While the face roughly accounts for just about 4.5 percent of a person's Body Surface Area, the vast majority of skincare products are designed for the face. Even as procedures have evolved to target other areas of the body, skincare largely has not.
We at SkinCeuticals are proud of the unique innovation in the development of the Body Correct line, which now allows aesthetic physicians to encourage proper skincare and support optimal treatment outcomes on body sites other than the face. We are especially proud of the science behind these products, and the results of clinical testing with product alone and in conjunction with recommended devices. We are confident that with Integrated skincare physicians can provide their patients treatment regimens that deliver results and encourage patient satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
ANGELA BOYD: WHAT IS THE RATIONALE BEHIND BODY SKINCARE? HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE NEED FOR THESE TYPES OF PRODUCTS?
MICHAEL GOLD, MD: Photodamage—lines, wrinkles, red spots—is the number one complaint among patients presenting to aesthetic medical practices. Non-invasive body contouring or fat modification has quickly grown to be the second most popular reason for office visits.
In the case of photodamage of the face, it has become standard practice to use topical skincare as part of the comprehensive treatment regimen. Most patients use pre-treatment regimens to optimize outcomes of procedures and all of them use skincare to support acute recovery after injections, IPL, laser therapy or other interventions. Proper post-treatment skincare, especially use of an appropriate sunscreen, is essential for long-term maintenance of treatment results.
We talk to patients and convince them that if they want to achieve and maintain good results from procedures, they have to incorporate skincare.
In the growing realm of body procedures, the role of skincare has been less well defined, largely due to a lack of appropriate products. Many of the cosmeceutical—and even the prescription—agents we may use on the face have not been optimally formulated for efficient delivery to non-facial skin. Vehicle bases have not been optimized for easy or tolerable application to larger body areas. Well-formulated products for use on body sites would be designed so that they are easy and enjoyable to use and efficiently deliver beneficial ingredients. We would expect that well-formulated products for use on non-facial body sites would support procedures the same way that facial products can.
AB: YOU WERE A CLINICAL EVALUATOR FOR THE BODY CORRECT BODY RETEXTURING TREATMENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH LASER HAIR REMOVAL, AND THERE HAS BEEN A STUDY OF THE BODY TIGHTENING CONCENTRATE IN SKIN-TIGHTENING PROCEDURES. WHAT DID THESE STUDIES FIND? WHAT ARE CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS?
DR. GOLD: The first thing we want to know when presented with a novel skincare line is: Does it work?
Our study evaluated the Body Retexturing Treatment in conjunction with laser hair removal and compared its effects to those of a vehicle product in 22 women. All subjects had laser hair removal treatment of the legs at visit one and again at week 4. They applied Body Retexturing Treatment to one leg immediately following the laser procedure and then once for eight weeks. For the other leg, they began applying vehicle product on the fourth day after the first laser procedure and then for the remainder of the eight weeks.
We found that both products provided a benefit, but there was a statistically significant improvement in skin tone, texture and overall appearance with the Retexturing Treatment, and benefits were evident more quickly—by week 4. Results also suggest that the treatment may reduce stinging and burning post-laser therapy, as scores for these measures were lower for the active treatment legs compared to controls.
I did not participate in the tightening study conducted by David Goldberg, but my understanding is that that trial involved 20 female subjects who underwent a radiofrequency tightening procedure on the thighs and buttocks at visit one and week 4 and were instructed to use the Body Tightening Concentrate twice daily on one side and no treatment on the other for eight weeks. The area treated with the Tightening treatment after the radiofrequency procedure showed superior improvements over the area treated with the radiofrequency procedure alone in skin tone (evenness), radiance and skin texture after 4 and 8 weeks, and in firmness / tightness and overall appearance after eight weeks.
What strikes me in these studies, obviously, is the fact that the Body Correct products were shown to enhance the outcomes of both the laser hair removal and the skin-tightening procedures. Patients invest a fair amount of money in these procedures, and the use of topical skincare is now available as an easy and relatively inexpensive way to enhance the results of these procedures. In the case of laser hair removal, skincare also appears to improve the tolerability of the procedure, which we expect to be associated with better patient satisfaction.
In terms of RF tightening, we don't really expect these treatments to affect the epidermis, so it's attractive to offer patients a topical option that will improve the appearance of the skin while supporting the tightening treatment.
There's no doubt that non-facial procedures are becoming increasingly popular. We are using lasers and fillers for the hands, devices for the neck and décolleté, and applying devices to improve signs of photodamage on sun-exposed skin on various parts of the body. In some respects, we are still optimizing protocols for these areas, and it will be beneficial to evaluate the role for skincare in those protocols. The Body Correct line also features Neck, Chest, and Hand Repair, which may prove beneficial for the increasingly popular procedures in these areas. A study by Geronemous, et al. showed that use of the formulation in conjunction with Thulium laser provided improvements in hyperpigmentation; skin smoothness, texture, and tone; brightness/lightness; firmness and crepiness.
AB: WHAT ARE PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF A NEW LINE OF BODY PRODUCTS?
DR. GOLD: The availability of an effective line of products developed specifically for use on the body could have important implications for aesthetic practices and their patients. As noted, we have known that pre- and post-treatment skincare for the face improves outcomes of facial procedures. The early data suggest that posttreatment skincare improves outcomes for hair removal and skin tightening. I'm curious to see the effects of pre-treatment in these and other off-face settings.
I would now recommend that patients begin using pre-treatment skincare for body procedures. I suspect there will be a benefit for outcomes; there certainly would be no detriment. From a practical standpoint, patients who use pre-treatment skincare may see early results that give them a preview of the more substantial results possible with procedures; they will be motivated to follow through on procedures. Patients who begin by being active in their care will remain active throughout the treatment and post-treatment periods.
Patients love results, but they don't like discomfort. If body skincare can improve tolerability of non-facial procedures, we should encourage its use. This will enhance satisfaction and create patient loyalty.
Of course, if skincare can augment and preserve the effects of procedures, that also will improve patient satisfaction and their trust in our practices. For some procedures, such as certain treatments for thighs and buttocks, we encourage patients to massage the treatment site. Why not have them massage with a product that benefits their skin?
Offering skincare in our practices is also a great way to facilitate patient education and engagement. At our practice, we firmly believe in the value of skincare, and we discuss it with patients at every visit. Staff members are all trained to educate patients about skin health, the benefits of various products we offer, and the proper use of those products. Offering body skincare will provide even more opportunity for the staff to interact with and educate patients. Patients stay engaged with the practice and return for their ongoing skincare needs.
Michael H. Gold, MD, FAAD is Founder and Medical Director of Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN.