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Vendors Tout Spa Category Advancements

In the face of increasing sophistication at beauty store counters, vendors at the Spa & Resort Expo and Conference differentiated themselves for the...

LOS ANGELES — In the face of increasing sophistication at beauty store counters, vendors at the Spa & Resort Expo and Conference differentiated themselves for the professional market by pumping up product potency and the portability of advanced devices for home and retail use.

The event, which ran from Feb. 23 to 25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and which also has a medical aesthetics component, featured 261 exhibitors and more than 4,400 attendees scouring for the latest treatments and gizmos making waves in spas and doctors’ offices.

Every product in Pamela Hill Skin Care’s range, priced mostly from $20 to $50, is receiving an infusion of peptides, according to the namesake creator of the Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based brand. “We see a trend toward active ingredients that aren’t as irritating as Retin-A,” she said. “The whole idea is to give aestheticians a line that augments the services that they are doing.”

The demand for alternatives to retinoid and retinol from customers with sensitive skin is driving Rumson, N.J.-based Skin Scientifica’s launch of T’Fivve, an antiaging skin care line costing $28 to $78 and being introduced on skinstore.com. The products contain plant-derived ceramides dubbed multi lameller emulsion, ascorbyl pentapeptide and K6PC5 to aid in wrinkle reduction.

“The retinoids are commonly used in the antiaging category, and we feel that some people can’t really use those on a regular basis,” said Jim Plaza, president of Skin Scientifica. “This is a product you can use every day.”

Months-old brand DermaSurface, based in Newport Beach, Calif., addresses concerns about hydroquinone with its $60 Surface Bright product by replacing the controversial compound with tranexamic acid. “It helps with the excess production of melanin without the side effects that hydroquinone has,” said DermaSurface founder Hollie Geer. “There are not a lot of ingredients out there for hyperpigmentation.”

Whether hyperpigmentation or other conditions, Canfield Imaging System’s complexion analysis machines allow retailers and spas to identify customers’ skin problems to guide them toward appropriate remedies. At the expo, the company introduced the Reveal Imager, a compact and lower-priced counterpart to the large Visia machine that’s been employed by the likes of Procter & Gamble to boost product sales by 18 to 30 percent or more.

“The halo effect of having a Visia-type system is dramatic. We are expecting a comparable type of increase from the Reveal,” said Jim Larkey, director of product management at Canfield Imaging Systems. He explained it takes one to two minutes to complete photo images of the skin with the Reveal, which costs around $5,000 as opposed to about $14,000 for the Visia.

Another piece of equipment registering high on the buzz meter was Tända, advertised as the first home medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical levels of LED light therapy to treat acne and signs of aging. The Tända retails for $295 and was developed by Canadian firm Pharos Life Corp.

“The potential market is very, very significant,” said Kevin O’Brien, president of Eclipse Medical Ltd., the U.S. distributor of Tända. Referring to the home device segment, he added, “It is estimated that in a couple of years, it will be at $1 billion. There will be products of low and high intensity.”