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A Scientific and Ethical Approach to In-Office Skincare Retail – Part 4

In this 5 part series, the world-renown dermatologist, Dr. Leslie Baumann, will be sharing her extensive skincare expertise. From properly identifying a patient’s skin type to learning about skincare product manufacturing and packaging processes, our readers are sure to learn something new from this informative series.


Leslie Baumann, MD, FAAD

In the previous installments of this five-part series, I touched on the importance of determining the patient’s Baumann Skin Type® and matching the skin type to the best products from various brands. In this fourth installment, I’ll discuss the importance of designing a skincare regimen that applies the products in the proper order to maximize efficacy.

Ingredient Interactions

The order of product application directly affects the efficacy and side effect profile of the entire regimen.  This is because ingredients interact with each other and influence each other’s stability, chemical structure, and ability to penetrate into the skin. Product formulators understand that every ingredient in a formulation matters, and that there is really no such thing as an inactive ingredient. The considerations that they use when designing a formula – what order to add ingredients in for example – should also be taken into account when designing a regimen.  Some ingredients will directly affect the penetration of other ingredients. . For example, olive oil actually increases penetration of other ingredients because it has a high oleic acid content, while safflower oil can decrease penetration by strengthening the skin barrier. Knowing how ingredients interact with other ingredients can help you choose what order to layer products in a regimen.


Regimen Design and Order of Application

Once you’ve determined your patient’s Baumann Skin Type and matched the proper products as discussed in previous installments of this column, it is time to explain to the patient exactly how to apply the products. The order in which they are applied makes a difference, and patients need to be given step-by-step instructions. I usually design my regimens in the format shown here. I apply the treatment product to clean skin and layer a moisturizer over it to increase penetration of the treatment product.  The eye cream is applied prior to the treatment product to protect the eye area.  If a retinoid is used, it can be applied as step 5 at night on top of the moisturizer when beginning a new regimen.  This will help decrease penetration of the retinoid in order to decrease retinoid dermatitis.  Using this application order obviates the need to wait 10-15 minutes after washing before applying the retinoid.

Baumann Part 4Remember that the goal is to minimize side effects while increasing the efficacy of the ingredients in the prescribed skincare regimen. If a patient experiences side effects like breakouts, dryness, or flaking, he or she will be less likely to continue using the recommended products. On the other hand, by understanding ingredient interactions and properly layering each product in the correct order, you can minimize side effects and increase compliance and outcomes.

For example, acne patients are often prescribed retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, a topical antibiotic and/or salicylic acid. However, without the proper cleansers and moisturizers, this regimen can cause redness and scaling, which will cause patients to underdose or stop the treatment completely. Dry acne types can be treated with Barrier Repair Moisturizers to help decrease side effects and increase compliance.  I have noticed that since I began using the Skin type Solutions System to generate skincare regimens, my acne patients have fewer side effects and faster improvement.  This is most likely because they are more consistent with using the retinoids because they are less likely to get retinoid dermatitis.

Educate Patients

Take the time to educate your patients on their skin type as well as the regimen you are recommending for them. I recommend providing a printed regimen with step-by-step instructions for morning and night to be sure patients understand when, how much, and in what order to apply each product. Skin Type Solutions Franchise Systems utilizes a mobile app that gives patients education material according to their Baumann Skin Type®. The app displays the skincare regimen with corresponding steps so that they know what order the products should be applied in. The more the patient is involved and engaged with their own care, the more likely they are to be compliant and get better results.

Because we do not have the time to sit and explain all of these points with each patient, I use educational newsletters that are matched to patients based on their Baumann Skin Type®. These can be printed or displayed in the mobile app. This educational material helps them understand why each product was chosen for their skin type.

Now that you have learned to design the perfect skincare regimen for your patients, the next step is getting them to use it consistently.  The next article will discuss patient compliance. To learn more about cosmeceutical science or my expert skincare diagnostic system please visit STSFranchise.com or feel free to email me at [email protected].  You can also follow me on LinkedIn, LeslieBaumannMD.com or Instagram @LeslieBaumannMD.

Missed Part 3 of this series? Check it out here!