Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hollywood's beauty secret, out at last

As the fear of hard economic times infects, yes, even Hollywood, plastic surgeons and beauty consultants are pitching lower-cost alternatives to pricey face-lifts: Botox, lasers and all variety of Oldface5 creams, some of which reporter Shari Roan explored in one L.A. Times story on stem cell ingredients, and in another story on exotic botanicals.

Even a segment of the Daily Show once sent reporter Larry Wilmore to Beverly Hills to see how the rich and beautiful are coping, what with less wealth available to spend on beauty. He heard resident Goldy Anthony lament, "I haven't had Botox in 8 to 9 months," while Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Kotler said, "I guess you can judge the economy by how many wrinkles are out there."

Now, according to a news release from Frownies Facial Pads, a Hollywood secret, kept under wraps since the product first came out in 1889, is out of the bag. The low-cost cosmetic treatment consists of craft paper with glue backing, called Wrinkle Eradicators in the 19th century, and still available under the new name. For about $20, customers get 144 of the sticky pads. You simply moisten the pad, stick it around the forehead, frown lines or crow's feet before bedtime, and wake up with skin that is smooth and youthful.

The trouble is, there are no scientific studies backing the face-taping process, which claims to retrain skin cells to be wrinkle-free, according to a site that reviews wrinkle creams. And of 66 people who took the time to write a review of the product on a website, some swear by the pads, while others say they're a waste of money.

But, with recession in the air, they are definitely cheaper than plastic surgery.


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