I had the pleasure of attending Cane River Surgery Center’s Cosmetic Day on January 21, 2016, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Dr. Ball and nurse manager, Shay Ball, have hosted several of these events, and believe me, if you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss out!
In addition to being the first surgeon in the area to perform Da Vinci robotic gallbladder surgery, Dr. Ball and his team offer cosmetic injectables, Eclipse Micropen treatments, peels, and SkinMedica products (see more information here).
SkinMedica by Allergan is the fastest growing physician-dispensed skincare company. There are products for cleansing, toning, rejuvenation, brightening, age defense, moisture, and sun protection. They also have glycolic products as well as the Acne System, Redness Relief CalmPlex, and Scar Recovery Gel (SkinMedica, 2014).
In addition to the normal cleansers, toners, etc., SkinMedica has several lines available to suit whatever need you may have Perhaps the most unique products offered are the TNS Essential Serum and TNS Recovery Complex.
TNS is Tissue Nutrient Solution, which consists of human growth factors along with other naturally occurring elements to help rejuvenate the skin. Growth factors are a physiologically balanced combination of proteins in the skin that help maintain healthy structure. The level of growth factors decreases during the normal aging process (SkinMedica, 2014).
The TNS Recovery Complex is a gel treatment that uses the highest level of growth factors. It has been clinically shown to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, skin tone, resilience, and texture. The TNS Essential Serum combines the benefits of the TNS Recovery Complex with antioxidants and peptides to help rejuvenate the skin (SkinMedica, 2014).
Shay showed me the TNS Essential Serum, and there are two chambers inside the container. When you dispense the product, two separate serums come out, and you mix them together and apply- this ensures you are getting a fresh mix with each application. The serum does have a strange smell, but I wouldn’t call it a bad smell- my own personal thought was that it’s nothing like Perricone products…lol! (Sorry, Perricone!)
If you have hyperpigmentation or sun damage, SkinMedica’s Lytera Brightening System may be just what you need! The system consists of cleanser, Lytera Skin Brightening Complex, Retinol Complex in either 0.5 or 1.0 strengths, and sunscreen. The hydroquinone-free formula lightens skin with niacinimide, retinol, and licorice root- which has been proven to lighten discoloration (SkinMedica, 2014).
SkinMedica’s Age Defense line of products consists of a lip plumping system, retinols, and eye products. The TNS Lip Plumping System includes two steps to help increase contour, enhance fullness, and decrease the look of fine lines. The Retinol Complex comes in three different strengths, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 (SkinMedica, 2014). (See more information on retinoids here.)
Aging affects our eye area quite a bit, and SkinMedica has several products to help. As the skin gets thinner, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles become more evident. The Uplifting Eye Serum is an oil-free gel that soothes delicate skin and reduces puffiness and fine lines. TNS Illuminating Eye Cream is a lightweight cream with a growth factor blend that helps reduce fine lines and dark circles. TNS Eye Repair is a luxurious eye cream that helps improve the overall appearance of skin in the eye area (SkinMedica, 2014).
One of my favorite things about SkinMedica is that they offer three levels of chemical peels to improve photodamaged skin, wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and scarring. The three peels are Illuminize, Vitalize, and Rejuvenize. You can consult with your physician or skincare professional to determine which is best for your needs (SkinMedica, 2014).
Another awesome aspect of SkinMedica is the variety of moisturizers. All too often, a formula is too heavy for my oily skin. And if it works well for me, then chances are someone with dry skin is unhappy! Well, not to worry. SkinMedica’s Ultra Sheer Moisturizer is not only full of antioxidants, but it’s oil-free, so it’s perfect for oily, acne-prone, and combination skin. The Replenish Hydrating Cream, for all skin types, helps restore suppleness and soothe skin (SkinMedica, 2014).
The TNS Ultimate Daily Moisturizer contains the brand’s TNS growth factor blend along with a broad spectrum SPF of 20. The Rejuvenate Moisturizer contains Vitamins A, C, and E to soothe and hydrate dry, stressed skin. The ultra-rich Dermal Repair Cream provides intense hydration with high levels of vitamins E and E. TNS Ceramide Cream, the most moisturizing of the SkinMedica line, is perfect for dry skin, or for use following procedures. It contains TNS growth factors and ceramides to soothe and support moisture balance (SkinMedica, 2014).
If you’re familiar with great skin care, chances are you’ve heard about the wonders of glycolic acid. Glycolic products help encourage cell turnover to reduce the look of premature aging. SkinMedica Exfoliating Facial Cleanser , used two to three times per week, helps exfoliate the top layer of skin and refine pore size. The Antioxidant Serum provides a barrier from free radicals and creates more luminous skin. The Renewal Cream encourages skin renewal to enhance tone, and promote a supple and soft texture (SkinMedica, 2014).
SkinMedica offers several other great products. If you suffer from redness, the Redness Relief CalmPlex is a winner of Allure’s Best in Beauty, and dramatically reduces the appearance of visible redness. The Acne Treatment Lotion contains benzyol peroxide to help fight acne. The Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline works to smooth and minimize the appearance of scars (SkinMedica, 2014).
Finally, when you’ve worked so hard to make your skin look beautiful, if you fail to protect it from the sun, you’re not only going to undo all that you’ve done, but you’ll end up with even more damage. The mineral-based Daily Physical Defense Sunscreen has a broad spectrum SPF of 30; and the Environmental Defense Sunscreen has a broad spectrum SPF of 50, along with UV ProPlex to enhance performance (SkinMedica, 2014).
After visiting with Shay and Dr. Ball, I think the SkinMedica line is very impressive. I only have a couple complaints: the Acne Lotion formula is outdated. Benzoyl peroxide formulas may have been popular in the seventies and eighties, but there are more options available than ever before. I’m not saying the ingredient isn’t effective, but it can be overly drying, and I feel the formula could be updated.
My other complaint is the packaging of TNS Eye Repair, Dermal Repair Cream, and Redness Relief CalmPlex. Skin care products, especially those containing antioxidants, should be packaged to minimize exposure to air and light in order to maintain stability (Kaur, Kapila & Agrawal, 2007). This type of packaging not only results in the ingredients being rendered ineffective, but creates a sanitary issue. Repeatedly dipping one’s fingers into a jar introduces bacteria- ewwww…
With all the other SkinMedica products being packaged appropriately, it’s a shame they didn’t do a better job with these three items. If I’m going to spend this much money on a product, I don’t want it to lose efficacy, or gain bacteria! So, if you’re interested in them, make sure to transfer them to a different container (opaque) or, at the very least, use a spatula to get the product out.
Overall, the SkinMedica line seems well-formulated. It’s rare for me to research a brand and have so few complaints! If you’re in the central Louisiana area, you can schedule a consultation with Cane River Surgery Center by calling 877.924.2555; you can also visit their website, www.caneriversurgery.com. If you’re not in the area, you can check out the brand at www.skinmedica.com.
Kaur, I., Kapila, M. & Agrawal, R. (2007). Role of novel delivery systems in developing topical antioxidants as therapeutics to combat photoageing. Aging Research Reviews, 6(4). Retrieved January 11, 2016, from www.sciencedirect.com.
SkinMedica (2014). SkinMedica Product Guide. Allergan, Inc.