Future Favorites

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | January 10, 2012

A look at innovative skin care brands making waves in the marketplace.

Skin care, the largest product class in the US cosmetics and toiletries market, increased between 3% and 4% in 2011, according to Kline & Company’s preliminary market projections. And consumers are willing to spend a little more on products they love, as particularly seen in the prestige category.

In the first half of 2011, prestige women’s and men’s skin care dollar sales increased 14% and 9%, respectively, compared to the first half of 2008, according to The NPD Group. And, with 35% of shoppers turning to at-home beauty treatments as opposed to spa treatments, noted SymphonyIRI in its recent Times & Trends report, medicine cabinets are expanding with crèmes, serums and other SKUs that treat common quandaries such as aging, sun damage, acne or even daily stress.

Happi scoured the marketplace for the latest brands that have a unique approach to skin care and are gaining ground (and shelf space) within healthy and beauty aisles across the nation.

Just What the Doctor Ordered


New York, NY



Key Personnel: Dr. Neal Schultz, Stuart Schultz

Major Products:Advanced Exfoliating Therapy Pads, Essential Solar Defense Pads SPF 30, Maximum Solar Defense Sheer Cream SPF 50, Protective Vitamin C Rescue Serum, Exfoliating Green Tea Complex SPF 20


Distribution: Online at www.beautyrx.com, OC Concept Store, New York, NY; Larchmont Laser Spa, Larchmont, NY; The Spa at Shooting Start, Teton Village, WY; Neal Schultz MD, New York.


After more than a decade of listening to his patients complain about ineffective skin care product, Dr. Neal Schultz of New York City created a skin care collection that has evolved into BeautyRx.


Dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz created BeautyRx as a result of client feedback.

According to Dr. Schultz, the range was produced by undergoing the world’s largest and longest patient trial—“consisting of over 100,000 patient visits, and still continues to evolve through the invaluable feedback I gain through over 10,000 patient visits to my office every year,” he explained.

“The 110,000 products sold to my patients, the high repurchase rate and the fact that I’ve received less than 100 returns assures me that I’m achieving the goal of delivering to my patients the healthier, younger looking and more beautiful skin they desire,” Schultz told Happi.

According to the dermatologist, he formulated BeautyRx by integrating this patient feedback with his experience in cosmetic dermatology, an understanding of chemistry and “unique access” to the newest advances in cosmeceutical ingredients available.

“This also enabled me to develop a set of proprietary compounds (Tetrafoliant, Hexatensity and Triantioix) to ensure that BeautyRx works quickly and effectively,” he said.

“BeautyRx takes a ‘big picture’ approach to skin care by going beyond the usual narrow focus that mainstream media and mass market brands place on lines and wrinkles, which often start with women who are in their late 30s or early 40s.”

Instead, in addition to treating fine lines, Schultz said that BeautyRx emphasizes treating the additional and hard to identify “ageless” problems of texture and color that affect women of all ages, starting as early as the teenage years and continuing for the rest of her life.

“With at home treatments, (women) can finally get the radiant skin they’ve always wanted,” he maintained.

According to Schultz, BeautyRx is positioned to treat all three of the major skin issues (color, texture and lines/wrinkles) by building the line around three daily essential skin care products: glycolic exfoliants for critically important exfoliation, sunscreens for daytime damage against the damaging UV rays of the sun and nighttime antioxidants for anti-aging properties. There are also cleanser and toners for cleaning and preparing the skin for the use of active ingredients, and specific treatment products to eliminate specific skin care issues.

Schultz also is an internet personality, hosting the Dermtv.com daily skin care show. For the collection particularly, BeautyRx features online streaming video sessions for customer feedback at BeautyRxLive.com—which in turn is helpful in progressing the brand itself as well as treating consumer skin care quandaries.

“BeautyRx will continue to be a line that evolves, responds and adjusts to what real consumers experience and need through these ongoing patient trials, but now consumers across the country can have access to the results that my patients have been seeing for the last decade,” said Schultz.

