The four beauty gadgets my extremely oily skin can't live without

Having extremely oily skin that is prone to blemishes, I first went to see a dermatologist when I was a high school freshman because every inch of my face was then covered in pus-filled acne. I had my first chemical peel around that time as well, and facial treatments have been part of my life ever since. Since my skin requires a lot of maintenance to stay clear, it was a natural step for me to venture into beauty gadgets in the hopes of lessening my need for clinic-based procedures. Today, even with influx of effective yet affordable skincare product options, I enjoy the help I get from owning a few beauty gadgets.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Cleansing Brush

  • What it is for: everyday deep cleansing

  • Wallet damage: $169 (plus tax) from

  • Replacement parts: brush heads start at $27 each (recommended to be replaced every three months)

With the success of the original Clarisonic brush, the brand released this smaller and more affordable Mia Brush. This is the oldest gadget in my arsenal, being five years old and still in good condition, so I’d say that I was able to maximize the amount I shelled out for it! After being a user for years, I can honestly say that this really cleanses better than manual cleansing. Even when I double cleanse, I still get some remnants of makeup on my cotton pad when I apply toner (I go hard core with long-wearing foundation) but the pad stays clean when I cleanse with my Clarisonic.

I like that it only takes a minute to use and has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 20 uses or so. It also has two different speed settings. I opt for the slower one because I worry that the higher speed will irritate my face. The brush heads are available in different variants for different skin concerns, but because this product is not available locally, I have to regularly order replacement heads from abroad. Here’s hoping that Sephora PH carries this soon!

PMD Personal Microderm

  • What it is for: at-home microdermabrasion

  • Wallet damage: $199 from

  • Replacement parts: $20 for a set of 6 discs (each disc is recommended to be replaced after 3-4 sessions)

I used to dream of owning a professional-grade microdermabrasion machine but since they cost an arm and a leg, I settled for a handheld device. Microdermabrasion kits aren’t very popular anymore, but since my skin gets clogged very easily, intensive exfoliation is a necessity in my routine. This device works by spinning a small disc coated with aluminum oxide to exfoliate the top layer of skin. These discs come in different levels of coarseness, and I use the second to the coarsest one for the face.

I find that it really does smoothen my skin. The PMD is recommended to be used once a week only as it is pretty powerful. It takes less than three minutes to go through my entire face. I sadly don’t use this frequently though because the replacement heads aren’t available locally. Unlike the rest of my gadgets, this must be plugged to a wall socket to use. I don’t mind but this might be a hassle for someone who doesn’t have a lot of outlets in their room.


Foreo Espada Acne Clearing Blue-Light Pen

  • What it is for: acne spot treatment

  • Wallet Damage: P8,052 at Sephora PH

  • Replacement parts: none

Handheld gadgets that use LED light to treat acne have been around for more than a decade, even though they are not very popular locally. I used them back when I was in college and got good results from it, so I decided to invest in a Foreo Espada. Let me be clear, though: this is not a miracle worker. It is not a replacement for a good anti-acne regimen. The blue light treatment is good for dealing with a small pimple or two, not if you have them all over your face. It also doesn’t work on cystic acne.

To use, I simply hold the light over the pimple for 30 seconds. It won’t disappear overnight but I find that it flattens out more quickly. Larger pimples won’t benefit much so better to zap them while they’re still small. I like that the Espada has no parts to replace and that the battery is rechargeable. Strangely, it doesn’t actually come with a charger, but can be charged with standard USB chargers.

Neutrogena Fine Fairness Light Mask

  • What it is for: brighter skin and reduced dark spots

  • Wallet damage: P4,200 at leading department stores

  • Replacement parts: activator for P1,800 (good for 30 uses) and four AA batteries

I was eager to own this mask since LED treatments are touted to be the next big thing. The affordable price tag of this mask seems very enticing but the activator costs almost half of the mask. Since this device is recommended to be used daily, and each activator is only good for thirty uses, you would have to purchase a new activator each month and end up spending a whopping P21,600/year!

When you turn the activator on, the mask will light up for ten minutes and just shut off automatically. It’s important to know that should you decide to pause in the middle of a session, you cannot retrieve the time you lost or the activator charge. Personally, I find it impossible to allot ten minutes each day for a treatment so I don’t use it often, but if I use it for a few days straight I do notice that my skin has more of a glow!

If I could keep just one, it would be my Clarisonic. After all, nothing clogs my pores more than makeup residue sitting on my face overnight. It has also survived daily usage for the past 5 years so even if the replacement brush heads are inconvenient to source, I feel that it has been well worth my investment.

Are beauty gadgets are a necessity? I would honestly say no, especially if your skin is not problematic as mine. A good skincare regimen is usually enough to meet your needs, and a gadget would just mostly work as an add-on. However, if you find that your skincare products are on the pricey side, then replacing it with a gadget might be cheaper in the long run as it can last for years. That being said, these gadgets probably won’t be my last. I still dream of owning a Foreo Luna or a Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage in the future!

Do you use any beauty gadgets? What would you like to try?