Our skin is the biggest organ in our body—and it’s the mask we wear every day in all our interactions, so it only makes sense we should take good care of it. Plus, while you can cut and colour your hair or buy a new sweater, your skin is with you for life. A new device from skin and beauty gadgeteers Foreo allows you to treat your skin to moisturizing, relaxing and decadent facials, with the power of technology built in. The new Foreo UFO uses light, heat and cooling, and ultrasonic vibrations to administer quick 90 second facial treatments designed to leave your skin softer, healthier and more glowing. Does it work? I tried the device for a few weeks in my home to find out.
What is Foreo UFO?
Foreo UFO is a small puck-shaped, hand-held device designed to intensify the use of special Korean-formulated beauty masks. The masks are sheet masks which are sold separately, and packaged individually. Unlike many Korean face masks, these sheets aren’t meant to cover your face, they’re draped over the UFO device, and clipped into place. Then you turn the device on and move it over your face, supposedly deepening the intensity of the masks using heat, cool, vibrations and LED light. Treatments are different for each specific mask you use but they last about 90 seconds, and an accompanying app delivers the right levels of light, heat and cool or vibration, depending which mask you choose.
There’s virtually no set up required to use the UFO. The battery is rechargeable, and you’ll want to charge it fully before the first use, but otherwise, that’s it. The device is of course fully waterproof.
By the way, why’s it called UFO? Aside from the spaceship-like shape, it appears the acronym is short for Ur Future Obsession.
How to do a Foreo UFO mask treatment
Start with a freshly washed face for best results, otherwise the light and the product may not penetrate as well.
When you do a treatment, you’ll load up the Foreo UFO app and click to start a treatment. Power the device on, then scan your facemask’s barcode. The app will know exactly what to do after that. Some masks add heat, others, like the eye mask, focus on cooling. Either way, you don’t do a thing; the app handles everything for you. from the app, a soothing voice with soft music will talk you through the treatment.
You clip one of the circular masks into the back of the device then, as Foreo puts it, “UFO’s Hyper-Infusion Technology uses your skin’s natural reactions to heat and cold as well as signature T-Sonic pulsations to ensure you get the most out of every mask treatment.”
Gently glide UFO across your face and in circles, distributing the mask cream evenly until the treatment ends. Then, pat any remaining mask into your skin, or you can remove excess with a cotton pad or washcloth. Foreo recommends following up with moisturizer.
To clean up, unclip the attachment ring from the device and throw away the mask. Then rinse both UFO and ring under warm running water. Pat dry, re-attach ring to the device and place back in the stand.
How often to use Foreo UFO?
Foreo say you can use these masks daily, and certainly it’s easy to see there could be a benefit to that, if you can handle the cost. For some users, every few days or weekly might also work just as well.
What is Light Therapy?
Phototherapy has been used in high end (read: expensive: $200/50 mins) spas for a while now. The treatment uses low levels of non-heat producing, non-UV LED light energy to trigger your body’s natural cell turnover processes. The light is supposed to make cells rejuvenate faster, helping repair skin damage. There’s also some anecdotal evidence to suggest LED light therapy can help with issues like acne, sun damage, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and even scarring. Of course there’s also said to be a general restoration and brightening effect. I couldn’t really find much medical or study data online which would prove or disprove this.
How does Light Therapy on Skin Work?
LED Light Therapy uses coloured lights, each of which has its own unique benefits. The skin is said to use the light as a source of energy to stimulate collagen, boost circulation, and speed cell repair. In professional treatments, you’ll lie under the lights for up to an hour.
What does coloured LED light do?
Red light is supposed to reduce inflammation and boost circulation, blue apparently destroys acne-causing bacteria and cuts oil production. Green light therapy is said to help with dilated capillaries, sagging skin around the eyes, bags and hyperpigmentation or sun spots.
Foreo – Choosing your Masks
Foreo makes seven different types of face masks to suit your skin. There are six or seven to a package and they range in price from $14CAD to $26/pkg. Each mask has a different set of light, heat/cool or ultrasonic components to it which run automatically when connected to the app.
What do Foreo Masks do and which one should I choose?
Make my day
Anti-Pollution & Hydrating Facial Treatment
This luxurious red algae and hyaluronic acid face mask is just what your skin needs to start the day. Until now, masking in the morning just wasn’t feasible. But this 90-second UFO facial treatment leaves skin looking and feeling hydrated, protected and ready for anything!
Call it a Night
Nourishing & Revitalizing Facial Treatment
Formulated with rich olive oil and rejuvenating ginseng, this deeply nourishing face mask is the perfect end to each day. All you need is 90 seconds to indulge in a relaxing UFO facial treatment that will leave your skin oh-so-smooth and dreamy-soft.
Face Mask for Oily Skin
This extra-purifying charcoal face mask removes excess sebum and impurities for fresh, clear skin. Combine with UFO’s Cryo-Therapy and blue LED light for a 90-second facial treatment to minimize pores and imperfections for a healthy-looking complexion that lasts!
