When I was growing up, there were only two ways to deal with wrinkles:
Either you used some sort of cream at home, or you went to the dermatologist.
Retinoid creams have been one of the most reliable wrinkle-busters out there for decades. As one dermatologist explains, “For dermatologists they’re a favorite because there’s so much science behind them.” 
Retinoids boost cell turnover, thicken the skin, reduce pigmentation, and fight acne. There’s not much they can’t do.
Although you have to go to a dermatologist for prescription-strength retinoids (like Retin-A, Renova, and Refissa), there are now over-the-counter creams that work more slowly, without irritating the skin quite so much. You may have to wait 3 to 6 months to see a difference, but your pocketbook will thank you.
Smearing a cream on your face seems so 20th century.
Surely there’s some space-age technology that would deliver smooth skin even faster.
Enter at-home skincare devices.
These gadgets use lasers, needles, and lights to transform skin. Many are less-powerful versions of treatments you’d receive in a dermatologist’s office.
Here are 3 trending now.
1. Low level laser therapy for wrinkles
Low level lasers, also known as cold lasers, are exactly what they sound like: lasers much less powerful than those you’d find in a doctor’s office.
Originally, at-home low level lasers were sold for the purposes of pain relief. The warmth penetrated beneath the top layer of skin, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. (Skeptics argued that the same results could be achieved simply by applying an external source of heat, like a hot bath or a heating pad.)
But that wasn’t all the lasers were good for.
A 2013 study found that, “in dermatology, [low level laser therapy] has beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns.” 
Low level lasers tend to come in two types: handheld or as an LED mask. They’re intended for use several times a week, if not daily.
And they’re not cheap. You’ll pay anywhere from $400 to $500 for the more popular versions, like the Baby Quasar Plus and the Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser.
Unless you already visit a dermatologist regularly for laser treatments, low level laser therapy isn’t kind to your budget. That’s where microneedling comes in…
2. Microneedling for younger skin
When you cut yourself, new skin grows to cover the wound.
That’s the idea behind the Dermaroller, a device with over a hundred tiny needles that you roll over your face, causing tiny punctures. New skin grows in, and voila! Younger looking skin.
It sounds positively medieval, but it promises similar results to a laser treatment for next to nothing ($10 to $20).
Simply roll the Dermaroller over your skin, taking care to be as gentle as possible, then apply a serum. You may experience some bleeding, so don’t do it the morning before work.
As with most at-home devices, just one treatment won’t show much of a change. You’ll need to do it regularly to get the full benefit.
The biggest concern with microneedling devices—aside from all those needles—is infection. Because you’re dealing with blood, you need to sterilize the device every time you use it.
That’s why many dermatologists recommend saving the treatment for their offices. (Derms also offer an anesthetic cream to numb your skin prior to application.)
3. Light therapy devices for acne
Blue light kills the bacteria that that causes acne. Red light calms inflammation.
Pair the two, and you deal a powerful 1-2 blow to breakouts.
Originally, at-home light therapy devices weren’t cheap. You’d be paying anywhere from a hundred to three hundred dollars.
Now there are spot treatment gadgets that cost as little as $30.
Will these space-age gadgets replace good old creams in the average woman’s beauty cabinet?
I’m skeptical. We’re so time-crunched today that the investment these gadgets require—even if it’s just 2 to 5 minutes a day—is a lot more than the seconds it takes to apply a cream.
Have you tried one of the gadgets above? If so, let us know your experience in the comments.