Opte is a printer that covers up only the blemishes on your skin

This wand-style printer drops mineral coverage only on pigmented parts of your skin.

·2 min read

Applying concealer or foundation all over your entire face just to cover up some discolored portions is a waste of time and product. Not all of your skin needs to be masked -- if you could spot-erase blemishes, you could look picture perfect while still letting your pores (mostly) breathe. The problem is, it takes a ton of time, patience and skill to do that. Enter the Opte "precision skincare" thermal "printer." It's a handheld scanner-and-cartridge system that you drag across your face, and it will "print" concealing pigment on specifically the discolored bits.

It sounds wild, which is why I'm all the more impressed that the device actually worked during my demo here at CES 2020. Opte inventor Thomas Rabe held the printer to my forearm and rolled over some freckles about three to four times, and when he was done, my spots looked noticeably fainter. The effect was more pronounced when he used the machine on a model's face, then wiped her face with a makeup cleaner. Immediately, I could see the spots that had just moments ago been covered by the Opte mineral pigment.

Speaking of, the deposits here are a different color than you'd expect. Since they only go on top of very dark spots compared to the rest of your face, for a fairer skintone, they're very bright white. Opte actually doesn't need too many different shades of pigment to provide for almost all skintones. The company says that its three tones will cover 99-percent of women's complexions, which makes sense when you consider that the "ink" only needs to offset much darker areas.

To get a better sense of where your spots are, a blue LED at the tip of the wand illuminates your blemishes for more accurate and comprehensive coverage. When Rabe applied the Opte to my arm, the thermal inkjet nozzles felt slightly ticklish but otherwise didn't hurt or feel warm. Each nozzle on the printer drops a picoliter of the "Optimizing Serum," which also contains spot-lightening skincare ingredients.

Opte Precision Skincare hands-on
Opte Precision Skincare hands-on

Like a regular inkjet printer, the Opte has a cartridge that can last about 60 applications. The company is selling a starter kit for $599, which gives you the printer, a charging cradle and a cartridge. You can get refills at $100 each, which if you use every day will last you about two months. If you prefer, you can also make 24 monthly payments of $84 to get the device and cartridge refills every 60 days.

To keep the printer from drying out, you'll need to stow the Opte in its cradle, and the device will last about an hour per charge. That's more than enough time to get your face covered -- Rabe said beginners will take about three to five minutes per application, and that time will shorten with more experience.