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    More physicians 'going retail' with private-label product lines

    Return can be huge for small investment


    Dr. Rodan
    For plastic and cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, "going retail" — that is, displaying and selling skincare product lines — requires more than a vendor's license and a display case in the waiting room ... especially if that product line carries the physician's own name.

    The sale of skincare products branded with the names of the physicians who offer them has become a significant trend not only among plastic and cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, but in the cosmetics industry.

    The evolution of private label

    According to Matthew Malin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Malin + Goetz, a New York-based cosmetics firm that specializes in unisex and apothecary skincare products, the skincare marketing trend of the 2000s — products carrying doctors' names — is a natural progression of a 1990s trend.

    "The big trend then was products developed by and branded with the names of Hollywood makeup artists — it was an effort to establish something new and get away from the dominant brands," Mr. Malin tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.

    Dr. Perricone
    "A lot of new upstart companies came along offering products branded with the names of makeup artists. Eventually the marketplace became saturated, and these companies were acquired by the big companies.

    "But the customers of the '90s who bought these products are now concerned about aging, they've begun to see cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, and this has become a new niche concept," he says.

    "There's a slew of what we call 'doctor brands' out there now — no doubt it's a big trend in this industry, and consumers are buying into it like they bought into lines labeled with makeup artists' names a decade ago."

    Brenda Brock
    Mr. Malin cites three examples of skin-care products developed by physicians and now doing a booming business:
    • Proactiv Solution (Proactiv Solution), a line of acne products developed by San Francisco dermatologists Katie Rodan, M.D. (adjunct clinical assistant professor, dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, and private practice, Oakland, Calif.), and Kathy Fields, M.D. (private practice, San Francisco).
    • N.V. Perricone, M.D., Ltd., a Connecticut-based firm that markets skincare and body-care products developed (and self-help books written) by Nicholas Perricone, a clinical and research dermatologist.
    • R Vive (Bays-Brown Laboratories), a skincare line developed by plastic surgeon Gregory Bays Brown, M.D.

    Physician private labels

    These brands and many others have become mega-businesses unto themselves, but the doctor-branded skincare-line trend has also begun to reach the physician who's looking not to create another business, but to enhance his or her practice with a line of custom-labeled — or, as it's called in the marketing world, "private-label" — skincare products.

    "There are many companies out there that make skincare formulas for private labels," Mr. Malin says. "Many companies will customize the formula to exactly what the doctor wants — color, texture, ingredients, packaging — and many offer consulting service to get this done. Companies also will simply bottle formulas they already have available and package (them) with custom brands.


    Bill Gillette
    Bill Gillette is a freelance writer based in Richmond Heights, Ohio.


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