Illuminating Eye Mask
Forget your morning coffee, this caffeine-infused microfiber mask is just what you need to banish signs of fatigue in just 90 seconds. Formulated with fine light-reflecting particles, Shimmer Freak instantly diminishes the look of dark circles while UFO’s signature Cryo-Therapy refreshes the delicate skin around the eye contour and awakens tired eyes.
Ultra Hydrating Face Mask for Dry Skin
Infused with hyaluronic acid, this microfiber face mask instantly drenches dry, thirsty skin in soothing moisture. Pair with UFO or UFO mini for the ultimate 2-minute facial treatment for dry skin – because hydrated skin is healthy skin!
Enhanced Brightening Face Mask
Infused with pearl extract, this microfiber face mask instantly illuminates dull skin for a radiant, healthy glow. Pair with UFO or UFO mini for a 90-second brightening facial treatment guaranteed to make a Glow Addict out of you!
Collagen Face Mask
This ultra-rich age renewal complex deeply nourishes to give skin a firm, lifted appearance. Pair with UFO or UFO mini for a 2-minute at-home collagen facial treatment that will replenish and smooth skin, leaving you with a younger-looking complexion.
I’d say for the most part, these masks for the same; there’s a sheet inside the package and each one has a special treatment cream infused into it. Where they differ is in the formulations and the light, heat/cool or vibrations that accompany them.
What does Foreo light therapy, warmth and vibration do?
Let’s dig in on what Foreo says the device delivers, and how it intensifies the formulations in the masks.
WARMING: HYPER-INFUSION TECHNOLOGY
The UFO uses subtle heat to relax and sooth you. “As UFO gradually warms in Thermo-Therapy mode, it infuses active mask ingredients into skin, making them more effective in less time.”
COOLING: HYPER-INFUSION TECHNOLOGY
The cooling aspect to the device is meant to diminish the appearance of pores and reduce puffiness. Foreo calls this “Cryo-Therapy” and says it’s just like when you stash skincare in the freezer, or use icepacks to reduce under eye puffiness.
The virbating technology used in the UFO is just like what you get in something like the Foreo Luna2, or the Clarisonic Smart Profile.
Foreo’s pitch is that the vibrations boost absorption of active mask ingredients and “leaves you with radiant, healthy-looking skin”.
A FULL-SPECTRUM LIGHT FACIAL TREATMENT
Foreo UFO uses the aforementioned red, green and blue LED light. You definitely don’t feel anything when the light changes so it’s hard to know if it’s truly working.
Foreo UFO – Shape of device
The shape of the device is generally pretty good and easy to use overall, though I did find it quite awkward to use around my nose and eyes. The edges are smooth and it’s got a silicone coating on the sides, while the top has a pebbly plastic-metallic-look cover that seems to help you grip it. Rubbing it on your face is as easy as it gets, and that’s literally all you need to do.
Does using Foreo UFO hurt?
The treatments are quite relaxing. The masks have different consistencies; some are wetter than others and leave you with more product on your face until it’s absorbed. The vibrations don’t hurt, and you can’t feel anything when the lights come on; there’s no burning sensation.
What will you feel while doing a Foreo UFO treatment?
When it comes to the heating and cooling properties, these you do definitley feel. The heat is warm and subtle, not singeing. The cooling is definitley noticeable and chilling, but not in the same way rubbing an ice cube on your face would be; it’s more subtle and graduated, not shocking.
Overall review of Foreo UFO skin treatment
Overall I enjoyed using this device and liked the mask treatments. It’s certainly like no other beauty gadget I’ve ever tried. I like that it’s rechargeable and small enough to tuck in the shower, and it would be perfectly portable too.
So the big question is do these work? Does Foreo UFO improve skin? That part is harder to answer. I did treatments every day or two over two weeks during my review period. I didn’t notice any kind of miracle improvement in my skin, but I am also lucky enough that I don’t have a lot of skin issues. I guess it would be up to a dermatologist to weigh in with research on this, and I wasn’t easily able to find much in the was of scientific data on any of this. If you have some, please share it in comments.
Even so, I liked making a point of trying to relax and breathe for those 90 seconds of the day during the treatments and found the masks smelled good (well, most of them didn’t really have a scent, which is just fine by me), the warmth and cooling was enjoyable, and the light music that plays along in the app during the treatment, along with the soothing voice-over about what’s going on is nice.
Aside from the ‘is it working’ question, the major downside of this is the price. This little gadget isn’t cheap. Expect to shell out about $349CAD PLUS the cost of daily or weekly masks which are about $14 for a box of 7 (1 week). If you look at this in the sense of, ‘do I need it’ then the price tag probably seems silly. If you’re already doing light treatments at a spa, for example, this little gadget would in theory pay for itself in a couple of uses.
Foreo UFO sells for about $179 CAD PLUS MASKS which are about $14 for a box of 7 (1 week) and is available from Sephora and Amazon as well as Foreo’s website.
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