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As we continue to learn about the importance of skin care in maintaining healthy, youthful skin, the expanding variety of cosmeceuticals allows us to address the specific needs and desires of our patients. As the market expands, more products are becoming available with unique ingredients and capabilities. Those of us who dispense and recommend cosmeceuticals have our own favorites, but often times we learn about new products through the shared experiences of colleagues. Ahead I will share some of my favorite cosmeceutical regimens, as well as other innovations in the world beauty that may have a positive impact on your patients and practice.


Obagi has started selling Pro+TherapyMD, Pro+Therapy, and Kinerase skin care products under the Obagi name. Six products of its products will be moved over to the new Gentle Rejuvenation line, with all but one of the formulas remaining the same. The line is ideal for sensitive complexions and will be available soon. The two products in the Professional C line will also be moved over to this line and will be available in mid-2014. Additionally, there is a new Obagi 360 line that consists of a retinol (two strengths of 0.5 and 1.0%), cleanser and SPF (Hydrafactor with SPF 30) that is aimed at a younger audience looking for prevention of rhytides. Obagi also has its iconic Six-Step program that includes a cleanser, toner, exfoliator, hydroquinone containing product/blender with Retin-A, hydroquinone product, and sunscreen. It is the most comprehensive program available for melasma.

Another product that's been making waves is Lumixyl, a peptide technology which directly inhibits tyrosinase. Also popular is Elure from Syneron, which contains melanozyme, which helps to decompose melanin.

NeoCutis's Perle contains Melaplex; non-hydroquinone helps minimize tyrosinase activity with phenylethyl resorcinol, leucine (a competitive precursor of melanin formation), undecylenoyl phenylalanine, and sodium glycerophosphate. Perle aims to target several steps of melanin formation including the transfer of the melanosome into keratinocytes.

SkinMedica's Lytera provides results with little irritation and is suitable for most skin types. Containing retinol, niacinimide, and vitamins, Lytera can provide good results in as little as four weeks. Another product that provide excellent results is the Neocutis ReActive Antioxidant Serum, which is a suitable replacement for most makeup primers. It contains VITAPLEX C, which offers one of the most complete antioxidant defense systems available with 15% vitamin C.

FixMySkin Healing Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone is made for the face, lips and body helps to treat common skin concerns, such as dryness, poison ivy, chapped lips, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, etc. It does not melt in heat and also comes in travel-friendly sizes.

The SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum blends TNS Recovery Complex with potent antioxidants, peptides and other innovative ingredients. It improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and the overall tone and texture of skin.

The Neostrata Skin Active Perfecting Peel is an at-home two-step peel kit delivers noticeable anti aging benefits, along with improvements in the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and texture. Formulated with a 20% blend of alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid and antioxidant citric acid, it is clinically proven to improve skin clarity and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with regular use.

Other favorites include the Elemis Skin Soothe Shave Gel (perfect for men), The Lumiere Eye Cream by Neocutis, which contains a combination of interleukins, growth factors, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid (PSP), Jane Iredale's BB Cream, and Oxygenetix oxygenating makeup/breathable makeup.


The sun protection arena has been steadily growing in recent years, resulting in several powerful new products that offer sun protection as well as other healthful benefits for the skin.

The Colorescience Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 30 and 50 are excellent choices for sunscreen on the go. Heliocare capsules (polypodium leucotomas) represent an elegant way to improve sun protection, although they are always better off with a standard sunscreen as a base. The final guidelines for new SPF/broad based sun protection are still not finalized, but it appears they are very close. Towelettes and powder sunscreens may yet need to have some further tweaking in order to be fully integrated into the new system.

Glytone Sunvanish SPF 23 contains hydroquinone to lighten dark patches on the skin. The ingredients octinoxate and oxybenzone work together to help protect and prevent sunburn.

EltaMD Clear SPF 46 calms and protects sensitive, acne-prone skin. It is also very lightweight and has an oil-free formula that leaves no residue on skin's surface. It is one of our favorite products for teens with acne who need a sunscreen that won't aggravate the acne.


Outside the realm of cosmeceuticals, the beauty market continues to expand and offer patients more avenues for taking care of their skin and skin care products. Here are some notable developments:

The Neostrata Perfecting Peel is an at-home peel that is a 20% blend of AHAs. It speeds up the rejuvenation process and Minimizes wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, and blemishes.

In the world of hair removal, the MeSmooth Hair Removal Device is effective on all hair and skin types (including Fitzpatrick Type VI individuals), is less painful than the TRIA laser, and is able to be used in one pass for the entire body. The level of ease of this device is much better than that for others that are currently on the market.

BB Creams, also known as “beauty balms” or “blemish balms,” are known for their multipurpose abilities. Many work as a foundation, primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, and anti-aging treatment all at once. While these products remain popular with consumers, physicians continue to debate their efficacy.

Along similar lines, CC Creams (standing for “color correction”) are meant to minimize discoloration, act as primers and foundation, and protect against damage.

Finally, one other product that I find particularly beneficial for patients is the Cool-it Caddy, which contains a “freeze and go” interior that keeps cosmetics, skin care and other items cool in heat and sun. It sells very well during the summer months and is great for someone who must leave their makeup in the car on a sunny or warm day.


These are some of my favorite cosmeceutical agents, but I encourage you to share your own favorites and products with which you've found success. Email your suggestions to or JS@CosmeticSurgeryForum. com. With your feedback, the Aesthetics Management department in Practical Dermatology® can be a forum for dialogue and discussion. And join me at the Cosmetic Surgery Forum in Las Vegas this December at the Palazzo, where we will continue discussing the latest products and innovations in our field! n

Article based on Dr. Schlessinger's presentations at the 2013 Cosmetic Surgery Forum. Dr. Schlessinger contributed to the development of the FixMySkin line with his son Daniel.

Joel Schlessinger, MD is Founder and Course Director of Cosmetic Surgery Forum. The 2014 Cosmetic Surgery Forum will be held from December 3-6 at the Palazzo Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. For more information and to register, visit Feel free to address questions to JS@CosmeticSurgeryForum. com.

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