Skin care is a multi-million pound industry. Over the counter sales for skin treatment and skin care products is at an all-time high. But predictions forecast a change in this trend over the coming years, as more informed consumers look towards specialist treatments available from clinics, rather than a pot of cream from their pharmacist.
As the public gains a better understanding of the true nature of skin care, experts predict that the lotions and potions that have been relied upon for generations to condition the skin and fight the signs of ageing will decline dramatically in popularity. Experts argue that the public are becoming disillusioned with skin care products that make claims to help their customers look younger, but don’t actually deliver the results. A £600million pound industry is facing crisis.
But out of all this, it’s the specialist skin clinics that are predicting a far brighter future and look set to benefit from a public that no longer believes the hype of the skin cream manufacturers. The development of clinical treatments means that skin care specialists now know far more about how the largest organ in the body works, and are able to use technology to penetrate the underlying structure of the skin and make a difference at a molecular level. Clinics will also be able to provide customers with skin treatment that works far more effectively than over the counter creams because of a higher concentration of known active ingredients such as pentapeptides and Vitamin A – both proven to improve the appearance of skin. Over the next 10 years, ongoing research will reveal far more about stimulating the triggers for elastin and collagen production, giving the public access to far more effective skin treatments than in previous years.
The other product causing interest in dermatology is peptides. Peptides aren’t new – they’ve been known about for some years now. But the research being carried out into these building blocks for skin regeneration is pushing the boundaries of dermatological research further than ever before. Scientific proof exists that peptides actively stimulate skin regeneration, helping anti-ageing and the overall condition of skin that has been damaged by conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
In addition to non-invasive techniques offered by skin clinics, more technologically advanced procedures such as laser treatment, face-lifts, eyelid surgery and even botox see no signs of losing their popularity. The public is willing to spend more on looking good, with a 35% increase in the number of cosmetic surgical procedures undertaken in the UK in 2005. This growth appears to reflect a growing acceptance of aesthetic surgery amongst the population, fuelled by a growing obsession with fighting back the signs of ageing and a celebrity culture that promotes the appearance of youth as a symbol of beauty.
Since its launch three years ago, one particular product has gained a growing fan base both in the UK and the US. Isologen uses the body’s own skin cells, harvested by hand, to rejuvenate the skin. Although it currently commands a high price tag, it is gaining in popularity as a more ‘natural’ method of skin conditioning, crossing the boundary between ‘natural cosmetics’ and surgery.
The trend is now to get good results – and fast. A more financially independent clientele is favouring skin treatments such as glycolic peels and microdermabrasion. While home treatment packages are available from many of the major beauty companies, many customers are still preferring to seek out professional advice from skin clinics before deciding which of the plethora of new treatments available is right for them. Skin clinics are predicting a surge in interest for in-clinic treatments over the coming years. It looks like the days of a bathroom cabinet groaning with pots and tubes of skincare products could be coming to an end.