03/04/2012 11:54 EST | Updated 03/26/2012 12:12 EDT

Future Beauty Trends: Coming Soon To A Cosmetics Counter Near You


Once upon a time, humans used poisonous lead and bloodletting treatments to lighten their skin and battled blemishes with bird droppings. Thankfully, beauty treatments have come a long way since then, with revolutionary products and procedures flooding the market every year. So we have to ask: What’s next for beauty? Look into our crystal ball and see what the future holds.


Sunscreen In A Pill

Skin cancer is one of the fastest-growing health concerns in our bronzed skin-obsessed society but having to slather on several layers of SPF 45 could become a thing of the past in as little as five years. Researchers in the UK are looking at harnessing UV-fighting compounds found in coral to develop a sunscreen pill that could keep the harmful rays at bay. Once it’s approved for humans, the pill would allow you spend all your waking hours in the sun without having to worry about doing any damage to your skin.

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A Pill For Grey Hair

Worried about going grey? The endless cycle of salon colour and root touch-up appointments associated with grey hair could be a thing of the past – cosmetic giant L’Oreal is currently working on developing a grey hair pill that will help people avoid becoming silver foxes. If all goes well, it’s scheduled to become available in 2015.


Needle-Free Botox

In the future, going under the knife may not involve any sharp objects at all. A company called Revance is developing a needle-free alternative to botox that will be applied directly onto the skin. It’s currently undergoing clinical trials, but results look promising – researchers have declared that it can reduce the appearance of crow’s feet without any painful side effects.


Laser Technology At Home

Right now, laser treatments are something we see our dermatologist for but over time, cosmetic trips to the Doctor could become a thing of the past. At-home hair removal lasers are becoming increasingly popular, and the GentleWaves System that many doctors use to treat acne, wrinkles and fine lines may soon be available to everyone. GentleWaves is a device that uses radio frequency waves (so it’s non-thermal) to stimulate collagen growth in your skin.


Tooth Protection

Protecting your teeth will be easier than ever – according to Marc Lowenburg, an NYC cosmetic dentist, a pill that can harden teeth and protect them from cavities may be on its way, as well as a glossy paste for teeth that can prevent discoloration. Meanwhile, here in Canada, researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are developing a light-powered toothbrush that can break down acids and bacteria in the mouth – without toothpaste!


Lipo Without The Surgery

Slimming down without surgery means doing it the old fashioned way with diet and exercise. Or does it? UltraShape is a a machine that claims to break down fat cells painlessly, with just a “slight, tingly sensation,” according to Toronto dermatologist Mark Lupin, MD. But does it work? According to Lupin, patients usually see about a two-inch reduction in the circumference of the treated area. UltraShape is currently being used in 57 different countries – Canada included – and is awaiting approval in the States. However, it’s not meant to blast large amounts of fat, so if you’re looking to go from a size 12 to a size 2, you’ll have to hit the gym.


Laser-Thickened Locks

Thinning hair is a dreaded nightmare for men and women around the globe, but there may be a cure on the horizon that doesn’t involve painful hair plugs, unnatural sprays or bad toupees. Laser hair-thickening laser treatments that stimulate the hair follicle are popping up all over the place – in fact, one called HairMax was recently approved by the FDA in America. Hair-thickening lasers are in their early stages at the moment, but it’s expected that they’ll improve significantly over time.


Stem Cell Cosmetic Treatments

Stem cells are our hope for the future when it comes to diseases and health issues like cancer and paralysis, but they’re also being used to develop new treatments for cosmetic issues too. So just what kind of beauty breakthroughs can we expect from stem cells? "Hair follicular stem cells, tooth stem cells and skin stem cells all show therapeutic promise,"Denis English, editor in chief of the journal Stem Cells and Development told ABC News. "These can restore hair to a bald man, teeth to those in need and skin to scarred patients." What’s more, University of Pittsburgh researchers are currently looking into how they can use stem cells to create natural breast augmentations in breast cancer survivors. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any such procedures become available for quite a few years.