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Spa Machine Safety

By: Christine Heathman
Posted: June 26, 2008, from the July 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Stroll into any beauty trade show, examine an esthetic journal or browse the Internet on the topic of skin care equipment, and you will likely be deluged with devices proclaiming effectiveness in everything from clearing acne, stamping out pigmentation, erasing wrinkles, replacing face lifts and aiding with a variety of other issues. All this information is calculated to make you believe and trust in these companies, and given this knowledge, many are only spawning clever marketing tricks by means of expensive advertising and fast-talking salespeople.

In reality, the ever-changing skin care jungle can be comprised of the empty technology of high-speed words and junk science paired with anecdotal noise woven into chaotic complexities and claims that even the most savvy skin care specialist is unable to comprehend or determine factual. Learn what to look out for—and what consititutes a warning sign.

How to know what works

Before you spend your investment dollars on any skin care equipment that could simply become another piece of furniture in your spa, do your homework to ensure your new asset falls in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is backed by scientific research and documentation—not just marketing hype. Make certain your skin unit meets the specific operating requirements of your state’s licensing rules as well, especially in the case of intense pulsed light and photofacial machines. This equipment can be considered class 2A medical and is restricted with respect to operation.

Having said this, the good news is that a handful of credible skin equipment manufacturing and distribution companies actually offer scientifically corroborated clinical studies, FDA proof of registration, safety, efficacy, long-term results documentation and, just as importantly, a business history of substantial income increases that will help you to grow your business.

Albert M. Kligman, MD, PhD, a renowned dermatologist with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, stated at a past advanced skin seminar, “Instrumentation is a legitimate form of treatment.” Noting those words, the choices of skin care instrumentation can not only become a financial challenge to the skin care specialist, but are also mired in a world of credibility confusion.