Innovations in Inflammaging & Sun Care Take Center Stage at SCALE 2024

We dive deeper into the derm focus at Music City SCALE 2024, exploring two skin health trends, inflammaging and sun care, dominating the current aesthetics landscape.
We dive deeper into the derm focus at Music City SCALE 2024, exploring two skin health trends, inflammaging and sun care, dominating the current aesthetics landscape.
Image by Leo at Adobe Stock

In our first piece on this year's aesthetic trends and hot topics at Music City SCALE, we discussed the growing trend and shift in aesthetics toward clinically proven, dermatologic skin care that is guided by dermatologist expertise across the board, from traditional professional-grade brands to OTC skin care. Diving a bit deeper into this dermatologic focus, two significant skin health trends dominating the current discourse around the aesthetics and beauty landscape are inflammaging and sun care. The rising interest in these areas was crystal clear at this year's Music City SCALE meeting.

Read the First Article in Our SCALE 2024 Series: "Why Clinical is King: Dermatologic Skin Care Dominates Aesthetics at SCALE 2024"


The affect inflammation has on aging and the role it plays in the aging process has led to the rise in skin care focused on reducing inflammation in the skin. This helps improve skin health, slow down skin aging caused by age-related inflammation and restore and rejuvenate skin health to enhance its youthful radiance and protect it from further damage. Here are some of the insights we gathered from inflammaging innovations among these skin care brands at this year’s SCALE.

Inflammaging: Healing Power Hidden In Thermal Spring Water

Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream P0005530Photo courtesy of AveneThere’s something in the water…literally. Avene products have an interesting backstory that demonstrates the incredible things that can be found in nature that could have been easily overlooked, were it not for a simple stroke of luck. In this case, the act of a horse, who belonged to the Marquis of Rocozels in the town of Avene located in the South of France along the banks of the Orb River, suffering from dermatosis started bathing regularly in the nearby thermal spring. When the horse’s coat returned to its original health condition, the Marquis took notice, leading to the creation of the Avene Hydrotherapy Center and the medicinal use of Avene Thermal Spring Water. Extensive research revealed the source of the Avene-les-Bains thermal water, the Avene Thermal Spring, is unique in that, “not only is the mineral composition highly specific to the source, but also the microorganisms populating the isolated underground environment are, at least in part, endemic to the site. The first specific and previously unknown bacterium to be identified and cultivated was named Aquaphilus Dolomiae.”1

A series of advanced ingredients stemmed from this discovery, specifically, the innovation of three different post-biotics that target keratinocyte migration, causing their proliferation and calming skin. Avene's Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream is a perfect example of the brand's thermal spring water in action, with clinical results demonstrating its ability to restore the skin barrier 4 times faster and reduce skin discomfort by 80% in 48 hours, per Avene. The Avene Thermal Spring Water is also available in its pure form as a spray to soothe and calm skin throughout the day. The unique design of the container protects the product from oxygenation using 15 different components to seal off the product inside from any contamination, eliminating the need for preserving agents. La Roche CicaplastPhoto courtesy of La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Gel B5 Skin Protectant is another inflammation skin care innovation utilizing the unique elements found in thermal spring water that is designed to be used post-procedure to relieve inflammation, protect and calm skin and promote skin healing for optimal results. It is formulated with 21% glycerin, 5% panthenol (provitamin b5) and madecassoside to help promote skin healing, as well as a unique mineral complex [copper + zinc + manganese], HA and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, which contains a unique combination of minerals, trace elements and a high concentration of selenium, a natural antioxidant and prebiotic from spring water.

Inflammaging: Powerful Pre- & Post-Care Made Easy

Velez presented the findings of a new study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology exploring the safety and efficacy of their line of post-procedure, biotech cellulose Intense Hydration Masks. Per the study, the mask “decreased patient's facial temperature, feelings of heat and pain, as well as downtime without any side effects for the subjects in this study undergoing a variety of treatments.” In addition, thermal images demonstrated an average reduction in facial temperature of 2.2 (ranging between 0.2-6.5) degree Celsius across the board. “What sets us apart it is 100% natural, as it’s made from 95-98% water and sterile. So, once it's packaged goes to sterilization, it's 100% safe to use and there's really no risk of any kind of reaction because it does not have any active ingredients. The cooling reduces the temperature by six degrees Celsius, helps with the swelling and redness and really elevates patients’ experience post-treatment. The structure of the product’s material is very similar to the structure of natural skin tissue, so it's very compatible with our skin. When you use any kind of topical products underneath, what it does is really brings the product deeper into the skin and maximizes its results. Practitioners can send the patient home with a couple more products, and they can continue to use the product for post-treatment care.” 

