A few months ago FOREO announced a Kickstarter campaign on their new device UFO. The Foreo UFO is supposed to revolutionize and compete with the ever so popular and growing sheet mask industry. While a few found their campaign a bit demeaning towards women who sheet mask, I found the idea alluring. I personally don’t keep a high stack of sheet masks because I don’t find them very relaxing at all. And they are kind of expensive for a one-use product. I’ve tried a few brands from high– to low end. Although I’ve found a few favorites, the comfort level is never top-notch. And it’s understandable, we all come with a different set of size faces. However, will a 90-second mask be as effective as one that lays and traps the moisture for 20 minutes? It’s hard to say.
OUT OF THE BOX
Unboxing the Foreo UFO you’ll get a USB charger, a plastic stand for your device, and a complimentary Make My Day sheet mask. The UFO is already charged so you can get started right away! There aren’t much of instructions. Only a little pamphlet telling you how to put on the sheet mask, what buttons to turn for specific sheet mask setting, how to move the device and how to remove and clean it. To download the app you can scan a QR code.
Like all the FOREO products, the UFO device is made with medical-grade silicone and is waterproof. It’s easy to wash away any mask essence. A full 2.5 hour charge lasts up to 40 treatments. Every UFO comes with a 10-Year Quality Guarantee and 2-Year Limited Warranty, which is great! The manual is found here.
Good to note: The UFO device does not come with a scratch card for warranty even though the Kickstarter claimed it to have. Instead, the device will be registered when paired with the app.
The Foreo UFO uses the same T-Sonic Pulsations that the other Foreo devices use. Which according to Foreo, helps to heighten absorption of active ingredients while delivering a relaxing facial massage. I do like the feeling of the vibrations. And I find it to give that placebo effect of the device actually doing something; as it can feel a bit nonsense moving a non-vibrating device across your face. I’ve heard of people using their jade roller when masking. I guess these pulsations are kind of mimicking the same thing, but better.
One of the reasons I got the UFO instead of the mini, was the ability to use cryotherapy. Meaning you can use the device to cool down any areas of inflammation and possibility to shrink pores. The mini only offers heating therapy. I’m a big advocate for washing your face in cool to cold water, but I’ve always wished to have like a cold compress instead of ice, which can be too cold for the skin. Unfortunately, though, the cryo-option is only available through the app, so I haven’t been able to test it out yet.
But the global app is said to come out soon. (Read “The App”)
The thermotherapy is used in both of the pre-settings for the currently available UFO-activated masks. I’d describe it as a warming comfortable sensation. It’s not as warm as a hot compress, but just the right temperature to feel it but not aggravate your skin. I like this feature and hope to experiment with it further.
RGB LED Light Therapy
If you’ve ever looked up LED light devices you know how freaking expensive they are! I fell for the Foreo UFO because it delivers three different lights, Red, Green and Blue for the price of just one! The FOREO Espada, which only uses blue light, alone costs about the (Kickstarter) price I paid for the UFO.
The red and green light is used in the Day mask-setting, and red light is used in the Night mask-setting. If you bought it hoping to be able to use the blue light for acne, then you’ll get disappointed that you’ll have to wait
until the app is out (Read “The App”).
I was looking forward to this feature a lot, so much that I kind of didn’t realize the fault in this product. I quickly felt that the LED light therapy in UFO may be less effective than in other LED therapy devices. For the light to be optimally effective, doesn’t it need to truly cover the face? The UFO only emits the light in a ring instead of a full circle through the whole plate, and I’m questioning if this is enough for it to be effective. I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m questioning if it is.
The global app is up now! You get information about the future masks to come, you can add how many sheet masks you have of each and start the treatments from the app. To pair the UFO device with the app, you simply hold the power button for about 3 seconds until it starts blinking.
But the functions of being able to use the blue light or the cryotherapy are not available yet on the app, which is disappointing. There’s no way to customize and you simply are stuck with the two pre-settings as of now.
I also had trouble pairing my UFO with the app. After cruising comments on FOREO’s Instagram, I came across someone saying restarting your phone will do the trick. And it worked, taking only a second! However, a day later when trying the app again, I had the same issue and had to restart my phone again.
Luckily I’ve decided to mask only once a week, so restarting my phone isn’t a pain in the butt, but if you’re someone who planned on using it daily with the app, this might become a major issue!
I have an iPhone 7, and I don’t have this problem with any other Bluetooth devices. The thing is that the device is not recognized by the phone without the app. But so far so good.
These are the masks that came with my pledge and are the first ones to be available:
Make My Day: – A hydrating and anti-pollution mask with hyaluronic acid and red algae.
For the day mask, the UFO uses thermotherapy and revitalizing red LED light to smooth and prep the skin to absorb the full benefits of the mask essence in the first 30 seconds. It then adds T-Sonic pulsations, and later it goes down to low-frequency pulsations combined with green LED light to even skin tone for an instant boost of radiance.
Masking in the morning isn’t my cup of tea. I was concerned that with the number of products I usually layer on, masking on top of it might be too much for daytime. But I was pleasantly surprised how this soaked right into my skin! Although the mask dried up, I still went a cautious route and kept my routine minimal, skipping serum or oils and going for a lighter moisturizer/SPF and any additional makeup. Everything applied nicely on top and my skin looked truly radiant!
Call It A Night: A revitalizing and nourishing formula with ginseng and olive oil.
For the night mask, the UFO preps the skin with thermotherapy and infuses the nourishing serum with the help of T-Sonic pulsations while rejuvenating red LED lights is supposed to stimulate collagen production.
