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Dermalogica R&D VP visits SA17 October 2017Dr Diana Howard, vice president of research and developmentDr Diana Howard, vice president of research and development at Dermalogica, visited Johannesburg on 9 October to present on the latest global skincare trends to stockists.The Los Angeles-based Dr Howard was fresh from talking on the same topic at the recent CIDESCO World Conference, which ran in Mumbai alongside the Professional Beauty India show.“One of the biggest trends I’ve noticed is that of microbiomes and bioavailability to the skin. I believe that we’re at Step 1 of knowing how to harness microbes (the microorganisms that live on and in humans) for skincare as it’s a hugely complex topic. It’s possible that the microflora in our gut and on our skin might be responsible for a lot more conditions than we think.“A really big current global trend is what’s known as ‘K-beauty’, in other words Korean beauty. Although this is more of a mass market phenomena, consumers learn about these products and then want to know why the professional brands are not doing them. “BB creams, or Beauty Balm creams, were the first K-beauty products to hit the global market. The thing about K-beauty is that they consistently come out with new, and some might say, ‘gimmicky’, products, as they are mindful of the fact that the consumer is always looking for new products. At Dermalogica we create products with the aim that they will last. From what I’ve observed, that’s the opposite of K-beauty, but thanks to social media their products really take off. It is teenagers who buy K-beauty products and then once the products have generated excellent sales, they are taken off the market and replaced by new products.”According to Dr Howard, K-beauty came out with ‘The 12 Steps to Beauty’ and also with ‘essence’ (a hybrid between a toner and a serum) as a new skin category, as well as pressed serums. “They have also been making huge waves with sleeping masks, like a first date mask, a job interview mask etc.,” continued Dr Howard. “I believe K-beauty has changed the mask market forever, but they are more consumer masks than professional. The Koreans also brought us snail slime, which is rich in ingredients and good for softening the skin. It’s true that pure snail slime increases cell turnover and treats hyperpigmentation, yet I wonder how much benefit it has once it’s been formulated into a product. Another K-beauty trend is bee venom but it’s important to note that 2% of the global population is allergic to bee venom so it’s important to be cautious when using or prescribing such products.”Another trending ingredient is yeast, which has been shown to have a surprisingly beneficial effect on the skin. It helps to repair skin and stimulate collagen. She also mentioned a focus on dongbaek oil from the Camellia Japonica plant, as well as chia seeds. Dr Howard concluded by mentioning that her own top ingredients to treat ageing skin are retinoids, in particular retinol (pure vitamin A). “Retinol is not very stable, therefore it needs to be micro-encapsulated so that the retinol molecule is protected and enhances delivery. “Some of the most efficacious ingredients are peptides – these are the messenger molecules that cause certain things to happen in the skin. Niacinamide, an active form of the B3 vitamins, is also an extremely useful ingredient, she said.” (Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)