Fashion & Beauty

Does high-tech skincare actually make a difference? We try out the FOREO UFO smart mask to find out.

If there’s anything lockdown has given us, it’s time to focus on self-care – including looking after our skin.
We are skipping the makeup on a regular basis, letting our pores breathe, and spending more time in nature and less time in polluted or dirty spaces (like shoved inside a sweaty tube carriage, for instance). When it comes to skincare, most people have their go-to products, and rarely stray from these
but sometimes a brand comes along and shakes up the market, like FOREO.
Popular among social media influencers and celebs, the Swedish company combines technology and beauty in a range of peculiar-looking products that deliver heating, cooling, light and vibration systems said to rejuvenate and cleanse skin.

This is high-tech luxury, and you can expect to pay for it; products run from an affordable £29 to £6,900 – so it’s no wonder it’s so popular with the rich and famous. The question remains: does smart skincare technology actually work?

We tried the FOREO UFO 2, which features sonic pulsations, LED light therapy and heating, to be used with masks made from ‘premium plant extracts’. It’s pretty easy to use, which is a plus. You download the brand’s app and scan one of your masks. There are several to choose from, depending on your mood – all of which have quirky names like H2Overdose, Nothing Compares 2 Youth and Shiny Happy People.

Apply your mask of choice onto the machine and ‘clip’ it into place with the UFO’s plastic ring. If you follow the instructions on the app, the machine will then go into motion, shifting from various LED shades and functions, such as red – to stimulate collagen and elastin production – or purple, to eliminate toxins and give you a radiant glow, and more.

While you move the UFO machine around your face, the app’s soothing AI voice will tell talk you through the treatment, which is two minutes long. Once finished, you can either repeat it or stop and wash your machine under running water (also super easy). This quick skincare session is meant to be the equivalent of a spa visit, but does it give the same results? Yes and no.

As a whole, the process was incredibly satisfying. The light vibration felt lovely on the skin, and because it’s done within minutes, it’s a great way to boost your mood very quickly.

But the real magic of the UFO isn’t the treatment in itself, but rather the novelty of it. Because it is a fairly pricey product at £249, the placebo effect tells you that it’s done the job.

Having said that, there was a noticeable difference in my skin, with less puffiness and a clearer complexion instantly after use.
There was also a meditative benefit, as I moved around this tiny machine on my face and just relaxed for a moment. It’s the perfect break in your day – I’d recommend doing it in the morning, while you wait for your coffee to brew.

So… is it worth the money? If you have some cash to splash and want luxury that is rechargeable – and will therefore last you for longer than a tub of beauty cream – then yes. Do bear in mind that you’ll need to keep
buying the masks to be able to use the machine though, so it’s a recurring cost.

Even though it’s a decent product, don’t expect to wake up with movie star skin overnight. To maintain healthy skin, you need to ensure that your body gets the vitamins, water and nutrients it needs. If you’re finding that your skin is consistently problematic, it could also be down to your alcohol intake, sun exposure or being a smoker.

Don’t forget to moisturise regularly, too.

High-tech or not, skincare brands can only do so much. The rest is up to you.

Written by Almara Abgarian.