Derm’s clinic or drugstore?


Posted on January 17th, by staff in Expert Tips, This vs That. 36 comments

Derm’s clinic or drugstore?

What is the difference between skin care products from a dermatologists’ clinic versus mass market stores like Shoppers Drug Mart, WalMart, or Sephora? This article written by one of Toronto beauty writer Janine Falcon for Metro Toronto in 2011, provides some insight.


A Scientific Spin to Great Skin

Dermatologist-developed skincare, such as Murad, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Perricone and Skinceuticals, is a growing beauty category. Canada’s expanding list includes blemish-clearing Kellett Skincare, by Dr. Lisa Kellett in Toronto at DLK On Avenue; Riversol, a rosacea treatment line from Vancouver-based Dr. Jason Rivers; and anti-aging Miracle 10, by Dr. Frank Lista, who splits time between Toronto and Mississauga.

But beyond the medical association with derm-created skincare, what sets it apart from other beauty brands?

Higher concentrations of pharmaceuticalgrade ingredients, as well as formulations tailored to the doctor’s specifications, are usually differentiating factors. For example, FormulaB, a new acne-easing trio of facial cleanser, toner and treatment cream by dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, spins on four per cent benzoyl peroxide, a widely used acne-care antibacterial ingredient (standard drugstore level is two per cent).

Sometimes success comes from an ingredient rarely found in mass-produced products. Rivers based his Riversol for Rosacea formulation on a red cedar tree molecule he learned about via the department of forestry at the University of British Columbia.

Thujaplicin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties; Rivers discovered its positive effects on rosacea when afflicted patients using Riversol, which launched in 2006, started to report improvements.

In the case of Skinceuticals (owned by L’Oréal), a high-profile line launched stateside in 1997, its groundbreaking research and technology put it on the skincare map. Known for potent antioxidant formulas the skin can absorb, the brand sprang from studies delving into topical vitamin C and its properties.

We’ve tested dozens and are able to get only four into skin: Ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol, ferulic acid and phloretin,” says chief medical consultant and cofounder Dr. Sheldon Pinnell. Ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, and alpha tocopherol, a form of vitamin E, work more efficiently in combination with ferulic acid to protect skin from age-inducing free radicals. Phloretin plus L-ascorbic and ferulic acids defends against free radicals, as well as repairs cellular damage.