Magic for Men

Mënaji Skincare

Southport, CT



Key Personnel: James Fisher, CEO; Eric Groberg, CFO; Michele Probst, president and founder; Pamela Viglielmo, executive vice president


Major Products: 911 Eye Gel


New Products: Camo Concealer (January), Eraser Anti-Aging (Spring 2012)


Distribution: Warren-Tricomi Salon at the Plaza NYC, The Bathroom NYC, Nordstrom Nashville, other select boutiques; online at www.menaji.com, www.nordstrom.com


The idea for Mënaji came about in 2001 when celebrity makeup artist Michele Probst, who specialized in male clientele, found that the traditional “pancake” foundation and cover-up being used at the time was not “cutting it” on high-definition television. Her vision was to create a line of men’s cosmetics that would be natural and undetectable on camera and off, according to the company. The line has since expanded to include skin care products for men in addition to the original HDPV Anti-Shine Powder and Camo Concealer.

“Mënaji is unique in that it was the very first line to develop high definition powder and undetectable coverage for men that specifically addressed a clientele that was in front of the camera like celebrities, CEOs, politicians and athletes,” said Pamela Viglielmo, executive vice president of the company. “It was groundbreaking to have a line made precisely for a man’s specific skin care needs.”

According to Viglielmo, in 2010 a new management team was installed and this led the way to many improvements in the company and the efficacy in which it was run, which in turn, has contributed to its expansion and growth. The line was consolidated, and manufacturing and distribution processes were streamlined.

Most recently, Mënaji expanded to a new Nordstrom store in Nashville (where company president Michele Probst is a native) and the brand participated in red carpet events as well as Prostate Cancer Awareness charities. Celebrity fans of the brand include Kevin Bacon, Antonio Banderas, George Clooney and Johnny Depp.

Special plans for 2012 include increasing the presence of Mënaji at trade shows, marketing and sales events; expanding distribution; starting a sampling program and of course, working on extending the line, noted Viglielmo.


EmerginC products are formulated with plant-based preservatives.

‘C’ the Future of Skin Care


New York, NY



Key Personnel: Ian Lirenman, president and chief executive officer


Major Products: Vitamin C serum, multi-vitamin + retinol serum, protocell combat cream and eye cream


New Products: Scientific Organics eyelight cream and eyelight serum


Distribution: Available at leading spas nationwide and online via www.emerginc.com.


EmerginC started with a vitamin C serum out of founder Ian Lirenman’s then-studio apartment in Manhattan. Now, the natural cosmeceutical skin care collection is in nine countries and many top spas worldwide.

According to the company, EmerginC is formulated with natural plant-based preservatives instead of parabens. Its newly launched Scientific Organics range features a minimum of 70% organic ingredients in every item. Active ingredients include a wide variety of antioxidant-rich plant and marine extracts, including grape stem cells, spirulina, kombucha, goji berry, white and green teas, food grade seaweed, aloe, pine bark extract and vitamins. Scientific Organics is said to rapidly improve skin tone, texture and clarity as well as fight free-radical damage and combat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging.

The company also focuses on its ecological footprint. For every scientific organic product that is sold, EmerginC will plant a tree. All ingredients are sourced as naturally as possible and EmerginC does not test on animals or use animal ingredients. Plus, in its ongoing commitment to the environment, all outer boxes are printed on Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forest Initiative certified paperboard with non-toxic vegetable-based inks. The company is also a member of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

“We are really on a roll,” said Lirenman. “We are expanding our distribution beyond our existing international distribution in Canada, Australia and New Zealand to Holland, Kuwait, Dubai and, later this year, China. But, beyond that, we have reeled in a few really iconic properties right here at home—The Mayflower, considered to be one of the top hotels in the world; The Broadmoor, it’s been five stars for over 50 years; and the Beverly Hilton, the iconic hotel home to the Golden Globes.”

According to Lirenman, what really makes his company unique is its environmental efforts. “Our office runs on wind power, we pack orders in biodegradable packing ‘peanuts,’ we use non-toxic vegetable inks, print on paper from well-managed forests and, well, our products really do what they are supposed to.”

