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Top Picks from CSF

Top cosmeceutical picks from Cosmetic Surgery Forum! From melasma therapy to sunscreen, the founder of CSF shares his favorite cosmeceuticals.

By Joel Schlessinger, MD

Now approaching its tenth year, the Cosmetic Surgery Forum (CSF) was started to foster debate and discussion among aesthetic providers. Our goal is to stimulate discussion so that every lecture is riveting.

Nothing at CSF is off limits and all presenters are asked to share their opinions on products and procedures that work and those that don’t. It is in this spirit that I share my top cosmeceutical picks in a handful of skincare categories.

Best Melasma Therapy

Obagi Nu-Derm System. This set includes a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, 4% hydroquinone blender with tretinoin and sunscreen. Hands down, it’s the best available treatment for melasma.

The Obagi FX system is less powerful, but great for pregnant patients or at times of the year when the patient’s melasma is under control.

Best Eczema/Psoriasis Therapy

FixMySkin Healing Body Balm Unscented with 1% Hydrocortisone. This OTC balm is $10-15 (lip and face) and has the potency of higher-strength steroids. My facial and neck dermatitis patients use this and no longer need $120+ generic desonide. It contains 1% hydrocortisone to treat dryness, poison ivy, chapped lips, eczema, and more.

Best Eye Treatment

Natura Bisse Eye Patches. These overnight pads contain micro-needles filled with hyaluronic acid, conotoxin, and potent antioxidants that penetrate the skin and fill lines around the eyes.

Best Sunscreen

EltaMD Clear SPF 46, EltaMD Sport, EltaMD Elements, Obagi Sun Shield Tint and Heliocare ULTRA. EltaMD Clear protects sensitive, acne-prone skin. It is a lightweight, oil-free formula that leaves no residue on skin’s surface. EltaMD Sport is made for athletes and is water-resistant for 80 minutes, though not acne-friendly, so it’s best for the body. EltaMD Elements protects all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Obagi Sun Shield Tint enhances skin’s natural undertones, and active infrared technology also prevents heat-derived oxidative stress. Heliocare Ultra protects skin from the inside out with the antioxidant Polypodium leucotomas, and it also contains pomegranate and Vitamin C. It approximates an SPF of 4, so it’s great for those with PMLE or lupus. I always use it in conjunction with sunscreen, however.

Best Moisturizer

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2. With a ratio of ceramides, natural cholesterol, and fatty acids that best mimics the skin, this moisturizer improves fullness, texture and pore appearance and hydrates skin for 24 hours. It’s ideal for dry skin.

Best Sensitive Skin Rejuvenator

PCA Skin Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin. Retinol is paired with niacinamide and Inflacin, the patented OmniSome delivery system, for less irritation, making PCA Skin Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin a great rejuvenating solution for sensitive skin.

Best Full Coverage Anti-Acne

Oxygenetix Acne Control Foundation. This is the most breathable foundation on the market, and it now includes 2% salicylic acid. It’s great for rosacea-prone, scarred, post-procedure and healing skin, as well as actors and anyone under the lights.

Best Anti-Aging

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum and Jan Marini Luminate Face Lotion. TNS Essential Serum combines growth factors, matrix proteins and antioxidants to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and the overall tone and texture of skin.

Hydroquinone-free Jan Marini Luminate Face Lotion lightens discoloration with alpha-arbutin, Nonapeptide-1, and licorice extract, among other lighteners.

Best Neck Firmer

NeoStrata Triple Firming Neck Cream and Revision Nectifirm Advanced. NeoStrata Triple Firming Neck Cream tightens loose and sagging skin on the neck to restore a youthful contour, replenishes skin volume and density to smooth fine lines and wrinkles while supporting collagen production.

Revision Nectifirm Advanced is formulated with eight anti-aging peptides. That’s double the number of ingredients to break down adipose tissue and help the neck look younger. It comes in an easy-to-use pump.

Best Hydrating Treatment

DefenAge 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream and SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier. DefenAge 24/7 Barrier Balance Cream contains Defensins proprietary peptide blend, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for a plumper, more even complexion.

SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier contains 1.3% pure hyaluronic acid plus 10% proxylane, 2% licorice root and 0.2% purple rice extract. It’s been shown to boost the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by 30 percent, improving firmness, plumpness, sagginess, texture, and elasticity in as little as 12 weeks.

Based on a Presentation given at Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2017. Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2018 will be held November 28 to December 1 at Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas. Information is available at cosmeticsurgeryforum.com.

Joel Schlessinger, MD, is a dermatologist and general cosmetic surgeon in Omaha, Nebraska and the Owner & CEO of LovelySkin.com. He is the founder of the Advanced Skin Research Center and the Cosmetic Surgery Forum, which is held annually in Las Vegas.


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About Practical Dermatology

Practical Dermatology is the monthly publication that provides coverage of medical care, cosmetic advancements, and practice management for clinicians in the field. With straight-forward, how-to advice from experts in various fields, we strive to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of dermatology practices.