The Doctor's Orders

November 29, 2007

Professional skin treatments complement spa services.

The Doctor’s Orders

Professional skin treatments complement spa services.

Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor

Hope in a jar has given way to science in a bottle. More and more, consumers are turning to skin care treatments developed by dermatologists to quell signs of aging, battle the effects of daily elements and maintain clear skin with a healthy glow. And what was once only available in upscale spas and salons has now given way to product lines sold at mass-market retailers worldwide. 

“Consumers are very savvy and they have very high standards. With so many options today, they want results first and foremost,” says Dr. Howard Murad, associate clinical professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of skin care company Murad, Inc. “They want to know that the product is created to the highest standards possible, and that it will address their wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne, dryness or whatever their concern may be.”

Market research firm The Benchmarking Company’s report “Survival of the Prettiest—Face & Body Care Edition” shows that women are increasingly demanding that their skin care products be dermatologically sound. According to Alisa Marie Beyer, president of the Washington, D.C.-based company: “[Consumers are] impressed with founders who have medical, dermatology or other clinical credentials, as the growing ‘doctor’ skin care brands seen on direct response television and in stores’ shelves have proven.”

However, the rise in the professional skin care market will continue only if the consumer is sure the products work, according to Ms. Beyer. “Having an impressive credential will get her [the consumer] to try a product at a premium price, but for her to keep buying it, it needs to provide results better than non-doctor brands. Otherwise, she won’t buy it at any price.”

Value and Distribution

According to “Professional Skin Care 2006, Vol. 1: U.S.,” a report from market research firm Kline & Company of Little Falls, NJ, the professional skin care market experienced another year of tremendous growth in 2006. Sales totaled $870 million at the manufacturers’ level, an increase of 12.6% over 2005 levels. Total market growth is forecasted to grow by 9.2% annually to reach $1.3 billion by 2011.

According to Kline & Company, the industry’s technological advances will drive the market, as will consumers’ endless desire for anti-aging products and medical brands expanding to retail.

Kline & Company says that retail stores show the highest growth, but medical providers are quickly gaining ground. Spas and salons continue to account for more than half of the total sales, but there is a continual share erosion of spas and salons as the other two channels are increasing their share.

“The wellness trend in the spas is catching on,” notes Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products research at Kline & Company. “People are willing to spend more time and money for longer-lasting results.”

International Spa Association (ISPA) 2006 data regarding patrons shows that 17 million Americans got a facial at a spa in 2005, ranking as the second most popular spa service after body massage. Skin care services at spas, namely facials, have increased 24% in popularity since 2003. Combined salon/retail outlets are booming as women find their new hub for complete relaxation and pampering—along with prestige skin care supplies.

“As the holistic view of beauty and wellness continues to pervade the news media as well as retail channels, we see the salon channel as one that will continue to sneak upward in importance for selling skin care,” notes Ms. Beyer of The Benchmarking Company.

Versions of Clinical Services

Over-the-counter versions of clinical products and in-office services and procedures, such as skin peels, are a hot niche, says Packaged Facts, a provider of market research. The company observes that these products are far less common than moisturizers or toners or lotions that can be used daily, and yet at-home peel/microdermabrasion kits are growing in popularity.

In response to this trend, Revlon recently launched a MoistureStay Microdermabrasion Skin Care Kit, which exfoliates, cleanses and helps tone skin. The kit is clad with brush and sponge attachments that work the grapefruit-scented cleansing and moisturizing creams into the skin.

 Revlon's new at-home kit
Besides at-home kits, more top trends for 2007 include peptides, at-home peels and brightening serums, says Sonia Russomanno, senior director of marketing at Kinerase, a skin care line primarily distributed through dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

“These are gaining popularity because they help even out the skin tone and combat hyperpigmentation and sun damage, which is becoming an increasing concern for consumers who are now paying for spending summers in the sun before we knew the extent of damage it caused,” she tells Happi.

This February, Kinerase will roll out a multi-step system that lightens and brightens the skin. The Kinerase Brightening Anti-Aging System includes a brightening facial serum and a concentrated spot treatment.  Both include the company’s exclusive brightening complex that scientifically blends seven active ingredients—flamenco pearl extract, kinetin, BioWhite, AlgoWhite, SymWhite, synovea HR resourcenol and kudzu. The combination is said to work to brighten the skin for a more even complexion.

“Skin lightening/brightening is the next big trend for the professional skin care industry,” notes Ms. Mellage of Kline & Company.

Complete Kits

Besides sun exposure, pollution and even gravity can contribute to losses in skin vitality, tone and elasticity over time. Therefore, consumers are seeking combination packages containing products that work together to improve the skin.