For 2012, EmerginC plans to expand its charitable initiatives and look for more ways to give back as it grows.

“I think 2012 is going to be our best year ever, as our brand continues to gain momentum,” Lirenman told Happi. “We have an incredible loyal, influential following and, thankfully, they spread the word all around the globe!”

-417 anti-aging skin care is big at Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Straight from the Sea

-417 Cosmetic Research Dead Sea Ltd.

Tel Aviv, Israel



Key Personnel: Moty Fridman, founder


Major Products: -417 MiracleImmediate Wrinkle Filler,-417 Recovery Mud Mask


New Products: -417 Whitening & Firming Hand Cream; -417 Agile Purifying Mud Mask; -417 Multi Mineral Dry Oil; and in 2012, -417 Mineral Makeup.

Distribution: Sold internationally in more than 15 countries through department stores, perfumeries, cosmetic chains and leading spa and hotel facilities; in the US at select Look boutique locations at Duane Reade and Walgreens; online distribution at www.minus417.com


The company derives is unique name, -417, from where it sources its materials. At 417 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth. -417 is also a skin care brand that specializes in combining “ancient knowledge with high technology. The collection is comprised of 35 SKUs for both men and women, including skin and body care. Prices range between $14-$92.

According to the company, -417 products utilize a vitamin mineral complex, a scientific combination of natural active components such as moisture-balancing minerals from the Dead Sea and plant extracts from France designed to assist in regenerating skin cells and preventing signs of aging.

While working as a real estate marketer at the Dead Sea, company founder Moty Fridman was approached by investors to start a skin care line.

“During my time as a real estate marketer, I watched thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Dead Sea to experience the remarkable unique minerals work wonders on their skin,” he explained. “When beginning the cosmetics line, my task was to then research, create a concept and find the right people to build this new skin care company. As a sculptor, aesthetics is of the utmost importance me. I am a perfectionist. With this, came the unique -417 product line with a philosophy of creating change— reflected in the immediate results after using our products.”

After four years, Fridman bought the company and became the only shareholder. Today, -417 has grown into a global skin care brand sold in more than 15 countries including France, Switzerland, Russia, Denmark and Argentina. Annual sales last year were $45 million. Now, the brand is available in the US at Look boutiques in Duane Reade and Walgreens stores.

“In introducing -417 to the US, we allow women the option of buying high-performance cosmetics line at their local retail chain—a place where women may not have thought to purchase upscale products,” said Friedman.

For 2012, Friedman’s goal is to continue to expand the brand and make the products available in all Look boutique stores, department stores, luxury pharmacies and perfumeries nationwide. At press time, the brand was added to two more Walgreens locations in New York City: W. 51st St. and 155 E. 34th St. at Third Avenue. In 2012, the brand will add a line of anti-aging foundations and cosmetics.


LaseResults was inspired by laser treatments.

The Power of Light

Alethia, LLC (LaseResults)

Ardmore, PA



Key Personnel: Eric F. Bernstein, MD, president and CEO; Joe Gubernick, MS, key advisor, product development and R&D; Alan Gubernick, CFO

Major Products: Night Time Duo:PM Focused Repair Lotion/Calm and Restore Serum; AM Repair and Protect SPF 30.


Distribution: Shop NBC, LaseResults.com, with plans to expand in 2012.


Created by laser surgeon and scientist Dr. Eric Bernstein, LaseResults is a daily skin care regimen inspired by the benefits of laser surgery and designed to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin and protect against harmful free radicals, according to the company.

The six-SKU collection works in unison to deliver real, visible results. Key products are formulated with Dr. Bernstein’s patent-pending CRV-8 Complex—a distinctive blend of ingredients including citric acid, hyaluronic acid, murumuru butter, whey protein, licorice root extract, resveratrol, hydroxyproline and palmitoyl oligpeptide/palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. The skin care range is also fragrance-, sulfate-, paraben- and oil-free.

