Sheet masks are an affordable, no frills at-home facial treatment that are widely popular. So why not make them expensive and highly technological?
The Foreo UFO 2(opens in a new tab) does exactly this. For $299, the device promises to turn your regular ol’ sheet mask into a delivery vessel for thermotherapy, cryotherapy, T-Sonic pulsations, and LED light therapy. And to top it all off, it accomplishes all of these tasks in less than two minutes.
The UFO 2, a small yet mighty device.
The device works by either attaching one of Foreo’s “smart masks” — which seem to be extremely similar to a regular sheet mask, just cut into a small circle shape — to the bottom of the UFO 2, and then gliding it over the face while following along with an app-based tutorial; or by simply running it over your own store-bought sheet mask. While following the app’s guidance and programming, the UFO 2 cycles through moments of heat, coolness, vibrations, and different colored lights. At the end of the two-minute routine, the ingredients of your sheet mask or Foreo smart mask should be deeply penetrated into your skin.
The therapies that the UFO 2 purports are not all that novel in skin care. Thermotherapy refers to gently heating up the skin, which should help active ingredients in skin care absorb deeper and more easily beneath the surface. And as Dr. Taruna Yadav, senior Ayurveda expert, explained to Vogue, heat also generally increases blood flow in skin, which can help repair damaged tissue.
What people typically associate with cryotherapy, which features a whole body chamber to pump liquid nitrogen for two to three minutes.
Credit: Getty Images/jacoblund
Cryotherapy usually refers to extreme cooling accomplished by liquid nitrogen. Most people think of it as a whole body experience involving an extreme cooling chamber that you step into, with the treatment popularized for athletic and muscular health. In cosmetics, the liquid nitrogen is pumped over your face for a few minutes, causing the blood vessels to contract and pores to tighten. When your face returns to its normal temperature, the blood vessels dilate quickly, increasing the blood and oxygen flow in your face, which results in an instant glow and a decrease in any swelling.
T-Sonic pulsations are unique to the Foreo brand, implemented in many of their wellness devices. The tech is a signature massage technology that uses transdermal vibrations in order to temporarily dilate pores, which should also help products absorb quicker and deeper into the skin. And LED light therapy, as we learned in a previous episode, can help fight acne and wrinkles due to various wavelengths interacting with skin cells.
It’s a lot of different skincare practices rolled into one, and it’s all impressively accomplished in a super short time period. Can the UFO 2 actually do it all? Is its version of cryotherapy as intense as it seems it could be? And is it really worth the hefty price tag just to use a sheet mask in a new way?
Tune in here to Beauty, Hacked‘s latest episode, where host Jennimai Nguyen will answer these questions and more, all while wearing her coziest spa headband.