Advances in Skin Care

November 28, 2006

Prestige and mass brands must now compete with dermatologist-inspired treatments.

Advances in Skin Care

Prestige and mass brands must now compete with dermatologist-inspired treatments.

LaToyah Burke
Associate Editor

Consumers want to put their best faces forward  and they want to achieve results via professional, comprehensive skin care products. Increasingly, more consumers are making an appointment at the dermatologist’s office in pursuit of the next cosmeceutical advancement in skin care in addition to taking a trip to the cosmetics counter or walking down the drugstore aisle.

According to Kline and Company, Obagi Medical Products has the top spot in the professional skin care market while N.V. Perricone, Murad, Dermalogica, SkinCeuticals, and DDF Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula round out the top six brands. Sales of professional skin care products in the U.S. increased 12.7% during last year to reach $773 million at the manufacturer’s level. The U.S. professional skin care market has grown on average 11.8% each year since 2000, according to the Kline Report.

Cashing In On Skin Care

Tapping into a lucrative niche, dermatologists are staking their claim in the cosmeceutical industry by formulating their own remedies to sell directly to consumers without the middleman. Traditionally, patients who suffered from severe or unmanageable skin conditions visited a dermatologist and had their orders filled at the pharmacy. Skin care professionals argue that prescription only formulas, developed with the patient’s interest in mind, are the best treatments, while others are inclined to purchase skin care developed by a dermatologist and cosmetic company partnership.

According to Wendy Lewis, cosmeceuticals consultant and author, “In the consumer’s mind, cosmetic treatments have become demedicalized because they are offered in salons, spas, gyms and at the mall today.”

Dermatologists aren’t the only ones cashing in on skin care. Skin therapists, estheticians and even biologists have formulated skin care products that include some of the newest skin care ingredients.

Remergent is a skin product line formulated by AGI Dermatics a bio-pharmaceutical laboratory. Dr. Daniel B. Yarosh, a molecular biologist with a specialty in gene repair, developed the line. AGI Dermatics recognize that DNA damage suppresses the skin’s immune function. DNA Repair Formula, for instance, is an anti-aging serum that treats photo damage and environmental stress. When used in addition to sunscreen, the serum encourages the skin’s daily DNA repair mechanism to self-correct, treat past damage and resist future injury. Remergent products are developed to fill voids in current skin care therapies to activate self-healing and reverse skin cell dysfunction. The Remergent philosophy is “it is never too late for skin repair and recovery.”
Remergent skin care, formulated by molecular biologist Daniel Yarosh, targets skin at the cellular level.
Lines of skin care that cater to the organic lifestyle have also been made popular with the intertwining of cosmetics and education based skin care. Those consumers who search for effective, high quality skin care made from pure organic ingredients can find it in Kimberly Sayer of London. An impressive clientele that includes Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston and Shalom Harlow, these products are made from an organic esthetician and chemist, Kimberly Sayer, who utilizes only organic ingredients.

The daughter of organic farmers, Ms. Sayer grew up using ingredients found in their garden for skin care. Kimberly Sayer of London incorporates gentle ingredients that include soy, sea algae and Ugandan shea butter in its formulations. Pseudo collagen, a powerful ingredient used by Ms. Sayer, is plant-derived yeast and is fused within anti-aging skin products. The ingredient, used in the hydrating antioxidant facial mask as well as the cellular extract eye gel, binds moisture on a cellular level to create firmer, younger looking skin. For the most discriminating patient, Ms. Sayer also offers customized, hand blended products to heal and treat rosacea, acne, skin allergies, extreme dryness and ethnic specific skin illnesses.

Skin care can not only be formulated by a biologist, but also be developed by licensed skin therapists. Angela Bazos, skin care marketer at Dermalogica said that only a highly trained, licensed professional can offer the client prescriptive retailing. Dermalogica is a skin care system researched and developed by The International Dermal Institute, an institute that licenses skin therapy professionals. IDI has launched a campaign to take back the professional skin care industry.
According to Ms. Bazos, “diversion has really undermined the integrity of our sister industry, hair care. Dermalogica has built a two-decades-deep loyalty to the professional skin therapist.”
Dermalogica focuses on referring clients to professional skin care retailers. Skin treatments are not sold from the website, in department stores or infomercials.

The focus is to convince consumers that what they can buy over the counter will never measure up to dermatologist formulated and prescribed treatments, which are often stronger and better suited to deal with an individual problem, not a broad based spectrum of common skin ailments.

