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Total Refresher by Michael Todd Beauty is a new tool that attempts to replicate the spa experience at home. I was very lucky to have it in my hot little hands before its official launch next week!
The nifty Total Refresher combines 3 things in the one lightweight handheld tool: dermabrasion, comedone extraction and misting.
Total Refresher comes with 4 heads, one of which is a diamond tipped dermabrasion head. To exfoliate your skin, you glide the tip over taut skin without pressure. It’s recommended that you use it on clean, dry skin after applying a hot towel for 3-5 minutes. The instructions say to use it for a maximum of 5 minutes a week if you have dry skin, or 5 minutes twice a week for normal or oily skin. The tool has 3 speeds so you can adjust the intensity.
Dermabrasion is my favourite function of the tool. The suction automatically presses the diamond-coated tip against your skin so you don’t need to worry too much about how hard (or not-hard) to push. I’ve heard that other people end up red for an hour or two afterwards, but my skin seems to be resilient enough that I had no redness (although I’ve had aestheticians surprised by how little redness I get with in-clinic peels as well – I think my skin is deceptively resilient!).
I’ve been using it on the lowest mode and it feels like enough. Unexpectedly, it actually feels gentler than a lot of scrubs I’ve tried, even though I keep remembering that diamonds are one of the hardest naturally occurring substances on Earth as I’m using it (thanks primary school science).
After the dermabrasion treatment, my skin felt super soft and smooth. I was struck by how much softer and smoother it was compared to my regular exfoliation routine, and I’m no stranger to exfoliants – I used a peeling gel on one cheek and dermabraded the other, and the difference was easy to feel! I think it probably isn’t just from the exfoliation, but also some temporary increased blood flow from the suction. I’ve just started using this very very gently on some milia (well away from my eye) that hasn’t budged much with chemical exfoliants.
There are two heads for extractions that come with the Total Refresher tool, one large and one small. Again, this is meant to be used on clean, dry skin after heating with a towel.
The instructions aren’t super clear on how to use it, but there are plenty of videos on how suction extractors work. They suck up a dome of skin, then as you drag the tool along your skin it flexes it, so blackheads and pore clogs come out.
I think this function is geared towards the “beauty is pain” crowd. I’m wary of traumatic skin treatments since I’m somewhat prone to broken capillaries, and I happen to have the most clogged pores around my nose which is also my broken capillary hot zone. But I tried it on my forehead (for science). It’s pretty entertaining, but it wasn’t as effective as I hoped – a super ripe blackhead poked its head out of its hole, but that was all. I ended up squeezing the rest of it out with my fingers.
The final extraction head is tiny and oval shaped, and is supposed to promote blood circulation to target fine lines and wrinkles. I’m not a believer in facial massage for anti-aging – there aren’t any good studies on it, but older skin is more fragile, and detachment of your epidermis from the underlying dermis is thought to be one of the reasons wrinkles form. But I was surprised by how gentle this was when you use it as instructed (let it suck a little and pull away immediately) – it felt like very gentle pinches and was actually really relaxing.
The tool has a little outlet underneath the suction head that’s designed to mist a toner over your face after the treatment. I originally thought this would be a bit of a gimmick, since you can easily buy a $2 pump spray from the store, but the mist it produces is so much finer that I’m getting quite addicted! It’s basically a portable fragrance diffuser. There’s a compartment for toner in the back of the tool, and it comes with a little funnel and squeezy bottle to help you fill it.
As an indication of how fine the mist is, I managed to spray the toner right into my eye the first time I used it, and only felt the tiniest millisecond of pain! You won’t be able to feel the droplets hitting your skin at all. I think this will be fantastic for hydrating skin without disturbing any makeup.
Michael Tod Beauty Total Refresher charges via a micro USB cable, and retails for $129 USD (RRP). You can grab it from Soft Surroundings here.
Have you used any home dermabrasion tools before? What did you think?
This is a sponsored post; however, the opinions expressed are still my honest opinions of the products. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.