Prestige skin care sales continue to rise, even with today’s global economic status, largely driven by medical-grade brands which took the skin care category to $1.7 billion in sales in 2021’s third quarter, a 14 percent increase, according to data from NPD Group.
While often thought of as a niche segment within beauty, medical-grade skin care earned its place as the largest segment of the skin care market in 2020 and continues to gain momentum. The shift toward medical grade skin care follows several years of the “clean” and “natural” brands’ skin care boom, in which consumers pledged to avoid certain ingredients and become more knowledgeable about what they put on their skin.
As consumers continue to maintain the importance of understanding skin care ingredients, they are moving away from clean beauty and showing a preference for the scientifically proven efficacy that medical-grade skin care brands offer. Medical-grade skin care brands aim to root themselves in academic research and provide transparency about the ingredients used in their formulations.
At the same time, consumers are increasingly drawn to the medical world as they look to combine in-office treatments with medical-grade skin care that will help prolong the results. Medical-grade skin care brands use potent and well-researched ingredients such as L-ascorbic acid, retinol, and other highly concentrated actives to provide superior results. These ingredients are only incorporated into formulas after they have been rigorously tested for safety and efficacy and final formulations are held to the highest standards and regulations.
Medical-grade care brands’ ties to medical professionals have also elevated these products in the eyes of the discerning consumer, who are embracing the language of science being used. In many cases, as with SkinCeuticals, the number-one medical aesthetic brand worldwide, brands are founded by doctors who bring with them decades of established research.
Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, founder of SkinCeuticals and world-renowned dermatologist, created the brand with the belief that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well — a trait the SkinCeuticals team works to put into its products. As previously reported by WWD, Dr. Pinnell is often considered the “father of vitamin C” in the medical community and beauty industry, having determined the ideal concentration and formulation that would ensure optimal efficacy. To date, SkinCeuticals has published more than 25 antioxidant clinical studies.
The brand quickly made its mark as the beauty industry’s antioxidant authority and has earned its place on Beauty Inc’s top ten list of the greatest skin care products of all time with the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum. The product is a top recommendation for doctors as well. Dr. Karan Sra from Houston Skin Associates told WWD the CE Ferulic “is the first product I use when I wake up in the morning and the most important to combat signs of aging and protect against environmental damage.”
Notably, according to NPD’s 2022 “Premiumisation of Beauty” report, as women seek products that will give them effective results they are increasingly opting for more premium products, like those within the medical-grade category. The authors of the report explained that in purchasing skin care products, consumers are “seeking better value for money” and finding more potent formulas are the most effective buy.
SkinCeuticals products are also becoming known in the medical field for qualities that are complementary to the results from increasingly popular aesthetic treatments being performed in clinics. Dr. Sapra from ICLS Dermatology & Plastic Surgery counts the brand’s Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 as a must for his patients, regarding it as the “best corrective cream on the market” and sharing that he recommends it to all of his patients after surgery to “help with the natural dryness that occurs post-op.”
The Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 formula is designed by SkinCeuticals to correct and has been clinically proven to increase the smoothness of the skin by 66 percent. Using an optimal ratio of 2:4:2 of ceramides:cholesterol:fatty acids, the product works to refill essential skin lipids, restore the skin barrier and support the skin’s natural repair process. Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is an essential product to achieve nourished, plump and hydrated skin to restore your natural radiance.
Another key product from SkinCeuticals is A.G.E. Interrupter, a corrective cream formulated with 30 percent proxylane, 4 percent blueberry extract and 0.2 percent phytosphingosine to visibly improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles while increasing firmness. Like other SkinCeuticals products, the cream is designed to work with the skin’s natural properties and can be used on normal to dry and even sensitive skin types.
A.G.E. Interrupter is a favorite of Dr. Shapiro from Thornhill Dermatology, who told WWD, “Clients are getting a heavy hitter in A.G.E. Interrupter as it is a corrective moisturizer that contains ingredients that improve the signs of aging.”
As with all SkinCeuticals products, there is a love for it, Dr. Shapiro said, for its ability to do double duty and truly enhance the skin. “A little goes a long way.”
SkinCeuticals continues to rank as the top medical-grade skin care brand in the U.S. and Canada. Looking ahead, the company told WWD it is excited about new product launches coming soon.