Tinted sunscreen options

For everyday wear, when skin doesn’t require full-on cover-up, or as part of a skincare regimen with active ingredients such as retinol, tinted sunscreens offer a welcome alternative to heavier or oil‑based foundations. These should always contain broad-spectrum protection and preferably, be a universal tint that works with all or most skin tones.

One popular tinted SPF product hails from ZO® Skin Health (Irvine, CA). The Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30 contains natural melanin, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, and doubles as a primer for a more even make-up application. Fallene® Total Block Tinted SPF 60 Sunscreen (Fallen, Ltd., West Norriton, PA) is a customisable sun protection option that comes as a three‑piece kit. It includes a Dark Color Control tube and a Light Color Control tube, which work to lighten or darken the neutral base shade of the sunscreen.

Elta MD® recently launched a tinted UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 (EltaMD, a division of Swiss-American, Carrollton, TX), which is a moisturising sunscreen formula for normal and combination skin, and can be used after microdermabrasion, chemical and glycolic peels, and laser and IPL treatments. It features a physical sunscreen; in this case transparent zinc oxide, which can be worn alone or under make-up. It is also available in a non-tinted version, which like the tinted option, contains hyaluronic acid to target fine lines and wrinkles.

According to New York City plastic surgeon Bryan G. Forley, ‘The addition of the Elta MD® tinted broad-spectrum sunscreen fills an unmet need and boosts compliance among patients who do not use sunscreen on a daily basis. The texture and slight hint of colour makes this product very wearable, even after peels and injectable treatments.’ He has also recently brought in Colorescience Sunforgettable (Carlsbad, CA) owing to high patient demand.

Post-treatment camouflage

Downtime is definitely a top concern of cosmetic patients. Offering solutions to camouflage post-procedure skin demonstrates your commitment to a high level of service. The faster you can get patients back to work or to their social lives, the happier they will be. It may also help to overcome some of the barriers for patients to be willing to undergo more aggressive skin resurfacing and surgical procedures.

‘Equally important is the use of make‑up to complement and improve upon an aesthetic intervention. For the woman who just had Juvéderm VOLUMA® injected, play up her cheekbones with a highlighter,’ recommended Taub. ‘For your patient with rosacea, give them a make-up programme that will enable them to feel confident in public. It is also important to help your post-laser patients reduce the number of days that they don’t feel comfortable going to work.’

Selling cosmetics requires a certain level of expertise to educate patients on the best shades to complement their skin tone, hair, and eyes, choosing the right formulae for their skin type, and giving instructions on application techniques. Although this is often handled by nurses, medical aestheticians and facialists, it can be a time-consuming proposition that may take them away from performing more lucrative treatments in the practice. Staff training is paramount, and in-house video tutorials can serve as a great patient education tool. If you are planning to go into colour cosmetics in a big way, it might be prudent to consider bringing on a part‑time make-up artist.

From the runway to the waiting room

Trends in colour are now trickling from the runways and retail to professional cosmetic ranges. According to Iredale, ‘Blurred lips done without lip liners will be fading away. More defined lips are coming back into style. The trend of softer, brighter lips is always a breath of fresh air. On the eyes, the cat eye is an ever-present trend.’

It is important for physicians and clinics to stay in tune with trends as well. ‘People have moved towards more natural tones,’ said Taub. ‘The ‘undone’ look is on-trend, except for lips and possibly cheeks.  Everyone wants flawless skin that glows, but looks like they have no make-up on. Gold or bronze overtones for a bit more drama are also present in many eyeshadows and we are seeing the emergence of orchid for spring.’

Trends scouted by Graf include, ‘Burgundy lip colour, new variations on winged eyeliner, and also the sheer looking ‘no-make-up’ look.’ She has also noticed an application trend, ‘Using stippling two-toned brushes where the white fibres are longer to apply foundation, rather than basic black-based level brushes, allows for lighter coverage,’ she said.

Tried and true favourites

Breaking through the clutter has long been a challenge of make-up marketers, and recommendations of products that work should be appreciated.

At Advanced Dermatology’s practices in Chicago and Lincolnshire, IL, Colorescience Primers are the best sellers. ‘I tell all my patients that this is make-up that is good for you. It evens out skin tone and has an excellent SPF 20 containing zinc oxide. It won’t flare acne and it gives a very smooth finish. In addition, it has some of the most effective coverage of rosacea and melasma I have seen, when used in combination with Colorescience powders.’ Other best-selling Colorescience products for Taub include the Beauty on the Go Palette for eyes and Eye Restoration Kit, which helps plump wrinkles and reduce oedema and the appearance of eye bags. ‘It is so much more than a concealer,’ she said.

Iredale described her best-selling base that gets high marks from both physicians and aestheticians. ‘Our PurePressed Base has been our star product since we brought it out. I use it every single day whether I’m speaking to an audience or walking the dog. It saves so much time because it is four products in one — powder, foundation concealer, and sunscreen.’

Taub and her staff also like her own Skinfo Wonderbrow, a coloured mineral wax for the eyebrows, and gloMinerals® Shimmerbrick in Luster, a four-shade quad that works as a blush, eyeshadow, or highlighter.

Make it count

With limited clinic retail space, make-up shade selection is of the utmost importance. It is important to balance having adequate inventory so you don’t disappoint patients, yet not take up valuable space with shades that no one wants and products that are not selling.

On the one hand, patient needs are pretty basic. ‘Patients are looking for good coverage, light feel, and sun protection in make-up,’ said Dr Graf. But within those basics, there are still many choices. ‘Go with colours that people will wear more often. Browns, tans, and nudes. People have moved towards natural tones. They are also universal for different skin types, making it easier to stock fewer SKUs. Keep a few deep colours in stock, such as purples, mauves, and greys, so people have options if they want something more dramatic for special events,’ Taub said.

Multifunctional products like quads and kits also save space and rate high with patients. ‘Mineral make-up has taken the hard work out of make-up and kits make it even easier,’ recommended Iredale.

Latisse® is also a perennial favourite in many practices in the US. Although it is the only FDA-cleared prescription drug to enhance eyelash growth, it also makes lashes darker and thicker. Patients see it more like a cross between a medical treatment and a cosmetic-like mascara. For practices in states where dispensing prescription products is allowed, Latisse® is an ideal adjunct to a skincare and cosmetics programme, as it doesn’t take up much room and one product suits most patients.

Ultimately, the objective of any products sold at a clinic is to improve a patient’s health and wellbeing. ‘The beauty of offering make-up is that we can help our patients accentuate their best feature and conceal their worst in a healthy fashion, so they feel better about themselves and more comfortable doing their own make-up,’ Taub concluded.

For women, from a tender age make-up is one of the universal pastimes that gives us pleasure and makes us feel feminine and confident. Since the business of medical aesthetics is all about making people feel good about themselves, it seems like a no-brainer. The better your patients look, the better you look too.