Wendy Lewis reports on the skincare innovator that caught the eye of one of the world’s most important consumer products giants.

Among the most significant acquisitions in the aesthetics sector of 2016 has undoubtedly hailed from the state of New Jersey. On May 27, 2016, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JNJ) announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire NeoStrata® Company, Inc. NeoStrata, based in Princeton, New Jersey, has a robust history of innovation that includes breakthrough research in Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), which have become a mainstay in anti-aging and anti-acne technologies. The company develops and markets a wide range of popular advanced cosmeceutical formulations for all skin types under the brands NeoStrata® and Exuviance®.

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 15.25.42Some of NeoStrata’s signature developments include polyhydroxy bionic acid (lactobionic acid) and amino sugar technologies. Their innovative dermatological products are available through dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and medspas under the NeoStrata® brand, while Exuviance is available in select consumer outlets, as well as salons outside the U.S.

Johnson & Johnson of course has quite a rich history of its own, having been founded in 1830 by three Johnson brothers in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., based in Skillman, New Jersey, is one of the world’s largest consumer health and personal care products company with a formidable product portfolio that spans a wide range of sectors, including baby care, skin and hair care, wound care and topicals, oral health care, women’s health, over-the-counter medicines, and nutritionals. The products marketed by JNJ include household names from Aveeno®, Rogaine®, Clean & Clear®, RoC®, Lubriderm® and the jewel in the crown of skincare, Neutrogena®.

‘NeoStrata’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson has been a natural fit for both organizations.  Just a few months into the process and it is very clear that our strong commitment to skincare research, our customers and employees is fully embraced and aligned between companies. There are many exciting opportunities ahead as we leverage the strengths of both organizations and unify toward the mission to advance the science of dermatology and deliver superior products to help grow the specialty beauty space,’ says Barbara Green, Head of R&D and Clinical Research for NeoStrata Company.

Skincare steeped in science

NeoStrata has been among the top ‘go to’ brands dermatologists and cosmetic doctors offer in their practices, and a recurrent favorite among aestheticians for the ease of use and predictable results. The best selling product in the NeoStrata range is the Resurface Foaming Glycolic Wash.

Dr. M. Elizabeth Briden of Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute, PA, in Edina, MN has been a longstanding ambassador for the brand. ‘I can recommend NeoStrata products with confidence knowing that my patients are receiving the most scientifically advanced, clinically effective, and comprehensive formulations for all their skincare needs. NeoStrata’s extensive library of clinical and scientifically published research gives me confidence that I am truly providing my patients with the best products available.’

The launch of Polyhydroxy Acids (gluconolactone) in 1994 was a significant development that filled an unmet need for physician-dispensed skincare. Bionic Acids, third generation AHAs, followed in 2000. The next big innovation for NeoStrata was the introduction of the Skin Active range in 2011. In 2015, they added Enlighten to manage pigmentation. ‘My patients confirm my belief that NeoStrata products provide the best results with their repeat purchases and testimonials of NeoStrata products. They are non-irritating, elegant, and clinically effective formulations that keep patients coming back for more!’ adds Dr. Briden.

NeoStrata’s family of physician peel solutions also gets high marks from dermatologists. According to Dr. Judith Hellman, a dermatologist in New York City, ‘We have been using the NeoStrata ProSystem Peels in my practice for years with excellent and consistent results. These are easily performed treatments that address a variety of common skin conditions including pigmentation, acne and aging and can be used for the face and off face applications. I particularly like the options of having 20%, 35%, 50%, 70% unbuffered glycolic acid concentrations to customize the treatment for each individual patient. The Clarifying Peel for acne prone skin and the Brightening Peel that targets photodamage are also very nice additions for patients.’

Neostrata’s global reach

NeoStrata glycolic acid peels and skincare ranges are used and recommended by dermatologists and skincare professionals in 80 countries internationally.

Lorna Bowes, RGN NIP, Director AestheticSource distributes the brand in the UK market. ‘NeoStrata Company products have been in my portfolio for many years, both as an aesthetic practitioner performing peels and advising patients on skincare, as a trainer and now as co-owner of the UK distributor of NeoStrata product ranges, AestheticSource. My passion for and loyalty to the brand is simple — I have used the products for many years, successfully. I know the original NeoStrata products to be highly effective, and their constant pipeline of new proven technologies and thoroughly tested formulations keeps the brand at the forefront of the medical skincare market.’

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 15.26.16The extensive portfolio of clinical data is frequently cited as one of the main reasons for NeoStrata’s reputation among physicians around the world. Dr Sandeep Cliff, Consultant Dermatologist and Dermatological Surgeon, in Gatwick, UK admits to being skeptical at first about whether non-prescription topical agents played a role in medical practice. ‘NeoStrata is a brand I have now used for nearly 5 years in my private practice. I was cynical for years about any real efficacy with so-called cosmeceuticals, however having researched the options and now got to know the science behind the NeoStrata brand, I’ve used many of the products and treatments to excellent effect. They are now an essential part of my work. The new technologies N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) and N-acetyl tyrosinamide (NAT) are delivering great results. I have been particularly impressed with the Smooth Surface Daily Peel with 10% glycolic acid and NAT, which is not only a patient favourite, but a personal one too. The new Retinol+NAG is also showing exceptional promise,’ he said.

Dermatologist Stefanie Williams features NeoStrata in her London clinic to an international clientele and also considers it to be a truly evidence-based skincare range. ‘I have been working with NeoStrata for many years and am impressed not only with the degree of clinical research the company puts behind their products, but also the great support and ethical business conduct NeoStrata shows at all times. Our patients love NeoStrata’s no-nonsense products — great results without any funny business.’

The NeoStrata team is looking forward to working closely with Johnson & Johnson Consumer division. ‘The acquisition of NeoStrata Company, Inc. by Johnson & Johnson has been a very positive experience. The companies share a similar culture and are naturally aligned in many ways including a strong commitment to skincare research, their customers and employees. It was heartening to see just how closely NeoStrata’s mission matches the time-tested Johnson & Johnson Credo. We are extremely proud to be joining the J&J family of brands and look forward to leveraging our strengths to help grow the specialty beauty businesses,’ said Barbara Green.

For more information: NeoStrata products are available exclusively through physicians and on www.neostrata.com