Stepped up efforts on the professional side of the skin-care business could be a reason for a sales slowdown in retail skin care. For the first time last year, industry data showed other beauty categories eclipsed skin care in sales growth in mass and prestige stores.

At a time when major skin-care brands are rushing the latest magic ingredient to market, professional skin-care companies are giving dermatologists their own arsenal of clinically proven products to court consumers.

The latest example is SkinMedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator which, in less than two months of availability, is shaping up as what Jag Dosanjh, senior vice president and general manager of Medical Dermatology and SkinMedica, believes will be “fastest growing professional skin-care launch in 2016.”

Dosanjh said sales of HA5 are already outpacing the rate of SkinMedica’s blockbuster TNS, or Tissue Nutrient Solution, Essential Serum launch sales. Admitting there are many hyaluronic acids vying for the skin-care consumer, he said HA5   has several distinguishing factors.

Users see immediate smoothing of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as a noticeable glow. Additionally, a blend of five proprietary forms of hyaluronic acids work synergistically to provide continuous hydration for up to eight hours. Dosanjh said it is the only rejuvenating hydrator that instantly smoothes skin as well as supports skin’s natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid for increased hydration and long-term skin health.

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“In a sense, the product helps skin create its own hyaluronic acid that works from the inside out,” Dosanjh said.

Because of its professional positioning, Dasanjh said HA5 is primarily only available through physicians. The $178 for 2-ounces price tag also requires a professional sell. “We feel there is a cap on what people will pay at retail without doctor advice,” he said. “There are a lot of products on the market, we believe people will see the difference.”

HA5 also seems to dovetail nicely with other items in Allergan’s aesthetic portfolio and complements dermal filler treatments/injections.

To communicate the immediate and long-term benefits of HA5 to consumers, the brand introduced the RTW, or ready-to-wear, Skin platform. As part of this platform, the product was used during New York Fashion Week to prep models’ skin at Prabal Gurung and Naeem Khan, and is also being further brought to life for consumers directly through an ongoing marketing and social media campaign — a unique approach in the professional channel.