Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- If you used your skin care on only half of your face, would you notice a difference on that side?
Well the makers of one skin care line say they have the pictures to prove theirs does make a difference, but independent doctors want to see more.
People who use this skin care product say it works so well, they are willing to use it on only half of their faces to prove a point. A 54-year-old named Diana in Seattle is a distributor of the line and says half of her face noticeably changed in only five months. Others have taken similar pictures and say this line, and its special delivery system, have taken years off of their appearances.
A 43-year-old mother of two in New Orleans just started using the product three weeks ago, and now she says already people notice.
"I was shopping and I had a minute and the girl that normally helps me said, 'What have you been doing to your skin it looks great.' And I said, 'Well you know, I've been trying this new deal.' And she was like, 'Well what is it? I need to try it,' " Lydia Dazet said.
What Dazet is trying is a system made by Nu Skin in Provo, Utah. It's a line of four products called ageLOC Transformation, coupled with two serums that are driven into the skin with a special handheld delivery device called The Galvanic Spa System. They claim it enhances the delivery of key skin care ingredients for up to 24 hours. It's modeled after the professional machines used in European spas for a long time and the concept that doctors have used to help drive medicine into the skin.
"Nu Skin has chosen ageLOC as a way to go at the sources of aging -- not just the sign or a symptom, put a little makeup on, put a little moisturizer on -- but actually try to deal with the sources," said Dale Kern, a senior scientist at Nu Skin enterprises who specializes in immunology, biochemistry and industrial science.
Kern said the Transformation line is targeting genes that interact with each other, making genes express themselves differently by resetting them to work together the way they did in a more youthful state. And he said the mild current from The Galvanic Spa, helps the active ingredients penetrate the skin better by working like two magnets that have the same charge.
When put together, they repel. That same theory pushes the gene changing ingredients into the skin.
"We're actually helping ingredients get to the skin. Some of those do have an immediate effect," said Kern. "As that's repeated two or three times a week, with one of our products True Face Line Corrector, is used once or twice a day every day with The Galvanic Spa System. That actually builds up, and when we keep those active ingredients present in the skin, those more stubborn genes, the ones that need a little bit more influence to change, the whole interaction needs to change. "People see a change in about two weeks. We see maximum change usually out around eight to 12 weeks," said Kern.
"I really was impressed with it. It just kind of gave my skin a nice glow and it just seemed like the creams and the products were sucked in a lot more, and I just like it. It doesn't hurt. It feels good," said Dazet.
"I tell people I'm a grandfather and their jaw drops, and they go, 'No, you look too young to be a grandfather.' And I was like, 'No really, see the gray hair? I'm a grandfather," said Connelly Hayward, 46, a local distributor of the product for Nu Skin.
The two products are sold directly to customers online or through local sales reps (multilevel marketing). Representatives of the company quote studies in the lab and on people, showing the product has the science to back its results -- results they say reset youth gene clusters and change key enzyme activity.
Independent doctors say, in general, topical treatments can alter genes.
"So it is possible, and certainly doesn't surprise any of us. We have demonstrated this with peptides. We've demonstrated this extensively with retinoids. We know that retinoids change gene expression, so this is not a surprising finding, and again it is an approach that has been used with other companies to look at what happens with aging skin," said Dr. Patricia Farris, a dermatologist in practice in Metairie and the spokesperson for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
"We now know that you can turn genes on and off. In fact, retinoids, Retin-A specifically, is known to have a receptor on genes that activate collagen production. So we're learning, learning more and more about the things that make us age and one thing we do know is that aging is a puzzle. It's not one lock and one key that we need to find," said New Orleans Dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo.
One local dermatologist said one study showed ageLOC worked, but the study was only on a small group and was not long term.
"One of the physicians on the advisory board, who I have great admiration for, has actually done some of the studies in her office for one of the researchers for Purdue. And what she did find is that very definitely, as our skin ages, be it photo aging or chronological aging, there are certain chemicals in your blood, in your urine, in your saliva that go up that show that you're aging. And what they did is when they used the products in the patients, they showed that those chemicals that showed you were aging were diminishing," said Slidell dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth McBurney of LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane.
But overall, the independent doctors say while they are intrigued by the studies, they still want to see more clinical data before they are convinced, like the distributors are, that this will translate into facial skin looking younger.
Products are available from independent Nu Skin distributors or online at http://www.nuskin.com.
Here is a price breakdown:
Introductory ageLOC Spa Package - $375 (Includes the new ageLOC Edition Galvanic Spa System II, 2 boxes of Galvanic Spa Facial Gels with ageLOC, NaPCA Moisture Mist and instructional DVD)
Galvanic Spa Facial Gels with ageLOC - $46 (each box has four sets of gels)
ageLOC Transformation daily skin care system - $432
Or individual products:
ageLOC Gentle Cleanse & Tone - $53
ageLOC Future Serum - $236
ageLOC Radiant Day SPF 22 - $68
ageLOC Transforming Night - $83
Discounts are available online, with automatic delivery and for preferred customers.
Editor's note: Dr. Patricia Farris is no relation to Meg Farris.