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Technology Buyer Beware

By: Carol and Rob Trow
Posted: September 25, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

You cannot open a professional publication, attend a trade show or go a week without a salesperson, client or even television talk show host touting the latest and greatest cosmetic technological innovation these days. And one of the greatest challenges to the skin care professional is that you can now find these devices on the market in a myriad of forms: for use by physicians only; for use by skin care professionals with or without a physician on-site; and the fastest growing category, for home use.

Heeding regulations

First and foremost, when considering equipment and techology for the spa, check to see what your state allows you to use based on your license, as this can be a moving target. Technology that was once the province of only professionals may soon be on the market for home-use, and staying up-to-date on the rules and regulations is essential. Log on to to learn more about each state’s specifications, as well as to find contact information for each state’s licensing board.

The landscape is littered with devices and technology that have been the “newest and best” thing to acquire, and many professional skin care practices have gone under due to a lack of capitalization coupled with spending too much on equipment. It can easily create an insurmountable debt burden and financial drain on a spa.

Serious questions

To ensure that you are getting the technology and equipment your spa truly needs, be sure to get answers to the following questions.

Drawing the line

There is no question that some—though not all—skin care device technology has led to significant improvements in results-oriented treatments. But if you examine all the devices and technological innovations that have come on the market in the past five years, several things quickly become evident.