Posted October 6, 2011 by trophyskin
The home microdermabrasion device market seems to be heating up, with companies claiming to produce amazing and noticeable results in a short amount of time from their device. We wanted to do a brief overview and breakdown of the home microderm device market, to help those who are in the process of deciding which device will best suit their needs. Here are the main categories of devices:
- Exfoliating brushes and scrubs
- Crystal based devices
- Diamond tipped devices
- Professional grade devices
The most popular and common of the first group is the Clarisonic, which is an amazing invention created by the same person who made the original Sonicare toothbrush before it was purchased by Philips. The Clarisonic uses sonic vibrations applied through a soft brush head that is applied to the skin. You can use the Clarisonic on the face or body, and they have different brush heads and serums for different body areas. There are a number of competitors with similar products in this category, but the Clarisonic is definitely the category leader. Priced anywhere from $100-$149, this is an inexpensive way to get good low grade exfoliation. However, it will only make the skin feel smoother, but will have a very hard time making a noticeable difference in the outward appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and other skin texture issues.
The crystal based home microderm devices are similar to ones found in the salon, and they use titanium dioxide crystals to create the exfoliation against the skin. The crystals are blown through a hose and onto the skin, then sucked back through another hose. Supposedly, all the crystals are to be recaptured and will never need to be replaced. In practice, however, the crystals actually get all over the user, all over the floor, and make a complete mess. While the actual exfoliation produced by these types of devices is quite good, the mess made and the time it takes to clean up is not worth the hassle. We would suggest avoiding this type of device, especially since recently there has been some talk about the titanium dioxide crystals being poisonous or carcinogenic!
The diamond tipped category of home microdermabrasion devices is where the MicrodermMD resides. Our device uses real encrusted commercial grade diamonds at the tip of the exfoliating wand, which combines with a suction motor to create the friction against the skin. The other main competitor in this category is the NuBrilliance (Nu Brilliance). We want to give a fair assessment of competing devices, and we have personally tried out the NuBrilliance device. It seems to be of good construction and seems to do a good job exfoliating the skin. However, found that the Nu Brilliance device seemed to lack enough suction power to create good skin friction, and we have had many customer reports saying that the motor died within the first few months to a year. We do believe that our MicrodermMD device is superior for these reasons, in addition to have a more potent and coarse diamond tip wand.
Finally, the professional grade devices that you normally find used in a spa or doctor’s office are now on the market and available for purchase by individual users. The price point for these devices is in the $500-$700 range, which does make them affordable for some people. However, we strongly caution against purchasing these clinical devices, as they are meant to be used by a trained professional in a clinical environment. It is easy to damage the skin if treatments are not done correctly, so we recommend purchasing a device that is intended for home use only.
Posted May 20, 2010 by trophyskin
We get a lot of questions each week here at Trophy Skin about the science and effects behind red and blue light for treating acne, which is more effective, and if either are really proven. This post is going to examine both of the colors and help explain the differences.
First, blue light in the right wavelength spectrum (405-420nm) is the only color proven to be therapeutic in actually killing p. acnes bacteria, the most common source of acne in the developed world. There have been numerous studies done by clinical teams going back 10 years proving that blue light, of high enough intensity, starves these bacteria of oxygen and causes them to atrophy and die over time. That is a key part, “over time”, as this is not a process that happens in a single treatment or overnight. Its a process that takes several weeks or more, and is gradual but noticeable after the first few sessions for most people. This is why when you visit your dermatologist for acne light treatments, they will almost always have you sit in front of a high intensity blue light device. Dermatologists understand the power of blue light for acne treatment, and have been offering this type of service in their offices for years.
So now the real question, what is the role of red light in acne treatment. And why do dermatologists not offer red light as part of their acne regimen? The simple answer is that red light is not beneficial in reducing or eliminating acne. However, it can be beneficial in treating the damage caused by acne, mainly the inflammation and some of the scarring. It helps the body speed up the natural healing process, and so some people do find it useful in treating the after-effects of acne.
Our belief is that the entire focus of the BlueMD blue light acne treatment device is to treat and eliminate active acne. So we have created our device with a very high intensity, narrow band of blue light to accomplish this goal. Using repairing serums and topical creams, it is possible to generate a lot of healing and scar reduction once the acne is gone. But first, you must concentrate on eliminating the acne itself in order to go down the path towards clear skin.
