The FDA has given the green light (so to speak) for one of those anti-wrinkle light devices to be bought over-the-counter. Gentlewaves is made by Light BioScience and will be marketed by L'Oreal. However, as fate would have it, the FDA approval comes just as a bunch of scientists raise doubts about anti-wrinkle treatments, including those light thingies.

Gentlewaves, currently available only to physicians and qualified estheticians, uses amber LED to target fine lines and wrinkles, including around the eyes. It is claimed that it is non-ablative, painless and there are no side effects. In addition to zapping wrinkles, the device is said to boost collagen production. Sound too good to be true? It might be.

Scientists, published in this month's Experimental Dermatology, singled out light-based therapies (in general - not Gentlewaves specifically, I hasten to add, and which for all I know is perfectly effective) as possibly being more about marketing hype than a reliable technology. Three dermatologists wrote: "is it simply manufacturers leaping on the bandwagon and supplying the aesthetic fashion industry with over-rated and over-priced new toys." They said that the technology is intrinsically good, but there are too many bad versions on the market that don't work and give the real ones a bad name.