defying face toners to one of the strongest peel in stores. If you’re willing to put in the time, they can save you thousands in the war against fine lines, dark spots and sagging skin. 

Fine lines

Today

Until recently, the line-smoothing power of a Fraxel treatment (Kim Kardashian’s go-to, if you’re interested) could only be experienced in a dermatologist’s office. This first-of-its-kind device brings the same laser technology right into your home. How does it work? Like a Fraxel, the Tria emits targeted beams of light that create microscopic cellular disruptions below the epidermis. This process stimulates cell renewal and collagen production so skin looks smoother and plumper. Results are noticeable in as little as two weeks (we started on our crow’s feet and are impressed). (Tria Age Defying Laser, $495, triabeauty.com)  

Dull skin

Today

Dozens of at-home peels vie for your attention, but none pack the punch of an in-office version — until now. This 5-minute peel (do not try to make it ten minutes) is formulated with the highest level of glycolic acid and other AHA acids available for home use. “Luminous,” “glowing” and “fresh” are words we heard from friends the next day. (StriVectinLABS 5-Minute Weekly Glycolic Peel, $89, strivectin.com)  

Stuff We Love

Get a daily roundup of items that will make your life easier, healthier and more stylish.

Skin laxity

Today

For those who balk at the price of in-office ultrasound and radiofrequency treatments but want to treat sagging skin or a slack jawline, there’s the NuFACE. FDA-cleared for facial stimulation, the microcurrent device works by “reeducating” and strengthening facial muscles with small amounts of electric current. Visible results are immediate but somewhat temporary — stop using it and the tightening will gradually fade. (NuFACE Mini Facial Toning Device, $199, mynuface.com)   

Excess facial and body hair

Today

Sticker shock, self-consciousness, being told your skin-tone’s too dark or your hair too pale for lasers… There are many reasons one might want to avoid in-office hair removal. But now there’s a viable home alternative that works for all ethnicities and hair colors. Using a proprietary blend of radio frequency and intense pulsed light therapies to target and disable hair follicles (yep, it’s war), the iluminageTOUCH is easy to use. Essentially, it’s zap-zap-zap for a few minutes once a week over a seven-week span — and if you're anything like us, after a few sessions you’ll be able to do it while also tuning into your favorite fall TV. (iluminageTOUCH, $384, QVC.com)

Rough texture

Today

Performed by facialists and derms, microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells, leaving your face baby-smooth and ready to absorb your favorite serums and creams. Don’t want to fork over $70 to $200 for the treatment? The handheld PMD lets you go DIY, albeit while targeting a smaller surface area and with somewhat less power than a pro treatment. It feels a bit like a cat’s tongue is licking your skin — slightly rough but not at all painful — and you’re done in a few minutes. Just be careful not to overdo it at first. Too many passes can leave skin looking a bit too resurfaced. (PMD, $179, personalmicroderm.com)

Acne

Today

From oral isotretinoin (aka Accutane) to new nanoparticle laser treatments, in-office acne treatments often have one main goal: Disengage the patient’s sebaceous glands. Silk’n Blue — a cute little handheld gadget — has the same raison d'être. With a blend of heat radiation and blue LED light, it dehydrates the oil-producing glands while neutralizing bacteria. And instead of worrying about systemic side effects, the only byproduct is a mild warming sensation we don’t mind at all. (Silk’n Blue, $149, silkn.com)  

Thin hair

Today

Derms and trichologists (doctors who focus on the hair and scalp) prescribe topical minoxidil for women suffering from hair loss. But what if your strands are simply thin or limp? A new drugstore product trio uses technology developed for repairing car windows to penetrate the hair fiber and create texture for a thicker feel and 10% more volume. At less than $17 for the whole system, it’s the ultimate score for fine hair. (L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Volume Filler Thickening Conditioner, Shampoo and Fiber Amplifying Concentrate, $4.99 to $6.99, for stores see lorealparisusa.com)

Hyperpigmentation

Today

Uneven skin tone is a top complaint in all age groups, from teens angsting over acne scars to adults noticing an onslaught of sunspots. Doctors, who often prescribe topical treatments in combination with peels and laser interventions, now have an at-home. Clarisonic has paired its patented sonic cleansing brush with two pigment-pounding cleansers and a potent brightening serum. A brand-led study had users reporting a tenfold improvement in hyperpigmentation after two weeks. In our own trials, spots seemed to lighten and skin to brighten over a period of a few weeks. (Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution, $249, sephora.com)