Skincare for the Savvy Consumer
If you're looking to boost your skin's appearance, Dr. Bank recommends microdermabrasion, a relatively quick, easy and safe procedure that he says costs about $200 per session. A trained dermatologist gently resurfaces the skin using a handheld device containing exfoliating salt crystals. "The combination of the crystals whizzing over the skin in the presence of the vacuum gives you a lovely, deep, thorough exfoliation—better than you can get at home or a commercial spa or a salon," Dr. Bank says.
Dr. Bank says some over-the-counter products may not deliver the results you want and that consumers should determine whether it's worth their money. "Because these are over-the-counter products, they're not regulated by the FDA, so they get away with making a lot of claims that they can't necessarily back up," he says.
For example, he says products that claim to eliminate cellulite simply don't work, although they may help reduce the appearance of cellulite on a temporary basis. "There's nothing out there that you're going to be able to rub on your skin that's going to make your cellulite permanently go away," Dr. Bank says. However, he says a little self tanner goes a long way in hiding cellulite. "That sometimes does a lovely job of camouflaging the cellulite very well," he says. "That was an old trick they used on the set of Baywatch to hide some of the cellulite."
If you're looking to spend a few hundred dollars, Dr. Bank recommends Botox for treating frown lines or crow's feet, and injectable filling materials to restore volume in lines and wrinkles and plump up the skin in the lower part of the face. He says similar products are in the works and will give consumers more options. "The more products we have available, the more price competition and the better that's going to certainly be for the patient/consumer," he says.