Microneedle beauty too good to be true
The latest beauty craze sweeping Hong Kong is the Microneedle Therapy System, which involves massaging the face with a needle-studded roller.
The Hong Kong Consumer Council has issued a warning to users of the device, stating there is no scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness and warning that the device is potentially lethal.
"It is unwise to risk your life for a prettier appearance," Consumer Council publicity and community relations member Philip Leung Kwong-hon told the South China Morning Post.
Users of the Microneedle Therapy System are exposing themselves to a high risk of infection of bacteria, fungi and viruses on the needles, including HIV and hepatitis. The Consumer Council advises that soaking the device in hot water or rinsing it in medical disinfectants is not enough to sterilize the device.
Since December 2007, the council has received 43 microneedle-related complaints. Many users complained of worsening skin conditions after using the product.
Proponents of the Microneedle Therapy System claim that microscopic punctures in the skin caused by the roller stimulates the production of collagen on the dermis and can enhance the absorption of skin-care serums. The treatment is said to be effective in combating a range of skin conditions, such as scarring, acne, cellulite and wrinkles.
Samantha Ku Ka-yin, consultant manager of Miss Beauty, said to The Standard that "I do not think the report will affect our business. If people want to improve the appearance of their skin they will not care about [ the Consumer Council warning]." Ku also said that her center uses one roller per customer only and it is not shared.
The microneedle roller -- or dermaroller -- has been popular in the United States for some time. It was featured on The Rachel Ray Show and The Doctors. Its celebrity users reportedly include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. See clips of the Microneedle Therapy System's TV stints at www.derma-rollers.com.