Skin Care Saviors

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | March 1, 2012

OTC/medicated products offer relief from common skin quandaries.

Co-pays can be expensive—especially for the average family of four that visits specialists regarding eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, acne vulgaris or other skin conditions. Therefore, a quick trip to the over-the-counter (OTC) section of the neighborhood drug store can temporarily quell the skin malady at hand with a tube of gel or tub of crème.

Sales of first aid treatments, including anti-itch creams and first aid ointments, in food, drug and mass-market outlets (excluding Walmart) rose 1.7% to $811.7 million for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 27, 2011, according to data from SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm. Acne treatments increased 2.1% to $392.9 million, while external analgesic rubs jumped 6.9% to $300.5 million.

A poor economy may be driving growth in at-home treatments. According to Mintel, consumers are looking for alternatives to costly visits to the doctor, so they turn to DIY remedies for relatively minor ailments. Additionally, the youth population continues to “prop up” the acne skin care market.

Supply and Demand

Thanks to the internet and the beauty magazines, customers today are better educated and more savvy than ever. Yet, according to Dr. Katie Rodan, co-creator of Proactiv, San Francisco, CA, and adjunct associate clinical professor of dermatology at Stanford University, “they have grown weary of the confusion created by the proliferation of products all advertising a ’10-minute total skin transformation.’”

“My patients have tried these products and have been burned literally and figuratively by the hype. They have come to realize that there is no miracle molecule that will immediately fix their skin concern and that high price doesn’t necessarily correlate with improved results,” she told Happi. “Shoppers are willing to follow a simple skin care routine as long as they see visible improvement day by day. Of course, products that are elegantly formulated and smell great help people to adhere to a routine. And we all know that compliance is critical to reaping the benefits from a great product.”

“Consumers are looking for efficacious formulas at a reasonable price point. No one wants to go through the trouble of seeing a doctor and getting a prescription for a topical treatment, so it is really important to have products that deliver results that you want at an affordable price point and at a local store or online,” said Jennifer Higgins, founder of Miss Oops, Dallas, TX, a skin care line that touts solutions for common quandaries such as spider veins (You’re Not So Vein) and redness (Reign In Rosacea).

Laura Mahecha, industry manager, healthcare, Kline & Company, Parsippany, NJ, told Happi that shoppers seek hands-free topical products that offer relief “without their hands getting dirty.” Therefore, roll-ons, spray-ons and transdermal patches are popular as they allow for application of the medicine without the need for the consumer’s hands to touch the medicine.

She added that when it comes to topical analgesics, consumers “already expect” fragrance-free products. Smaller sizes and more portable product forms are also popular, such as Neosporin To Go.
And, while the US traditional nonprescription drugs industry registered an average CAGR of 2.5% between 2005-2010, the market for natural over-the-counter (OTC) remedies has grown at a CAGR of 5.9% a year for the past three years, according to the research study “Natural OTCs 2011: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market” by Kline.

With nearly 40% of consumers currently using more natural OTCs than in the previous year, the natural trend, already well established in the personal care industry, has set roots in the OTC market as consumers gravitate toward natural products. This correlates with the finding that 47% of US consumers believe natural OTCs to be as effective as traditional OTCs.

“I think consumers are looking for effective natural products for a reasonable price. No one likes wasting money on ineffective creams and lotions that were falsely advertised, and there are lots of them out there. People prefer natural products to synthetic—though that’s not always the best thing for their skin,” noted Rebecca Baxt, MD, MBA, FAAD, board certified dermatologist, Baxt Cosmedical, Paramus, NJ and assistant professor of clinical dermatology at NYU. “There are a lot of hot ingredients out there, but many are unproven. OTC products need little research to get approved for use, they are not like FDA-approved medications that are tested.”

Pain Relief Plus

Ben•Gay Cold Therapy features Pro-Cool Technology.
Whether recovering from an injury, treating sore muscles or just suffering from the aches and pains of everyday activities, millions reach for Ben•Gay products to soothe tired muscles. The latest innovation at Ben•Gay headquarters is Cold Therapy, a vanishing scent gel that features Pro-Cool Technology, a formula that combines the pain relieving power of menthol, an OTC topical pain relieving ingredient, with cooling benefits to alleviate the minor aches and pains associated with muscle strain, arthritis, backache, bruises and sprains, according to the company.

Another recent rollout is Ben•Gay Pain Relief + Massage, a specially designed massaging applicator combined with the brand’s pain-relieving formula that provides a targeted, no mess way to directly treat sore and tender areas of the body like the back, neck, knee and shoulders.