UPDATE: Check out the new AcneApp for the iPhone! Very cool “toy” idea, not really something that would work because of the low intensity, but a great acne light idea nonetheless.
Posted April 7, 2010 by trophyskin
This is a question that may or may not be on the minds of acne sufferers, but understanding the method of action used by blue light is a very important part of the process in choosing your solution.
The first step in the process is identifying the source of your acne, which can also be from multiple sources. Common causes are internal factors of acne are hormonal imbalance, antibiotic reactions, stress, food reactions, or excessive skin oiliness. There are also environmental factors that cause acne like pollen, pollutants, food oil, reaction to topical creams, and your own personal hygiene habits. Whatever the source of your acne, there is generally only one root cause, and that is p. acnes bacterium. This acne-causing bacteria is the root cause of acne in most teenagers and adults, generally over 90% of the population of the world that suffers from acne.
The wonderful thing about this very common cause of acne is that this is also the acne type that can be effectively treated by blue light therapy. Acne light therapy devices emit light in the 405 to 420nm wavelength spectrum, which turns out to be very destructive to acne bacterium. They become starved for oxygen when exposed to these bands of blue light, but only when the light is very intense and is administered for certain periods of time. The oxygen starved bacteria begin to die off over the course of several weeks, and this is the reason the acne begins to clear up.
This is a very iterative process, meaning that the bacteria can easily stage a resurgence if your treatment schedule falters. We always urge users of the BlueMD to keep up with their treatment regimen suggested to them by our Acne Assessment tool for at least 4 weeks before slowing their regimen down. Over time the acne bacteria will almost be eliminated and it will reduce or eliminate the need for continued blue light therapy treatments. Every user’s reaction to blue light therapy will differ based on their own acne and body chemistry, but its safe to say that you will not need to continue these treatments for life!
Posted March 22, 2010 by trophyskin
In this new and fast growing field of light therapy, its easy for even a sophisticated consumer of cutting edge skin care products to become quickly confused. This blog is intended to demystify the light therapy world and provide a resource for those who wish to better understand how to treat their acne and skincare needs. Today’s post will cover the various “jargon” that will help you comprehend what exactly a particular company is talking about when describing their device. Please email us if you have any questions, or post a comment if we missed one!
PDT – Photodynamic therapy, or another way of saying using specific wavelengths of light to treat certain skin conditions. In most cases PDT also involves the use of Levulan (aminolevulanic acid) to greatly enhance the effectiveness of a treatment. This is solely done under the supervision of a doctor.
LLLT – Low level light therapy, the acronym used by the scientific community to describe all manner of light therapy options. These include applications for pain management, wound healing, anti-aging, and skin treatments.
Photofacial – A high intensity light therapy treatment, usually performed at a dermatologist office or medical spa, that attempts to remove discolored spots, wrinkles, or redness from the face, chest, or body of a customer. Can also be spelled fotofacial.
Nm – Nanometers, or how the wavelength of the light spectrum is measured. The human eye can detect light in the 390nm to 750nm range. Any light below 400nm is considered UV, or ultraviolet, and light above 800nm is considered IR, or infrared.
Blue Light Therapy – A specialized form of light therapy that singles out light in the 405-420nm wavelength range. This small spectrum of light has been proven to kill acne causing bacteria.
Posted December 10, 2009 by trophyskin
More and more people are starting to learn about the existence of Blue Light Therapy treatment for acne. Although not a new technology (it has been around for 20+ years), blue light therapy treatments were very expensive up until a few years ago. Only celebrities or the ultra-rich could afford these treatments, which is very similar to the way cosmetic surgery and even cosmetic injections were 5-10 years ago.
However, the cost to produce light therapy devices has dropped significantly in recent years, making it much more affordable for the average consumer. These days, most light therapy consumers still visit their dermatologist or local medical spa to get their treatments performed. The home-use light therapy device industry is in its early days, but it is growing rapidly as people begin to see the results and great value provided.
Ideal candidates for Acne Light Therapy will possess some or all of the following attributes:
1. Acne caused by bacteria (vs. hormonal acne) that is mild to moderate in nature. The bacterial cause of acne is not always apparent, but is generally seen in persistent teenage and adult acne. Those that have severe, cystic acne will most likely not benefit from blue light treatments.
