Silkn Revit

Silkn ReVitSilkn Revit, $99

Now that I’ve reviewed the microderm-like product that disappointed me, it’s time to talk about the one I dig! I got my Silkn Revit at Costco (who is seriously underrated for beauty finds, by the way) for $65, which is over a third off its retail price. Unfortunately, I can’t find this on Costco.com at the moment; I picked mine up in the warehouse. If I couldn’t find it on sale, I’d look at Nordstrom what with their famous return policy.

Every blog review I’ve read so far has been little more than a regurgitation of the marketing materials Silkn puts out. Cute…and not useful.

Ergonomics

This device is far simpler than the PMD device I tried recently. There’s a single button that turns on, increases suction, and turns off depending on how many times it is pressed. It is ergonomically-friendly, lightweight, and easy to hold.

Power

This device operates on AC power and must be used while plugged into an outlet. I do not find this terribly inconvenient; I’d rather consistent performance over vague convenience. I use the device at my bathroom sink or at my desk with my vanity mirror.

Turning the Silkn ReVit on merely activates suction – the exfoliating tip does not move. As you glide the device over your skin, the abrasive tips liberate dead skin. The suction then whisks it away down to a filter that you later clean or toss. Suction is gentle and does not leave awkward marks on the skin.

The device IS dual voltage and can be used outside the US, but you do need an adapter to make it fit the AC plugs elsewhere.

Exfoliating Diamond Tips

Unlike traditional microdermabrasion treatments rendered by an esthetician or medical professional, this does not blast and vacuum up tiny crystals. The tip of the device is abrasive metal; they’re referred to as, “diamond tips,” but I have successfully found precisely ZERO information on what the hell that precisely means.

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America shopping

PMD Personal Microderm

PMD Personal MicrodermPMD Personal Microderm, $159

I’ve been questing to achieve skin that doesn’t piss me off for a while now. Around the holidays, I ordered a PMD Personal Microderm system from Nordstrom to try. My concerns:

  • General exfoliation/cellular turnover
  • Sebaceous filaments
  • Skincare product absorption
  • General preventative aging stuff

PMD Personal Microderm describes their device as…

…a revolutionary at-home skincare tool that provides the same brilliant results as professional … treatments. PMD Personal Microderm combines Patented(1) Spinning Disc technology(2) with Perfectly Calibrated(3) Vacuum Suction to brighten, smooth, and even skin tone and texture. Personal Microderm reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes, and enlarged pores. This exfoliation process removes the dead, dull skin cell barrier, increases blood flow, and boosts the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin.

Having a Patent isn’t as Big of Deal as it Sounds

First things first: I hate when marketing departments throw the word, “patented,” in front of something. It’s a buzz-word. It isn’t more impressive simply because it was patented. Not to be crass here, but toilet tissue was patented, too.

Patented

Just add, “Technology!”

Second, more marketing criticism – “Spinning disc technology.” You know what else uses spinning disc technology?

frisbee

Perfection is Ambitious

Third, throwing in that golden adjective, “perfectly,” is a little bold. Different skin types need different things, so let’s not pretend that there really is a one-size-fits-all level of suction. That is what the PMD Personal Microderm devices offer, but to call it perfection is a bit much.

The Device

The PMD device receives largely positive reviews, but my first impression of the PMD Personal Microderm was that it felt lightweight and flimsy in my hands. Here’s this fairly large handle…made, clearly, of hollow plastic. The balance was poor. It wasn’t comfortable in my and and felt awkward to hold. On top of that, I nudged the power rocker several times during normal use. Poorly thought out.

The PMD Personal Microderm device is not battery powered, so treatment needs to take place near an outlet, which may be a detractor to some. I’d rather have consistent power and performance than the freedom to traipse around my apartment while sloughing off my skin’s outermost layers. There are two threaded plastic caps that hold the exfoliating, spinning disc in place; one wide, one narrow. The wide discs and cap are intended for larger surface areas (cheeks, forehead) and the smaller discs and cap are used in narrower spaces (around the nose, etc).

To switch discs, unscrew the cap, pull the disc cylinder out, and replace. I found that the disc cylinders were a little snug and stiff when it came to removing and replacing, but I accepted this if it meant they were secure.

Usage

Prior to use, you should wash your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Skip moisturizers.

Starting at the bottom center of your face, hold the PMD Personal Microderm to the skin and use the other hand to hold the treatment area taut. Moving outward and upward in steady strokes, move the device across the skin. Easy enough. PMD has you start with a super-gentle white disc to help you acclimate to the device and prevent you from destroying your skin.

After the first two uses, I graduated from the white discs to the light grey (ultra-sensitive) and blue (sensitive) discs. After each use, my skin was red but not in pain. My skincare products did sink in quickly after use and that day and the next my skin was fairly bright.