“I decided to start my own company with much reservation, since I know how much work is involved,” Bernstein told Happi. “I’ve been a consultant to numerous large cosmetic companies in the past, but wasn’t able to find exactly what I was looking for from any of the companies out there. Aesthetician and patients were constantly asking me for advice on what skin care products to use. I was finally convinced by my fellow laser surgeons and researchers I consulted for to do it our way.”

Thus, the LaseResults brand was born—inspired by the results of laser surgery and drawing on more than 20 years of research experience Bernstein amassed while studying how the sun damages and ages skin. Over the years, Bernstein developed numerous patents for anti-aging compounds and methods of identifying these compounds, he added.

“Together with the group at LaseResults, we have developed products that actually work, as evidenced by clinical testing,” he said. “Being a scientist, I need to see data from clinical testing at reputable laboratories.”

Future plans for the company include expanded distribution for 2012. LaseResults debuted on ShopNBC at the end of November.

LaFace boasts multi-tasking skin care SKUs.

Girl Power

LaFace Laboratories, Inc.

San Francisco, CA



Key Personnel: Lisa Alexander


Major Products: LaFace Cellular Regeneration Cream, LaFace Efface


New Products: Cellular Regeneration Cream, Efface, Hydrating & Purifying Serum, Hydrating & Firming Body Lotion, Beaux Yeux Concentrate Intensive.


Distribution: Stanley Korshak, Fred Segal, Epi Med Spa, www.lafacelaboratories.com


In this world of big business, with its layers of management and corporate boards, LaFace is a bit of an anomaly—it is run by just one person. In the search to develop efficacious anti-aging products using high quality natural ingredients, former model and green living enthusiast Lisa Alexander—who describes herself as “a single girl with a big dream”—launched LaFace Laboratories Inc., a range of luxury, certified organic skin care products that effectively reduce the signs of aging, according to the company.

Each product has more than one function, addressing all skin care concerns. All SKUs are certified organic, natural and kosher, as well as FDA-, NPA-, NPPA- and QIA-approved. Retail prices range from $60 to $300. The company’s mission statement is, “Mastering the art of age reversal through what nature has given and what science has perfected."

“I feel like I have used every single product available on the market and I couldn’t find anything that worked,” said Alexander. “I don’t believe in using synthetic ingredients, but there wasn’t anything in the world of organic and natural skin care that gave me the results I wanted.”

The brand is currently distributed in regionally targeted high end, luxury specialty retail establishments and premium medical spas in San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles. Beginning in 2012, LaFace plans to increase its visibility in Atlanta, Palm Beach, Chicago, New York, Seattle and Arizona.

“During the next 12 months, we intend to go into the larger metropolitan cities and find what fits best with the LaFace brand, and where our clients need us to be,” said Alexander. “We also plan to launch a few additional products and expand our market.”


SciDerma Medical’s Vitaphenol collection utilizes the power of antioxidants.

Antioxidants for Anti-Aging

SciDerma Medical (Vitaphenol Skin Care Collection)

Doylestown, PA



Key Personnel:Doug Neale, CEO


Major Products: Vitaphenol Cellu-structure Rejuvenating Serum


Distribution: Online atwww.vitaphenol.com,www.dermstore.com; select retail outlets and dermatologist offices


SciDerma Medical, a new specialty cosmeceutical and dermatology company, acquired the exclusive North American licensing rights for the Vitaphenol Skin Care Collection in 2010 from Avidas Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held business focused on the therapeutic areas of dermatology, women’s health and endocrinology. What makes this skin care collection unique is its innovative combination of high-potency, medically-compounded antioxidants, according to the company.

“SciDerma Medical was created specifically to launch Vitaphenol and focus on new and exciting skin care products,” said CEO Doug Neale. “What makes SciDerma different is that is avoids the ‘smoke and mirrors’ that most companies employ and promotes products that are validated by science and clinical studies. Bringing the best of beauty and science together.”

The Vitaphenol Skin Care collection includes a “highly effective” line of products, including Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, Anti-Aging Toner, Daily Defense Cream, Sheer and Fortified Moisturizers, Oil-Free Anti-Aging Concentrated Serum and Cellu-structure Rejuvenating Serum.

