The New York Times takes a look at a myriad of skin-care devices, some electrical, some based on light therapy, but all of which offer cosmetic miracles and promises of eternal youth.
Though the fight against wrinkles long ago went high tech (and high cost), it is only recently that technologies such as pulsing heat, L.E.D.s and electrical currents have become safe and easy enough for consumers to use on themselves. Years after women first started recreating professional treatments with at-home spa days, a growing array of devices have migrated from the aesthetician’s office to the bathroom, where they now compete with topical solutions, medications and other prescribed remedies to combat aging…
“One of the major issues with these home-use devices is they promise more than they can deliver,” said Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a dermatologist and associate professor at New York University School of Medicine who specializes in laser-assisted treatments. The claims they make — that skin will be tightened or fine lines and wrinkles minimized — are largely cosmetic, so the manufacturers do not need approval by the Food and Drug Administration, only clearance, said Dr. Kauvar, which is easier to get.
A manufacturer that claims scientific proof of its product’s effectiveness is probably using the term loosely. For example, the makers of the RejuvaWand, an L.E.D.-based massaging tool said to “reverse the signs of aging” that came on the market in February, promote their two-month clinical trial. But the trial involved only 36 women, with no controls. Of the 36 women, 31 reported their skin had improved, said Marc Maisel, a company founder. The participants used a gel with hyaluronic acid, which also can plump skin, Dr. Kauvar said.