"Expensive new gadgets promise to mimic the results of professional facial and body treatments,' says Tatiana Boncompagni in the Wall Street Journal article "Spa Gadgets Come Home." The growth in the demand for these devices points to the trend in replicating the spa experience at home, and a growing market for high-end anti-aging products. NPD Group reports that sales of facial skin-care creams and lotions expanded from $10 million in 2002 to $40 million in 2005.

One of the new hi-tech devices is Wellbox. Making its debut in October, 2005 in New York's Bergdorf Goodman, the $1,600 machine uses pressure and vacuum technologies to target cellulite. The company has sold 10,000 units of Wellbox so far in the U.S. and Europe.

Other devices include the $200 Clarisonic skin care brush. Manufacturer Pacific Bioscience Laboratories has sold 25,000 Clarisonic kits since November 2004. Since November 2004, buyers have picked up over 25,000 kits for the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush, according to maker Inc. And Tyrell Inc. has sold more than 50,000 units of the Zeno, a $225 heat-treatment acne zapper, since its U.S. debut last June.

Bliss Spa added five retail skin-care devices earlier this year, including NuFace, a $450 hand-held micro-current device. Sales of "spa gadgets" now generate 6% of all Web site and catalog revenue, up from 'negligible' last fall, according to Claudia Ossa, a Bliss vice president.

Doctors' opinions on spa gadgets are mixed. 'You're not going to get the same results you would in a doctor's office, but they do deliver some benefits,' said New York dermatologist David Colbert. Dr. Bruce Katz, Director of Juva Medispa and Chairman of the Medical Spa Advisory Board of the Medical Spa Society, went on record with a more skeptical response: "For the most part, people are wasting their money."