Cosmeceutical brands aren’t just for anti-aging. From rosacea to keratosis pilaris well formulated skincare products can bridging the gap between prescription treatments and high street brands. Aesthetician Dija Ayodele speaks to consultant dermatologist Dr Sandeep Cliff about which products can really make a difference.
From rosacea to keratosis pilaris and beyond, doctor’s are constantly seeing a flow of patients with dermatological concerns. Some are easily managed, but others can prove challenging when there is no effective treatment available or the concern is deemed cosmetic.
Even where treatment is available, it may not always be pleasant to use when it comes to smell, texture and/or application. Consultant dermatologist Dr Sandeep Cliff say this can contribute to poor compliance, where the patient doesn’t use or follow the prescribed treatment, leaving the complaint to worsen. Often people turn to high street beauty brands, where success can be hit or miss with variable long-term satisfaction.
This middle ground is the sweet spot of cosmeceutical brands because in most cases they are able to provide a real solution to skin concerns and offer an alternative choice to patients. With their sophisticated formulas, active ingredient and intelligent delivery systems they can bridge the gap and Dr Cliff, who practices in Sussex and Surrey says he and many dermatologists now welcome the opportunity of being able to help their patients with these products.
Dr Cliff, having used the research driven brand Neostrata for over a decade, has the low down on which products work for six common complaints commonly seen in dermatology clinics up and down the country.
1. Facial Redness – brought on by a number of complaints including rosacea and lupus – an auto-immune condition. It mainly affects the centre of the face across cheeks and nose.
Solution: Redness Neutralising Serum – a calming blend of moisture driven ingredients along with Lactobionic Acid and Gluconolactate that soothe and strengthens the skin protective barrier function.
Dr Cliff says that once the skin barrier functions better, it is able to combat and reduce the effects of environmental aggressors that act as triggers for flushing and inflammation of the skin. A 12 week study presented at a recent NeoStrata Symposium showed around 86% of participants noted skin is less red after two weeks of twice daily application.
2. Keratosis Pilaris – Normally found on the backs of the upper arms and thighs caused by blocked follicles. The skin feels bumpy and rough, resembling chicken skin. It’s a sign that skin is crying out for an intensive dose of exfoliation to remove an excess build up of dead skin cells, which can also affect the overall skin tone and texture.
Solution: Lotion Plus delivers targeted glycolic acid that improves texture and tone, whilst also correcting sun damage. With its lightweight feel, it’s easy to apply and absorbs into the skin beautifully.
3. Stucco Keratosis – a benign but unsightly affliction of the lower legs attributed to dry skin, surface friction and excessive sun exposure. Greyish coloured dead skin cells up to 10mm in size have a ‘stuck on’ appearance though they can easily be removed, almost flicked off!
Solution: Again, Lotion Plus has the optimum concentration of exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids that can smooth out, revitalise skin and reverse some superficial signs of photoageing quickly by sloughing off dead skin cells.
4. Sebaceous Gland Hyperplasia – common in middle age and elderly patients where the oil glands become enlarged and produce soft, shiny, yellowish lesions on the face.
Solution: Regular superficial chemical peels. However, if a peel isn’t for you, then Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads are handy for achieving effective cell turnover on a daily basis used glycolic acid as the exfoliating agent.
This will improve skin texture, whilst controlling the build up of oil on the skin. Patented Aminofil plumps up the skin to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Folliculitis Barbae (ingrowing hair) – A condition that affects mainly people with thick curly hair that causes hair to grow back into the skin. Couple with a build up of dead skin cells and bacteria, it can lead to painful inflammations and swelling of the hair follicle. The incidences of this condition are high in darker skin patients with Afro hair, especially men who can suffer from it on the nape and lower face and neck.
Solution: Gel Plus – with 15% Glycolic Acid it is very effective in relieving and reducing the build up of dead cells that contributes to formation of ingrowing hair.
If you have particularly oily skin, it can create further complications with ingrowing hair so Oily Skin Solution gel is a gentle exfoliating agent that can be applied daily and throughout the day to affected areas on the face to keep it free from surface oil build up and clogged pores.
6. Keratoderma Climactericum – a condition characterised by excessively tough, thick dry skin on the palms, heels, knees and elbow. For women, it becomes more noticeable around the onset of the menopause. Although not painful, it can be unsightly.
Solution: This condition requires intensive exfoliation and skin softening using Problem Dry Skin Cream which has a whopping 20% Alpha Hydroxy Acid blend of Maltobionic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Mandelic Acid beeswax and Vitamin E to moisturise.
With twice daily use, in as little as three weeks dry and rough textured skin feels smoother and is restored.
Whilst many cosmetic skin concerns are on the whole harmless, they can be distressing, especially if either high street options haven’t worked or prescription treatments aren’t palatable or aren’t available.
Dr Cliff believes these types of cosmeceutical products have a valid position as problem solvers when used either independently or in conjunction with other therapies. The results will not happen overnight and may take a few weeks in some cases to show, but the studies being the active ingredients in these products and the results he has seen in his own practice show how effective they can be.
(Disclosure: Dr Cliff sells NeoStrata products and has been a speaker at NeoStata events.)