There seems to be an almost constant output of new skincare products onto the market containing the next ‘must have’ ingredient. These new skincare formulations are promoted to practitioners or even the general public as the ready-made answer to decreasing lines and wrinkles, rejuvenating the skin, and restoring a youthful glow. But how much of it is true?

During my time at PRIME I have witnessed a seemingly countless number of new products arrive on the market and many of them state the benefits of their key ingredients, including retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha-hydroxy acids. Finding a way to cut through the clever marketing and understand exactly how, and even if, these ingredients work, is the problem faced by the practitioner.

Fortunately, you won’t have to go far to find the answers as Ivana Veljkovic, Research and Development Manager at PCA Skin, explains the benefits of a number of skincare formulations and key ingredients in her article ‘The science behind skincare’. She also discusses how important it is for practitioners to trust the science when choosing a skincare product rather than following the latest celebrity endorsed product containing new, but unproven, exotic ingredients.

Doing your homework on a product and checking to see if claims can be backed up by clinical studies may seem like simple advice and hardly worth mentioning as you do it as a rule anyway, but the potential benefits make it worth stating again. The US skincare market is a multi-billion dollar industry and is forecast to grow further in the coming years. Yet, with all this growth there is still a lot to be done to educate the average consumer on what products they should be using. It seems your average consumer is happy to try products on the strength of their marketing promotions, which are backed by consumer perception studies rather than hard science. Often these products will have no lasting effect and it will be on to the next over-hyped product.

However, if your patients can witness positive visible results from a clinically proven product that you have recommended to them, not only would they be deeply grateful but it could have long-lasting benefits for you too. It would increase your standing in their eyes and the level of trust they have for you, and they would also be more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.

Even if your role has little to do with prescribing skincare products, there is no harm in understanding issues important to your patients, as it may present future opportunities to build closer relationships with them and all the benefits which that brings. I hope you enjoy the article and the rest of the issue.