Acne, for instance, takes an emotional toll on people. According to the results of a study that was recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology, people with acne are at a higher risk for developing depression. The study spanned 15 years and showed that the probability of developing depression was 18.5% among those with acne and 12% in those without. The study discovered a higher risk for depression occurred during the first five years after the acne diagnosis, with the risk being highest in the first year.
“Effectively treating acne not only results in clear skin, but also has the potential to improve mental health outcomes,” noted Dr. Michele J. Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group, which has offices in Manhattan and throughout the greater New York area. “People want clear skin. It makes a big difference in how they feel about themselves.”
Farber said she tends to be more aggressive treating acne in its early stages. “We are treating a lot of acne cases, medically and cosmetically.”
Medically, Farber often relies on a several therapies such as combination creams, tretinoin, and blue and red light. She also recommends using at-home light therapy masks.
Among over-the-counter formulations, Farber said the right treatment depends on skin needs. Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide and even OTC retinol, all have applications in treating acne, according to Farber. She recommends benzoyl peroxide for inflammatory acne and spot treatments, while salicylic acid and glycolic acid are preferred to treat redness and even skin tones. Farber added that choosing the right acne formula depends on how sensitive the user’s skin.
“There are great OTC products out there, but they must be used appropriately,” she warned. “Improper use can make acne worse.”
Farber added that a healthy skin care regimen that includes a gentle, hydrating cleanser and non-comedogenic products are important, too.
Acne isn’t the only emotionally-draining skin malady, others on that list include rosacea and atopic dermatitis/eczema. At the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting last month, Burt’s Bees released recent studies comparing the effectiveness of a nature-based skin care regimen and a synthetic, dermatologist-recommended control regimen for people with diagnosed sensitive skin, perceived sensitive skin and those with sensitive skin related conditions, including atopic dermatitis/eczema, rosacea or cosmic intolerance.
“With the increase in environmental pollution, sensitive skin continues to be a concern to much of the world population,” explained Hemali Gunt, clinical manager of Burt’s Bees.
“Approximately 50% of the population claim to have sensitive skin, which has created an important challenge for dermatologists and the cosmetic industry. We are proving to be successful in filling that gap.”
Celeste Lutrario, VP-global R&D, Burt’s Bees, said the findings reinforce the company’s hypothesis that products formulated with natural ingredients are gentle and can be used not only in self-diagnosed sensitive skin but clinically diagnosed conditions like rosacea and eczema.
“Burt’s Bees is excited that the data supports the efficacy of our Sensitive skin care regimen, and even exceeds the conventional control regimen in improving overall skin quality (skin appearance) while providing hydration and improving the epidermal barrier function,” added Lutrario.
Burt’s Bees’ initial data showed the rosacea population was more responsive to these treatment benefits; now, the company has engaged with leading dermatologists to further this research. At the same time, Burt’s Bees’ researchers will continue to work on these skin conditions to understand the physiological changes that occur with its product treatments, added Lutrario.
Just last month, the brand received the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance. Criteria includes the review of testing data on sensitivity, safety and toxicity, as well as ingredients, content and formulation data.
“Achieving the NEA Seal is a big a win for our Sensitive skin care line, and our brand as well,” noted Jessica Johnson, brand manager. “Eczema is just one part of the sensitive skin population, affecting—one-tenth of the population, and is a chronic skin condition that can cause redness, inflammation, discomfort and itching, and even embarrassment for some.”
She called NEA the preeminent non-profit health organization with a mission to improve the lives of individuals with eczema, adding that the NEA Seal reinforces the clinical effectiveness of Burt’s Bees Sensitive line.
“Our products do not contain any ingredients which are known to irritate eczema or sensitive skin and we have proven that we are a reliable solution for people suffering from eczema and other sensitive skin conditions,” added Johnson.
