When I was a teenager, I had awful acne issues. Blackheads, whiteheads, cystic bumps…you name it. The solution at the time was to send me to regular appointments at the esthetician for facials using their specially prescribed cleansers, potions and pastes. I remember the esthetician using old school tools (like this scary thing right here that really should only ever be used by professionals). I remember thinking that their acne treatment didn’t really work, and this was somehow done so I’d have to keep coming back for more and more facials. I remember wishing I could just stay at home and take effective care of my skin myself.

Flash forward fifteen years or so — the future is now. I still do have occasional skin flareups, especially when my hormonal cycle is in full effect mode…and my wishes have been granted. Many of the tools that are used in professional spas and skincare centers are available for sale and at home use.

Clarisonic Plus Deep Pore Cleansing System

Behold, the Clarisonic Plus Deep Pore Cleansing System

But which home devices are recommended for everyday people? Which services should really be done by an expert? Let me break it down for you based on what I’ve personally tried and what I’ve learned from research!


You wash your face every day (I hope) but every so often you need a deeper cleaning that works to remove buildup and clear your pores. It’s wonderful to go get a regular facial — and thanks to sweet deal sites like Groupon and specials to entice you like Spa Week, facials aren’t always as astronomically expensive as you might think. The Clarisonic retails from $120 for the original Skin Cleansing System to $225 for the Deep Pore Cleansing System (available at I’ve had more than one facial where the professional esthetician has used a Clarisonic on me, so I would say the Clarisonic is a home device that’s totally worth it. Think of it as a one time investment in your skin.


In my opinion as a beauty blogger (for what that’s worth) I think microdermabrasion is the kind of thing best done by a professional, just because a prorfessional’s the one who can tell you if you truly need microdermabrasion in the first place — and the treatments at a professional esthetician are more powerful and carefully administered. I’ve heard some not-so-great stories about at home microdermabrasion done by over zealous women at home. Don’t let that be you, bellas. If you absolutely must DIY this particular skincare treatment, do your research first and look for product recommendations before you buy. Makeup Alley could be your best friend, there.


At home acne treatments used to just mean ointments and masks, but now there are a slew of at home devices that transmit light and/or heat and promise to kill your bothersome zits. My homegirl Style and Beauty Doctor just wrote a great post breaking down the tech behind these blue LED light-transmitting devices. I’ve tried the Zeno Hot Spot and it did work on some of my skin eruptions, but it can take a while to notice a tangible difference. To be honest I’ve had better results from using tried and tested topical acne fighters (like my beloved Mario Badescu Drying Lotion) than any gadgets that claim to fight zits. That’s just my personal experience, though.

Hair Removal

I know many women who are brave enough to wax at home, but bellas – I am not the one! Every time I’ve tried, I’ve done it wrong and emerged from the experience sticky and still hairy. Ew. I’m fine with being a woman who shaves and uses depilatories. I haven’t had much experience with at home professional grade hair removal devices, TBH. My experience with the no! no! hair removal device was not the best. Now there’s the Tria Laser, the only FDA-approved hair removal laser for at-home use. I’m dying to try it, so if I do, expect a detailed review! There are some very honest reviews on Makeup Alley and Amazon, so read everything and ask yourself if you’d rather DIY or just go to a pro.

What are your thoughts, bellas? Do you generally go to an expert esthetician, or do you prefer to buy and try at-home beauty devices? Which have been your favorites?

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JoJo says:
October 25, 2011, 12:09 pm
I prefer home beauty devices. That way I can learn more about my skin.
Kelly says:
October 26, 2011, 11:19 am
I'd be interested on a Black woman's review of one of those home lasers. A couple of months back I was researching lasering for African-American skin and there are certain lasers that should be used on us go. I wonder. I'd like to hear of your experiences. Maybe the company will send you one for 'trial' purposes. :)
Kelly says:
October 26, 2011, 11:25 am
I don't know about the clairsonic I have skin that is sometimes sensitive and I'm scared it'll cause me a breakout. Back to the Tria. I just visited the site and it isn't suitable for Black or deeper skin tones. :(
Skirt PR says:
October 27, 2011, 9:43 am
What do you think of the mini Olay Clarisonic-esque cleaner? We've been curious about it.
Danielle says:
November 4, 2011, 8:47 am
Aww! Thanks for the shout-out! Great article as always ;)
Healthtips2day says:
November 5, 2011, 2:21 am
A very thoughtful article by a professional is always admired. Thanks for giving perfect health tips.
ITCHICK68 says:
November 20, 2011, 1:27 am
I just bought the clarisonic and I am inlove with it. Now that I have used it I finally see what all the hype was about. I love the way my skin feels and I know that my skin is cleaner than it hae ever been since using it. Also, I know that my beauty serums and potions are more effective.


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