Cosmeceuticals are flooding the market, making it harder for physicians who have office-based cosmeceutical dispensing to keep up with what products are in demand and why. We asked three aesthetic specialists, who have long sold cosmeceuticals at their practices, to share their top sellers:
Wendy E. Roberts, M.D.
It’s important information to have, according to Rancho Mirage, Calif., dermatologist Wendy E. Roberts, M.D.
“As aesthetic specialists, it’s our job to sift through the mediocre products and provide our patients with stellar, high-performing products. I take that very seriously,” Dr. Roberts says. “I use all the products, myself; so, if they don’t pass my test, they’re not on the shelf. Then, the products go out to my staff. My staff uses them all, and I get feedback.”
Restorsea is a unique class of skincare products featuring Hydrolyzed Roe, according to Dr. Roberts. The dermatologist says the line’s Vibransea Complex product, which retails for $150 to $200 works to firm and brighten the skin at any age. This has excellent profit margins, she says.
“The whole line is very good. When someone wants a complete antiaging aging line, patients love Restorsea. Right now, it’s probably my top seller,” Dr. Roberts says.
2: DermAvance’s Hyalogy line
Hyaluronic skincare products are hot and this product line offers superior ingredients and technology, with excellent profit margins, according to Dr. Roberts. The line also offers a product for the body, which is unusual, she says. Another big hyaluronic acid seller in her practice is Alphaeon’s Teoxane, which features the company’s trademarked Resilient Hyaluronic Acid, with a mix of hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. This is a more expensive product than Hyalogy, but some patients prefer products that are pricier, she says.
The SkinMedica line is a strong seller because it not only tackles cosmetic issues, but also medical conditions, such as rosacea and acne. For physicians who offer cosmetic and medical dermatology, for example, the line meshes well into practice.
“The unique part about their acne system is that their products have both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. It’s unique to find both in a product,” she says. “They have an amazing Scar Recovery gel that I find myself using for those cuts and scrapes that I don’t want to scar.”
Dr. Roberts says that despite SkinMedica’s popularity in physicians’ offices, patients can also get the products online. A new product line that Dr. Roberts says could be the new SkinMedica is MD Rejuvena. The active ingredient is Rejuvaphyl Rejuvenating Complex, which is a chlorophyll-based line. The line’s Rejuvenating Complex, which has the Phytochromatic MD Complex, mixed with retinol, is a two chamber product, she says.
NEXT: Leslie Baumann, M.D.
Leslie Baumann, M.D.
Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., Miami, Fla.-based researcher, author and CEO of Skin Type Solutions Franchise Systems, runs this franchise business that researches cosmeceuticals and tests their efficacy on the 16 Baumann Skin Types. These are her top 3 cosmeceutical picks:
1. SkinMedica Retinol 0.025%
“This is a bestseller because the lower strength makes it easier to tolerate, lowers the number of call-backs and, with time, improves the outcomes seen from procedures such as BTX-A and fillers.”
The product helps boost referrals because it makes skin look good, and it’s in demand because almost every one of the 16 Baumann Skin Types needs retinol, according to Dr. Baumann.
“I also like the Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X for the same reasons. It has the advantage of being able to private label with your practice’s information,” Dr. Baumann says.
A word about RX tretinoin versus retinol, from the dermatologist: “…if you cannot sell tretinoin or you choose not to — retinol is a great alternative. Multiple studies have shown that retinol has efficacy on aged skin.”
By purchasing a retinol in their doctors’ offices, patients also might be more likely to use the product. Patients prescribed tretinoin might not purchase the medication because of sticker shock, according to Dr. Baumann.
2. Zerafite Barrier Repair Cream
“This cream is very affordable to patients. It is about $40 a jar. It contains the proper ratio of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol in a fragrance-free vehicle that does not lead to any allergic reactions or irritation even in very sensitive skin types,” Dr. Baumann says. “Most barrier repair products feel greasy, but this formulation made by a well-known formulator in Korea Dr. Park (Neopharm) does not feel heavy on the skin. Its helps patients tolerate their retinoids and acne medications and other antiaging products.”
Affordability helps to make this one a big seller.
“The best part is that you can only get it through physicians. Skin Type Solutions Franchise Systems has an exclusive deal with Neopharm on this formulation. It is only available online with a physician’s code so that patients will repurchase from the doctor and prevents diversion (diversion is when someone sells a product on an unapproved website like eBay),” she says. “This is important because of the problem with online counterfeit products.”
3. Brand MD
Brand MD is a line of compounded prescription products sold to physicians.
“You need a physician dispense license in your state to sell these. However, it allows you to get the products you want for your patients at a reasonable price, at the same time that you make a commission,” Dr. Baumann says. “Brand MD has a tretinoin that costs you about $60 that you can sell for $80. You make money and the patient saves money. Plus, the formulation does not have acne-causing isopropyl myristate in it, like some of the generic [tretinoins] do.”
She notes that physicians must follow the same procedures to sell prescription medications as they do with Latisse, and this varies state by state.
Joel Schlessinger, M.D.
President of LovelySkin.com and dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Joel Schlessinger, M.D., says the best-selling cosmeceuticals in his practice tend to be those that he and his staff are personally invested in and love.
These are Dr. Schlessinger’s top picks:
FixMySkin 1% hydrocortisone healing balm is a product he and his son invented.
“The lip balm ($10 for 0.15 oz) is excellent for patients with dry lips due to Accutane or other conditions (dry weather, etc) and the body/face balm is terrific for anyone who might have been prescribed generic desonide. Due to the significant increases in generic desonide prices recently (sometimes up to $150 or more!) the larger size, which is 0.5 ounces can be very helpful at only $15 a tube. The lip balm also does double duty for cracked fingers during the winter,” Dr. Schlessinger says.
“It is great for most of our patients, due to the cosmetically-elegant base and the excellent coverage. It isn't water-resistant but lasts up to 40 minutes without reapplication and goes on with no sheen. Additionally, it doesn't cause acne so it is great for teens,” Dr. Schlessinger says.
“We use Heliocare, a supplement that protects against sun damage, for many of our polymorphous light eruption/photosensitive patients, as well as for regular patients who are going to be out in the sun, while on vacation or at home. It comes in particularly handy for kids who are attending band camp or other outdoor activities,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “Lastly, it seems to have benefits for vitiligo. The active ingredient is Polypodium leucotomos, derived from a fern in Central America. Our patients are delighted that they have a product that can allow them to be less itchy during the summertime, and we have a product that can protect from burning when used in conjunction with sunscreen.”