In my previous article, I listed nine best skincare tools and devices that I’ve tried, use, and love.
However, while there are so many great tools and devices that actually benefit the skin and can improve its condition in many ways, there are also the ones that not only don’t do anything good but can also severely damage the skin.
Unfortunately, these tools are not regulated by anyone and are often advertised on Tiktok and Instagram where the target demographic is a young and impressionable audience.
Which is why it’s not a surprise when many (especially young) people buy these dangerous tools and devices and do some downright scary damage to their skin (remember the Kylie Jenner lip challenge?)
This is why, in this article, I will list the seven worst facial tools and devices that will ruin your skin if you play dangerous games with them.
And by “dangerous games”, I mean buying them off the internet and putting them anywhere near your face.
So, instead of buying them, leave these nine tools on the website you’ve found them if you don’t want to be dealing with potentially irreparable damage.
Ugh! Facial sponges? Seriously?
Facial sponges are tools advertised as cleansers and exfoliators that “gently” remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and reveal a fresh new and glowy skin layer from underneath.
Some also claim that the sponges are rich in minerals and antioxidants to rebalance the pH of the skin (like this one) but that’s absolutely impossible for a sponge to do.
Every skincare product you use (especially an exfoliator) is altering the skin’s pH and this is why you need to focus on using hydrating products after using an exfoliator.
You also need to seal all your hydrating products with a moisturizer to help you slow down transepidermal moisture loss.
Once you do that, the skin will rebalance its own pH thanks to the acid mantle. A sponge isn’t going to help you rebalance your skin’s pH, for sure.
What a sponge can do, on the other hand, is over-exfoliate your skin which will eventually lead to peeling, shedding, redness, irritation, a compromised skin barrier, and very angry skin.
So do yourself a favor and keep the konjac sponges for the soles of the feet and use a decent chemical exfoliator on the face.
Here’s a list of my favorite ones.
Vacuum Suction Device
I remember seeing the first ad for a pore-vacuuming device on Instagram and immediately knowing that it’s going to become a huge hit.
The girl in the video briefly explained how you should use the product and the next shot was of the gunk inside the small plastic compartment and her blackhead-free nose.
By the time I could google it, I saw so many online stores from Amazon to AliExpress and Alibaba selling these devices left and right.
But is it really worth it?
Pore-vacuuming is a Korean beauty trend that involves a small vacuum that sucks out the oil, dead skin, and other gunk that may have collected in your pores.
Devotees claim vacuuming gets rid of blackheads and improves the look of their skin.
Think that a regular blackhead is in reality a hardened plug that goes a bit deeper inside the pore. Only the tip is black due to oxidation but the inside is actually yellowish.
Now imagine how strong this suction has to be to actually pull this hardened plug out of the pore.
And because of the strength and improper use, many people have experienced bruising in certain areas days after using the device.
Thing is, you may think this device is going to get rid of everything you hate about your skin a few days before an event but chances are that it’s going to leave your skin bruised right before that event.
Is the risk worth it when you can actually get rid of blackheads through regular exfoliation with products that contain salicylic acid?
It certainly doesn’t sound worth it to me.
Some devices are better left to the professionals.
Because not only are you not trained to use them but having easy access to something that gives you an instant glow and leaves your skin looking picture-perfect will only make you use it more often, which will then lead to complications such as over-exfoliation, irritation, and a compromised skin that will rebel against anything including warm water.
I am no stranger to over-exfoliating my skin with harsh physical exfoliation such as these types of devices and all I can say is stay the heck away from doing this.
I once got my skin to the point where it was peeling on my cheeks and was cracking around my mouth due to over-exfoliation.
Exfoliation is a step that happens regularly in every skincare routine but physical exfoliation can not only be harmful and irritating short-term but can also irreparably damage the skin in the long run.
Always opt for gentle, chemical exfoliators such as enzymes and hydroxy acids.
On the other hand, once every few months you may very well treat yourself to a picture-perfect glow from a professionally done microdermabrasion treatment.
Facial Cleansing Brush
These are the absolute worst!
Anything from an automatic cleansing brush with bristles like Clarisonic to a manual cleansing brush and even silicone cleansing brushes that claim to be somehow better are a no-go if you want to have healthy and non-irritated skin.
First of all, consider that these types of brushes require a lot of maintenance.
Consider that you need to properly clean them and make sure there are no residues of cleanser or makeup left on the bristles or on the silicone.
Next, you need to dry them properly so that they don’t harbor bacteria that you will transfer onto your skin with the next use.
You also need to constantly change the bristles or disinfect the silicone and change the entire brush at least once a year.
