YBLTV Review: FOREO UFO
For a growing number of men and women, the topic of skincare has become increasingly relevant within the last decade - a subject that has had something of a rolling tide regarding popularity. Skincare will be the hot button issue of the beauty industry, with people all over the world seeking the newest tricks to take years off their face or address problem areas head-on; other times, it will fall in the shadow of makeup and the tricks to conceal the undesirable and reveal one’s best features. Although we are currently enjoying some of the most wide-spread, accessible, artistic representation of makeup in history, we are also balanced with some of the most cutting edge skincare products the market has to offer. It is no longer one versus the other - as any true beauty aficionado will know, caring for your skin in its downtime is just as important as what products you use throughout the day.
However, one of the biggest concerns regarding skincare is the question of cost versus payoff in relation to the average consumer. While it has often been perceived that high-end skin treatments are the purview of the rich, there has been a new crop of high quality skincare products available at the lower - to mid-range level, and a large number of customers interested in starting a skincare routine with these products available. One of the most highly touted aspects of any skincare regimen is the facial/detox program. As a woman who has incorporated facials into my everyday routine, I will be the first to admit that, for one appointment every two months, it may still be a steep investment for many. Some people choose to invest significant money and time into their skin, even if that means working longer hours or skipping out on other purchases to do so. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who, regardless of their money or time, choose to pamper themselves at home with more economic solutions. Skincare is highly individualized to each person and often, when someone finds the perfect solution to their skin woes, there follows an attitude of “if it works, don’t fix it.” We as humans look for results and stick to positive results, no matter what. However, the question that often comes up is how to marry the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of at-home skin care with the high-tech attractiveness of clinical results?
FOREO, the company behind the LUNA mini and the LUNA 2 face brushes, have expanded their line with the FOREO UFO. Marketed as “The best of beauty and technology for a spa-worthy facial treatment in just 90 seconds,” the FOREO UFO is roughly the circumference of a woman’s compact and is housed in a pink silicone body. For review purposes, the UFO comes with a power cord for charging and two UFO Activated masks - “Make My Day” (a morning mask formulated with hyaluronic acid and red algae) and “Call it a Night”(the companion nighttime mask formulated with ginseng and olive oil).
“The FOREO UFO leaves much to be desired, but has significant future promise in expanded design” - Katie Hernandez, YBLTV Writer/Reviewer
Here’s some perspective coming into my review of the FOREO UFO: I have very sensitive skin and hormonal breakouts around my chin that have seemingly gotten worse into my mid-twenties. My skin is combination skin and I stick to a very gentle, oil-free cleanser while incorporating spot treatments every so often. During my high school years, I was extremely fond of using face masks to address my skin problems - however, into my twenties, I have pulled back and switched to serums and at-home peels to slowly help with exfoliation. When I sat down to use the UFO for the first time, I was a little surprised - the included mask looked like a cross between a typical paper mask and a cotton pad. The instructions said that for the mask, you were to remove the plastic ring from the UFO, place the mask against the metal body, and secure the mask with the ring. Securing the mask was a bit of a challenge and a significant amount of product ended up being squeezed out in the process (however, a warning regarding this was included with the UFO as at the time of this review, it was still in beta). After getting it as secured as possible, I checked the instructions once again; for the nighttime treatment, the total treatment time was 90-seconds and consisted of two steps: the first being the use of “Thermo-Therapy” to open pores and “T-Sonic” pulsations to push the serum into the skin with red LED lights to help stimulate collagen production; the second was the use of low-level pulses and red LED lights to improve circulation. The daytime mask broke down the 90-seconds into three steps, including individual prep and moisturizing steps with a protecting step to even skin tone.
Given the comments made by FOREO, I was expecting more of a middle ground for an at-home facial - something that replicated the spa facial for a more affordable price. However, it seemed that the UFO blended the most average aspects at-home sheet masks with sonic skincare. I personally pass over sheet masks for clay masks for a number of reasons - one of which is the fact that I dislike the feeling of cold, wet paper sticking to my face. For me, rubbing the UFO mask on my face was the exact same sensation, only with a little bit of added heat during the process. Additionally, I like to avoid touching my face with my hands as much as possible; as anyone familiar with face masks knows, there’s often leftover product on your face that hasn’t quite absorbed even after time is up. You usually feel the need to rub in the excess product, and the UFO had the same problem.
One additional issue I had with the UFO isn’t with the device itself, but with the concept behind its design. While I may not be a skincare expert (just a woman in her twenties who is genetically predisposed to problematic skin), one of the clear distinctions I have made in my life is the line between a skincare regimen and targeted skincare treatments. For example, I incorporate a hydrating facial into my regimen of cleansers and moisturizers to keep my skin from fluctuating between dry and oily. However, I also use products designed to target specific issues (spot treatments, anti-redness creams) that I do not use every day. I feel that one of the biggest concerns with the UFO is that its design is caught teetering on the fence - the nature of the current masks seems to be aimed at integrating the device into a daily regimen (as one might do with a normal facial), but, traditionally, sheet masks (and even clay/mud masks) have typically been used as targeted treatments against acne or other skin issues. In my opinion, if FOREO had released the UFO with targeted treatment masks, the overall concept might have been better executed. Since the UFO is still in beta, this may very well be the plan down the road; however, with the current masks, I feel that it misses a good opportunity to retain the luxury appeal of facials and the pampering aspect that is associated with them.
- Maintains a reasonable price for similar skincare technology on the market ($199), allowing those looking to upgrade their current skincare routine and experiment
- Design is aesthetically pleasing and incorporates functionality with good looks
- Allows for a condensed version of an at-home facial, keeping time as a factor
- Compact - allows the UFO to be travel-friendly and occupies a modest amount of real estate on the bathroom sink/medicine cabinet
- Did not find the current mask material appealing
- Hope that FOREO expands the mask range for targeted treatments
- Seems to primarily designed to maintain skin as opposed to improve skin
I could forgive a significant amount of concerns with the FOREO UFO if the device was competitive in addressing my current skin problems. However, after using the device, I did not find any noticeable changes; while I will acknowledge that the limited amount of masks supplied for review may have prevented me from seeing any long-term improvements, it also seems that any benefit I may have received came from the formula of the mask’s ingredients as opposed to any therapeutic properties from the UFO itself. However, as I previously mentioned before, skincare is extremely personalized. Much of this industry is trial and error - experimenting and learning more and more about our own needs. Speaking as an individual, I did not find the UFO to treat my skin in the ways I was searching for; however, with increased improvements and expanded treatments, the FOREO UFO could be worth the chance to step outside your comfort zone.