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  • Writer's picturePenn Smith

Combining at-home anti-aging devices: ZIIP, LED, NEWA, Microneedling, and more!

Updated: Apr 3

When combining different anti-aging tools, it's important first to consider your goals. I feel strongly that we need to choose one or two areas 'anti-aging concerns' or 'gripes', and focus on those for a minimum of two-three months after which time we can evaluate and continue or switch to begin to address another 'concern'.

To use these charts, simply start by identifying the thing you want to focus on from the top column in pink. Then look at the different ✔️ to see which devices are the best match. Consider what you already have in your anti-aging device arsenal, what your budget is, and how much time you want to commit. For more detail on which device is best for which concern, see At-home skincare devices: Which is right for you?

Once you've committed to one device you can certainly add other tools into the mix. Again, my advice is to focus on one concern and give the tools their time to work (Rome wasn't built in a day, nor is new collagen!!). Consult this second table to evaluate whether the second tool you have in mind 'plays well' with your initial tool. Note how well LED plays with EVERY other modality - that's one of the many reasons it's a true favorite of mine!).

What is….


Microcurrent delivers low level (micro) electric current to stimulate facial muscles, increase collagen and elastin production and ultimately tighten the skin.

Microcurrent treatments are a non-invasive way to bring nutrients to the skin through increased blood circulation. Better blood flow and circulation mean better lymphatic drainage (great for alleviating that morning puffiness we all get from time to time!). Check out this blog post for more info on microcurrent.

Radio Frequency:

Home RF devices use radio frequency energy to promote skin rejuvenation. As the energy passes through the tissue there is resistance and the radio frequency energy converts to thermal (heat) energy creating small “injuries” to dermal layer of skin. The body wants to repair these injuries and and ultimately collagen is produced. Radio Frequency is one of the best at-home modalities for skin tightening.


Microneedling uses tiny needles to penetrate the skin via pen or roller. Like RF, the body perceives the “injury” and sends in the troops to repair the problem (collagen). The injury is incidental but the repair is not. Microneedling is great for tightening skin (mildly), retexturing the complexion and improving cellular communication. I have a microneedling blog (click here) for more information.


LED stands for light emitting diode. These lights have profound effects on our tissue. Blue LED works on the epidermal layer targeting bacteria. Red and NIR work in the middle and deeper layers of the skin helping to boost ATP, overall cellular health, collagen, and elastin production. LED is anti-inflammatory and, to me, the perfect modality. Easily my favorite of all at-home modalities. Click here to see my LED blog for a LOT more info on the modality.


IPL stands for intense pulsed light. This light is attracted to a couple targets (chromophores) in the skin - blood and melanin. IPL can be effective for broken capillaries (limited efficacy at home), hyperpigmentation, acne, and hair removal.

Generally, the reason why something will appear in the 'No, don't combine' section is that it works at the same level (typically collagen induction) as your first choice device. Collagen induction can't be rushed and, in fact, we can do more harm than good if we try to deploy too many different tools at once!

If you're working on two different areas, say crows feet and sagging jaw, you're absolutely free to use two 'conflicting' devices at the same time - just make sure they're in different areas!

Lastly, there are often exceptions to most rules. In the pursuit of clarity I left out gray areas as much as possible and just kept some devices separate. Feel free to push the boundaries if you feel you understand the modality and the nuances of the contraindication.





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Sagging skin protocol

Devices: RF, Microcurrent, Microneedling and LED. (feel free to eliminate any of them)

4-5 times a week for the first 6-8 weeks (in this order):

LED then

RF then


Every 5 weeks microneedle (.5mm or deeper) followed by LED. Resume above protocol after skin heals for one week.

The simple collagen induction protocol

Devices: microneedling pen/roller and LED

Microneedle every 5 weeks at .5mm

Follow with red LED

LED 4-6 days a week (RED) NIR if no concerns for hyperpigmentation

Be sure to incorporate retinoids and sunscreen in to your skincare routine.

The acne protocol (device only)

Device: LED

Blue LED 4-6 times a week

This is only for fitzpatrick 1-3 and not for anyone prone to hyperpigmentation. People of Asian descent should avoid blue light as it may cause "bronzing" (hyperpigmentation).

The fine-line protocol

Devices: Laser, microneedling pen/roller and LED

Nira laser around the eyes and mouth daily

Cosmetic microneedling (shallow depth) once a week

Medical needling (.5mm or deeper) every 5 weeks

LED 4-6 days a week

Other combos I love:

Droplette + Microcurrent

If you own the Droplette and the ziip (or any other microcurrent) try using a collagen capsule right before your ziip treatment. I love this combo!

FTC: Links in this post are affiliate ~ Please note that all links on this page are affiliate and I participate in the Amazon Associates program which is an affiliate program. Any time you see an Amazon link it is affiliate. If you choose to use my links please know that I appreciate it!

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this website should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this website are not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skin care professional to determine if it’s right for you.

74,518 views17 comments


Apr 19

Where does tretinoin fit into the equation with the devices?


Oct 01, 2023

Hello, Penny! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise!

i was wondering why we are not supposed to use microcurrent in the same area as the NIRA laser. Also, where can I fit microdermabrasion into your excellent chart? Thank you


Nicole Gosling
Nicole Gosling
Aug 15, 2023

Hi Penny,

Thanks so much for very informative blogs. I have learned so much! Can you tell me where High Frequency fits into the charts above. Thanks!


Jun 30, 2023

Amazing information.

Can you recommend a red light therapy cap for hair growth?



Michele D
Michele D
Dec 03, 2022

You are amazing and so happy I found you!

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