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New in My Practice: Cosmeceuticals

New Line Offe rs Alternative to Human Growth Factor-based Formulations
By: Vivian Bucay, MD

Who is using Makucell?

The Renewnt products by Makucell, Inc. were launched earlier this year, and their use right now is mostly by dermatologists who have learned of this new technology through word of mouth from colleagues. In our practice, we recommend it to treat photodamage, fine lines, dyschromia, and textural changes associated with long-term sun exposure.

Why is it attractive?

What makes Renewnt a game-changer for me is the fact that it does not rely on growth factors for rejuvenation but rather selectively modulates the Wnt signaling pathway to turn on stem cell differentiation without the potential of upregulating mechanisms that could increase the risk of skin cancer in already-compromised skin. I have long had a concern about the potential but theoretical risk of encouraging the growth of skin cancers when using cosmeceuticals loaded with human growth factors. Although regarded as safe, true long-term studies specifically evaluating the risk of skin cancers following long-term use of some well-known products are lacking and may never be done because of the expense and years needed to follow the study subjects.

Do you use Makucell yourself?

I do! As a stage 4 melanoma survivor, I am very strict when it comes to what I put on my skin and do a rigorous review of the ingredient lists of the products I use and recommend to my patients. A compound can be classified as a cosmeceutical for a variety of reasons, but that does not mean that it is not exerting an effect. I view and treat cosmeceuticals the way I do drugs—with the utmost respect. I use all four of the products: Renewnt for Hydration (the face cream for day and night), Renewnt for Brightness (with azelaic acid and lactic acid), Renewnt for Strength (for hands and forearms), and Renewnt for Firmness (for neck and décolletage). They have no fragrance and integrate well into my existing skin care regimen. I still use a retinoid, topical antioxidants, and a sunscreen. One of the really nice things I like about the products is that they cause no irritation whatsoever, nor are they photosensitizing. That means that even patients with sensitive skin or those who are constantly exposed to the sun can use them without any problems.