Great Expectations – Where Do Our Beauty Hopes Meet Reality?

When technology and beauty collide there is little doubt that hair removal, slimming and anti ageing represent the three most common treatments that have caused the biggest boom in salons, spas and clinics around the globe.

Dependant on type of treatment and levels of invasiveness comes an element of risk, a variance in results and mixture of relative comfort and veritable pain. But before all of this we ‘the customer/patient’ are delivered with the setting of our expectation levels. Typically these are Boeing 747 flying hopes positioned by the manufacturers advertising, reinforced by the therapist and believed by us.

Personally having been involved in professional aesthetic equipment for many years before I set up, I think expectations should be where honesty meets technology. I don’t believe any result is guaranteed and nor should you. The only truly guaranteed result in the beauty industry is when you have your hair cut it is going to be shorter or when you have your nails treated they will look different.

What you should expect when embarking on any treatment without guaranteed ‘success’ is information on what may happen and more importantly what MAY NOT happen. If a therapist said to you the worst case scenario to your treatment is that there may be no results at all, firstly think “is this really the worst case scenario?”


Actually in the case of IPL (intense pulsed light), lasers and invasive treatments surely this is an excellent place to start. I have always brought into the phrase I heard from a well known surgeon “If you can’t make it better don’t make it worse” With this in mind, this disappointing, no result scenario actually represents no scarring, no burns, no extra hairs, no increased wrinkles…you get the picture. Step 1 – it is safe.

Think of this like taking a natural alternative to an illness and it working or not working – but crucially either way, it delivered no side effects. Basically – no risk, no downside. The holy grail of expectations in my opinion. Safety first. Always.

So exactly where am I going with this, well ‘great expectations’ of the recurrence of youth being set at unachievable levels must go some way to explain the increase in more invasive ‘solutions’ like botox, restalyne, fillers, the likes of laser lipo as there is little or no doubt of a very visible end result. Much more so than their less invasive alternatives using radio frequencies and all manner of professional electrical and light stimulators.  And let’s be honest people’s desire to look and feel younger and thinner means they are less concerned about risks and more concerned about results.

However, I believe it goes a far more significant way to explaining the growth in home use devices. Most salons, spas, clinics will rarely offer single treatments of their latest aesthetic device no matter how good it is. This is largely as one treatment gives only a certain level of result and because a course of ten boosts the outcome (and, let’s be honest, the clinic turnover).

With a home use device, it’s yours. The reassurance that a manufacturer (usually the same manufacturer who also makes its big brother device used in a world renowned medi-spa) wouldn’t put it in your hands without rigorous testing and the ability to use it as often as you like, when you like. Sure it may not have quite the power, you may not be ‘relaxing’ in a treatment room, but in effect you set your own expectations and give yourself the time to hit them without it costing a fortune for repeat visits. With money back guarantees common place too, the manufacturers of home use technology have never been more certain of their products impact and the trend remains on a highly visible upward curve.

What’s more, the two result-quantifying ‘master tools’ loved by the therapist – namely the tape measure (a pet hate of mine for its complete inaccuracy) and the simple mirror can be less significant for the DIY beauty tech user.  There has never been a better measurement than how your own clothes feel and someone commenting on how well/young/fit/thin/relaxed erm… and un-hairy you look. Professional treatments at home? Expectations met.