Innovation in Aesthetics

By Shannon Kilgariff / 07 Jan 2020

An overview of the innovative products recognised at the Aesthetics Awards 2019

How do you determine innovation? What does innovation mean? Many know it as a new idea, design, product or the development of these.1 Aesthetics asked its Clinical Advisory Board, What does innovation mean to you? Clinical lead Mr Dalvi Humzah said, “Innovation in aesthetics is thinking and developing something out of the box that will improve either practitioners’ abilities or patients’ experiences.” 

Nurse prescriber Jackie Partridge added, “Innovation is vital for a company to succeed in any business, but research is just as important. The products and services we utilise in aesthetics must be backed by science, evidence and safety.” 

The DigitRx Award for Product Innovation of the Year had nine finalists at the Aesthetics Awards on December 7. Each were launched in the UK after 1 January 2018. Upon examining the entries, judges assessed them for genuine innovation or product advancement, leading to treatment for new indications, quicker or easier treatments, better treatment outcomes and enhanced patient safety, all supported by sound evidence. Let’s see what products were recognised…


What it is: A light therapy device that delivers blue, red and near-infrared light energy, simultaneously. It is FDA-cleared to treat facial wrinkles, acne, diminished local blood circulation, muscle and joint stiffness, muscle tissue tension, muscle and joint pain, muscle spasm, and arthritic pain. Before launching in the UK, Celluma gained a CE Mark as a Class IIa medical device for all its FDA-clearances, as well as dermal wound healing, in the EU. In a clinic trial using Celluma to treat facial wrinkles, 80% of participants reported that they experienced an improvement in skin texture, 77% reported an improvement in skin firmness and 66% reported an improvement in facial wrinkles after four weeks.2 More research available.3

What practitioners say: US oculofacial plastic surgeon Mr Costas Papageorgiou says, “Celluma is an integral component of my clinic’s signature treatments which employ the regenerative and lifting effects of multi-layered energy waves and technologies in single sessions. The biophotonic waves of Celluma are implemented as the final step to accelerate recovery by providing the cells with the energy to heal from within. Quite often, I recommend the device as an ongoing maintenance treatment at home to further optimise results.”

Manufactured by: BioPhotas and distributed by Celluma UK


What it is: FaceTite is a handpiece delivering InMode’s proprietary Radio Frequency Assisted Lipolysis (RFAL) technology to the face and neck. Targeting a depth of 5-10mm, the treatment aims to influence fat contraction, not lipolysis, resulting in skin tightening and improvement of contour. Bipolar radiofrequency and dual temperature control aim to enhance the safety of these devices, which are FDA approved. One study of 55 patients, with a mean age of 51 years, indicated that 85% were satisfied with their contouring and skin tightening result. Two independent plastic surgeons considered the improvement in contouring and degree of skin tightening good to excellent in 52 of 55 cases.5 More data available.6,7

What practitioners say: Dublin-based cosmetic surgeon Mr Peter Prendergast says, “With FaceTite, I’m now able to offer patients a real alternative to surgery that produces visible results. The sophisticated technology employs precision heating in the subdermal tissues like no other device. No other treatment can give such impressive results in face and neck tightening with no scars, no drains and no general anaesthesia, allowing the patient to return to work in a few days. It’s dramatically enhanced my aesthetic medicine practice.”

Manufactured and distributed by: InMode


What it is: A vitamin C and peptide serum aiming to reduce the visible signs of free radical damage and ageing for all skin types, including acne-prone skin, rosacea, pigmentation and ageing. To prevent L-ascorbic acid oxidisation in the bottle and to ensure it is optimally active, the product features a specially engineered cap, suspending the vitamin C crystals separately from the serum in order to protect it from air, light and water. The patient is the last person in the manufacturing process; only mixing the solution when they are ready to use it, ensuring 15% L-ascorbic acid is delivered to the skin. Product-specific in-clinic case studies and trials are well underway. Research is well-established for key ingredients L-ascorbic acid and Matrixyl synthe’6.8,9,10

What practitioners say: Aesthetic practitioner Dr Dev Patel says, “EverActive C&E + Peptide is a powerhouse formulation that I think is the most effective all-rounder I can offer to my patients. It contains the only bio available form of vitamin C for the skin at the ideal strength. Furthermore, you activate the vitamin C at home meaning even the last drop will be clinically effective.”

Manufactured and distributed by: Alumier Labs

Celltense Serum

What it is: A serum that aims to increase efficacy for radiofrequency treatments for cellulite and skin tightening. It is most effective in treating mild to moderate cellulite and can be used on arms, abdomen, hips, buttocks and thighs. The product contains a new patented active ingredient – Gold Thioethylamino Hyaluronic Acid (nano) – gold nano particles linked with low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study with 24 participants using a combination of Celltense Serum and radiofrequency indicated 18.1% improvement to cellulite volume vs. 0.9% using radiofrequency alone, 17.5% echogenic density increase in the dermis vs. -3.3% using radiofrequency alone, and 90% of patients responded to the treatment vs. 55% using radiofrequency alone.11 More research available.12

What practitioners say: Laser specialist, KOL and trainer for Lumenis, Chantal Johnson, says, “We have found the results using Celltense Serum with our Lumenis NuEra Tight RF have exceeded our expectations. We are seeing the skin heat at an increased rate and it assists maintaining a constant temperature over a larger area with significant increased skin tightening and volume reduction, decreasing treatment times while taking our results to the next level with innovative science.”

