Ultrasonic Face Spatulas – The Complete Guide
What is an Ultrasonic Face Spatula?
The definition of ultrasonic (ultrasound) relates to sound waves that have a frequency exceeding that which can be heard by the human ear, i.e. above 20,000 per second.
Ultrasonic face spatulas or "scrubbers" are commonly used in salons and have a thin, blunt, metal blade which vibrates at up to 30,000 Hz (times per second).
The device is used on wet skin to deeply cleanse and mechanically exfoliate the face and also to aid the penetration of beneficial skincare products.
It also aids in the extraction of whiteheads and blackheads.
How Does it Work?
The skin is made up of three layers, the lowest level is known as the hypodermis, the middle layer is the dermis and the outermost layer is the epidermis.
The epidermis itself consists of 5 layers, the topmost one (the stratum corneum) comprises many layers of dead skin cells, providing a first barrier against bacteria, sun damage, water loss and adverse effects of the environment.
New skin cells grow at the lowest level of the epidermis and are gradually forced up through the layers as more grow below them. At the same time, the top layers of the stratum corneum are naturally shed to reveal the newer cells below.
As the ultrasonic face spatula is moved across the skin, the high speed vibrations loosen the topmost dead cells for water to penetrate and lift them away, thus aiding the natural shedding process.
Once the surface layer of dead skin cells and debris have been removed, the flat side of the spatula is used to massage skincare products into the skin.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of exfoliation include:
Use of the ultrasonic face spatula for exfoliation purposes is a gentle, non-aggressive and non-invasive process which is less likely to cause damage than some other abrasive methods e.g. microdermabrasion.
It is a pain-free process and there are no side effects, other than the possibility of slight pinkness immediately following treatment. It can therefore be used on the most sensitive skin and unusually, even for those with rosacea.
The vibrations of the spatula used in conjunction with skincare creams and serums following exfoliation, causes them to penetrate more quickly and deeply into the skin.
It is very hygienic in that it is easy to clean and sanitize the smooth metal spatula after each use and the long term cost effectiveness is good, as there are no ongoing costs involved.
As previously mentioned, ultrasonic facials are commonly provided in salons and spas, but there are now a number of at home machines on the market, offering a significant saving.
So, if you prefer to DIY in the comfort and convenience of your own home, there are plenty of choices available and they are easy and safe to use, if not as powerful as those used commercially.
The cost ranges from $40 to $150+ and we will take a closer look at five of the best and their relative merits across the range in our separate roundup review.
In comparison the cost of an ultrasonic facial in a salon or spa can be up to $80+ per treatment, depending on the area and length of time.
How to Use an Ultrasonic Face Spatula
You will obviously need to refer to the manufacturer's instructions provided with the device, paying particular attention to any precautions.
This is a broad outline of how these devices are used:
It is best to allow the skin time to recover between treatments and ensure that you do not over-exfoliate, 2 - 3 times per week should be plenty to keep the skin looking clear and radiant.
There are some circumstances under which the ultrasonic spatula should not be used, so do be sure to carefully read the advice provided with the product by the manufacturer.
If you attend a salon these will, of course, be discussed with you prior to treatment.
If you have any of the following conditions, seek proper medical advice before use:
There are no chemicals involved but it would be a good idea to check before using, just to be on the safe side, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.