According to Neale, the products feature mangosteen, a new antioxidant powerhouse with high levels of xanthones, which exceed the antioxidant powers of vitamins C or E; pomegranate, an intensive antioxidant that has been clinically demonstrated to topically boost sun protection; and green and white teas, fundamental polyphenol antioxidants whose importance is long established, and which are found in the Vitaphenol Complex in pure forms.

“What also makes the brand noteworthy is that it’s supported by published clinical studies in peer-reviewed literature that demonstrated its ability to protect against free radicals, regenerate cellular growth, and heal and repair from the cellular level,” said Neale. “Study results also demonstrated that participants noticed a visible difference in skin texture, improvement in elasticity, increase in skin hydration and a decrease in fine lines and wrinkles.”

For example, Vitaphenol with Cellustructure Rejuvenating Serum harnesses the power of Vitaphenol Complex, a TGF-Beta1 chemical messenger that demonstrates a profound visible reduction in lines and wrinkles and a 7.5% concentration of highly stabilized L-ascorbic acid, which is important to maintain elasticity and texture, noted Neale.

“The Vitaphenol Skin Care Collection delivers measurable results and is an ideal complement to cosmetic procedures before, after, and in between such procedures,” he said.

Cellure SPF 15 day cream

Stem Cell FormulationHits Stateside


New York, NY



Key Personnel: Esther Chang


Major Products: Restart Skin Cleanser, Recode Balancing Toner, Regenerate Serum Booster, Rework Eye Treatment, Rebuild AM Day Cream and Recover PM Night Cream.


Distribution: Available at the flagship store in Soho, New York and online via www.cellureskincare.com


Cultivated from adult human stem cells, Cellure applies a new science to skin care. According to the company, formulas contain unprecedented amounts of stem cells to create the key ingredient Lipotein, a pure protein complex.

According to COO Esther Chang, the stem cell research facility RNL Bio of South Korea developed the Cellure line based on its findings. She explained, “Due to the success of Dr. Jucre Skin Care [RNL Bio’s flagship brand], the company wanted to expand the brand with their key patented ingredient [Lipotein] and foster the first adult human stem cell line in the US. Cellure was then created in line with US market and demographics.”

Jessica Sappenfield, Cellure’s general manager, tells Happi that what makes her company unique is that it applies a new science to skin care.

“We only cultivate our proteins from adult human stem cells—not animal-based, embryonic or artificial. Through a proprietary process that multiplies adipose tissue stem cells, our key ingredient, Lipotein is made—a pure protein complex unlike any other on earth. With five patents and one powerful response to what ails skin, Cellure works to reverse cell degradation, increase cell regeneration, infuse moisture and smooth wrinkles. We are bringing a new perspective to the age-old problem of time.”

According to Sappenfield, the Cellure retail experience is as cutting edge as its technology.

“Reinventing the wheel from our flagship in New York’s Soho, our products come to life with touch, sight, hearing and smell in personal product suites. Semi-private spaces bring you through a self-guided, step-by-step introduction with hands-on trial and mirrored video graphic installation,” she explained. “Each person will identify the needs of their skin, try the products, and learn what’s happening at their skin’s cellular level. Equipped with sinks and mirrors, these areas let you truly experience the product while teaching you precisely how it is working with your skin, at and below the surface.

For 2012, the company is currently looking into opening locations on the West Coast of the US and possibly Asia. Sappenfield said itis interested in working with “qualified professionals” such as dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medical spas to make the line more readily available to the public.


Omega 5 antioxidants are key in all Pomega5 skin care products.

Powered by Pomegranate


San Anselmo, CA



Key Personnel: Tzeira Sofer, founder and CEO


Major Products: Daily Revitalizing Concentrate, Healing Cream, Bois de Rose Velvet Hydrating Cream, Bulgarian Rose Moisturizing Bar


New Products: Vanille-Citron Crème


Working with doctors and experts on healing plants, Tzeira Sofer developed Pomega5 based on ancient recipes and support from the latest scientific research to help people achieve healthier skin and a healthier body, she said. All of the Pomega5 products feature the Omega 5 antioxidant, extracted from cold-pressed pomegranate seed oil and the only known botanical form of conjugated linolenic acid (CLnA). This immune-support compound is known to override inflammatory responses of the skin and in recent studies, has been shown to stimulate cell production and promote regeneration of the epidermis.

