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Neutrogena MaskiD | A Micro 3-D Printed Face Mask

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Photo: Wix

Is something this customized necessary to achieve your skincare goals?

The short answer to this is that it’s not necessary to achieve your skincare goals, however, it is very exciting. There is a clear frustration and disconnect between consumers and labeling/marketing. It makes navigating the vast aisles at stores with endless beauty supplies almost impossible. Most people just don’t know what to get and end up getting a lot of stuff that ends up in a shoe box because it just "didn’t work". As a dermatologist who also does a significant amount of work in teledermatology that focuses on acne patients, I actually find Neutrogena‘s work in the field of personalized skin analysis fascinating and potentially immensely beneficial as it evolves.

Do you think it's the best advancement in skin care in decades?

The concept behind this product combined with the technology it utilizes in the form of the Neutrogena Skin 360 System and personalized delivery system idea is a huge step in the right direction. The ingredients for the current mask developed by this system are somewhat limited, however.

We're looking for both sides to talk about this product and who might benefit/how it can be used.

The real benefit of this type of system is in how it could be used. The ingredients in this mask are currently mild effective moisturizers and not ‘aggressive’ anti-aging or anti-acne ingredients. The Neutrogena Skin 360 System is evaluating pores, dryness, and lines. If you effectively hydrate your skin then of course you will temporarily minimize the appearance of these three measures but not actually actively treat any underlying issue.

Believe it or not, having just ‘dry skin’ or xerosis as an isolated diagnosis is actually not common. Usually, when I see someone complaining of dry skin they either struggle with side effects from acne and anti-aging medications, contact dermatitis, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis (thought to be related to yeast in our skin), sun damage-related changes causing precancerous or cancerous lesions, or other types of lesions called seborrheic keratoses that on the face can be rough and discolored feeling dry.

The way the current skin 360 is set up, it’s not diagnosing the true underlying cause of the skin concern. This is a problem for long-term management and it also shows the system can be ‘fooled’. I wonder if you put a layer of Vaseline on your skin if the measures assessed could give artificially better scores! There is a disconnect here. Consumers will look at something like this and have one idea of what it can and should do- treat acne, ‘combination’ skin, fight the signs of aging- and then realize it’s doing a nice job hydrating their skin but not necessarily getting rid of their concerns or treating underlying problems. This is ok for someone using it in conjunction with their dermatologist treating underlying conditions and thinking of the mask as a way to just choose the nice ‘recipe’ to supplement a regimen. It doesn’t replace an overall routine targeting underlying concerns.



That being said, the things a dermatologist could do with this if it was to evaluate for the things we know our patients need! Can you imagine if this was marketed to be used by dermatologists to monitor the improvement of treating underlying concerns!? I would love to see them add an acne lesion count- inflamed acne and clogged pores, overall degree of redness, improvement in acne scars, discoloration, etc to the evaluation. I would love to be able to have patients customize a mask that delivers treatment to the skin where needed that is ‘adjusted’ based on improvement! ( I recognize that Neutrogena itself cannot add in prescription meds but if they marketed this to dermatologists directly we sure could!) And, yes, it’s true that masks and wipes are effective delivery methods of topicals to the skin. I actually think they would improve compliance with regimens, they would make it more likely for people to use the right products, and just be more likely to work overall. I could see how there could be cost and time savings in medical expenses by developing the ability to remotely monitor skin progress through teledermatology to save copays and time away from work or school to get to appointments!


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