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Coming Attractions: New Cosmetic Technologies

By: Carol and Robert Trow
Posted: April 29, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Coming Attractions: New Cosmetic Technologies

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Although skin care is beginning to move this way now, in question is how small the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow molecular size to go. This issue centers around at what molecular size an ingredient will be classified as a drug due to its transdermal penetration. In other words, vitamin A in one molecular size can be a cosmetic and in another, it can be a drug.

Also, the FDA will need to determine who can dispense these new formulations if they are classified as drugs. Rest assured, the new generation of skin care products on the horizon will dramatically change the effectiveness and treatment protocols for topical products.

Manufacturers’ claims about what a cream or serum can do will be fulfilled. Pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, problematic skin, keratosis pilaris and crepey skin will all be subject to new treatment paradigms.

Noninvasive treatments and technology

In the future, the cosmetic field will undergo a mini revolution brought on by a family of new devices that are either noninvasive or minimally invasive; can be operated automatically by preprogrammed device settings; do not have to be performed in a traditional setting; may not need normal anesthesia; and more and more devices can and will be operated by nonphysicians under supervision.

Although state regulations will continue to vary, there will be an expanding role for educated and highly trained spa professionals. Following are examples of new and emerging technologies. Caution: Just because a device has FDA approval and has garnered media attention, there is no guarantee that it will produce material and sustainable results.