Based in Marin County, CA, Pomega, Inc. offers the first complete line of therapeutic skin care made with organic, cold-pressed pomegranate seed oil, according to the company. A skin care system based on biodynamic botanicals and rare Omega 5 oil extracted from pomegranate seeds, the Pomega5 line has been formulated to reflect a balanced combination of essential fatty acids, botanical extracts and essential oils—completely without the use of any parabens, petrochemicals, fillers or synthetics.

One of Pomega5’s bestsellers, the Healing Cream, was recognized as a top 10 finalist in the CEW Eco Beauty Awards in 2011 for its environmentally friendly formulation and packaging.

In November (in celebration of Pomegranate Month), Pomega5 rolled out Vanille-Citron Crème ($75), a new skin firming formulation that breaks down fat cells and minimizes the appearance of cellulite. Made in small batches, the crème features Tahitian vanilla, grape seed oil, carrot seed oil, caffeine and rusko extract, and omega 5 filled pomegranate seed oil.

“We’ve added new products to the Pomega5 family to provide a more complete spectrum of skin care so we can better address different skin issues and needs,” said Sofer. “All of our products feature our signature pomegranate seed oil, and work on the cellular level to naturally transform your skin… originally developed in my kitchen, this line has come a long way but it continues to stay true to its roots and remains 100% pure.”

Pomega5 is available at select spas, including Bliss Spa (New York and California locations, catalog and online), as well as at health/wellness stores nationwide, select online retailers and www.Pomega5.com

ACMG acquired Sarah McNamara’s Miracle Skin Transformer products in 2011.

Miracle Worker

Sarah McNamara Beauty

New York, NY



Key Personnel: Sarah McNamara, founder and CEO


Major Products: Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20, Miracle Skin Transformer Men

New Products: Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal and Miracle Skin Transformer Body SPF 20


Distribution: Available at Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora stores nationwide, online via www.sephora.com and www.miracleskintransformer.com.

Miracle Skin Transformer’s range of products, created by beauty industry veteran Sarah McNamara in 2010, is designed to modernize the steps of every woman’s skin care routine, offering time-saving, results-oriented, multifunctional products that deliver instant results, according to the company.

Sephora, which stocks the brand nationwide in its stores, touts the product for the following reasons.

“Each revolutionary formula contains natural active complexes that offer protection and hydration benefits, giving you a smooth, radiant, airbrushed-like complexion in just seconds,” according to the website. “These all-in-one beauty hybrids work to improve your skin’s texture, reduce the appearance of pores, smooth and minimize the appearance of fine lines, and reduce hyperpigmentation. Miracle Skin Transformer will simplify the routines of those with even the most active schedules. Hydrate, enhance, and protect in one single step.”

Atlantic Coast Media Group (ACMG) acquired Sarah McNamara’s Miracle Skin Transformer in August, thus adding to its list of established beauty brands that include Hydroxatone (featured in last year’s Up & Coming Skin Care article), Keranique, Luminique and DNA. Sarah McNamara Beauty New York is operating as a new division at ACMG that houses the Miracle Skin Transformer line. The parent company, which is one of the larger television and radio advertisers in the US, has annual sales of $200 million.

ACMG co-founder/CEOs Thomas Shipley and Andrew Surwilo are enthusiastic about the road ahead. Said Surwilo: “What Sarah McNamara has been able to accomplish with Miracle Skin Transformer over the last 18 months is remarkable. Our goal is to maintain the brand’s distinctiveness and augment its reach with our unique distribution model and national media campaigns.”

Last September, only one year after the brand’s inception, Miracle Skin Transformer gained distribution at Sephora stores nationwide. Two new products in the Miracle Skin Transformer range will be introduced in early 2012.

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