Acne treatments get fresh face

Anyone who suffers—or has suffered—from acne knows that it can be a devastating condition that can bring about depression, anxiety, embarrassment and social dysfunction. With a new school year beginning, finding an effective acne treatment undoubtedly is high on the list for many teens looking to banish blemishes.

It is a segment that, according to Information Resources Inc., garnered sales of $358 million for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 10 at food, drug and mass (excluding Wal-Mart)—up about 1 percent compared with one year ago.

Underscoring the importance of acne treatments is recent research conducted by Cynthia L. Chen and colleagues at the University of California. The findings were published in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The study was of 266 teen volunteers with acne who were surveyed on how much of their time they would give up or how much money they would pay to never have acne, to be 100-percent acne-free from then on, to have 100-percent acne clearance but with visible scarring, or to have 50-percent acne clearance.

It is no surprise that those adolescents who rated their acne as more severe were more willing to trade more time and money for clear skin than those with less severe acne.

When it comes to money, the research team found that teens were willing to pay a median of $275 to have never had acne, $100 to be 100-percent acne-free, $10 for a 50-percent reduction in blemishes and nothing if 100 percent clearance meant scarring.

And because parents typically foot the bill for acne-treatment products, they also were surveyed. The findings were similar, with parents saying they would spend a median amount of $250 for their child to never have had acne.

There has been a noticeable shift in the way many Americans view acne, thanks in part to the highly publicized Proactiv Solution. Through its celebrity-laden direct-to-consumer ads, Proactive Solution has helped redefine acne as an adult problem and not just that of hormonally-charged teens. This has spilled into the OTC acne-treatment market. And adult acne sufferers typically want products that are more gentle and make their skin smoother and more youthful, noted research firm Euromonitor International in its most recent U.S. Medicated Skin Care report.

Sales of top 5 acne treatmentsSource: Information Resources Inc., for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 10 for food, drug and mass (excluding Wal-Mart).*Dollars in millions
Product$ sales*
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash treatments29.0
Clearasil Ultra Acne treatments26.8
University Medical Acne-Free treatments23.6
OXY Acne treatments16.5
Clearasil Acne treatments14.9
Total acne treatments$358

Among the newest products to join Mentholatum’s arsenal of acne-fighting treatments is the Oxy Sensitive line that includes Oxy Sensitive cleansing pads, face wash and spot treatment. For men, there’s also the new Oxy Shave line. This collection includes shave cream, post shave lotion, daily moisturizer, spot treatment and face wash. The shave products include either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. An addition to the Maximum line is the Oxy Body Wash.

Stiefel Laboratories, maker of the acne treatment line PanOxyl, has spent the last year revamping and repackaging all of its products, reshooting commercials, redoing its Web site and tripling and quadrupling the spend behind the brand. As a result, the company has experienced 45 percent growth, Shayne Sundholm, vice president of the consumer healthcare division, told Drug Store News in an interview earlier this year.

Procter & Gamble has agreed to sell the rights of its Noxzema skin care brand to Alberto-Culver, including Triple Clean blemish-fighting formulas.

The deal includes the existing business in the United States, Canada and portions of Latin America. P&G will continue to operate its existing Noxzema shave care, antiperspirant/deodorant, body wash and body soap business in portions of Western Europe.

At the NACDS Marketplace Conference earlier this year, DermWorx highlighted its AcneWorx line, which incorporates a nano-particle delivery system known as Novasome technology.

Meanwhile, Neutrogena Dermatologics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena brand, introduced earlier this year skin iD, a personalized acne solution.

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