Meanwhile, Icy Hot, another leader in OTC products ($69.8 million in sales, according to SymphonyIRI), launched Icy Hot Naturals, with its tagline “Pain Relief...Powered by Nature.” According to the company, natural menthol works fast on tough pain along with the soothing extracts of essential oils, giving a “fresh, clean scent.” Other 2011 innovations at parent company Chattem, a leader in the OTC/medicated skin care sector, include the relaunch of Balmex Daily Skin Protectant as Balmex Multi-Purpose Healing Ointment, which features petrolatum as the main ingredient at 51.1%; Cortizone-10 Hydratensive Healing Anti-Itch Lotion for Hands & Body, a fragrance-free natural aloe formulation with 1% hydrocortisone for anti-itch aid; and Gold Bond Sheer Ribbons Body Lotions in Pearl Radiance and Silk Softness to complement its anti-itch formulations for extra moisturization.

Also big in the anti-itch category is Aveeno, known for the usage of colloidal oatmeal in its products ($17.1 million in sales, according to SymphonyIRI). Its newest development is the Skin Relief collection, for long-lasting, intense moisture that helps relieve itchy, extra-dry skin, according to the company. The line provides a protective barrier to help prevent future dryness providing moisture that lasts for up to 24 hours. The collection is formulated with soothing Active Naturals triple oat complex, which contains colloidal oatmeal for itch relief, oat essence to soothe skin, and oat oil to moisturize skin. J&J added a couple of new SKUs to the Aveeno line during the winter. Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream is a fragrance-free blend. It has a non-greasy feel but it is extra hydrating to target rough spots like elbows, knees and heels. Also new is Aveeno Skin Relief Medicated Anti-Itch Treatment, a cooling menthol formula that temporarily relieves itching associated with minor skin irritations. This concentrated ointment helps prevent recurring dryness for up to 24 hours and is free of hydrocortisone and steroids, according to the company.

Neosporin’s newest novelty is Neosporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream, clinically shown to restore visibly healthier skin in three days and relieve dry, itchy skin due to eczema on contact. Steroid- and fragrance-free, it is National Eczema Association accepted with active ingredients of 1% colloidal oatmeal.

A similar concept in the prestige market, First Aid Beauty, is rolling out its Ultra Repair Concentrate this month. The face and body balm blends beeswax, oils, botanical antioxidants like licorice root and reparative ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal and allantoin. 

FixMySkin Healing Balms
FixMySkin, a new contender in the OTC/medicated marketplace created by Dr. Joel Schlessinger and beauty marketer LovelySkin.com, offers an innovative solution to several, all-too-common skin problems. The unique formulation of a medicated balm containing 1% hydrocortisone can be used to treat dry skin, chapped lips, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, poison ivy, seborrheic dermatitis and allergic skin reactions to cosmetics and other products, according to the company. Hydrocortisone, the bedrock of the FixMySkin balms, has properties that help heal rather than merely moisturize the skin, and the special formulation allows for a higher level of effectiveness than plain hydrocortisone creams. In addition, a unique combination of waxes and hydrocortisone results in a product with a different melting point than any other product already on the market, allowing it to remain solid even when warm.

The FixMySkin balms, sold online, are available in vanilla and a flavorless option and come in three sizes for body, lips and face.

According to Joel Schlessinger, MD, FAAD, FAACS, president, Lovely Skin Inc., Omaha, NE, it took many tries to get the formulations exactly right for these products.

“Hydrocortisone 1% is the ingredient in our FixMySkin balms and it has been over the counter for many years as a cream and an ointment. There was one lip balm that contained it, but in a petrolatum base, which limited its adoption due to taste issues,” he explained. “Additionally, it went on in a somewhat messy manner, so when we started to formulate our balm, we looked for two characteristics as a goal: better taste and better glide on the skin. The glide factor is quite important as this would allow us to have a product that could be adopted for full body use rather than lips alone.

“The outcome of our search was that there wasn’t any petrolatum in our product and the composition was essential oil-based. This allowed for natural products, such as cocoa butter and a variety of other oils. The taste was improved greatly and this allowed our compliance rates to be much better.”

Another independent company, Forces of Nature, is bulking up its roster with two new products designed for migraine relief and headache relief. The first of the new SKUs is Migraine Pain Management, a migraine remedy. It features a proprietary blend of certified organic ingredients.
Applied by users to the temples and back of the neck, it is absorbed through the skin, providing targeted, fast relief to those suffering from migraine pain, according to the company. The Headache Pain Management formula is designed for relief from acute tension and sinus headaches, and is both strong and fast acting. It too is certified by the USDA as fully organic, and includes homeopathic compounds known for healing properties. These are purported to have both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, to treat both the underlying cause of the pain and provide immediate headache relief.

