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Cosmeceuticals: The Gateway to Invasive Treatments?

November 4, 2013

According to new research from Toronto, CA-based Millennium Research Group (MRG), cosmeceuticals often serve as a comfortable intermediate phase between basic skin care routines and actual cosmetic procedures for those initially uncomfortable with the idea of more invasive aesthetic treatments. In fact, MRG contends the most likely treatment pathway for new aesthetics patients is to start with physician-dispensed cosmeceuticals and then go on to chemical peels and further to facial injectables.

Cosmeceuticals can be a gateway to more invasive treatment options, and physicians play a large role in helping patients decide on a treatment regimen. Manufacturers of cosmeceuticals who offer the right products and proper support to physicians can help them drive growth in their practices, and develop physician loyalty, according to MRG.

MRG contends there is a price point at which patients balk at the initial purchase of a package of cosmeceuticals. Physicians prefer to dispense packages containing three to five products, specifically incorporating sunscreen, cleanser and moisturizer in order to provide a range of treatments at a reasonable initial cost. This, along with availability of marketing materials, free samples or trial sizes, and reliable clinical data, were what physicians identified as essential to establishing brand loyalty.

“More manufacturers are offering their products directly to customers, using online resources. Physicians, who have long served as the gatekeepers for cosmeceutical use, are seeing a hit to their revenues. These new channels might generate increased sales for the manufacturer at the cost of the physician relationships that provide patients with the information and encouragement they need to try the other aesthetic treatments these manufacturers offer,” noted senior analyst Carmen Chan.

The information comes via “From Cosmeceuticals to Invasive Aesthetic Treatments: An Analysis of Patient Treatment Pathways in the US,” a new report from MRG’s Physician Forum series.

Results are based on surveys that were conducted in July 2013 and included more than 450 patients who are currently purchasing physician-dispensed cosmeceuticals, receiving aesthetic treatments or both. The survey report provides information about cosmeceutical use and the perceptions of various cosmeceutical brands.

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