Custom D.O.S.E.: Personalized Corrective Skin Care

November/December 2018

By: Kim Nichols, MD

SkinCeuticals has been at the forefront of skin care innovation, driving research and development in skin care ingredients and topical formulations. While our passion for skin care is one driver in our success, collaboration with aesthetic physicians has been an integral part of our advancement and a bedrock of our success. Insights from physicians in practice often have made the difference between a good skin care advancement and a great one.

It is against this background that SkinCeuticals introduces its latest aesthetic service led innovation, Custom D.O.S.E., which stands for Custom Diagnosis Optimization Serum Expertise. This amenity represents the ultimate integration of SkinCeuticals’ science and physician-led expertise.

This technologically advanced system for delivering a corrective serum in real time compounding is a unique asset that truly allows customization and design to match individualized skincare needs.

At a time when concierge medicine is on the upswing and personalized care is in demand, Custom D.O.S.E. both responds to and sets a new standard. Using scientifically proven ingredients, including our L’Oréal proprietary HEPES and ProXylane technologies, this personalized skin care solution addresses the requirements of both medical professionals and patients seeking skincare solutions.

Designed with the busy aesthetic practice in mind, Custom D.O.S.E. is intended to be part of an integrated aesthetic treatment plan to elevate the patient’s overall experience and increase compliance for optimal results.

Although many OTC skin care options are available, do you find that some patients need something more?

Kim Nichols, MD: Uneven skin tone is a number one complaint, and skin discoloration is a concern for the vast majority of my adult patients. Unfortunately, very few products have research showing how they help to significantly reduce signs of skin discoloration. Additionally, many products are limited to a single primary ingredient. Custom D.O.S.E. includes ingredients like retinol and proven brighteners, such as kojic acid, to provide an effective approach to skin care.

Beyond the specific formulation, in order to reduce discoloration, patients must actually use any topical intervention as directed. Unfortunately, many patients are not adherent. Custom D.O.S.E. starts with a diagnosis and formula recommendation by a skin care professional, is customized with the patient’s name, and each vial has an expiration date. When patients know that a formulation was prepared specifically for them and understand that multiple actives have been incorporated into a single, once-daily, customized formulation, they tend to be more adherent.

What are the key ingredients in the D.O.S.E. system?

Dr. Nichols: Custom D.O.S.E. has 15 unique ingredients and can make up to 33 formulas. This includes retinol, kojic acid, and ProXylane. For example, add kojic acid to retinol, and in my professional opinion, you have an effective discoloration minimizer + anti-aging combination. Other ingredients to choose from include glycolic acid, lactic acid, or phytic acid, HEPES, as well as licorice root or mulberry extracts.

There are two bases available with the system. The oil-free serum has a hydro-alcoholic system. There is also a light lotion or light emulsion system for dry skin.

D.O.S.E. is continuously customizable. We can titrate or taper the concentration of certain ingredients (such as retinol, for example) depending on patient response or tolerability. We can also vary the base. For example, some patients prefer the serum in the humid summer months and the emulsion for winter.

When do you recommend D.O.S.E.?

Dr. Nichols: My professional recommendation for Custom D.O.S.E. occurs for any patient that I have evaluated for specific skin concerns. Some patients use D.O.S.E. alone, but many of my patients are advised by me to use Custom D.O.S.E. after undergoing other treatments in my office. For instance, in the case of discoloration, I include it as a post care regimen after fractional laser, microneedling with or without PRP, IPL, or chemical peels. With my professional discretion, I determine the combination based on the needs of each individual patient.

As a two-in-one discoloration/antiaging formulation, D.O.S.E. is great for busy professionals. I advise many patients to use it once per day, usually before bed. For my male patients, I tend to prefer the lighter serum base available with D.O.S.E

Has D.O.S.E. been a good fit for your practice?

Dr. Nichols: My professional experience with Custom D.O.S.E in our practice has been very positive. The service is completely personalized, with a comprehensive one-on-one evaluation, followed by a custom-blended serum made in minutes. Custom D.O.S.E. allows me to generate the most personalized product possible to my patients. As the owner of a luxury, boutique dermatology office, product recommendation within my practice has never been as concierge-like as it has been with Custom D.O.S.E.

Additionally, I see benefits in terms of compliance. My patients recognize that the raw materials have an expiration date and feel obligated to adhere to use.

I have observed an enhanced sense of prestige and trust from my patients. We feel confident that we are providing an exemplary and innovative skin care technology in our practice.

From a financial perspective, Custom D.O.S.E. has allowed for zero competition in product replenishment and thus has resulted in sustained, consistent retail revenue.

Finally, my patients and I are both equally impressed by the science behind the Custom D.O.S.E. product. With more than 500 subjects tested for safety and efficacy, the innovation of the machine astonishes our clients every time they watch it being dispensed.

How does it work?

Dr. Nichols: After the exam, I talk to patients about my recommendations for any procedures and for skin care. If I determine that Custom D.O.S.E. is appropriate for the patient, the Medical Assistant will then escort the individual into our Custom D.O.S.E. room. Based on my recommendations for ingredients—assessed and recorded with an easy-to-use app on a tablet—the MA has the patient observe the dispensing of the product.

At follow-up appointments, I advise the patient whether we will continue with the same formula or update it depending on seasonality and their skin care goal progress. An example of an update to the product would be that at a three month follow-up, I might adjust the percentage of retinol or change some of the additives.

Any aesthetic physician considering Custom D.O.S.E. should know that it’s a small, very sleek device that I think should be placed in a high-visibility location.

Supported by SkinCeuticals

Kim Nichols, MD
• Founder, NicholsMD, Greenwich, CT