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Posted by 04.18.14

Body shaping has come a long way, baby! Syneron Candela, one of the world’s leaders in aesthetic devices (think laser and radiofrequency) has just received FDA clearance for its UltraShape System, which targets fat cells and makes them go away—forever.

Technically, it is the first and only non-invasive body shaping treatment that uses pulsed focused ultrasound energy to precisely target subcutaneous fat. The surrounding tissue, blood vessels, and muscles are not affected at all. Unlike other body shaping technologies, UltraShape uses a pure mechanical effect to destroy fat cells without using heat. This unique feature of the UltraShape technology results in a safe and comfortable treatment experience.

UltraShape joins Syneron’s other body shaping device, VelaShape III, which works with elōs based thermal technology. These two FDA cleared technologies offer a wide range of body shaping options including circumferential reduction in various body areas and reduction in cellulite appearance.


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Prior to the FDA approval, UltraShape had been used in Europe, Asia, and Canada since 2005, and US physicians were clamoring to see the technology arrive stateside.

“UltraShape uses non thermal ultrasound providing efficacy and the non-heat dependent energy is tolerated well by the patients,” said Jeffrey M Kenkel, MD, FACS, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, one of the primary investigators in the FDA-required study of the device.

A clinical study of UltraShape with 150 subjects was performed at three clinical sites in the U.S. and one site outside of the U.S. Study results showed that the treatment had an average reduction of 2.5 cm (that’s basically 1 inch) in circumference of the treated areas*.

According to William Coleman M.D., Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Adjunct Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery), Tulane University Health Sciences Center and a principal investigator in the FDA study, “In our practice, patients were very satisfied with the results of the UltraShape treatment.”

Since receiving the CE mark (the European Union’s certification of approval), the device has been used in over 300,000 procedures worldwide.

UltraShape will be available in the US in mid May 2014. Visit 

*Study on file with Syneron.


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Posted by 04.07.14

That innocent bystander on your sink—the hand soap—now is getting its due. Several brands are introducing beautiful varieties that now are on par with shower gels in their look and feel, and certainly in their ingredients. Since hands get extremely dry with repeated washings, hand soaps by nature tout “moisturizing” benefits like a Superbowl commercial. Here are some we love:

L’Occitane Verbena Cleansing Hand Wash ($20)

This pale yellow number is formulated with a vegetable base and is gentle enough to use on a baby’s hands.The sparkling lemony aroma of verbena gives cleansing hands that zing, and while it’s a pricier hand soap than most, it’s worth it for that non-cloying fragrance alone.

Softsoap Décor  Collection ($2.99)

LHS_Decor-CollectionPhoto Credit: Softsoap

While I’ve purchased nearly every variety of Softsoap for my house, including the honey versio,n which is ideal for my parched hands, the new Décor collection adds luxury to the sink for a fraction of the cost of more expensive options. The scents are upscale—Peony & Plum, Orchid Petals & Mint Water, and Wild Basil & Lime—and the transparent bottles with wallpaper-like patterns of  flowers make these rectangular bottles pop like bits of jewelry on the kitchen sink.

Diptyque Softening Hand Wash ($38)

DiptyquePhoto Credit: Diptyque

The brand that gave us Tubereuse candles and gorgeous coffrets indulges us with yet another way to enjoy fragrance. This amber-colored softening hand wash is aromatic, mild, repairing and comes in a hard to miss bottle. It is formulated with lavender water which purifies and comforts the skin and also features honey extract.

Disclosure: Softsoap samples were provided for editorial consideration by Colgate-Palmolive.

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Posted by 03.01.14

First Dove challenged stereotypes with its Campaign for Real Beauty, advertisements that featured real women with real curves and celebrated attainable beauty. Now, the Unilever brand wants you to think differently about your armpits. The New Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant is specially formulated to fight odor and wetness but also reverse the discoloration and dryness associated with regular shaving.

“Shaving, as we know can be irritating to skin even with the best of razors,” said New York dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, at a Dove press event in New York City. “Fifty percent of moisture is lost when we shave the skin in our armpit, which can lead to dryness and sensitivity.”

The new Dove deodorant comes in two varieties, regular and clear, and neither leave residue or white marks on the skin or clothes. Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant/Dodorant ($4.99 to $6.49) offers eight different scents to choose from ranging from a traditional floral powdery scent to a plum sakura blossom and an unscented hypo-allergenic option. Dove Advanced Care Clear Tone Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant comes in two floral scents and one citrus.

Each variety promises 48-hour odor and wetness protection—good to know in case you forget to bring your deo to the gym before going to work one day. They are formulated with calendula, a flower in the daisy family, which helps keep underarm skin from turning dark because of shaving. Moisturizing benefits derive from ingredients borrowed from Unilever’s skincare library and include hydroxyethylurea, an efficacious moisturizer, and polyuethylene glycol, which helps deliver ingredients to the skin.

Armpits—you may not devote much time thinking about them, and thanks to Dove even less time now.

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