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What’s Important?

  1. Patients should receive personalized skincare routines.

  2. Customization of the skincare routine improves outcomes.

  3. Proven skincare routines only work when patients are compliant.

  4. Develop key performance indicators to track performance.

What’s New?

  1. Giving exact advice on how much product to use.

  2. Product repurchase rates are directly tied to patient adherence.

  3. Telemedicine consults are a great way to do follow-up visits.

What’s Coming?

  1. There are numerous evolving ecommerce options.

  2. More people are purchasing skincare from their physicians.

  3. Methods to engage patients to improve compliance are being devised.

  4. Ways to electronically monitor compliance to topical treatments are being developed.

A report in July 2020 showed that physician-dispensed skincare is the largest growing segment of the skincare business with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% from 2020 to 2027.1 There are numerous reasons for this including that patients are confused by the plethora of choices on the market and want to obtain unbiased scientifically based skincare advice from someone they can trust. Although the number of skincare sales by doctors is rapidly increasing, most of these sales are completed by a few medical practices that are successful with skincare sales. Most doctors are unsuccessful at retailing skincare. This is usually because they feel conflicted or do not make it a priority. The doctors that are successful at selling skincare in their practice share some behaviors in common. The processes pursued by the medical providers who are successful at retailing skincare will be discussed in this chapter.


There has been much debate over the years about the ethics of doctors selling skincare in medical practices.2,3 The arguments against selling skincare include:

  • Risking or potentially harming the physician-patient relationship

  • Letting financial concerns override concerns for patient health

  • Disclosing conflict of interest to the patient4

  • Recommending products that are only available through physicians5

There is little doubt that when a physician tells a patient they should use certain skincare products, the patient feels compelled or strongly inclined to purchase and use them. The physician or medical provider should take great care not to take advantage of the power of the patient-physician relationship and recommend only products that are proven to work and necessary for the patient. Skincare should be thought of as prescription medications. They should be used for their efficacy, not to make a sale. The products should be the most efficacious available to treat the skin condition. The aggressive approach described in this chapter is ethical when the medical provider is absolutely certain that the products they are recommending are the best options to treat the patient’s skin condition. There is much discussion about the ethics of selling skincare and it all comes down to these questions: “Is this the best option for the patient? Is it efficacious, accessible, likely ...

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