Comparative study of professional vs mass market topical products for treatment of facial photodamage

Hilary Reich, Irmina Wallander, Lacie Schulte, Molly Goodier, Brian Zelickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


SUMMARY BACKGROUND: Many over the counter topical products claim to reverse the signs of cutaneous photo-damage. To date, the two most studied ingredients for improving the texture, tone, and pigmentation of the skin are topical retinoids and hydroquinone.1 OBJECTIVE: This split face study compares a mass market skincare regimen with a prescription skin care regimen for improvement in photo damaged skin. METHODS: Twenty-seven subjects with moderate photo damaged facial skin were enrolled. Each subject was consented and assigned with the mass market anti-aging system (Treatment A) to one side of the face and the prescription anti-aging system (Treatment B or Treatment C) to the other side of the face. Treatment B contained 13 subjects whom did not use 0.025% Retinol cream. Treatment C contained 14 subjects who used a 0.025% Retinol Cream. Subjects had 4 visits over 12 weeks for digital photography and surveys. Photographs were evaluated by blinded physicians. RESULTS: Physician objective analysis showed all three systems to have a statistically significant clinical improvement in photoaged skin seen in as little as 4 weeks of use. Participant’s surveys rated the mass market system higher than both of the professional systems for visible skin changes, ease of use, and likelihood to recommend to a friend. Twelve of twenty-seven subjects preferred the mass market system for overall improvement while twelve thought each system gave the same improvement. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that a mass marketed skin care system can give similar clinical improvements in photo-aged skin as a professionally dispensed prescription system and the majority of participants preferred the mass-marketed system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Drugs in Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

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Copyright © 2016 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. All Rights Reserved.


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