21 March 2009
Catherine Saint Louis
New York, USA
Unrealistic promises raise expectations, say dermatologists
“I never did a ton of research to figure out what those products were doing, or whether I could get results at home, or whether I was better off going to see a dermatologist,” said Palmer, 36.
Beauticians and spas have long promoted routine facials as required maintenance for radiant skin. But dermatologists don’t necessarily agree. Today’s spa menus promise more than a mere facial can deliver, dermatologists say, and have people thinking that monthly facials can be their first line of defence against wrinkles.
“People will say, ‘I’ve had facial after facial and I still have wrinkles’,” said Dr Amy Derick, a dermatologist from Barrington, Illinois. “They have unrealistic expectations of what facials can do.”
But beauticians have a different take. “They’re bad–mouthing us because they want our business to go to them,” said Wendei Spale, a beautician of 14 years. “If my clients go to them, they are going to talk them into fillers, Botox, or a superstrong peel they don’t need.” Beauticians say so–called oxygen facials can plump skin, produce collagen, and regenerate cells. But without scientific evidence, many dermatologists remain unconvinced. “Show me the data that oxygen facials make the skin better,” said Dr Jeffrey Dover.
What, then, can consumers expect from deep cleansing, microdermabrasion, and other staples of today’s facials?