Over Time

Using it once weekly for six weeks did not seem to be significantly impactful, however. I had to work hard to deal with sebaceous filaments just as I would have without the device, and the lines that developed in my forehead woefully (albeit not unexpectedly) early are just as noticeable as they ever were.

Also, although the exfoliation was there I didn’t find myself getting better with the device – I didn’t go slowly by any stretch of the imagination, but it was difficult to smoothly glide over my skin; the disc wouldn’t stay in proper contact with my skin as I moved the PMD Personal Microderm device around. It would skip with the suction and tug a bit, which was uncomfortable but not injurious. I did not have difficulty lining up my strokes to avoid a, “tiger stripe,” effect that some users reported.

Reviews report that the devices loses suction after about a year. That’s disappointing considering the cost of the device. If it truly gave professional results, a limited lifespan would be completely worth it (after all, how much is microdermabrasion at a med-spa?)…but it doesn’t.

The Bottom Line

A rarity, I ended up returning the device after six weeks of use. I wouldn’t recommend. Why?

  • The results were not consistent with the marketing or hype.
  • I found it challenging to use consistently without skipping over my skin.
  • I did not see anything beyond short term, 1-2 day benefits.
  • Limited lifespan at approximately one year.
  • High replacement/consumable cost at $15-20 for a set of 4-6. When each disc should be replaced every 3-4 uses, that adds up!
  • Sensitive heads feel decently abrasive (not painful); can’t really see someone using a coarser disc without discomfort.
  • Device felt flimsy and isn’t designed with ergonomics in mind for the cost.
  • Seemed that I had to work entirely too hard to contend with sebaceous filaments, which are common and not stubborn…if I had that much trouble with that, how much difficulty would someone using it for anti-aging concerns have?
  • The lines in my forehead are just as obvious as ever. I’m not trying to get rid of them, per se – of course I have lines in my forehead as a cynical twenty-something – but this did nothing to them, which I think would be concerning, again, for someone looking into the PMD Personal Microderm device for DIY anti-aging treatment.

Fortunately, I found and use something else. Have you tried any at-home microdermabrasion substitutes?

TPDTY: You Need a Cuticle Stone

Cuticle StoneCuticle Stone, $1.79

There are a zillion-and-one guides and tutorials out there on how to give yourself a DIY manicure. Beyond the plethora of guides, there are probably thousands of different execution methods you could employ to achieve the same results. Damn few, however, mention taming crazy cuticles and eponychium with a cuticle stone.

It’s always, “gently push them back with an orangewood stick.” That isn’t wrong – it’s a good and gentle method that prevents you from removing living tissue. Those dang cuticle nippers that professional manicurists whip around like a magic wand are SHARP – and I don’t know about you, but they’re a challenge to use. It does not, however, help you remove any dead tissue that adheres to the nail plate like a cuticle stone can.

If you do your nails even semi-regularly, for under $2, can you really afford not to try one?

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Self Tanning Prep

It’s finally sunless tanning season! Maybe you bother year ’round, maybe you’ve already started for the year – but for the rest of us, here are some tips on how to achieve a great sunless tan regardless of the products you’re using.

Shower

Self Tanning Prep - Original Dove Beauty Bar

For best results, you should always apply to just-cleaned skin! When I’m showering with self tanning prep in mind, I use a mild soap like classic Dove (which is what I use in the shower most of the time anyway). Some of the richer, creamier body washes contain oils (great for ultra-moisturizing, not great for self tanning prep). While you’re at it…

Shave

remingtonshaver

…at least the areas you wish to tan with coarser hair, such as the lower legs. Don’t feel like you need to shave everywhere – for instance, I don’t shave my forearms; the hair that grows there is fine and light.. If you wax or have removed the hair via a laser device, you get to skip this – lucky you! Still, you need to…

Exfoliate

Self Tanning Prep - Eco Tools Shower Gloves

While in the shower, exfoliate your skin to remove any dry or errant patches. Sunless tanner works best when everything is smooth; otherwise you risk a patchy or muddy application. No product can prevent it – you simply have to do your due-diligence. I use a pair of scrubby shower gloves or a sugar- or salt-based scrub. If your scrub has oils (many do!), you might want to do this before you suds up to remove any oils.

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Pedicures, Revisited

Tools for PedicuresImplements for Pedicures

We’ve officially hit Spring (though tell the weather in my area that). We are now closer to the start of sandal season than the start of boot season! That’s celebration-worthy. When the chill of and Winter set in, though, a lot of people relax their attitude towards certain areas of grooming – like shaving or pedicures.

Before I continue, this post is not intended to judge or slam your personal choices. At the end of the day, you should absolutely do what you’re comfortable with, what you have time for, etc. If it means taking a break from the tedium that is regular shaving with a classic razor, cool (though I recommend at least trying an electric or laser option). 

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