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The latest weapon in the battle against wrinkles doesn’t come in a jar.
This story first appeared in the January 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Palomar Medical Technologies Inc., a developer of cosmetic laser and intense-pulsed light devices for professional use, has introduced a $499 over-the-counter laser.
The handheld PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser is the first device to be cleared for home use by the FDA to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, brand executives noted.
PaloVia was introduced Dec. 27 in a 10-minute television spot on QVC and on qvc.com. Nordstrom will launch it later this month in 13 top doors and its Web site, according to a spokeswoman for the retailer. It’s targeted at women in their early 40s through age 65.
Cheri Botiz, Nordstrom’s national beauty and fragrance director, said, “Our customers are always asking for the latest innovation in beauty, so we are [pleased] to be the first fashion specialty retailer to offer the Palovia Skin Renewing Laser.”
The QVC presentation exceeded sales goals, according to Joseph Caruso, president and chief executive officer of Palomar.
PaloVia uses a microbeam of concentrated light to irritate deep layers of the skin and trigger the production of collagen. In a clinical trial, 92 percent of participants had visible improvement after applying the fractional laser once a day for 30 days, the company said. Maintenance requires use twice a week thereafter.
“We’re tricking the skin into thinking it’s been injured and needs to repair the collagen,” said Dr. Robert Weiss, director of the Maryland Laser, Skin and Vein Institute, speaking at a Palomar investor presentation Thursday in New York.
While the FDA clearance applies only to the eye area, the laser could also be used to reduce acne scars, lighten brown spots, and extend the effect of Botox injections, Weiss said.
“The market potential for these types of devices is powerful,” commented Alisa Beyer, founder of The Benchmarking Co. beauty research and consulting firm. “More companies are creating at-home versions of popular in-office treatments because women are totally open to this concept, and our studies show a high demand for at-home devices.”
Palomar directs that the laser be applied in half-inch intervals along wrinkles. An automatic shut-off device prevents users from activating more than 25 scans in an eight-hour period.
The product’s rollout is slow to ensure production at headquarters in Burlington, Mass., can meet demand, said Nancy Teumer, global marketing director.
“We’ve had a very positive response from retailers, and when we have the product you will see it on the market,” she said. “We don’t want to open a channel and then disappoint because we can’t deliver the product.”