LG Pra.L review: Do these smart beauty devices deliver on clear, smooth, and poreless skin as promised?
Skincare breakthroughs are aplenty in 2019. To recap: a gentler, plant-based retinoid alternative entered the fray (hello, bakuchiol); microneedling pimple patches are a thing; and bespoke formulations have gone a step further to include 3D-printed masks tailored to your face shape and skincare needs. These promising developments continue to flood in — particularly so in the beauty tech sector, according to ReportOcean, which is estimated to reach a value of USD106.31 million by 2024. Wishful thinking or an inevitability? We're leaning towards the latter since the inception of LG Pra.L, aka the new beauty arm of Korean electronics giant, LG.
Designed to enhance and improve upon many a skincare routine, LG Pra.L comprises four different devices to cleanse, nourish, firm, and lift your complexion. Equipped with voice assistance functions (should verbal guidance be necessary in English, Korean, and Chinese), USB-type C plugs (for easy charging), and silicone handles (to give a better grip), it certainly ticks all the right boxes... on paper, that is. But do the four devices live up to their claims? We give these gizmos a go and document our experience, below.
LG Pra.L Dual Cleanser
What it claims to do: This waterproof cleansing brush comes with numerous attachments and functions to suit a variety of skincare needs. Its silicone brush, for instance, is engineered for gentle, daily cleansing while its fine fiber brush provides a deeper, more thorough wash. Users are also able to pick from two cleansing modes — level 1 runs for 70 seconds, and level 2 for 120 seconds, to reduce the appearance of pores, blackheads, and more. Oh, and did we mention that it comes with a cradle with an in-built UV light to sanitise the brush, even when not in use? Sweet.
What it actually does: Not everyone is a fan of cleansing devices, especially when our hands are perfectly adept. But sometimes, you just need a little more than that — particularly on days when you pass out in bed with your makeup on, or have been wearing full-coverage foundation on the regular and your pores are as clogged as the toilets in underdeveloped cities. The fine fiber brush reminds us of Clarisonic's, which works for those with normal skin, but a little harsh for people with thin and/or sensitive complexions. The silicone brush is a better option for the latter category, especially because the vibration is gentle yet effective. It works similar to a Foreo, except that it cleanses a little easier around the nooks and crannies of our facial structure, and it won't stand on its own without its charger.
LG Pra.L Galavanic Ion Booster
What it claims to do: Think of the Galavanic Ion Booster as the toner of your skincare routine. Not only does it eradicate dead skin cells to enhance the absorption of your other skincare products (Boost mode), it also draws out residual makeup and sebaceous waste that your cleanser missed out on (Cleansing mode). Activate each mode for nine minutes a day to see brighter, luminous skin in just two weeks.
What it actually does: Per the recommendation of the LG Pra.L team, we used the Galvanic Ion Booster with our favourite vitamin C product — the Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum — because studies have shown improved moisture retention, reduced pigmentation, and wrinkles when the Boost mode is paired with such a product. On the other hand, formulas containing alcohol, sunscreen, and retinol are not advisable; as the device utilises thermal therapy to increase absorption of product into the layers of skin, it could also increase the skin's vulnerability to melanin production. While we enjoy the relaxing, warm sensation of the device, we've yet to see some real results. Time will tell.
LG Pra.L Total Lift Up Care
What it claims to do: This anti-ageing contraption comes with two functions: tightening and lifting. Tightening Mode utilises high-frequency thermal therapy and red LED lights to trigger collagen production whereas Lifting Mode employs micro-currents to stimulate skin tissue and muscle repair. This results in bouncier, brighter and firmer skin, with 92% of test participants reporting improvements in skin sagging and density.
What it actually does: We're usually wary of products that promise immediate effects, but our faith was somewhat restored with Total Lift Up Care. After two nine-minute sessions of use per mode, we noticed that our cheeks were perkier and our chins a tad sharper. Now, that's not to say the product is meant to replace Botox or even lifting creams and concentrates. At the same time, we're not going to complain about a device that can give us that Kim K jawline (albeit temporarily), particularly if it's more comfortable on the skin than a ReFa Carat is, without all that tugging. Plus, at 18 minutes, you're kind of getting an arm workout while you're at it. It a quarter of an hour feels like a long time particularly when you've already had a long day, whip this out on slow Sundays, or when you're combing through that client proposal at 10pm. Two birds, one stone.
LG Pra.L Derma LED Mask
What it claims to do: Fitted with 160 LED lights that emit long- and short-wave light, LG's mask offering penetrates the skin at different depths to encourage cell regeneration, thus granting firmer, more radiant skin than before. The full treatment clocks in at nine minutes, with its transparent visor allowing for users to go about their day without it getting in the way.
What it actually does: LED mask is nothing new to the market, but LG wants to make a dent in this micro-industry with its decades-worth of LED technology. And it does a decent job at it. The Pra.L Derma LED Mask sits comfortably on the face like a pair of sunglasses that cover your entire visage. You can't see it in the photo, but the device comes with a goggle-sque eye guard, aimed to protect the eyes from the LED light. Although it doesn't stand in the way of your mobility (thanks to the detachable headband, you can secure it to your head and wear it around the house) it feels quite heavy, and focusing our gaze through the goggle after the second minute strains the eyes. Note to self: leave it on while you lie back to Netflix and chill, and not much else. Definitely don't try to read a book with it. If you fall asleep with the mask on, fret not — the light automatically goes off after nine minutes, so there's no worry of overexposure, though its effects are not (yet?) known to be detrimental. The experience is thoroughly enjoyable, and we'll gladly wear it bi-weekly for brighter skin.