I’m still unsure when in your routine you should mask. Traditionally you’ll sheet mask right after you’ve toned, essenced and put on serum (right?). But with the UFO, because you’re moving it around, it feels like I’m disrupting things, or I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter. I’ve tried it alone, right after toning and as the “seventh” step in my skincare, and all ways seem to work great.
The night mask sinks in just like the day mask, and the next morning you’ll actually wake up to a more rejuvenated complexion.
The UFO-activated masks are non-comedogenic, but of course, anyone can still react to any ingredient. Made in Korea, from a plush, ultra-fine microfiber fabric with a high capacity for moisture retention, allowing each mask to be super concentrated. This smooth texture helps the device glide effortlessly across the skin, as opposed to stationary sheet masks. The sheet mask fluid does contain fragrance, which a lot – if not all – sheet masks do. However, the fragrance is very mild to faint. If someone reacts to the mask, I find it hard to believe the fragrance is behind the reaction. But it’s questioned to why use it at all if you barely can smell it?
My only concern about the sheet masks is that they seem to or may not be cruelty-free, as FOREO states when asked if they are tested on animals, “Current cosmetic regulations in certain countries require testing on animals. However, the UFO device itself, and indeed all FOREO devices, are cruelty-free.” If it is so, it’s a huge bummer as I’d like to promote cruelty-free products.
The only way around this would be collaborations with other brands that won’t sell their masks in China. As we do know one of FOREO’s biggest markets is China, as well as their UFO app, is already released in China and they do ship their masks to China. Whether they are sold in the mainland Chinese market is unclear… Because in another comment FOREO responded, “No, our masks are not tested on animals. Also, the UFO device itself, and indeed all FOREO devices, are cruelty-free.” So what is it? I did reach out to them to get a more definitive answer but never received a reply!
ACTIVATING NEW MASKS
As I just mentioned, the Foreo UFO comes pre-programmed with two masks: one click for Day-mask, and two clicks for Night-mask. Which makes it seem like you won’t be able to use any of the future masks without the app. Well, kind of. Any new treatment masks you get will have to be introduced and activated through the app for the first time. After that, you’ll be able to access the specific program through the device itself by clicking on the power button 3-6 times. It depends on how many masks you’ve added. The light will blink in a certain corner of the ring to know which mask you’ve activated. More info about this is in the manual.
The sheet mask is very easy to attach to the Foreo UFO device, and you just press the power button once (Day) or twice (Night) depending on what mask you’re going for.
The mask works best when all essence is used. Normally, when sheet masking you’ll pat what’s left of the fluid at the end or leave it for later. And while Foreo advises the same thing, I find it to be best worked the other way around: Before turning on the UFO after you’ve attached the sheet on, make sure to squeeze the rest of the fluid and apply over your face and neck. The UFO will glide better for the whole 90 seconds. Even better, thanks to the fluid, you might as well go for another session. Masking for a whole 3 minutes, until the fluid has completely dried up and absorbed into the skin!
I was kind of worried I’d wake up with lots of whiteheads the next morning or get some during the day after masking. Because you don’t wash the fluid off and add your normal moisturizer on, you won’t truly know whether it will be too heavy for your skin or if you’re actually reacting to a certain ingredient in the mask. But luckily I have not experienced any issues at all! Not even when masking both day and night. At the end of the day, my skin seemed to handle the hydration boost well. But I’m not saying other skin types will. I’ve already read comments where a few people have broken out from the masks. And I personally would think it may be due to too much moisture. If you got oily skin, go light on the things you put on right after.
As someone with skin that tends to get dehydrated, sheet masks have been revolutionary compared to regular masks made for dry skin that tends to be formulated with lots of occlusives. However, I’ve never really felt or seen any instant change or effect in my skin from any of them – except the more expensive ones. I didn’t have many expectations for the UFO other than it being a faster and easier way to sheet mask. So I’ve been kind of blown away by the result in my skin after each use. Any small blemishes I had would suddenly creep back or dry out during the day/night, and my skin looks very rejuvenated and glowy. If it’s the mask or the functions of the device itself, or them together, I can’t tell. But I’m very happy to see my skin actually benefitting and in such an instant!
In the end, I do feel like it is a bit of a gimmick – but what skin device isn’t? Nonetheless, I do like it better than using a regular sheet mask, to be honest. Not only because it saves time and comfort, but because of the price point.
What sold me the most was the price per sheet mask. 1 box of 7 sheet masks will retail for about 10 euro, that’s like less than 2 euros per mask! Yes, you do have the additional price for the device to consider, but I can see this repay itself within a year of use, and not to forget the other functions it has. It’s nice that you can use the other flashy techs without a mask. But I do feel like some of the settings, like the LED lights, aren’t constructed effectively as compared to other similar devices, or the Espada, which is kind of a bummer.
Should you get it? I have the same feeling as I had with the Clarisonic. It’s not a must-have, you can happily keep masking with regular sheet masks and I personally will still use other types of face masks. But I might not necessarily buy sheet masks anymore (maybe to cut them up and use with my UFO lol). It’s a matter of if you have the money and like fancy tools to add to your pamper evenings, and in this case, don’t like classical sheet masks and want to save time. By all means, it will do exactly what you want and a bit more. I can’t tell you it’s a must-have, it’s a nice-to-have, like any other face tools. And I’m a happy owner thus far, and can’t wait for the other sheet mask collection and the app to get released with all its functions!
I hope this first-impressions review was helpful for you. Any additional questions, throw them in the comments below as there might be someone else with the same thoughts!