Thursday, December 4, 2008

Education is Key in Choosing the Best At-Home Beauty Devices

/PRNewswire/ -- The at-home beauty tool category has seen significant growth in 2008, with a number of devices launching in the marketplace. One segment of beauty tools that has sparked considerable interest among consumers has been the emergence of hair removal systems. The December issue of Allure Magazine, the go-to source for all things about the beauty industry, validates the importance of this segment by naming the TRIA Laser Hair Removal System one of "the most promising" Do-It-Yourself (DIY) systems on the market.

However, this new category can be confusing for consumers who are faced with many new choices but possess minimal knowledge on choosing the best device. According to Kevin Appelbaum, CEO of TRIA Beauty, the biggest challenge for consumers is to determine which devices actually work -- and which provide value for their money.

"Clearly the most dramatic breakthroughs in the beauty industry over the next five years will be light-based devices that feature technology previously available only at doctor offices," said Appelbaum. "But, not all technologies translate into safe, effective tools that deliver the desired long-lasting results. The consumer needs to be educated about the choices and technologies."

In the case of hair removal beauty tools, manufacturers use a variety of technologies to achieve smooth, hair-free skin. According to Appelbaum, the market is divided into three categories:

High-power lasers -- Diode laser technology is the gold standard for physicians and continues to be the preferred method for in-office hair removal. Its precision technology and single-band light enable it to target just the dark pigment in hair. This makes it easier to use, less painful and more effective at delivering permanent hair reduction. Clinical studies show that the laser energy not only removes the hair but prevents it from growing back. After six monthly treatments, consumers can expect virtually hair-free results. The TRIA Laser Hair Removal System uses the same diode laser technology used by the professional systems and was developed by the same scientists who invented the technology back in 1993. Clinical studies demonstrate that it too delivers long-lasting hair reduction and prevents the hair from growing back.

Low-power flashlamps -- Less expensive, broad-spectrum light devices do a good job at removing hair short-term, and are a great option for consumers who only want temporary hair reduction. These devices are typically used once or twice a month to maintain a hair-free appearance. Clinical studies show that the hair typically grows back when the monthly treatments are stopped.

Heat-based razors -- Using technology created for the consumer market, these hand-held tools are effectively thermal razors, burning the hair away from the surface of the skin. They require more regular use.

To make the process of choosing the most effective DIY device easier, consumers should first decide whether they want lasting results, such that the hair won't grow back, or if they would prefer temporary hair elimination. There are a variety of devices that deliver temporary hair elimination, and cost and comfort will likely determine which product is best for each consumer.

For consumers who desire long-lasting results and a device that actually prevents the hair from growing back, they should ask three questions:

1. Is the device FDA-cleared? FDA clearance indicates a safe and
effective product, although actual performance can vary dramatically
between products.
2. Does the device deliver sufficient power? Typically, higher power
levels are required to deliver better performance and more lasting
results.
3. Are there clinical studies published in respected journals to support
the science behind the device and the claimed benefits? Tools that
have published clinical data that supports their effectiveness are the
most reputable within the market.

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