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Industry Mourns Two Skin Care Innovators



Published August 2, 2013
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The skin care industry has lost two members who helped push the science to new levels with Retin-A and topical antioxidants.

Dr. James Edwin Fulton
Dr. James Edwin Fulton, Jr., a skin care innovator, has died after a battle with colon cancer. He was 73. 

Born in Ottumwa, IA, Fulton’s interest in dermatology stemmed from the acne struggles he endured as a pre-teen and throughout adulthood. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Tulane University in 1965.

While in residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Fulton met his close friend and mentor Dr. Albert Kligman; together they co-developed Retin-A. At the request of Dr. Phillip Frost, he relocated to South Florida and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry under the noted dermatologist Harvey Blank, M.D. from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in the early 1970s. Dr. Fulton and Dr. Blank developed benzoyl peroxide gel (Panoxyl) and topical erythromycin (E-Gel).

In the early 1970s with his wife Sara, Fulton launched a successful chain of 12 acne clinics called Acne Healthcare Centers, opened the Acne Research Institute and developed and manufactured a line of patented skin care products under the AHC and Face Upbrands in their FDA-approved manufacturing facilities. Here he invented a high-speed diamond fraise for dermabrasion and was the first to use aestheticians in the medical office developing a paramedical aesthetician training program. In 1990, Fulton opened JEF Medical Group, a cosmetic surgery and dermatology practice where he pioneered fat transfer and laser surgery and was the first to use hyperbaric oxygen chambers for post-surgical recovery.

In addition, in 1990, Fulton and Sara co-founded Vivant Skin Care, a clinical skin care line rooted in Fulton’s patented vitamin A therapies.

Dr. Sheldon Pinnell
Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, an internationally eminent scientist, dermatologist, leading scientist behind L’Oréal-owned SkinCeuticals, and J. Lamar Callaway, professor emeritus of dermatology and chief emeritus of the Division of Dermatology at Duke University, has died. He was 76.

Dr. Pinnell’s investigative research has changed the way the world uses topical antioxidants. 

As the founding father of topical antioxidants, he was the first to patent a stable form of vitamin C proven through peer-reviewed research to effectively penetrate skin, delivering eight times the skin’s natural antioxidant protection.

Before helping to shape the cosmeceutical industry, Dr. Pinnell led major advances in the understanding of skin biology and the pathogenesis of skin diseases. Early in his career, he made seminal contributions to the understanding of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and the role of vitamin C in collagen biosynthesis.

Dr. Pinnell has been globally recognized for his contributions to science and skin care, most recently receiving an honorary membership to the Society for Investigative Dermatology. 

He also received numerous medical and scientific awards including The Best Doctors in America, The International Who’s Who in Medicine,  Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in America. Dr. Pinnell has published more than 200 scientific articles on dermatology topics such as photoaging, collagen synthesis, UV protection, topical vitamin C, and other antioxidants. He also authored approximately 20 book chapters and holds 10 patents. 


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