Many months ago, I decided to look into the burgeoning world of medical spas: those spa-styled

Many months ago, I decided to look into the burgeoning world of medical spas: those spa-styled clinics which offer body alterations such as laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal, fillers, Botox, fat-freezing, chemical peels, and various treatments which are semi-medical in character but often not in law. This once-casual investigation into what a medical spa — or “medspa” — is, what they can and can’t do, who runs them and what they will look like in a few years’ time revealed a labyrinth of legal loopholes, dubious research, and a good chance of danger. Well, the things I found out were pretty scary. Medspas perform facial procedures with lasers hot enough to damage your cornea; non-physicians operate machines that melt and destroy clients’ fat-storing tissue; medical assistants inject clients’ faces with a diluted form of botulinum neurotoxin, one of the deadliest substances known to man. If you live or work in a metropolitan area, the odds are you can purchase any of these services within a few-mile radius on your lunch break. As of 2018, there were an estimated 5,431 medspas in the United States, up from 1,750 in 2013. They are inconspicuously located adjacent to doctor...

Do Blue & Red Light Therapy Treatments for Acne Work? 2018 Search Close Search Close

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn New York a commission. Light-emitting-diode (more commonly known as LED) light-therapy devices have been all the rage in skin care recently. Our intrepid beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton has covered some of them here, from Neutrogena’s highly Instagrammable light-therapy mask (which uses both red and blue light) to the handheld Foreo blue-light device for acne, but chances are you’ve seen them pop up on Instagram or on YouTube, too. They’re billed as skin-enhancing devices with the potential to improve acne, decrease oil production, and even soothe inflammation, but how effective are they actually? “There is science to support it, so it’s not voodoo,” says Angela Lamb, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Practice, “but it’s important to know its limitations.” Exposing your skin to different forms of low-level LED light does have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, which is why they’re commonly used for treating redness or acne. These at-home devices are essentially a cheaper, more convenient (less powerful) version of the LED light treatments commonly ...