Skin Care Trends or Fads – Should You Believe the Hype?

DNA-Based Skin Care, Gluten Free Skin Care, and Gold Facials –These three concepts are probably amongst some of the recent skin care “trends” you’ve seen on E! News, read in Cosmopolitan, or maybe even spa industry magazines. The question is, how legitimate are these concepts? Do they work? Are they the new “miracle” for your skin? Below I discuss some 2015 “skin care trends” and what the “bottom line” with each really is.


DNA-Based Skin Care

A new study by personal genetics company 23andMe found DNA may dictate how your skin will age.  In this study of 350 women of four different ethnicities, it was found that some have a unique genetic fingerprint that keeps them looking young.  These have been classified as “exceptional skin agers.”  This study has garnered great interest in the industry as a potential marketing tool for the future.  Smaller companies are also now opening retail venues to provide DNA analysis for personalized recommendations founded on a cloud-based catalogue.

The Bottom Line:  With only four possible formulas thus far, the research and development of this type of technology is still in its infancy, and requires a great deal more high level and costly research.


Gluten-Free Skin Care

As with the growing awareness of the need for gluten-free foods in response to increased reports of celiac disease, there has now been a growth in skincare products promoted as gluten-free.  However, according to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin, therefore individuals with celiac disease should not be concerned about products applied to the hair or skin.  The only indication of adverse reaction would be if gluten was allowed to be absorbed through open skin lesions.

The Bottom Line:  Topical application is not an issue, so this marketing approach is a fad, not a true trend.


Vampire Facials

With this procedure, platelets are extracted from the client’s own blood to obtain platelet-rich plasma to be re-injected back into the client’s face.  The result, once the awful red blotches fade, is a short period of sculptured puffiness, held to be a mark of glowing good health.  This technique came into the public limelight recently when Kim Kardashian promoted the treatment on social media.  While the technique has been used for sport injuries, the evidence for their effectiveness as a beauty product is far less clear, with no major scientific evidence to prove their positive effect or long term effects.  While the American Academy of Dermatology considers the Vampire “Face Lift” a safe procedure, it can lead to facial swelling and bruising with the potential for contamination, infection and skin breakdown.

The Bottom Line:   Much more effective results can be obtained through proper skin care and esthetic techniques.  This gruesome trend is a fad.


Stem Cell Skin Care

With this technology, it is believed that stem cells will stimulate fibroblast, firm wrinkles and slow the development of new lines.  Sources of human stem cells include unfertilized eggs or circumcised infant skin, leading to the development of plant stem cell skin care technology.  The reality is that human stem cells cannot survive in a jar and that the results in plant stem cell products are the result of other active skin care ingredients in the formulation.

The Bottom Line:  There is no known documentation of results from topical application of stem cells, so this is another passing fad


Gold Facials

With this, thin sheets of 24 Karat gold leaf are placed over the face for a period of time and removed to make the skin luminous, plump and smooth.  While reports of this kind of facial being performed go back to the time of Cleopatra, the reality is that gold is unreactive, unable to penetrate the skin.  It can be contact reactive, however.  In fact, gold was named the contact allergen of the year in 2001 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Bottom Line:  With no evidence of improved skin, expensive gold is being used a marketing ploy aimed at creating a “luxurious facial” with no benefit.  The true benefits lie in the ingredients being mixed in with these facial.


Botox and Fillers

Botox and fillers are the mainstay of the medi-esthetic business, and can be very lucrative to the proper medically-trained physician.  The most important thing when considering these procedures is that it is performed by a proper physician trained in esthetics, such as a reputable plastic surgeon.  Dentists and OB-Gyn doctors have been climbing on the band wagon of late, a completely inappropriate practice that can lead to disastrous results.  There are also Botox and filler “parties,” where a practitioner comes and injects party-goers on the spot.  The procedures must be performed in a hygienic medical office prepared for surgical procedures.  In addition, as with any reputable medical consultations, the physician also must make clients aware of contra-indications as well as potential side-effects before performing the treatments.  For Botox, these include:  pain and bruising, headache, eye swelling, local muscle weakness Local muscle weakness and lethargy.  Filler side effects include redness, swelling or edema, nodules, abscesses, infection, hyperpigmentation and the unsightly and improper shift of material within the skin.

The Bottom Line:  This will be a continuing trend, so it is important to address complimentary facial services to grow your business.


Micro Needling

With this procedure, multiple needles glide along the skin, penetrating the upper layers of the skin to a depth of up to 2mm to create numerous tiny wounds. Each puncture creates a channel that triggers the body to produce new collagen and elastin.   Current devices range from pens to rollers with varying lengths of needles.   According to the FDA, the safe ranges of needle lengths, penetration depths, and speeds of the device are unknown;   therefore, the FDA has safety concerns regarding the potential for the needles to damage vessels and nerves.  In addition, poor needles can lead to breakage of in the skin.  Side effects can include possible irritation, scarring and damage to skin.  Some cases have found allergic reactions with using skincare not specifically tested for use with the device.

The Bottom Line:  While micro needling appears to be an ongoing trend, as with any procedure that injures the skin, extreme caution is advised.



Fermentation is a process by which yeast breaks down the molecular structure of the active ingredients into smaller particles, resulting in nutrients, amino acids, anti-oxidants, minerals and actives that are far more rapidly absorbed by the skin.  Yet, there is still no conclusive studies to the efficacy of this process.

The Bottom Line:  Additional studies need to be done to conclude if this is a viable trend.


Radio frequency

Radio frequency involves the use of radio frequency to target wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging and works to “tighten the skin” by producing new collagen and elastin. It is a non-invasive procedure, but patients can experience skin redness, swelling or blisters post-treatment.

The Bottom Line: I would not recommend subjecting our body to such treatments that risk damaging our skin. In Repechage’s experience, electric galvanic treatment has been more effective.



This nonsurgical procedure targets problem areas with microinjections of conventional or homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Mesotherapy uses a “cocktail of drugs” to target cellulite, fat reduction, or for anti-aging benefits. Mesotherapy has received criticism from the American American Academy of Dermatology.

The Bottom Line: No scientific data to support the safety and efficacy of these treatments. A safer and more effective method to target cellulite and fat reduction is by maintaining a proper diet and lifestyle, and receiving seaweed-based body treatments.


So what are the REAL trends for skin care in 2016? Next week I’ll be sharing it all with you!

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