Velez also recently launched the HOCL Hydrating Mist, a multi-use spray combining hypochlorous acid (HOCL) pure water to cool, calm and cleanse skin. The contamination-proof packaging is key, as it keeps the inside contents from being opened and exposed to the elements, with a special dispensing mechanism that keeps the product inside from being contaminated even when it is being used.  Since hypochlorous acid can lose its stability with time, the “compressed air packaging basically keeps the hypochlorous acid stable and prevents it from losing stability over time.”2 

Kv Vertical Sensibio Defensive Serum pdfPhoto courtesy of Bioderma

On the anti-aging side, Bioderma is developing patented anti-aging technology to address age-related inflammation, particularly in sensitive skin. Bioderma’s Sensibio Defensive Serum provides intensive nourishment and hydration, as well as patented D.A.F. and defensive technologies to strengthen skin’s defenses and tolerance for internal and external stressors related to inflammaging. The Sensibio line provides inflammaging solutions in a simple three-step regimen, including a cleanser, serum and moisturizing cream.  

The protective layer of the skin barrier can be disrupted by anything from extreme temperatures and harsh topical ingredients to sun exposure. When that happens, microscopic cracks form in this protective wall, causing irritation that exacerbates free radical damage and visible signs of aging. Epionce’s formulations are carefully designed to mitigate visible irritation, each containing calming and antioxidant properties to soothe the skin. “Our focus is skin that’s been compromised,” says Dr. Carl, “and we’ve done comprehensive research showing the importance of reinforcing the barrier.”

Epionce’s entire existence stems from and is based in skin barrier repair for sensitive and compromised skin, something I can personally appreciate with my finicky skin. This makes Epionce products particularly well-suited to addressing inflammaging. Per Epionce, “The key signs of a compromised barrier include the symptoms of uncomfortable skin such as visible redness, sensitivity, dryness and blemishes. The causes of a compromised skin barrier can range from environmental irritants, to using harsh ingredients on your skin, to aging.” It’s important to use skin care that contains antioxidants that “support the skin barrier’s natural defenses, fight free radical damage and brighten the complexion.” In addition, skin care containing barrier nurturing ingredients is also key to maintaining calm, healthy skin and sealing in, so to speak, the free radical fighting and skin calming ingredients. Ingredients like “hydrating humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin to replenish moisture, and emollients like shea butter, squalene and ceramides that seal in that hydration.” These two elements combined help to repair andEpionce Intensive Nourishing Cream L 61719dba2f537Photo courtesy of Episciences, Inc. maintain a healthy skin barrier, and create a strong and healthy shield against factors like inflammaging.

Epionce's Intensive Nourishing Cream is a particular favorite of mine, as it is a great moisturizer to use for those of us that need a simple skin care routine that works well with just a few products. Even on nights when I don't even feel like washing my face, I can get myself to use a cleanser and this moisturizer and I know I'm set. The cream contains soothing and skin-boosting botanicals like acacia seed, maca root and green algae, as well as powerful ceramides. The cream is formulated with maximum levels of key complexes to help reduce the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, rejuvenate and improve skin radiance.  

Lumisque Skincare's CO2LIFT is the first clinically proven gel delivery system for carboxytherapy. Per Lumisque, "Carboxytherapy is the therapeutic use of CO2 gas to regenerate the tissue in the skin. When the gel is mixed, co2 gas is formed and the gel holds the gas into the skin. The body responds by rushing oxygen-rich blood to the area applied. This will bring, nutrition, hydration and remove waste from the skin, leaving your skin brighter, more hydrated and smoother. This treatment is the fastest way to regenerate your skin and keep it looking and feeling youthful." We had the chance to try out this treatment at SCALE, and I can personally confirm that the gel's cooling temperature really does make your skin feel cooler, calmer and refreshed in a big way. I actually received numerous compliments on my skin weeks after the treatment, with even my family members noticing and commenting on my skin's appearance, which is indeed rare. This is another simple treatment patients can get to improve procedure results and give their skin some seriously soothing hydration in one step. 

