Friday, September 3, 2010




Helena Rubenstein has a quip that goes something like…”There are no ugly women, just lazy ones”

While gearing up to cover Fashion Week  requires more preparation on our part--- than any techy challenging multi-day mountain climb we’ve ever done…

…That wise saying got the brain cells firing…and we thought how it related to not only one’s attire, but one’s face, physique etc.What men and women do to look their best, is at best subjective…

Universally though, we never met anyone who ever wanted more wrinkles or saggy-er skin---ever.

Pellevé, Italian for skin ---is a new, FDA approved (late May 2010), continuous energy, controlled by the physician--- treatment that works SOMEWHAT similar to Thermage…in that it’s based on radio frequency waves that heat up the deeper layers of the skin, without damaging the upper layer (epidermis)…

…That over time (a few weeks up to six months) encourages new collagen growth and "fibers that support the way the skin looks and feels.”

At the presentation in late July, Dr, Deborah Sarnoff MD gave a detailed talk to a bunch of beauty editors--- and answered many questions concerning Pellevé.

Basically, the no downtime aspect, ability to target key areas of the face---with more than one pass, and relative pain free experience (more on that later)…are big pluses for Sarnoff and her patients.

Applied via a small hand held wand-like device, customized treatments----like the under eyes, often the first thing people want to target as they age---can be treated in minutes --- since there is no numbing of the skin (actually there can’t be because “you need feedback from the skin” that’s heated to 38-42 degrees centigrade) --- or needles involved.

Side effects range from redness “a little pink afterwards” to swelling that dissipates within 24 hours according to Sarnoff. And we learned at this presentation that results can be seen right after the first treatment…though Sarnoff often recommends a series of typically three, four to six weeks apart. (Costs range---from $500-$1500 depending).

Also at this presentation, we learned the ‘lift’ can last up to a year…making this option comparable to most fillers used for similar purposes like under eyes or labial folds (those nose to corner of the mouth furrows). 

Dr. Sarnoff felt Pellevé is particularly good for forehead “lines”…and has potential to smooth the appearance of acne scars though that was not part of the FDA study.

Other tidbits---men need to be clean-shaven to have this done (duh---as a burnt hair, well can burn).  

This technology has not been approved for head to toe tightening like Thermage---the latter is often used to tighten up tummies.


On us. We actually went to one of our fav ever Derm Docs, Dr. Cheryl Karcher MD for her take on Pellevé and to experience it.

We had a grounding pad put on our backs and a conductive gel placed under our eyes (where the treatment was to be done).

Using small circular motions, Dr. Karcher ‘remodeled the collagen” under our eye sockets---one side at a time, by heating the skin up to 42 centigrade. She could tell the exact degree our skin had gotten to, precisely--- by the wand device that measures it. Interesting, we felt a nano, nano second cooling something too,

As for the pain level, the intensity of it all is completely customizable. Note: we felt very little discomfort, without taking anything--- when we tried Thermage ---on our face.

So, although we were told at the presentation that “it’s like a warm massage”----actually for us, it was a bit more than that. Like on a one (low) to ten (high) pain scale---a four and a half to five... the side part of our sockets, more sensitive for some reason. Still, not a biggie---

It took our left under-eye tissue about one minute more to heat up to 42 degrees centigrade…but all told the whole shebang took maybe 15 minutes.

Afterwards, cream was applied to the treated area---which was swollen and pink.

We felt the pink and swelling went away in a few hours…but waited a 2-3 days, at Karcher’s suggestions--- to really wait for all swelling to disappear, before we eye-balled ourselves on a big blowup mirror. 

“It is so new,” Karcher told us. Indeed, there wasn't a whole lot online about Pellevé when we searched.

The good doc felt that one treatment could be enough---though she could see how two treatments in a month, with a follow-up six months hence might be ideal for some people. Depending.

Other thoughts....

Gals/guys in their 20’s-40’s who don’t need major volume, just tightening are ideal candidates for under the eyes, Pellevé treatments.

And because the tip of the wand is so small---Pellevé is adaptable for targeted areas.


We waited five days before scrutinizing it all---

We saw subtle tightening via less wrinkles. Not a magic Glinda's wand but this isn't a replacement for those who truly need plastic surgery. And of course, the Pellevé effects are supposed to be cumulative...and given how fanatic we are about sunscreen use, sunglasses...and hats, theoretically we might have any more benefits we get--- last more than a year.

Individuals who get a temporary lift with eye serums---might really want to try Pellevé for a more permanent  effect---given the cost of some of those cosmetic serums…this treatment will actually be less costly.

Images from the Powerpoint Presentation by Dr. Deborah Sarnoff, MD.