For example, the newest product from Procter & Gamble’s Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula (DDF) is Decelerate Anti-Aging Protocol, a dermatologist-developed kit designed to help restore skin’s youthful appearance and slow the effects of aging.

 DDF has products that work together to treat the skin.
The DDF Decelerate Anti-Aging Protocol—which rolled out exclusively at Sephora in October and will become available to specialty retailers and spas in January—contains advanced anti-aging ingredients to brighten and revitalize the skin’s appearance while protecting it from the elements. When used daily, the four products in the kit are said to work together to improve skin’s tone, firmness and luminosity. 

The DDF “Cleanse, Protect, Treat” regimen  features a glycolic exfoliating wash to diminish the appearance of fine lines and purify the skin deep down into the pores, a daily protective moisturizer SPF 15 that fortifies the skin while providing UVA and UVB protection, a protective eye cream SPF 15 that specifically targets the fragile eye area with nourishing moisture and broad-spectrum sun protection and finally, the Mesojection Healthy Cell Serum, the latest in advanced anti-aging technology from DDF.  The serum features a proprietary blend of ingredients that penetrate 14 layers deep into the skin’s surface—including scavenol, an antioxidant 100 times more potent than EGCG from green tea; acai berry; emblica glycol complex and DDF’s matrixyl 3000 humectant complex.

Skin Immunity

Addressing the exterior’s immunity is the future of the professional skin care industry, says Dr. Murad, one of the first dermatologists to launch his own line. He tells Happi, “The concept of boosting the skin’s immunity will translate to professional back bar services as well as through consumer home use products.”

Dr. Murad rolled out his latest anti-aging collection focusing on skin immunity for Holiday 2007. Available through licensed skin care professionals and medical practices only, the new Murad Professional line features four products, each infused with the Immuno-Skin Complex, a breakthrough formula that works to target the skin’s immune system in order to fight the causes of skin aging.

“As we age, the effectiveness of our immune system, including the defense of our skin, decreases and external factors weaken its function even further,” says Dr. Murad.  “This ultimately leads to both cellular and connective tissue breakdown that translates to fine lines, wrinkles, discolorations, dullness and loss of elasticity that occurs in aging skin.” 

 MD Skincare's new Team Doctor kit features vitamins.
Through advances in biotechnology, Murad Research Labs discovered a proprietary bio-peptide contained within Immuno-Skin Complex. These medically advanced formulas immediately hydrate and firm, and over time, are said to  dramatically reduce the visible signs of aging.

Murad Professional products include an oxygen-activated foaming cleanser; an “Immuno-Skin Age Inhibitor,” a high potency, peptide-based formula; SPF 30 multi-active cream for daytime and a night cream that infuses surface cells with moisture.

The topical application of vitaminst to combat environmental aggressors is also paramount for at-home professional skin care treatments, according to Dr. Dennis Gross, a New York City-based dermatologist and creator of the MD Skincare line. “The topical application of vitamins is the most effective means of preventing aging and treating existing skin conditions,” says Dr. Gross. “In fact, a mathematical analysis shows that a 2% vitamin C gel applied directly to the face is 200 times more potent than consuming a 600 milligram vitamin C pill!  Applying ingredients to our skin early on can make a significant difference in preventing premature aging.” 

MD Skincare’s latest release is its Team Doctor holiday kit containing 30 applications of the company’s Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel and a Hydra-Pure Antioxidant Firming Serum. Both products in the Team Doctor kit contain vitamins A, C and E.

The Cosmeceuticals Craze

Appearance, particularly a youthful appearance, is highly important, and not just to women. According to Packaged Facts, marketers are developing more and more cosmeceutical products that tap into both physical and emotional well-being and general skin care woes. Highly functional product promises, such as protection, prevention, deep cleansing or regeneration, combined with natural and organic ingredients, are ideally poised to fuel dollar growth. As such, Packged Facts notes that skin care cosmeceuticals are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2% through 2010.

Brenda Gallagher, vice president of marketing and sales for 60-year old international professional skin care line Sothys, points to cosmeceuticals as the top trend for the season.     

“People are looking to retain their youthful edge. This base is split between people who are already dabbling in light cosmetic surgery to those who want to avoid the doctor but see results fast. This trend has been growing since the early 1990’s,  mainly due to dermatologists looking to launch their own product lines.”

Sothys recently rolled out its new Secrets de Sothys global anti-age stress relief line, using high technology formulas and cocktails of active ingredients selected for their properties and synergistic effects on skin degeneration. A key ingredient in the products is Tex-OE, an extract of prickly pears, which stimulates proteins that combat skin stress and preserve cell viability after an external aggression.
Cosmeceuticals are also used to complement professional skin care treatments at spas and salons. Pamela Hill, a renowned aesthetics and medical spa expert with more than 15 years of experience in the skin care industry, recently launched Pamela Hill Skin Care, a professional line of scientifically-grounded, medically-based cosmeceuticals for aging and sun-damaged skin.  Developed specifically with the spa client in mind, Pamela Hill Skin Care complements the techniques of professionals in today’s spas and medical spas.  The product were formulated to work at home and interact with spa treatments, such as IPL, Fraxel, LED, microdermabrasion and facials. 

