Presented in partnership with FOREO
It’s 10 o’clock on a Wednesday morning and I’m standing in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil while applying a face mask.
In any other circumstances this might seem worryingly dissolute, but today applying a midweek face mask is just part of my job.
That’s because I’m trialling the FOREO UFO 2, a tiny futuristic device that uses “precision-sonic pulsations”, thermotherapy, cryotherapy (heating and cooling) and full-spectrum LED therapy to allow face masks to be more deeply absorbed into the skin.
The FOREO UFO 2 is among a new wave of beauty tools blending technology and skincare. Many of these offer facial treatments – like LED therapy – that were previously only on offer from a dermatologist or spa. Does that mean devices will replace dermatologists? Not likely. But that’s not to say that this new generation of beauty tools can’t seriously upgrade and enhance the at-home beauty experience.
Day 1: Make My Day Mask
The UFO 2 claims to deliver a lot of benefits for one tiny, palm-sized device – and all in 90 seconds. So, I’m instantly curious, and, to be honest, pretty sceptical.
The device comes with a range of disk-shaped sheet masks that slip over it. I select three masks to use over 10 days – and first up it’s the Make My Day mask, which is infused with hyaluronic acid and red algae.
The idea is that you massage the FOREO over your face until it is fully absorbed. Meanwhile, it emits T-sonic pulsations with “thermo therapy”, which warms the skin and helps infuse active ingredients. The device also emits LED light therapy (which is my personal favourite beauty treatment, and one that was originally developed by NASA scientists to stimulate healing).
It sounds complicated – especially when you choose to pair it with an app – but once I got it up and running, I found myself in awe of what this little device promised to do….and actually delivered. (And it turns out, you don’t have to use the app.)
I applied the Make My Day Mask in circular motions to freshly cleansed skin, and the app talked me through the treatment and where to focus my efforts.
The device then combined red and green LED light therapy to simultaneously stimulate collagen and brighten the skin. This feature in particular amazed me as some professional grade LED light therapy machines can only emit one light per session. My skin stayed dewy and fresh for the day.
Day 3: Manuka Honey Mask
This anti-ageing mask had a subtle sweet smell and was sticker in texture. I applied it before going out and it provided a great base for make-up. I even used the app to turn up the T-Sonic pulsations and turn down the heat to prevent flushing, which I am prone to.
Day 8: Call It A Night Mask
I can be quite sensitive to active ingredients, but this nourishing Ginseng and Olive Oil based mask was a treat for my tired, sensitive skin. The fact that the mask is so quick, mess free and easy meant I could actually do it right before bed. Before applying the mask, I used the app to add a bit of blue light to treat several pesky stress-induced breakouts. I woke up with skin that was noticeably hydrated and plump.
So is this beauty-tech sceptic a convert? Yes. Absolutely, I can see a place for this in my beauty routine. It takes multi-tasking to a new level and provides a perfect balance between pampering and performance. The results after a week were definitely visible. Is it the same as a professional treatment? Perhaps not immediately. But the convenience in terms of time and cost (compared to multiple in-salon treatments) puts forward a very strong case. This Swedish beauty tech brand is bringing some Nordic ‘Hygge’ to beauty and I’m into it.
This story was presented in partnership with FOREO. However, we only work with brands or products we really love.
Photograph: Georgina Egan