Professional vs. Mass Market Topicals for Photodamage

In a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (January 2016), researchers Hilary Reich, MD, et al, compared a mass market skincare regimen with a prescription skincare regimen for improvement of photodamaged skin.

The split-face study enrolled 27 subjects with moderate facial photodamage, and each participant was assigned to apply the mass market antiaging system (Treatment A) to one side of the face and the prescription antiaging system (Treatment B or Treatment C) to the other side—Treatment B group contained 13 subjects who did not use 0.025% retinol cream, and the Treatment C group contained 14 subjects who did use a 0.025% retinol cream. Subjects returned for four visits over 12 weeks for digital photography and to complete surveys. The photographs were evaluated by blinded physicians.

The physician analysis found that use of all three systems resulted in a statistically significant clinical improvement in photoaged skin seen in as little as four weeks of use. Participants’ 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 subjects preferred the mass market system for overall improvement, while 12 thought each system gave the same improvement.

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