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Why it’s important to offer cosmeceuticals in a cosmetic practice


AT MOAS 2022

While laser procedures, injectables, and chemical peels may be considered the bread and butter of a cosmetic dermatology practice, don’t forget about cosmeceuticals, advised Ava Shamban, MD.

Dr. Ava Shamban, dermatologist, Santa Monica, Calif.

Dr. Ava Shamban

It’s important to provide patients with high-quality products to take home with them and cosmeceuticals contain biologically active ingredients that enhance skin care efficacy, Dr. Shamban, a dermatologist who practices in Santa Monica, Calif., said at the annual Masters of Aesthetics Symposium. “You can do all the lasers, injectables, and peels that you want, but if you’re not giving your patients high-quality products to take home with them, you’re not doing your job,” she commented.

“Look for brands that are formulated and tested for effectiveness,” she added. “In my office, we like to have products that are designed for specific issues to accompany prescription products, everything from rosacea, acne, melasma, and eczema to psoriasis.”


Dr. Shamban, author of the 2011 book, “Heal Your Skin: The Breakthrough Plan for Renewal,” recommends that dermatologists devise a questionnaire for patients asking them to list their skin-related concerns and use the responses to create a list of products for them to use at home. Provide clear instructions on use, including proper layering of products, how often to use them, and the correct amount to apply. “If you’re not going to do this, someone else will,” she said. Next, instruct them that cosmeceuticals must be used routinely to achieve optimal benefit. “Nothing happens overnight, and be wary of anyone that promises you otherwise,” Dr. Shamban said. “Offering cosmeceuticals helps bridge the gap between at-home routines and in-office treatments. If in-office procedures are a marathon, view the consistent use of the right products at home as your training.”

White bottles on cloudscape. Bill Oxford/E+

During her presentation, she showed a photo of the “beauty bar,” the dedicated space with a counter and shelves for displaying skin care products in her Santa Monica office. “It’s good to set something up like this in your office, even if it’s just a little corner, because it gives it authority,” Dr. Shamban said. “Encourage clients to explore the beauty bar after their appointment with you.” She emphasized the importance of offering a wide range of products to accommodate different lifestyles, budgets, skin types, ages, and specific skin concerns, and training staff about the products. “There is never a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare; it’s all about the individual,” she said. “It’s never about pushing product; it’s always about educating patients.”

Dr. Shamban disclosed that she conducts clinical trials for many pharmaceutical and device companies.

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