The Benefits of Manual VS. Mechanical Treatments
The Benefits of Manual VS. Mechanical Treatments

The Benefits of Manual VS. Mechanical Treatments

4 minutes read

Ever wondered whether mechanical beauty treatments could do the job better than you can? From cleansing brushes and facial ‘workout’ tools to LED face masks and Gua Sha, there are endless beauty gadgets on the scene now. But are they worth the hype? And what can they do that we can’t do ourselves? Here’s everything you need to know about manual and mechanical treatments. 

What is the difference between manual and mechanical treatments? 

So, when we say manual and mechanical treatments, what do we mean? In simple terms, a manual treatment is a skincare product we apply ourselves – such as a cleanser, exfoliator, toner or moisturiser. The term ‘mechanical treatment’, however, refers to the gadgets that can help us improve our skin’s health – such as cleansing brushes, electric facial toning devices, light therapy masks and more.  

What are the benefits of manual treatments? 

A manual skincare treatment is one that you need to physically apply with your hands and work into your skin (whether that be for exfoliation or facial massage). “When it comes to skincare, there’s nothing you can’t achieve with your hands,” says Charlotte McHale, Training Manager at Clarins. “I would mostly recommend using manual treatments because when you are using your hands, it’s easier to gauge the pressure that you are applying to your skin and, therefore, less likely to cause irritation or damage to it,” she says.  

Charlotte also advises, “That pressure is the most important thing to focus on when applying your skincare, particularly around delicate areas such as the eyes. It’s also easier to focus on specific areas when applying products with your hands, as brush heads can often be too large when you want to work on a targeted area.” 

What are the benefits of a mechanical treatment? 

If you’re unsure how to apply manual products or prefer relying on a ready-made gadget to do the job, a mechanical treatment might be the best way forward. “Mechanical treatments are great for people with reduced mobility or conditions that cause shakiness,” Charlotte says. “It makes it easier for anyone to master professional techniques at home and have the confidence that it is being done correctly,” she continues. However, Charlotte reminds us that although the devices might be built to act as “professional treatments”, we still need to be cautious of how often we are using gadgets such as electric exfoliators and cleansing brushes and mindful of the pressure we are applying to our skin with them. “The amount of tugging and pressure you are applying to your skin can easily go unnoticed if you are using anything other than your hands to apply your skincare products,” she says. 

Best Manual Skincare Treatments 

Clarins Fresh Scrub, £26 

clarins fresh scrub

A creamy gel exfoliator that s fine (eco-friendly) microbeads that will gently and manually polish away dead skin cells. 

Rose Inc Skin Clarity Exfoliating Cleanser, £29            

rose inc cleanser

A cleanser and exfoliator in one, this product will leave your skin feeling clean, replenished and silky smooth.  

Dr Sam’s Flawless Revival Mask, £32 

dr sams

No gadget can make the skin glow quite like a super-hydrating mask. This one contains skin-quenching ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, shea, squalene and glycerin.  

Soho Skin Liquid Exfoliator, £60 

soho skin liquid exfoliant

Liquid exfoliants break up the bonds that bind dead skin cells together on the skin’s surface. This lactic and mandelic acid-packed potion will leave your skin feeling refreshed and glowing. 

Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream, £26 

clarins smoothing cream

Watch your dead skin quite literally peel away with this clever smoothing cream. Slather it on, leave it to sit for a minute and then massage it into the skin with your fingers. 

Beauty Pie Pure 3% Resveratrol + Exotic Fruit Oils, £50 

beauty pie capsules

A pot of potent capsules, serving individual doses of skin-reviving antioxidants to give skin a collagen boost. 

Best Mechanical Skincare Treatments 

Nurse Jamie Dermascrape Ultrasonic Skin Scrubbing & Skincare Enhancing Tool, £70 

nurse jamies

Cleanse, unclog pores and maximise the efficacy of your skincare products in one hit with this handy rechargeable tool.  

FOREO UFO, £185 

foreo ufo

If you love your face masks, this app-controlled mask enhancer is for you. Add the mask ‘pods’ into the device, glide it over the skin and rub any excess product into your face.  

NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device, £175 


Small but mighty, this microcurrent facial massager is the perfect way to flex your facial muscles for an uber-taut and refreshed complexion. 

Clarisonic Mia Smart, £185 


If you’re worried that you’re not getting all make-up and grime off when cleansing your face, try investing in a cleansing brush like this that will deeply cleanse the skin and give it a boost of radiance at the same time.  

Omnilux Contour Anti-Ageing LED Light Therapy Mask, £299 

omnilux mask

A face mask with a difference, this red-light therapy mask reduces fine lines and pigmentation and promotes healthier, luminous skin.  

Next Read: Unpredictable Epidermis? Try A Moisturiser For Combination Skin

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