Meanwhile, medicated lip care is always popular in OTC/medicated skin care. For lips, Blistex recently added two products to its arsenal—Blistex Revive & Restore, and to comfort dry, chapped lips with Blistex Cold & Allergy Lip Soother. According to the brand, Blistex Cold & Allergy Lip Soother won’t cure sniffles or a cold, but it will comfort lips that feel “under the weather.” With its comforting extracts, emollients and an advanced analgesic, this formula alleviates lip discomfort and brings relief to those experiencing allergies, a cold or the flu, said the company. Blistex Revive & Restore is a dual solution that takes lips from dull and tired to healthy and refreshed. It delivers a customized two-jar rejuvenation approach that’s as unique as an individual’s lips. The Revive version is said to be perfect to kick start the morning or whenever lips need refreshing. Revive contains the natural benefits of shea butter and fruit extracts to leave lips smooth and invigorated. It also provides dermatologist-recommended SPF 15 for protection from the damaging effects of UVB rays.

In the evening, or whenever lips need to be softened and revitalized, the Restore formula can be used to combat rough and dull looking lips caused by the rigors of the day. Leveraging the antioxidant power of phyto-nutrients and nourishing vitamin E, Restore helps lips look healthy and radiant.
Designed to be used jointly or independently, Revive & Restore’s two nesting jars allow for a customized beauty routine. Users can separate them to carry one throughout the day while leaving the other where needed, or they can carry them together to use simultaneously for the ultimate in protection, moisturization and revitalization.

And, in the redness fighting sector, Galderma Laboratories, L.P. recently launched a pump dispenser design for MetroGel (metronidazole) gel, 1%, which it calls the most powerful strength of topical metronidazole available in a gel to treat the inflammatory lesions (bumps and blemishes) associated with rosacea. The MetroGel 1% Pump, which the US Food and Drug Administration approved in October 2011, is now available by prescription to patients in pharmacies nationwide.

“MetroGel 1% is the most widely prescribed branded topical medication for rosacea by physicians, and it makes sense to provide this proven treatment to patients in a way that suits their desire for more convenience,” said dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at University of California Los Angeles’s Geffen School of Medicine Debra B. Luftman, MD, who is based in Beverly Hills, CA. “Not only will the pump make it simpler for patients to use the treatment, it may help provide consistent dosing so that patients use the correct amount of medication. I also think that these types of packaging advances help my patients more readily comply with the treatment regimens that I prescribe.”
In the Clear (Skin, that Is)

Handheld devices may be all the rage in skin care, but Reckitt Benckiser is looking to take hands out of product delivery with its new Clearasil PerfectaWash, out this month in stores. The new automatic face wash dispenser uses a sensor to dose out the perfect amount of product when the consumer places her hands underneath the unit. Clearasil PerfectaWash Automatic Face Wash Dispenser & Refills includes two variants—Superfruit Splash and Soothing Plant Extracts. Both are formulated with maximum strength acne medication (2% salicylic acid) and are dermatologist tested. The Superfruit Splash formula features raspberry and cranberry extracts, Soothing Plant includes ingredients that are known to calm and help reduce redness. The refills are also available for purchase individually.

X Out is new from Guthy-Renker.
The makers of Proactiv are looking to make having acne a total washout—with a new one-step, anti-breakout product for teens. X Out ($24.95) features a “Wash-In” delivery system with benzoyl peroxide (8.5%) and “smooth beads” to help exfoliate dead skin cells. X Out is dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and is paraben- and sulfate-free, so it’s suitable for all skin types, according to the company.

“Proactiv has been a leader in acne prevention and treatment for more than 15 years,” explained Seth Radwell, chief marketing officer of Guthy-Renker, LLC, the company that markets Proactiv. “We saw an unmet need in the skin care market—some teens need a simple, one-step solution that makes it easy for them to get proven acne treating medicine into their pores.”

Another major anti-acne rollout this past year was P&G’s Olay Professional Pro-X Clear. Billed as a professionally designed, total skin care solution for adults that brings acne under control for consistently clear skin, the collection is also said to minimize the appearance of pores and refine texture in as little as four weeks.