Sun Protection

Sun care, prevention and repair has gotten a major facelift over the past few years, with innovation ramping up to dizzying levels in the past year. Sun protection has gotten more effective, easier to use in combination with makeup, improved ingredients and formulations that make it more attractive to wear to consumers and even integrated neurocosmetic technology to add mood-boosting properties. On the other side of the coin, AI imaging technology has led to incredible advances in our ability to precisely analyze skin and detect skin cancer and areas at potential risk of turning cancerous.

Sun Care: Powerhouse Pigmentation Innovations

La Roche-Posay's Mela B3 Dark Spot Serum with Melasyl + 10% Niacinamide reportedly "visibly reduces a range of skin discoloration, including sunspots, age spots, post-acne marks (or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), and even the most stubborn dark spots" for all skin tones. Melasyl, also known as 2-mercaptonicotinoyl glycine (2-MNG), a molecule designed to address localized pigmentation issues that lead to age spots and post-acne marks by inhibiting melanin synthesis and preventing UV-induced pigmentation. La Roche-Posay formulations containing the proprietary ingredient work inclusively, across all skin tones, to address pigmented marks on the skin and improve their appearance. 

1 B3 Serum Packshot BottlePhoto courtesy of La Roche-PosayAndrew Alexis, M.D., gave a presentation at SCALE 2024 delving into the clinical results from recent studies of Melasyl exploring the ingredient’s efficacy in decreasing melanin in skin. One randomized controlled clinical study noted that Melasyl, known as 2-mercaptonicotinoyl glycine (2-MNG), "prevents UV-induced skin darkening and delayed tanning in healthy subjects." The study demonstrated that 2-MNG in Melasyl stops skin darkening caused by UV rays immediately and over time. Melasyl is unique compared to other ingredients, as it doesn’t merely inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme involved in the production of melanin, but per La Roche-Posay, “intercepts the precursors of melanin before their conversion into eumelanin and pheomelanin, the pigments responsible for skin coloration. This preemptive action prevents localized hyperpigmentation.” The report concluded, "2-MNG inhibited both UV-induced skin pigmentation mechanisms in vivo. The association of 2-MNG with LHA plus MSX showed the highest efficacy on melanin-rich skin with pigmentation induced by UV exposure."

Another published study titled "A Bayesian network meta-analysis of 14 molecules inhibiting UV daylight-induced pigmentation," found that, "The BNMA revealed a rapid and lasting efficacy of 2-MNG 0.5% on the anti-pigmenting and depigmenting phases of the clinical protocol. 2-MNG 0.5% ranked first, with immediate and lasting effect compared to 13 other references. This study is the first allowing comparison between reference anti-pigmenting and depigmenting agents and will help clinicians for proposing the most effective approach for their patients."

Sun Care: Next-Generation Skin Cancer Diagnostics

The oVio360 with new AI skin cancer analysis software is a gamechanger for skin cancer detection and monitoring. The 360° imaging device, fitted with a front and top-down camera, rotates around the patient, capturing one image per degree at a rate of 30 frames a second, resulting in a 360°HD video that is also broken up into separate images of each frame.  These images are then analyzed by AI software that utilizes MIT’s massive database of potentially cancerous pigmented skin lesions. Researchers from MIT and elsewhere developed the algorithm for the AI system, which is automated to detect, extract and analyze all observable pigmented skin lesions using a pre-trained “deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) that examines lesions from a given patient present in wide-field images. Rather than evaluate a single pigmented skin lesion at a time looking for predetermined signs of neoplasia, the algorithm identifies lesions that differ from most of the other marks on that patient’s skin, flagging them for further examination and ranking them in order of suspiciousness,” per the study by Soenksen, published in Science Translational Medicine.3 The results of this final analysis are displayed in a heatmap format next to the list of flagged lesions ranked in order of most to least suspicious. In addition to allowing a far more thorough examination in the initial consultation, practitioners can continue to use the system to monitor these areas with regular follow-up patient imaging sessions to assess any changes over time. To put it lightly, this significantly improves practitioners’ ability to prevent, monitor and treat skin cancer far sooner in patients. These images are conveniently stored in the cloud, automatically organizing and saving any annotations, as well as providing easy access and tracking of before and after images, among other features. The oVio360 with AI skin cancer analysis is a major step forward in the ongoing fight against skin cancer. 


1. V. Georgescu V. There's Something in the Water: AVÈNE Thermal Spring Water and its Signature Microbiota Extracts in Dermatological Practice. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2020; 34: 3.

2. Randomized split-face study using a post-procedural biotech cellulose mask to improve patient comfort and downtime - PubMed (

3. An artificial intelligence tool that can help detect melanoma | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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