The New York Spa and Wellness Show is a trade show featuring the latest equipment and treatment options for spas and skincare salons. From big-name salon skincare to upstart technologies, ideas abound as to what the next big thing will be.
But amidst all the laser equipment and skin imaging technologies, there are the take-home treatments: the extras salons hope will keep their clients’ skin looking its absolute best.
Salons may be the first to offer these options, but if spa goers love a new skincare product, the rest of us will likely follow. With that in mind, here are three predictions for the future of your skincare routine:
1. You will use electric-powered devices.
We’re familiar with the Clarisonic, and loads of users swear by its oscillating brushes. Now there’s a sexy new competitor in the sonic cleansing arena: the Luna (pictured above). The Luna relies on textured silicone and thousands of T-Sonic™ pulsations to open pores without friction. I don’t know how it compares side-by-side with the Clarisonic, but as a beautifully designed and, ummm, pulsating device, it is sure to find a sizeable following.
But those are just for cleansing. There are also devices designed for product application: Clarisonic has the Opal Sonic Infusion System, and TEI Spa has a Sonic Spatula. These use vibrations to push skincare serums further into the skin than ordinary finger tapping – the vibrations means that the silicone tips are “tapping” the skin at hundreds (or thousands, for the Sonic Spatula) of times per second. This technology has been available to salons for facials, but is just now popping up in gadgets small enough to use at home.
Other facialist’s technologies have been miniaturized for home use, too: TEI Spa’s The Point is an electric-toothbrush-sized galvanic current device, designed to stimulate facial muscles into firmness. And the high frequency ozone device – that glass wand facialists pass over the skin to kill bacteria after extractions – also now comes in an at-home size, to treat acne at home.
If galvanic current and high frequency are just too twentieth century for you, how about taking LED light therapy home? LightStim’s LED light therapy devices are available for wrinkles, acne, and even pain management. The LightStim for Wrinkles (at right) uses amber, red, and infrared LED lights to stimulate collage and elastin production, and the LightStim for acne combines red, infrared, and blue LED lights to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
There are also LED light devices for hair growth and even cellulite reduction available, which might lead one to ask: where am I going to put all these things? For the LED light and galvanic treatments, the reps told me that they don’t keep these devices in their bathrooms – they keep them where they watch television.
2. You will partake in Stem Cell Therapy.
Now that medical stem cell therapies are getting so much attention for their illness-curing potential, is it any surprise that skincare companies are looking for benefits? Of course, using human stem cell for skincare must be ages away, right?
Surprise: there’s already at least one skin care line that utilizes human stem cells. While not including actual human stem cells, which can’t live outside a laboratory environment, Stemulation uses an active stem cell derivative in its serum and eye cream. I’m not sure how far the technology has come in terms of FDA-cleared effectiveness trials – the technological explanation on the website highlights the already-proven benefits of the antioxidant ingredients – but someone’s got to be first with this, right?
The use of plant stem cells in skin care is more common, with products touting stem cells from Alpine Rose, apples, and even the Argan tree. The Alpine Rose is a favorite, and not just because it has a romantic name – the lovely flower (which is in the rhododendron family) flourishes at extreme altitude, with all the cold and sun that entails (which is what we’d like our skin to do). Its extracts have been used in skin care for years, and the stem cells – which in plants are located at the root and leaf tips – are said to preserve skin cell function. Dermelect Cosmeceuticals includes them in its Resurface Stem Cell Reconstructing Serum and its Resilience Stem Cell Regenerating Treatment.
3. You will take beauty supplements.
The link between health and beauty isn’t a mystery, but spas are moving in to make that connection clear – and easy to implement. Pure Inventions has introduced concentrates to flavor water, formulated with green tea extracts, fruit extracts, or nutritional blends designed to help us destress, lose weight, or detox our livers. These extracts are sweetened with stevia leaf, so if you’re living for Crystal Light, there’s a healthier alternative for flavored water.
Homeopathy for beauty? If you’ve tried homeopathic relief for allergies or flu, you’ll have an opinion as to whether the modality is useful or not. Sprayology offers homeopathic and vitamin blends in an easy-to-use spray form: the blends include a tonics for stress relief, better sleep, and even getting over a hangover. Their beauty essential kit includes three sprays: Hair and Nail Tonic, Body Skin Tonic, and the Daily Multivitamin.
So what will you really use?
For better or worse, many treatments offered by salons are years ahead of their department store counterparts. And at the trade shows, the effect is amplified: some of the equipment I saw may not even be legal, much less FDA approved! But estheticians and spa owners are an adventurous bunch, trying out new beauty products and procedures for the rest of us. Some of these products will be for the hardcore skincare aficianados, or severe acne sufferers, but others will become commonplace. Even the super-natural organic products I favor are incorporating plant stem cells: AnneMarie Gianni sent me a sample of their new Repair Serum, which contains citrus-derived stem cells. Whether I’ll have an LED device next to my TV chair is still up in the air – it’ll take me a while to decide that one – but hopefully by then they’ll have combined the wrinkle device with the pain management one I’ll surely need.