For years, the sirens of the beauty and dermatology industries have lured us with promises of instant lifts and tighter, brighter skin along with the elimination of wrinkles, acne, cellulite and unwanted hair by way of lasers and other high-tech treatments. Frankly, all those fancy treatments are expensive, with sessions often running into the thousands of dollars. But now there is a deluge of devices that promise to deliver beauty results in your own home.
While the initial purchase may seem a bit steep, the tools last through repeated use. Of course, you might still want to visit a professional or a spa where treatments can be more thorough - and even luxurious - though even the experts encourage at-home maintenance.
"For us, it's vital that people maintain their skin regime at home," says Elaine Bezold, co-owner of Red Hots Spa in Roslyn, N.Y. "I usually get to see someone one time every five to six weeks, and if they're taking care of their skin in between it allows us to move forward rather then starting from scratch."
Most recently, Bezold has incorporated NuFace, a hotly touted anti-aging microcurrent device, into her menu of services. "We see drastic improvements over time," says Bezold, who has also begun selling the professional system to her clients to continue their work at home.
Inspired by in-office lasers, Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross has invented several devices that look wildly sci-fi, including a medical-grade mask dubbed DRx SpectraLite Faceware Pro that aims to zap acne-causing bacteria and smooth wrinkles.
"I believe that at-home beauty devices will become as common as traditional products such as moisturizers," Gross says. They are "a great addition to any skin-care regimen - they will enhance what you are already doing, for even better results."
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Bezold agrees. "Skin care is really a team effort," she says. "And home devices are another tool in your tool belt."
Dr. Stephen Greenberg, a plastic surgeon with offices in Woodbury, Manhattan and Southampton, N.Y., urges consumers to consult a board-certified doctor before trying an at-home beauty tech device.
"They can say 'yes, this a good idea or not it's not," he says. And don't expect miracles. "Doing a little something at home is better than nothing," Greenberg says. "But some of these things may not be what they're hyped up to be. They do not have the efficacy of medical-grade treatments."
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