Friday, December 2, 2011

You're so vain: Baby boomers, tech and lower risk for investors pump up aesthetics, vanity market

Kerry Pope wants to liberate women — and make some money in the process.
Pope’s Palo Alto company, Viveve Inc., is launching a product that promises to tighten vaginal tissue stretched by childbirth and return women’s sex lives to pre-child days. The half-hour radiofrequency technology procedure, already used to tighten saggy facial skin, allows women to return home or to work with nary anyone else the wiser for it.
“It’s all about her,” Pope said.
It also is about opportunity.
Vain baby boomers looking to suck, heat, squeeze or freeze their way toward the fountain of youth are pumping up a $10 billion-a-year market. Lower regulatory risk for companies and investors, a new wave of technologies and consumers willing to pay out of pocket are fattening up the industry as well.
Call it the aesthetics, personal care or vanity market, but one thing is sure: Even in a tough economy, a cadre of Bay Area companies with science-backed, minimally invasive methods for smoothing wrinkles, removing love handles or even restoring couples’ sex lives are tapping consumer lust for younger days.

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