Facial Stimulators Do Little to Enhance Aging Skin

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“We were unable to detect any improvement in signs of facial aging from the use of these devices,” said Dr. Sam Most, assistant professor of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at University of Washington Medical Center’s Cosmetic Surgery Center. “There are more than 50 of these types of devices being sold over the counter and on the Internet.”

These devices work on the medically unproven principle that electrical stimulation of the facial muscles results in improved facial tone, and thus reduces the signs of facial aging. In the new UW study, participants were instructed to use the device for four months. Two facial plastic surgeons who checked the study participants were unable to detect any improvement in signs of facial aging. Participants rated the devices as minimally effective at best, and reported mild discomfort with both devices.

This is the second study in the past year in which Most has tested an over-the-counter facial enhancement product. In a study published in the May/June 2005 issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Most showed that particular lip-enhancement products also do not meet their claims to consumers.

“The demand for facial plastic surgical procedures has increased steadily over the past decade,” Most said. “But at the same time, consumers are seeking more minimally invasive treatments such as these facial stimulator devices. Facial plastic surgeons have a responsibility to determine the efficacy of such unregulated products to provide unbiased, evidence-based advice to our patients.”

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Washington Health Sciences and UW Medicine