Seasonal Skin

Some professional skin care treatments are tailored to the season, as temperatures and other environmental factors impact (for better or worse) exterior conditions. For Fall 2007, Sothys released a limited edition tangerine and ginger fall/winter seasonal facial to transition skin from summer to fall and replace moisture which may have been lost after months spent in the sun.

Drawing on the soothing benefits of tangerine essential oil and the energizing properties of ginger essential oil, the tangerine and ginger fall/winter seasonal facial is the third installment in Sothys’ seasonal facial line, where each step and primary ingredient has been “selected by beauty experts at Sothys to add luxury and a unique seasonal tie-in to their successful signature facial,” according to the company.

Sothys tangerine and ginger fall/winter seasonal facial calls upon notes of citrus, ginger, lavender, sweet caramel and vanilla combined with tangerine and ginger essential oils along with shea butter and filagrinol for softening effects.

According to Ms. Gallagher, Sothys will launch two seasonal facial products for 2008: a spring facial made of coconut and lemon, followed by a green tea and gingerbread facial for Fall 2008. The seasonal facials were launched in 2006 and have become a global success story, says Ms. Gallagher: “Facialists love their results and easy protocols. Customers like the brightness of their skin and the wonderful aromas.”

Professional treatment and medical skin care line Mesoestetic USA also offers an antidote for nature’s attack on skin with its new Winter Pack, a collection of clinical skin care products formulated to protect, nourish and moisturize skin during the harshest season of the year.

“Seasonal skin care packs are a great way of introducing your patient to new products and also educating them on how the needs of the skin change during different times of the year. It also opens up the door for discussion of in-office treatments according to different season changes in the climate,” notes Francisco Garcia Perez, pharmacist, chemist and medical director at Mesoestetic.

The Winter Pack features a variety of products: a cleansing milk containing botanically-sourced AHAs to remove makeup, dead skin cells and the day’s debris, while chamomile extract alpha-bisabolol soothes chapped skin with its inherent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties; a facial tonic comprised of cucumber extract and rose water to diminish redness caused by skin struggling to adjust from the cold outdoors to overheated rooms; an “anti-aging flash ampoule” that restores immediate radiance to skin with a dermal cocktail of bioactive ingredients including vitamins F and C, collagen, elastin and vegetal tensors; an eye lift product with horse chestnut extract  to shrink capillaries; phytic acid to brighten dark circles and a special concoction called Hydra Vital Factor K that is said to counteract winter’s drying effects on skin with a proprietary composition of ingredients.

A New Approach

In the coming year, multi-tasking products and post-procedure treatments will gain momentum, notes Ms. Russomanno of Kinerase. “Consumers are increasingly having professional procedures done, and they need products that are gentle, soothing and will not irritate already sensitive skin that has been treated…today’s fast-paced lifestyle requires products that perform double or even triple duty.”

According to Jean Shea, founder and chief executive officer of Biotone, a manufacturer of professional spa treatment products, facials are just part of a full-body experience coveted by consumers. She tells Happi: “We are seeing an emerging demand for results-driven massage treatments or massage protocols. Previously, when clients came to a spa for a massage, their needs were therapeutic. Now, they want a total treatment from the neck down.

“As a result, massage has expanded to a complete beauty treatment for the body. It has become a two-step process where the clinician is more apt to suggest a personalized body care treatment—a customized exfoliation to increase hydration—before the massage treatment.”

Biotone debuted its latest new releases—a Marine Therapy Pedi-Scrub and Marine Therapy Pedi-Balm—at the ISPA conference. Both treatments feature the company’s rejuvenating complex that smoothes  and softens the feet and lower legs, leaving a powdery, soft feel. The
products are designed for use separately or together for a spa pedicure treatment.

But the biggest trend in the industry is a new way of thinking about the skin, addressing it as the body’s largest organ utilizing an inclusive, whole body approach, notes Dr. Murad.

“Skin care treatments are not just about topical application of product. Treating the skin requires an internal approach, utilizing proper foods and nutrients and an emotional/lifestyle approach, reducing stress so skin becomes healthier,” he notes.

“There is really a focus on the importance of starting to take care of your skin at an early age,” echoes Dr. Gross. “We have the power to look into the future and know what to expect from our skin as we get older. “This knowledge provides us with the most effective way to make our skin look better than ever today and to keep it looking that way for a lifetime.”
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