Manufactured and distributed by: Elenzia


What it is: Sunekos is an injectable treatment and Class III medical device that aims to reduce wrinkle severity, improve facial volume loss and increase hydration. The formula contains non-crosslinked hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, along with a patented formula of amino acids, which aim to induce collagen and elastin synthesis. It is available in two formulations: Sunekos 200, a low molecular hyaluronic acid weight for the natural regeneration of the dermal tissue and Sunekos 1200, a higher molecular HA weight for volumising that can be injected via needle or cannula.

What practitioners say: Aesthetic nurse prescriber Sarah Edwards says, “Sunekos is the perfect addition to my treatment toolbox. Not only is it vegan friendly, it provides an alternative for my patients who do not wish to go down the traditional route of dermal fillers/toxin. I have found it particularly successful in treating dark eye circles and addressing static lines on the forehead.”

Research: A study of 25 female subjects aged 48-65 indicated an improvement in facial volume loss (42.1%), reduction in wrinkle severity (22%), reduction in severity of crow’s feet (22.4%), increase in skin surface hydration (24.5%) and increase in deep skin hydration (9.9%) after six months.20

Manufactured by: Sunekos Laboratories and distributed by Med-fx

Plasma Shower

What it is: The Plasma Shower is a handpiece on the Plasma BT device, which creates an ionised stream of non-ablative cold plasma 25mm or 8mm wide. It aims to treat concerns like acne, ageing, wound healing, pigmentation and dull skin by removing bacteria and allowing for transepidermal delivery of products. Case studies have been published in the Aesthetics journal that showcase successful results using the Plasma Shower.15,16

What practitioners say: Dr Beatriz Molina says, “One of the biggest innovations yet. The Plasma Shower allows for transepidermal delivery of product without injections, so can be used instead of mesotherapy. I have also treated dermal filler complications, delivering hyaluronidase without a needle, which is incredible.”

Manufactured and distributed by: Beamwave Technologies

skinbetter science Alto Defence Serum

What it is: An antioxidant serum that can be used on all skin types, to help defend the skin against environmental stressors and oxidative stress as a result of pollution, blue light, UVA/UVB exposure and IR radiation. It also aims to enhance skin tone and luminosity, as well as reduce redness. A 12-week, single center, clinical study demonstrated average improvements from baseline of 37% fine lines/wrinkles, 17% skin tone, 13% dyschromia, 18% erythema and 4% percent pores (N=21) with continued improvements at 16 weeks.17 More research available.18

What practitioners say: Dr Amiee Vyas says, “It has become the go-to antioxidant product in my practice. It’s lightweight elegant formulation makes it suitable for all skin types and ages. With 19 water-soluble, enzymatic, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, it provides comprehensive protection at all cellular levels of the skin and furthermore has become a firm favourite for my patients, who have previously experienced irritation with vitamin C preparations.”

Manufactured by: skinbetter science; distributed by AestheticSource

Soprano Titanium

What it is: Soprano Titanium is a hair removal platform with a large 4cm2 spot size and advanced cooling system that aims for faster and pain-free treatments. It combines three laser wavelengths into a single applicator (755 nm, 810 nm, 1064 nm), simultaneously targeting different tissue depths and anatomical structures within the hair follicle. Product specific papers yet to be available; however research is available for technology used in the device.19

What practitioners say: Spanish practitioner Dr Pablo Naranjo says, “I am very pleased with the results I am able to achieve with the Soprano Titanium. Besides the high efficiency and safety record, which are the base for any hair removal treatment, there are additional features, such as Smart Clinic and the unique Quattro applicator, which set it above and beyond any other system on the market today.”

Manufactured by: Alma Lasers and distributed by ABC Lasers

Medik8 r-Retinoate Intense

What it is: This product features encapsulated retinyl retinoate and crystal-stabilised retinaldehyde together in one night-time formula. Medik8 has worldwide exclusivity on encapsulated retinyl retinoate and state it’s the company’s ‘greatest ever formulation’. Product specific papers yet to be available; however, there is much research on retinyl retinoate and retinaldehyde.13

What practitioners say: Skincare and laser specialist Debbie Thomas says, “I always use a vitamin A (retinol) product as I believe it’s the key to age management. I love Medik8’s r-Retinoate Intense. The formula is eight times more powerful than other retinols, but with less irritation.”14

Manufactured and distributed by: Medik8