Skincare Anarchy

Unveiling the Science behind Hypoallergenic Beauty Products ft. Dr. Carina Woodruff

November 10, 2023 Ekta et al. Episode 573
Unveiling the Science behind Hypoallergenic Beauty Products ft. Dr. Carina Woodruff
Skincare Anarchy
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Skincare Anarchy
Unveiling the Science behind Hypoallergenic Beauty Products ft. Dr. Carina Woodruff
Nov 10, 2023 Episode 573
Ekta et al.

Let’s Chat

Ever felt the wrath of a skin reaction from a seemingly innocent beauty product or struggled to find skincare that doesn't irritate your sensitive skin? Our guest for this episode, Dr. Carina Woodruff, a board-certified dermatologist and allergy specialist, may just have the solution you're looking for. Dr. Woodruff, a co-founder of the skincare line Vetted, takes us through her journey from her personal experience with scoliosis to her passion for dermatology and allergy testing. We delve into the often overlooked topic of contact dermatitis, and the importance of patch testing before using products. 

This episode is not merely about highlighting the challenges, but also about presenting solutions. Dr. Carina Woodruff, along with her colleagues Dr. Bottle and Dr. Fox, have taken the challenge head-on to provide high-performance skincare products for people with allergies. Their creation, Vetted, is a skincare brand that combines scientific research with beauty innovation, placing a strong emphasis on hypoallergenic, non-medicinal products that still deliver a high-quality beauty experience. We discuss the concept of "clean beauty" and how it's not just a marketing ploy but a science-backed approach to skincare.

Moreover, we also touch upon the significance of hair care and the potential adverse reactions from using powerful surfactants in combination with sensitizers in products. Dr. Woodruff shares her personal experience of switching shampoos, witnessing a noticeable difference in her acne, and how her new skincare brand, Better Derm Lab, aims to help those with sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions. Join us for this enlightening and resourceful episode as we explore the intersection of dermatology, skincare, and the science of allergies.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Let’s Chat

Ever felt the wrath of a skin reaction from a seemingly innocent beauty product or struggled to find skincare that doesn't irritate your sensitive skin? Our guest for this episode, Dr. Carina Woodruff, a board-certified dermatologist and allergy specialist, may just have the solution you're looking for. Dr. Woodruff, a co-founder of the skincare line Vetted, takes us through her journey from her personal experience with scoliosis to her passion for dermatology and allergy testing. We delve into the often overlooked topic of contact dermatitis, and the importance of patch testing before using products. 

This episode is not merely about highlighting the challenges, but also about presenting solutions. Dr. Carina Woodruff, along with her colleagues Dr. Bottle and Dr. Fox, have taken the challenge head-on to provide high-performance skincare products for people with allergies. Their creation, Vetted, is a skincare brand that combines scientific research with beauty innovation, placing a strong emphasis on hypoallergenic, non-medicinal products that still deliver a high-quality beauty experience. We discuss the concept of "clean beauty" and how it's not just a marketing ploy but a science-backed approach to skincare.

Moreover, we also touch upon the significance of hair care and the potential adverse reactions from using powerful surfactants in combination with sensitizers in products. Dr. Woodruff shares her personal experience of switching shampoos, witnessing a noticeable difference in her acne, and how her new skincare brand, Better Derm Lab, aims to help those with sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions. Join us for this enlightening and resourceful episode as we explore the intersection of dermatology, skincare, and the science of allergies.

Support the Show.

Follow The Show On All Socials Using The Tag @skincareanarchy

Speaker 1:

Hi guys, welcome back to another episode of Spatial therapy. This is your most effective and I have the wonderful Dr Karina Woodruff here with me today. She is a board certified dermatologist and also the founder of her a very wonderful line that I'm really excited to introduce you guys to vetted. So welcome to show Dr Woodruff, I'm so excited to host you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, dr Acta, so excited to be here, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm, you know. I know that you have such an incredible background in medicine and dermatology and you are an allergy specialist as well under the field of dermatology, so I'm really excited to talk to you and learn from you in that regard, in addition to learning all about vetted. But I would love to get started with you telling us about how you got into medicine and why you chose dermatology, and if you could walk us down memory lane, that'd be a great place to start.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh my God, I haven't thought about this in a long time, but really it truly. It all goes back to when I was a child, because I had scoliosis and I had to have major surgery. And I was 17 and it completely changed my life. You know, I revolutionized everything from that point forward improve my quality of life and for pain I was. You know my self esteem and I realized how powerful medicine can be and what an impact a physician can have, and I think I always came back to that like I explored a lot of other things in undergrad. But I just think it's such an honor and privilege to get to have that impact at work and it makes me feel just like I'm doing something with my life that I'm so proud of, it's so meaningful.

