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What Is a Skin Care Machine?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated May 21, 2024
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Estheticians employed in skin care clinics use a skin care machine to improve facial and body skin condition. A supply unit transmits energy to a hand held wand that is applied to the skin. Electrical current, singular light wavelengths, and ultrasound are some of the energy forms commonly emitted by skin care machines. While consumers can purchase commercial skin care machines for themselves, manufacturers generally recommend proper licensing before operating these devices.

Advertisements describing skin care machines claim that the devices simultaneously improve blood circulation and lymph drainage while increasing collagen and elastin production, and some machines reportedly eliminate harmful bacteria that cause acne. The list of visible skin benefits includes alleviating under eye puffiness, fading darkened areas of skin, firming and toning saggy skin, and softening fine lines and wrinkles. Manufacturers also claim that these machines can minimize cellulite appearance.

A high frequency skin care machine has a current producing power unit and a wand attachment. Interchangeable glass electrodes containing argon or neon gas snap into the end of the wand. Once activated, the electrical current passes through the gas, causing the electrode to emit infrared light. This light warms the skin when applied with or without conducting gel. Adjustable dials on the power supply allow technicians to regulate the intensity of the electrical current and heat produced.

A blue light skin care machine has a base power unit and wand containing light emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce blue light. Acne-causing bacteria are said to absorb the light, which causes free radical damage and organism annihilation. Wands with red LEDs are supposed to rejuvenate skin as cells absorb light energy, which some believe dilates blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. While dermatologists typically use erbtrium yttrium aluminum garnet, or erbtrium YAG, lasers for skin resurfacing, estheticians use lasers that emit infrared light.

This milder type of skin care machine reportedly triggers biochemical and intracellular responses. The infrared light increases cellular growth rate as acupuncture points receive stimulation, enhancing protein synthesis and increasing lymphatic activity. Wavelengths of 635 to 675 nanometers generally only affect superficial skin cells. Machines generating wavelengths up to 1,000 nanometers penetrate into deeper skin cells.

Skin care centers commonly use microdermabrasion skin care machines that exfoliate the uppermost skin layer. This machine generally has a wand with an opening that applies light suction when passed over the skin. While suctioning, the wand emits fine grit crystals or sand that scrape the skin’s surface layer. This process usually removes a thin layer of skin containing dead cells, debris, keratin, and oils.

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Discussion Comments

By LisaLou — On Jun 23, 2012

I was disappointed in the results I had when I had a treatment with a skin care machine. I was hoping this would dramatically reduce my fine lines and wrinkles. Maybe I was hoping for a mini facelift, but I didn't notice much difference.

I still saw wrinkles and didn't see an improvement in the tone or elasticity of my skin. It still looked like it was tired and saggy.

I thought the price was kind of expensive for the results I saw. The next time I want something like this done, I think I will do a little bit more research. I know there are skin care machines that will help, I just need to find out which ones work the best.

By honeybees — On Jun 23, 2012

I went to a dermatologist where they used some type of skin care machine to remove some little red lines that appeared on my cheeks. They said this was very common as you age, and was an easy thing to minimize.

The only downside was they said these fine red lines would probably come back over a period of time. It has been about three years since I had this done, and it looks like I am due for another treatment.

Somehow the wand they use puts out some kind of energy that promotes healing. I don't really understand how it works, I just know that it does. It is also not painful at all, which is always a big plus when I go to the doctor.

My skin may be a little bit red for a few hours, but once that clears up, all of the little red lines are gone.

By bagley79 — On Jun 22, 2012

I like to treat myself about once every 6 months to a microdermabrasion treatment at a local spa. My skin feels so soft and smooth after this treatment, and I also feel like it makes me look a little bit younger.

Between visits I will use exfoliating products and facial masks, but none of them work as well as the machine they use at the spa.

When I was younger I spent way too much time in the sun without any sunscreen. My goal was to get as tan as I could. Now I am trying to reverse some of the damage I did to my skin years ago.

This treatment doesn't cost a whole lot, and I love that I can see and feel immediate results. When the skin on my face is soft and smooth, I also find it easier to apply moisturizer and foundation.

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