Devices that smooth wrinkles, plump up the cheeks, tighten the oval … that makes you dream. But does this cosmetic do better than anti-aging creams? Match conducted the investigation.
“The cream of the crop is not a cream! »Challenges the Talika brand. Its Pigment Control device “erases stains at the speed of light”. Wow! This immediately makes you want to bazard all his lightening treatments. And devices with such enticing anti-aging promises, there are many others on the market. A hundred of the same type would be launched each year around the world. Welcome to the world of “instrumental cosmetics” (that of cleaning brushes, pulsed light hair removal devices, “hair regrowth” brushes, anti-acne lights, etc.).
The “specialty” appeared about ten years ago. And, even if it represents only 1% of the world cosmetics market, it has experienced a strong acceleration for five years (increase of 12% in 2015, according to the research firm Kline), in particular in the United States and in Asian countries (ie growth three times greater than that of traditional cosmetics), and weighs $ 2 billion.
Anti-aging is the third most dynamic segment behind cleaning (the Clarisonic brush) and hair removal (the Philips epilator). There is no referral device yet, but it won’t be long. If the French are not all followers of cleaning with water, and therefore ultimately little consumers of cleaning brushes, they are however fascinated by anti-aging techniques. “For the moment, it is above all a market driven by supply,” explains Elisabeth Araujo, president of Beauty Devices within the L’Oréal group.
There are a lot of device proposals. But few are convincing and consumers are struggling to differentiate products from each other. Women, however, would like to believe in it because anti-aging creams have their limits. And, after that, there is only cosmetic medicine left to help them. Instrumental cosmetics aims to bridge this performance gap by offering results superior to those that cosmetic care can bring. The idea is not to replace creams but to support their action to go further in effectiveness.
Brands have been pondering “beauty tools” for a long time (spiked wheels to stimulate the epidermis, V-shaped rollers to massage the oval, etc.) in order to boost the effects of their active ingredients. The originality of the new devices lies in the appropriation of technologies, mostly from the medical world. Radiofrequency, LEDs, pulsed light, microneedling, etc., are commonly used in aesthetic medicine practices. The fact remains that most of the devices offered are only miniaturized versions of doctors’ machines, without much efficiency. However at the price they are sold … “We put forward a medical discourse to justify an effectiveness, but no study shows that these” home devices “really work”, deplores the dermatologist Gérard Toubel, who studies these small devices for the account of the Laser Group of the French Society of Dermatology for ten years.
Towards more qualitative devices
Better still, we base ourselves on technologies whose clinical evidence is still lacking in anti-aging medicine, such as LEDs (in this case green light does not improve spots, it is even, according to specialists, pro-pigmenting! ). Or that just don’t work, like ultrasound (unless you’re “focused” and very powerful). “In addition, it should be known that miniaturization does not, at present, make it possible to take full advantage of the energies using heat (radiofrequency, pulsed light, ultrasound, etc.), details Dr Toubel. The devices are not powerful enough to reach the temperature (42 ° C) at which the tissue is stimulated and reacts by producing collagen and elastin. However, the doctor is confident: “One day we will certainly find interesting ways of treatment.” Home devices can be very helpful in reducing mild signs of aging or prolonging the effect of medical treatment. However, they should not cause side effects. The more security there is, the less efficiency there is, “concludes our specialist.
So far, there has been no specific legislation governing these cosmetic devices intended for the general public, but on April 5, the European Parliament adopted a new regulation relating to medical devices which now includes these small machines. In order to reinforce their security and their control (in particular on the claims put forward by their manufacturers), they are subject to the same obligations as medical devices! This will sort it out a bit…
The L’Oréal group, which has set itself the goal of investing in bathroom 2.0 in a few years’ time, does not hide the fact that much remains to be done to clean up the sector. “Currently, most of the players in the market are machine manufacturers, not beauty experts. Their knowledge of the skin is imperfect, consumers ‘expectations have not been studied in detail, the beauty experience is often lacking and clinical proof of the machines’ effectiveness is generally non-existent, “specifies Elisabeth Araujo. Hence the idea of the group to reinvent the beauty tool by allocating the best of skills, at all levels (knowledge of the skin, solid engineering, energies, the beauty consumer). The new Clarisonic device, the Smart Profile Uplift, is the first to benefit from this expertise. Others will follow. It is inspired by mechanobiology, a science which has also been the playground of the LPG company since the 1980s with its Cellu M6 massage device and its “house” version, the Wellbox. She studies how cells and tissues respond to various mechanical stimuli: torsion, traction, stretching, pressure, etc.
The device was designed with the assistance of the most eminent specialists, such as the Mechanobiology Institute of Singapore, which showed that vibrations brought to a certain frequency (75 Hz) could modify the properties of the skin tissue, strengthen the dermo junction. -epidermal (the region that separates the dermis from the epidermis and ensures exchanges between the two) and increase the production of the key components of youthful skin (collagen, elastin, etc.). To do this, simply clip a massage head with three pins on the new cleaning brush, and use it twice a day for sixty seconds on a selected area or three minutes on the entire face, neck and neckline. And, after twelve weeks, clinical studies (published in the famous scientific journal “Plos One”!) Show a visible improvement in fifteen signs of aging (firmness, radiance, sagging, fine lines, smoothness of the skin, etc.). “This is the first time that we have obtained such important results on firmness and sagging of the skin! Says Patricia Pineau, director of scientific communication at L’Oréal. To the point that the group speaks of an “augmented beauty”, capable of competing with the techniques of aesthetic medicine. Well, there you have to see …
The latest brush from Clarisonic that cleanses and firms the skin, based on the most advanced scientific research. Smart Profile
Uplift, Clarisonic, € 360.
A tool that performs deep exfoliation of skin cells, for soft and smooth skin. Silk’n ReVit, € 99 (at Darty and La Redoute).
A roller with micro-needles that “perforate” the surface layers of the skin, for increased penetration of anti-aging active ingredients. Meso-Glow, Surface Laboratories, € 129.
A passive weight training machine to plump up the cheek muscles, like under the effect of a deep massage for the beautician. Transient but effective effect. Slendertone Face, € 169.
An instrument intended specifically for the fragile area around the eye, which stimulates the cells of the dermis to reduce crow’s feet. Time Control, Talika, € 99.
The scale model of a device available from doctors, aimed at boosting collagen production, firming the skin and blurring wrinkles. Newa, € 349 (at Darty, Boulanger, Amazon).
The famous Cellu M6 in its “home device” version, to firm, smooth and naturally illuminate the skin. The new program promises twice as strong firmness action. Wellbox S, € 999. The future of instrumental cosmetics rests on scientific evidence.