Kimberly Sayer of London products are made from organic ingredients.
“Dermatologists and professional skin therapists play a very different role,” said Annet King director of training and development for the International Dermal Institute. “A professional skin therapist is trained to understand the skin and to prescribe a professional treatment and product regimen that helps the skin achieve its optimum health.” This is done proactively, or before a problem arises.

According to Ms. King, dermatologists specialize in treating medical skin concerns and prescribe topical treatments to address those concerns, after a condition has arisen.  However, skin care specialists disagree on specific methods of treatment. Studies have shown that consumer opinions often vary in the way they prefer to receive skin treatment. This fact is what divides the dermatology industry. Ms. King said professional skin care products “should always be prescribed by a skin therapist, not picked off a shelf.”

Skin Care Without A Prescription

Many dermatologists have opted out of a diagnosis and treatment in the way of the traditional patient visit and prescription plan by creating lines of skin care to mass market to consumers in lieu of patients.

For example, Tina S. Alster, M.D. has partnered with Lancome. Together, they have created Resurface Peel, an at home glycolic peel treatment.

According to Dr. Alster “skin care companies are smart to align themselves with dermatologists in order to determine trends and the latest scientific advances in the field. Consumers are more savvy, so they demand a higher degree of sophistication in over-the-counter products available.”

Cosmeceuticals are products that combine the benefits of cosmetic skin care and attach a pharmaceutical promise. Many skin care companies that have been endorsed by dermatologists use the term to give the impression that their products have more effective or medically derivative ingredients than ordinary cosmetics.

Many of the advancements that were initially made within the dermatologist realm have been mass produced and sold over the counter, creating a shift in the traditional skin therapy archetype. Prestige skin care is a lucrative industry. According to NPD, the top prestige skin care brands are Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clarins and Shiseido. Total prestige skin care sales from January to June 2006 reached $1.1 billion.

Karen Grant, senior beauty analyst NPD group said, “this has resulted in cosmeceuticals growing in the double and triple digits within the past few years and the number of brands entering the marketplace growing in large numbers. These doctor-inspired brands are stealing share from the more traditional skin care players- a statement that is true of all niche skin care. The caution here is that the cosmeceutical marketplace may be reaching its peak as the numbers of brands keep growing and for the first time this year we've seen some of the top players losing share to newer cosmeceutical players.”
Timeless Secret uses Pu-erh tea, an ingredient that has been used in skin care products in China to protect and re-energize skin.

One of these players is board certified clinical and research dermatologist, Nicholas Perricone, who holds patents worldwide for treatment of skin diseases internationally. Dr. Perricone specializes in the reduction of skin aging with a slew of products in his comprehensive skin care line. His products are available to purchase on his website and through authorized retailers, therapeutic spas and physician’s offices. The Power Program for Increased Tone and Radiance is a regimen that combines Dr. Perricone’s patented ingredients with Retinol to improve skin’s suppleness and overall tone. N.V. Perricone M.D. Cosmeceuticals is one of the top six professional skin care brands in the U.S. according to Kline and Company.

Howard Murad, author and well-known dermatologist, established Murad in 1989 as a result of being inspired by his patients. Dr. Murad has built a patient base of nearly 50,000 people and still treats them to this day.
One of the newest extensions to the Murad line of care is an interactive online evaluation. The personalized regimen builder provides personalized information about how to properly care for your skin. Visitors must provide answers about skin type, skin concerns and lifestyle including personal habits, brand usage and gender. After completing the online evaluation form, users are directed to a page that briefly explains the products available from Murad in a 3-step regimen. Users may also view a complete, personalized report that itemizes each skin care concern and the contributors to the skin type. Murad’s products aim to target those specific concerns and put Dr. Murad’s theories to practice.

Professional skin care is much more than cleanser and moisturizer. It must answer questions and concerns consumers have about rosacea, eczema, clogged pores, redness and irritation or signs of aging. Professional skin care must produce results. More and more, consumers are looking to professional skin care companies to reduce signs of aging, treat acne and diminish crow’s feet.

Dermatologists are accustomed to developing and prescribing the formulas that treat some of the most common skin diseases. Now, however, cosmetic companies have staked a claim in the industry by developing products that are aimed at consumers who want solutions at retail.
Preventative products have created new opportunities in the anti-aging segment of skin care.