2. Oily skin that requires minimal moisturizer. Blue light treatments tend to dry out the skin by reducing the amount of oil produced by the pores. Generally people will bacteria-related acne will also have oily skin, although there are many exceptions to this rule.
3. Acne that shows improvement in sunlight. Because the blue light wavelengths that are used in home light therapy devices are also present (to a smaller degree) in sunlight, many people are able to improve their acne by sitting in direct sunlight. These people will see above average results with blue light treatments.
4. Anyone on antibiotics or harsh creams for their acne. This is one of the top reasons that people try blue light treatments for their acne, as they want to move to a more natural, side-effect free method of acne treatment. Taking antibiotics over a long period of time weakens the body and can result in dependence for future acne treatment.
The points above are only meant as examples of types of people who would be a good candidate for Acne Light Therapy. Every person’s skin will react in different ways and will take different amounts of time to see results manifest.
Posted June 15, 2009 by trophyskin
The field of light therapy is growing quickly as more and more people realize the power and benefits of treating their skin without the use of harsh chemicals, antibiotics, or creams that usually contain known carcinogens. The most attractive feature of light therapy for acne or other skin conditions is that it does not cause systemic responses in the body. This means you can use your light therapy device long term without the risk of side effects or adverse effects to your immune system.
Here are the main factors to consider when making a Blue Light Therapy purchasing decision for your acne:
1. Is the light the “right” kind of blue? This means, does the light produced by the device fall into the 405nm-420nm range that has been proven effective at killing acne by the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. Most companies will either not give the wavelength range or tell you that it does meet this criteria without offering any proof. We provide the wavelength spectrometer reading as a graph on our website, and the test was conducted by an independent 3rd party.
2. Does the device produce high intensity light? Even if the device you purchase has the correct wavelength output, it may be ineffective on your acne if the light output is not strong enough. High intensity light is something you can feel, mainly described as a heating and tingling sensation by our customers.
3. Can you comfortably use your device for 20+ minutes at least 3 times per week? This factor is crucial but often overlooked by companies in this industry. The perfect example of this is the hand-held light therapy device. The average teenager or adult simply will not hold a device to their face or body for 20 minutes on a regular basis. This is the minimum amount of time needed to get a proper treatment, and most users will get discouraged and stop using their hand-held device after a few sessions.
That is the reason we designed the BlueMD acne lamp as a tabletop device, that can be used while sitting up, laying in bed, or relaxing on the couch. Most of our customers take a nap or just daydream for 20-30 minutes while getting their treatment. There is minimal work involved, making it easier to incorporate into your weekly routine.
Posted May 17, 2009 by trophyskin
Using eye protection during light therapy treatments is extremely important for your long term eye health, for many different reasons. Most device manufacturers of light therapy devices, for acne or skin rejuvenation, have realized they must eliminate harmful UV light from their products. We have had our independent facility test a number of competing devices in the light therapy field, and most of these companies are true to their word.
However, the light produced by light therapy devices can be harmful to your eyes even outside of the UV spectrum. The light is generally extremely bright and high intensity, and over time this degrades the macro sensors in the eyes. The best possible type of eye protection are blackout goggles, ones that let absolutely no light in. This can be very inconvenient, however, for the average user. The next best solution, and the one we use here at Trophy Skin, is to use FDA approved UV protection goggles. These block any and all harmful UV rays, plus provide enough dimming that the blue light is not intense enough to cause eye damage. We also highly recommend that users keep their eyes closed during treatments whenever possible.
Posted April 21, 2009 by trophyskin
The purpose of this blog is to explain the technology behind light therapy for aesthetic purposes. Not only can light therapy be used to treat acne, it can (and does) treat aesthetic conditions such as rosacea, peri-orbital wrinkles, sun damage, and skin laxity.
Each posting in this blog will help to explain the modality behind why light therapy works, which wavelengths are needed for each specific condition, and how to get the best device for your specific needs. We obviously sell the BlueMD blue light acne lamp through our own site and believe we have an excellent device. However, we will discuss competing devices and the merits of each one.
I hope for this blog to be an open and honest discussion of the different types of light therapy, the devices out there, and how each of you can benefit from effective, affordable treatments without having to visit high priced medical spa’s or dermatologist offices. Please post comments when you wish, or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – Thanks!