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10 Things Plastic Surgeons Look For in a Product Line

Deedee Crossett May 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
10 Things Plastic Surgeons Look For in a Product Line

During the 2014 California Society of Facial Plastic Surgery’s annual meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, I served on the panel “Advancements in Skin Care.” As a skin care professional, you sometimes may feel like medical spas have access to all the “good stuff.” Following are 10 things plastic surgeons look for in a product line for their medical office.*

*Based on the panel discussion from the 2014 California Society of Facial Plastic Surgery annual meeting.

  1. Sun protection (UVA/UVB, at least 30 SPF). Over-communicate the importance of sunscreen with every client—every visit. Many of the medical spas at this event stated that they rely on estheticians and medical assistants on staff to educate clients and recommend home care.
  2. Moisturizer. This should be used to hydrate and protect skin without containing unnecessary ingredients.
  3. Exfoliants. These should include a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and/or an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).
  4. A medical-grade product. Retinoids are necessary for their anti-aging benefits.


  5. A skin-lightener for hyperpigmentation. The use of hydroquinone vs. other skin-lighteners is sometimes controversial; however, everyone agreed that this is a must-have function of any product mix.
  6. Demographics of your client base. A medical spa in Palm Springs, CA, may have a different clientele than an office in San Francisco. Defining your demographic before purchasing a product line will increase profitability and client compliance.
  7. Education. What educational support is available for your clients and front office team through printed materials, webinars and on-site training?
  8. Media outreach. Is the product in the news or in magazines through articles, advertisements or interviews?


  9. Current research. What studies have been completed? What are the results and who did the testing? Surgeons require independent data and blind testing before making product choices. Skin care professionals should learn the importance of this from the medical profession. Think about how powerful you would be for clients if you studied your own results with charting and photography.
  10. Online presence. Is the product sold online? Do YouTube videos about it exist? What are the reviews and blogs saying?

Founder and owner of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology since 2002, Deedee Crossett is an industry pioneer for raising the bar of undergraduate education for cosmetologists and estheticians. She can be reached at and Twitter @DeedeeCrossett #10things.