Soap & Glory—founded by Marcia Kilgore, the serial entrepreneur behind Bliss Spa and FitFlop—is also rolling out acne-fighting SKUs this spring. Soap & Glory Dr. Spot Invisible Spot-Fighting Gel features salicylic and lactic acids to clear clogged pores, while Soap & Glory Greatest Scrub Of All Facial Exfoliator utilizes “super-gentle” silicami particles and scrub beads loaded with salicylic acid to smooth skin the more you scrub. Also, Benefit is relaunching its popular Boo Boo Zap SKU this May. The formulation, now with salicyclic and glycolic acids, is said to be fast-acting and dries invisible.

Smaller players are also stepping up to join the anti-acne fray. Neova, a clinical skin care company that uses Copper Peptide Complex technology in its products, is bulking up its portfolio with BreakOut Control Swabs. According to the company, these swabs act as precise spot-treatments for blemished and acne-prone skin and are formulated with maximum-strength 2% salicylic acid and calming botanicals to clear/calm whiteheads and blackheads and control future breakouts. Allantoin helps to shed the outer layer of the epidermis, promote healthy tissue formation and soften skin; while hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) reduces flakiness and restores suppleness to the skin.

Meanwhile, Cane + Austin Acne Treatment Pads are the only acne product available that has pharmaceutical grade glycolic and salicylic acid in one treatment pad, according to the company. The usage of salicylic acid 2% helps to reduce the number of acne blemishes and blackheads while allowing the skin to heal, according to the company. A powerful blend of liposomal vitamins A, C, E, CoQ10 and antioxidants work together to help protect skin against free radical damage, while witch hazel helps to tone and tighten the skin.

Advancements in OTC

Health care costs keep on rising, while affordable access to medical care keeps falling. It puts pressure on manufacturers to take more products over the counter and offer more OTC alternatives to individuals who can’t or won’t be able to afford a medical interaction in the upcoming years, noted Schlessinger of LovelySkin, Inc.

Mahecha of Kline sees segment growth by way of travel-sized SKUs and independent marketers.
“Safe, effective medicated skin care products that are offered in small, portable sizes where the application is clean and easy are preferred by consumers in this category,” she told Happi. “In general, there is not as much private label or store brand penetration in topical products, since consumers will continue to use brands that work for them without seeking lower priced alternatives.”

Higgins of Miss Oops sees OTC integrating into the ethnic skin care category.

“We’re going to see more medicated skin care products specifically designed for women in various countries and with different ethnic backgrounds who have the same skin issues,” she said. “Advances in products are becoming so sophisticated, and now more than ever, there are formulas targeted for certain nationalities.”

Ultimately, the overall trend will be to study over the counter products and “leverage what is possible to leverage in order to effect positive changes and outcomes for the skin in a cost-conscious manner,” said Schlessinger.

'Glee' Star is Newest Face of Proactiv

• Joining a star-studded lineup of current Proactiv celebrity customers-turned-spokespeople—including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne and Julianne Hough—is Naya Rivera, star of the hit television show “Glee,” who has signed on to share her unique experience as a Proactiv user. She will appear in several new Proactiv television spots, debuting in spring 2012.

“I am excited to be a part of a show that encourages teens and young adults to embrace their differences and be proud of who they are as an individual, which is exactly why I am honored to represent Proactiv,” she said. “Working with Proactiv will allow me to take that self confidence message a step further by helping individuals tackle their acne and literally put their best face forward.”

A Proactiv user in high school, she loved the way it made her skin glow. Naya has once again turned to Proactiv products to effectively clear her skin of recent blemishes and breakouts while on set, on tour and at home.

With micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide, Proactiv directly targets some of the primary causes of acne—bacteria, oil production and dead skin cell build up—to clear existing blemishes, soothe inflammation and help to prevent new breakouts. Proactiv has a complete line of products, beyond the iconic 3-Step System, formulated specifically for acne prone skin including moisturizers, sunscreens, spot treatments and body washes.

More info: www.proactiv.com

A Nail Polish for Healty Nails

• Billed as a natural nail fungus treatment, Dr.’s Remedy is a new line of doctor-inspired cosmetics enriched with naturally occurring anti-fungal ingredients such as tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, vitamins C and E and wheat protein. Said to promote healthier, stronger nails, it is the first nail polish on the market created by doctors and approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

The birth of Dr.’s Remedy began with a warning: New York podiatrist Dr. Adam Cirlincione’s wife was pregnant and was advised against using hair dyes, being exposed to certain chemicals and eating potentially-hazardous foods. He began researching the ingredient lists on his wife’s favorite cosmetics, and found that her nail polish appeared problematic. Cirlincione partnered with friend and fellow New York podiatrist Dr. William Spielfogel to develop an enriched nail polish. Today, the anti-fungal yet colorful collection is sold online as well as high-end spas and doctors’ offices.

More info:

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