The small skincare company out of San Diego has shown staggering growth by educating patients across the nation on the science, not the fashion, behind skincare. Skincare is such a huge industry, and people can simply be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information, labels, categories and so forth that are thrown out there. The result is typically purchase paralysis. To avoid this, SkinMedica has become a national leader in teaching physicians how to teach their patients about skincare.  When the Allergan acquisition occurred, the larger parent company did not insist on doing things “their way” but rather allowed this company to flourish. Even better, Allergan pushed a huge amount of budget dollars into the research and development of the SkinMedica umbrella. This means that 2014 will only be the beginning of continuing the advancements they have already made in skincare.

There were two great takeaways from this year’s summit. One was a study that was fairly sizeable—about 75 patients were included. These patients were all true Californians, which in this case, was quite similar to my Texas patients. These patients had a lot of sun damage, both the naked eye, and on a microscopic level. They had a lot of fine and course lines and wrinkles as well as brown discoloration. By using a SkinMedica regimen using the easy pneumonic device GRASS, the study showed dramatic reduction in the lines, wrinkles and discoloration. More importantly, the patients themselves were asked what they felt about their results, and the answers topped out above the 95th percentile and above. They did see a huge improvement not only in the appearance of lines, wrinkles and discoloration, but rather the actual improvement. Some of the before and after photos (I assure you they were not photo-shopped!) were so impressive to me as to give a similar result with injectables such as Botox or filler. However, these were simply patients who followed an example regimen.

The simplicity of GRASS is as follows: G – Growth Factors to increase collagen with the skin, R – Retinols to increase collagen and to skin turnover and penetration of other substances, A – Anti-Oxidants to repair damage caused from the environment over time, S –Specialty Products such as lightening or brightening agents, and last but most important S –Sun Protection. If patients employ a GRASS regimen for a minimum of 90 days, they WILL see a difference in their skin regardless of where and when they started in life.

The second takeaway from the conference was this: as long as our patients are listening to our recommendations on the best customized skincare, they will optimize their patient outcomes, making everyone a winner in the never-ending pursuit of beautiful and healthy skin.

Authored by Dr. Ellen Turner, Dermatology Office of Dr. Ellen Turner, M.D., Dallas, TX