Few consumers have more sensitive skin than babies—luckily, Mustela has tykes covered with a formula that contains Avocado Perseose, which the company maintains uniquely protects, moisturizes and creates a barrier to preserve stem cells and leave skin soft and hydrated. The line includes cleansing gel, lotion, wipes and no-rinse cleaning water.
Oh, the Pain!
According to IRI, sales of external analgesics have surged during the past year, climbing more than 17% to nearly $729 million.
The big jump in sales can be attributed to the introduction of lidocaine-based formulas, said Kline Analyst Laura Mahecha.
“Consumers are concerned about acetaminophen’s impact on the liver,” she explained. “Americans overuse ibuprofen, too, and lidocaine works better than Ben-Gay.”
Why the sudden interest in analgesics? Baby Boomers are getting older and Americans are exercising, or say they’re exercising, these days.
“Consumers are fairly active, so they are getting injured more and have more aches and pains,” noted Mahecha. “But they’re less interested in internal solutions and want to try external solutions.”
More sobering, topical analgesic rubs have received a bump in sales as concerns grow about the opioid crisis in America. There is heightened awareness about addiction to prescription pain killers, Mahecha explained, noting that Kline will publish its annual Nonprescription Drugs USA Report in June.
She credited Sanofi with doing an excellent job with IcyHot as well as Aspercreme. Salonpas, too, is getting the word out on its pain-relieving formulas. Sales of category leader IcyHot rose more than 6% last year, according to IRI, while Salonpas’s sales surged more than 31%.
Six months ago, Hisamitsu launched Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid. At the time of the launch, John Incledon, president and CEO, Hisamitsu America said his company’s goal is to provide safe, long-lasting pain relief via affordable topical medicines.
“We do this by concentrating and specializing in creating new research-driven medicinal products and formulations based on topical drug delivery systems,” he said. “We developed the Salonpas Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Cream and the Lidocaine Plus Pain Relieving Liquid with two powerful anesthetics: 4% lidocaine which is the maximum strength lidocaine allowable without a prescription and 10% benzyl alcohol which is fast-acting.”
Other companies are winners in the analgesic rub segment. Blue Emu sales rose more than 23%, which is due in part, according to Mahecha, to its lack of scent. Consumers don’t just don’t want to smell like BenGay all day.
Emu oil isn’t the only natural analgesic on the market. With consumer interest in all things cannabis at an all-time high, Dr. Kerklaan’s Therapeutics topical creams are the answer, according to the company. Natural Pain Relief CBD Formula uses the natural healing power of cannabidiol, a cannabis compound without any psychotic effects. It is one of more than 110 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. According to Dr. Kerklaan, the cream quickly reduces pain and inflammation from muscle, joint, and nerve pain. Available online, Dr. Kerklaan’s offers a full range of topical therapeutics with formulas for pain, PMS, skin and sleep relief.
There are times when consumers wish they could relieve pain by waving a magic wand. Later this year, Techmira will launch Mira-Skin 100% organic pain relief gel, which is designed to work with an ultrasound wand to sooth any pains from joints, muscles or even arthritis inflammation.
The latest launch from luxury hair-care brand Oribe is a dandruff shampoo you won’t be embarrassed to display in your bathroom. The Serene Scalp line will include Oribe’s Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner, and Leave-On Treatment. All contain a protective mixture of watermelon, lychee, and edelweiss flower extracts along with a hit of caffeine to promote healthy scalp circulation and rejuvenate hair follicles. The products are all vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. The Serene Scalp line debuted last month.
• The skin microbiome is in the news and the subject of research in both the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Like the little girl, with the little curl, when bacteria are good, they are very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid. Good bacteria help skin stay healthy, bad bacteria lead to acne and other maladies. Now, an entire congress is devoted to the skin microbiome. According to organizers, it will translate microbiome research into clinically and commercially viable cosmetics and OTC products. The Skin Microbiome Congress will be held May 30 and 31, 2018 in Boston.
Speakers and topics include: