...facelift in a tube?
Women will be thinking twice about whether to have a cosmetic procedure following the scandalous news about breast implants made from industrial silicone. Suddenly, the newspapers and the social media space are full of stories about fillers that have gone wrong and cause permanent damage. We all knew people were courting danger by putting their faith into so-called practitioners who turn out to have no medical qualifications to their name. So calls for tighter regulation of cosmetic procedures have come none too soon.
Meanwhile, the cosmetics industry stands to benefits, even if the products can’t match up to professional procedures in terms of results. For some years, skincare brands have been using technologies and ingredients designed to replicate the effects of Botox, dermal fillers and lasers on the skin. Independent skincare expert Wendy Lewis, maintains that it is still a popular category in skincare with continued new entries designed to mimic the effects of Botox, Azzalure and Bocouture as well as hyaluronic acid fillers. “These topicals complement injectable treatments done in a clinic and are also used as an alternative for women who are not keen to have anything medical or invasive done and/or are watching their beauty spend closely,” she points out. The ingredients used most often are hexapeptides such as argirilene, pentapeptides such as matrixyl, amino acids and DMAE. “They work in different ways to injectable fillers and toxins, reducing wrinkles on the skin rather than penetrating deeper into the skin’s layers,” she explains.
Techno beauty is a new category in the retail cosmetics market which is a term for at-home devices inspired by those found in the salon. Examples include Philips Réaura, an £800 laser treatment device, developed in conjunctions with the makers of Fraxel laser technology, which is said to boost the skin’s own collagen production resulting in a refined complexion and youthful contours. Another is LED Technologies’ DPL Light Therapy System, which is FDA approved to treat acne and help reverse signs of ageing, such as wrinkles. DPL stands for deep penetrating light. The idea is that the product can be used over and over again, which is a selling point used to justify the product’s high price tag. Wendy Lewis gives her opinion: “There are many of these systems on the market now with mixed results. You have to use them constantly to see any improvement so compliance is a problem. It’s the same technology that doctors use in their clinics post treatment to reduce redness and anti-ageing. I have never been impressed with LED, but the more powerful devices used in doctors’ offices are larger to cover more area in one go. This one looks bigger than most others I have seen, more like the professional brands.”
Consumers need to be realistic in their use of at-home professional products and not expect a facelift in a tube. However, new skincare technologies and better delivery systems are continually being launched, bringing the industry one step closer to achieving what every woman wants.
* Image courtesy of LittleMan