Encourage proper skincare methods before exploring alternatives

August 1, 2011

A variety of new cosmeceuticals tout better ingredients for improving women's skin, but an underused tool in the dermatologist's office is the education component of the skincare regimen. It's time to shift the focus on that first, according to one expert.

Key Points

Cambridge, Mass. - A variety of new cosmeceuticals tout better ingredients for improving women's skin, but an underused tool in the dermatologist's office is the education component of the skincare regimen. It's time to shift the focus on that first, according to one expert.

"When you suggest the use of sunscreen or work to optimize a woman's skincare regimen, what you're really doing is inviting the patient to take part in something, and that means a lot to them," she says. "Patients appreciate the process and get involved. And when they become part of the team, they are more vested in the outcome."

"It comes into play the next morning when the patient looks in the mirror and asks herself if she wants to begin her routine or skip it," Dr. Hirsch says. "It's about accountability. That connection gives the patient something to refer back to long after the office visit is completed."

Dr. Hirsch offers clinicians some starting points to get the information out to patients.

"So much of the challenge is just getting the conversation started and letting people know that options exist," she says.