Considering that these brushes often cost a few hundred dollars, I’d stick to cleansing my face with my hands.
Besides that, these cleansing brushes also manually exfoliate the skin, and even using them once a day can be too much.
Using them anything more than that is a reserved ticket to irritation-city.
But, on the other hand, if you don’t use them as frequently, you will likely feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth.
Which is why you should stay away from them altogether.
Trust me, no respectable esthetician would ever advise you to use a cleansing brush on your face.
Meet the tool that kick-started my couple of years-long struggles with severe cystic acne.
Microneedling tools, including rollers and pens, are extremely dangerous for at-home use and can severely damage your skin after the very first treatment.
Microneedling is a professional procedure called collagen-induction therapy and the idea behind it is to prick the skin with tiny needles and stimulate the collagen-producing cells to repair the damage.
This is why microneedling is an excellent treatment for pitted scarring because these types of scars usually form due to uneven collagen in the area.
But coincidentally, these tools can also cause acne that will then leave this type of depressed scarring on the skin, which happened to me after using a derma roller twice and probably not disinfecting it properly between treatments.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are going to “do it right” because you can mess something up without even realizing and next thing you know the damage is done.
Besides that, microneedling is an in-office procedure that’s usually followed by radiofrequency to properly close the wounds and help them heal.
This is a device that you most likely don’t have at home so by doing microneedling you are automatically leaving your skin even more vulnerable to damage.
Lastly, there’s the aftercare. A simple google search will probably give you many different suggestions of how aftercare should look like.
You will find websites that recommend using vitamin C right after microneedling to get the most benefits out of it while other websites will recommend you follow it up with hyaluronic acid, etc.
This will only get you confused and you will probably do even more damage to your skin.
Trust me, it’s just not worth it.
Check with your esthetician for this treatment because it has many benefits for the skin but never do it at home.
The Hyaluron Pen is a needle-free device that shoots Hyaluronic Acid into the lips using an extreme amount of air pressure in order to force the HA through the outer layer of skin.
The marketing touts it as a device that can add volume to your lips without needles and with a low risk of bruising and swelling.
Sounds too good to be true? It is. And not only that, but it is actually very dangerous.
This type of treatment obviously appeals to people who are scared of needles but want to enhance their lips or (even worse) younger people that don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on professionally enhancing their lips.
This is an immediate red flag. Why you may ask?
Because it’s clear that this treatment aims to appeal to a vulnerable and ingenuous demographic – people that are scared of something and people that can’t afford to do something.
But that’s just the beginning.
The real danger of the Hyaluron Pen is in the way it distributes its material into the skin.
The material is technically injected (without a needle, but through the skin that has bacteria) and the product you are injecting is not sterile!
Though this material is a drug (injectable product), it is not under any kind of regulation or control, so you have no real way to know if the filler you are injecting into your face was produced under sanitary conditions or even what you’re injecting is actually hyaluronic acid.
Besides that, remember that you are an untrained professional and have no idea how to, where to, or what to do after you inject the filler.
This can lead to uneven distribution of the material, lumps in certain areas of the lips, bruises, bleeding, and horrific infections that you will have no choice but to spend money on treating professionally.
Is it really worth it?
I don’t think so.
If you are someone who is scared of needles and pain during a professional procedure, make sure to talk to your esthetician, doctor, or provider about it as they will certainly be able to put your mind at rest and offer numbing creams and a detailed explanation and even a demonstration of how it would feel beforehand.
If, on the other hand, you are a young person that wants to enhance your lips, you have two choices:
- don’t think of this procedure as a trend and consider that you may not like the result which is why it’s best to wait until you’re older to make the right decision
- or you can get a job and earn money for a professional procedure that won’t put your health at risk
Warts & Mole Removal Device
At-home mole removal devices may be a tempting purchase for people attempting to take skin concerns into their own hands.
But products that promise to burn, freeze or use lasers to remove moles or skin tags come with plenty of potentially harmful side effects and unintended consequences.
This isn’t like giving yourself a haircut or experimenting with a homemade face mask.
There are very serious risks associated with trying to remove a mole yourself, whether it’s with a tool called a mole removal pen, plasma corrector pen, or even a simple needle found around the house.
The main problem associated with removing something from your skin on your own is that there’s no way for you to tell if you’re removing a benign lesion — or a malignant one.
Dermatologists spend thirteen to fifteen years of training to recognize suspicious lesions, and even after identifying one, they perform a biopsy to determine exactly what the specimen is before deciding how to move forward.
So don’t think that you can do the same thing just because you read the manual. You don’t know what you’re dealing with and you have no idea what kind of risk factor this can be to your health.
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
A practical no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.