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Derm Devices

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: August 21, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Kathy Fields, a clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, disagrees. “Most people go to a pharmacy to self-treat for the common ailments of life such as eczema, acne, rosacea and brown spots,” she says. “A lot of people don’t get to a dermatologist.”

Spa stories

To spur sales growth, Maisel suggests dermatologists and skin care professionals recommend home-use devices for maintenance between and after medical skin or spa treatments. The duality of some esthetic devices offers professionals another avenue through which to market specialty goods. In addition, devices can be sold in conjunction with skin care cosmeceuticals.

“What we know from our office—we have about seven dermatological lasers—is that none of them work by themselves,” says Fields. “Devices alone are not the answer. They require at-home skin care regimens in conjunction with treatments. It’s the same for dermatologists’ lasers and at-home devices.”

Elaine Sauer, corporate spa director of Red Door Spa Holdings, saw the potential retail value of home-use devices. She toyed with the idea of selling clients such equipment at the Mario Tricoci Hair Salons and Day Spas she oversees, but finally, she opted against it. “More people are managing some of their routines at home with personal equipment, but like everything, the human hand does so much more for rejuvenation and draining stagnation from the face,” Sauer says. “I can’t imagine that facials will ever be replaced with these new avenues. The human touch is irreplaceable.”

With the medical avenue of injectables changing the face of the skin care business, estheticians such as Sauer are taking notice. “Since Botox was approved for anti-aging officially a few years back, I am noticing products being available via e-commerce and through various avenues today,” Sauer says. “There’s such an awareness of people wanting to remain youthful. Even people in their twenties and thirties are having Botox. We tend to think women use more products—and they do—but they want multifunctional products. Men feel the same way.”