The Fight Against Wrinkles

The most comprehensive skin care regimens utilize anti-aging ingredients. The need for skin care to cleanse, treat and effectively moisturize just isn’t complete without the addition of agents that combat signs of aging. Products that also promote the maintenance of skin’s luster against environmental, stress-related or pollutant destruction have also been added to the skin care market.

Maintenance is key. Most consumers want to either hold on to their youthful skin or bring out the skin they once had. Technology has made it possible for marketers to offer skin care treatments that show results. For instance, Estee Lauder developed Advanced Night Repair Concentrate Recovery Boosting treatment to combat the damaging effects of pollution and harmful UV rays on the skin.

Estee Lauder’s treatment was inspired by feedback from the original product offering, Advanced Night Repair, a less-harsh daily treatment. This product is intended to answer the problems women with extremely stressed skin develop from abrasive dermatological procedures (read glycolic peels and microdermabrasion), harsh weather, pollution and excessive dehydration and sun exposure.

Timeless Secret, on the other hand, purports ancient wisdom proven by modern science with the integration of Pu-erh tea into a comprehensive line of skin care. Driven by the lack of results from the mounds of expensive skin care products in her own bathroom, May Wong created the cosmeceutical line with her daughter Michelle by synthesizing the tea as a main ingredient into a complex skin care regimen. The ageless skin care line draws it’s success from the tea, which the company claims is, “beauty steeped to perfection.”

The extract of aged Pu-erh tea contains 300 natural proteins, minerals and vitamins B5, C and E. It also boasts detoxifying antioxidants. The line includes Unveil cleansing foam, Wink eye booster, Save Face sun shield, Whisper multi-active moisturizer and Whisper multi-active emulsion.

Advancements made in treatments for anti-aging like these and others have perpetuated the demedicalization of cosmetic treatments. It is no longer necessary for consumers to seek a prescription for their wrinkled skin.

“We don't necessarily see a shift in focus from traditional dermatology to cosmeceuticals. What we've seen is that traditional dermatology and the trust that consumers hold in doctors and medicine has spring boarded the cosmeceutical skin care products into super stardom within the prestige arena. Because cosmeceuticals are associated with doctors and medicine, consumers hold more belief in the efficacy and potency of these products to actually deliver on their promises,” said Ms. Grant of NPD.

The industry has shifted toward making cosmetic treatments readily available by intertwining the availability of cosmetic services with our everyday lives, but not taking away from the validity of traditional dermatologists claims.

“The supply of practitioners offering these services has also expanded into non-traditional specialties including ER doctors, obstetricians/gynecologists, family practitioners, podiatrists and dentists,” said cosmeceuticals consultant Ms. Lewis.

Vichy Laboratoires, the No. 1 skin care brand in Europe according to Kline and Co., Fairfield, NJ, has developed an anti-aging moisturizer that combines wrinkle fighter Retinol and pure vitamin C with Vichy Thermal Spa Water. Reti-C Intensive Corrective Care SPF 15 claims to decrease the appearance of wrinkles, even skin tone and improve skin clarity, all while offering sun protection. Vichy Laboratoires Reti-C line was developed for women over 25 who are experiencing signs of photo aging such as wrinkles and uneven skin tone. In addition to the Reti-C line, Vichy also has a home kit, developed and designed by dermatologists. The Peel Micro Abrasion Rejuvenating Resurfacing Kit combines a peel and microdermabrasion and is designed for the consumer who has experienced photo aging. The complete treatment includes four steps: microdermabrasion, peel, neutralizing soothing solution and ongoing anti-aging follow-up care. The kit contains three treatments to be used over the course of three weeks followed by anti-aging follow up after each application for three additional weeks post treatment.

Claims Vs. Professional Analysis

The question, what is professional skin care, still manages to elude a large number of consumers and industry insiders alike. Has the implementation of cosmeceuticals in the use of everyday skin care rendered the science of dermatology inevitably extinct? Ms. Lewis doesn’t think so.

“Historically, there has been a turf war going on between traditional dermatologists and the beauty industry at large. Dermatologists tend to favor mass brands and prescription products for their patients,” said Ms. Lewis. “In the last decade, the pendulum has swung and many dermatologists have embraced the cosmetics industry and formed strategic relationships with major brands as well as their own ranges.  It has proved to be a good partnership all around, as consumers demand more science in their skin care.”