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An Industry of Progress, Part II

By: Mario Montalvo
Posted: October 28, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 8

When the FDA finally stepped in, equipment used in the practice of skin care was strictly categorized, and stringent definitions for their use were put in place. These read in part: “No equipment or any part thereof for use in Cosmetology or Beauty Practice may generate any current that creates any form of a chemical reaction that can alter, change or interfere with the body’s normal systemic function, otherwise it is be to considered in the category of ‘medical devices.’ ”

Another popular tool of the time was the comedone extractor. Still around today, it consists of a metal rod with an oval end that surrounds a small aperture in the center. The intended purpose of the tool is to excise blackheads and milia during a facial procedure, with pressure exerted by the skin care professional. However, even this apparently harmless tool has not been without its own set of problems; if undue pressure is exerted during use, the client inevitably exhibits a complexion peppered with red marks, bruises, blotchiness and, in some worst-case scenarios, broken capillaries and angiomas.

Tesla high frequency was also in use, but the equipment was cumbersome and noisy. All too often, it produced an unexpected electric spark that startled and alarmed both client and skin care professional, so its use was understandably infrequent.

Standard facial procedure

The standard facial taught in cosmetology schools at the time followed a generally uniform procedure.

1. The skin was cleansed with a thick cream that consisted abundantly of petroleum jelly and then was removed with witch hazel.