Speaker 2:

So it was my experience as a patient and I never thought I'd do dermatology. I'd never been to a dermatologist before medical school, but I learned a lot of different things and then actually just did a dermatology rotation and I absolutely fell in love with it. I love diagnosis and that's such a huge part of dermatology, you know, it's the visual diagnosis being able to solve a mystery and that's really how I ended up with the allergy testing because, you know, we see so many patients that have eczema and we're giving them topical steroids, we're giving them biologics and these patients a lot of times are you know, they're like they don't want that. They want to know why this is happening and I love being able to do that with patch testing, and many patients were able to clear them, so it's really fun. It's like getting to play detective at work and, yeah, it's awesome.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool. Yeah, I know it's a really big topic too. Actually, I mean in terms of, like, just you know people reacting to products, and I know you mentioned patch testing. I think I'm still trying to, you know, convince even my own family, like, before you try it, you know somewhere else on your body and do a little patch test, because you know we have so many things out here. So I want to learn from you about that, because, you know, I know, with you know, otc products, it's something that we, you know, when we trust the founder or we trust the person behind it, we don't really think about it and a lot of times, as you know, you know, we can be allergic to things that we might not know about you know. So, like if you were to tell us a little bit about you know, just allergic reactions that are common in dermatology, that'd be so beneficial, I think, to myself and everyone listening just to understand.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so contact dermatitis is really it's a very interesting topic. It's incredibly common One in five people at some point in their lifetime will develop an allergic reaction to something that they're putting on their skin, and it's also super underappreciated. So I think even amongst doctors a lot of people don't think about this and it's, you know, very different than, say, peanut allergy, which those types of allergies are IgE mediated, usually develop within the first two years of life. So you're like, okay, I'm good with peanuts, I'm good. It's a little bit different with allergic contact dermatitis.

Speaker 2:

These reactions are delayed reactions that happen when your skin is exposed to chemicals that your T cells recognize, and repeated exposure to these chemicals that are sense we call we call sensitizers. They're chemicals that you know your body can cause allergic reactions in the body eventually causes your T cells to recognize those chemicals and then you get an allergic reaction every time you're exposed to the chemical. But the likelihood of that happening actually increases with age, and so I think that's something most people take for granted that everything that we're putting in our skin you know the fragrances, the preservatives, emulsifiers, the metals we put in our skin every time it touches your skin it's an opportunity to interact with your immune system and at some point in your life you may become allergic. You may be one of those one in five people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, no, that's, I mean, that's the thing that's so interesting to me about the skin is this immune response of the skin. You know, because, like, as you said, it's so different and you know I'm not a dermatologist but you know, in my my expert, you know my field, I always hear about the. You know the other types of allergies like you said, peanuts and you know very acute reactions and it's, I think, for consumers, like we all really need to understand, like you know, what is it that could trigger an allergic reaction for us in term? You know, from a dermatology standpoint, because sometimes I'm not going to lie to you, dr Wood if I go on to like Reddit or these forums, and I'm seeing a lot of people are breaking out or it looks like they're breakouts, you know, but like it makes you wonder like, was that like an allergic reaction? I think.

Speaker 1:

The other day, actually, I saw a video of a young lady and she was saying that because she had been using a moisturizer that she didn't like know was causing this. She was using it for months and months and she had these like really bumpy, like just really coarse skin, you know, like rough skin, little bumps, and she said I had no idea that this was an allergy. I thought it was just my skin. You know, I thought I had little breakouts everywhere all the time and she said I switched my moisturizer and it went away. So that's where I'm like, really interested to get your point of view on. This is like what can we do, you know, to make sure that we're not creating this kind of cycle? Or how can we recognize you know what I mean If we're allergic, versus we have some sort of infection or something?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's such a great point, and that is actually most of the people that come into my clinic. They've been struggling with rashes. Usually contact dermatitis presents with eczema. There are other other types of you know rashes that rarely can happen, but usually it's like scaly bumps that are very itchy and it is very hard to differentiate based on what it looks like.

Speaker 2:

Is this just your immune system acting up? You know, you're, maybe you had eczema as a child, or now have you become allergic to something that you've been putting on your skin? The other thing that makes it really tricky is, unlike, like with peanut allergies we're like, you know, you know, like you eat the peanut and then you're, you start having hives or anaphylaxis. These reactions are delayed, so they can happen like 48 hours after the exposure, and so and the chemicals that cause these reactions are ubiquitous. So like, for example, fragrances are actually a very common cause of reactions, and they're in, you know, it's in your shampoo, it's in your face wash, it's in your cleanser, and so how would somebody even figure that out? Because they're getting exposed to the trigger like multiple times a day, you know. So it's super tricky. The way that we figure it out, of course, is through a process called patch testing, where we test, you know, we place adhesive patches on somebody's skin with the individual chemicals, we leave it in place for 48 hours and then we look for a delayed reaction and it is like you said and that's what you know.

Speaker 2:

I personally suffered from contact dermatitis, and my co-founder, dr Fox, did as well, and I will tell you about that later. But that was one of the things that really compelled us to do this, because you realized, like you are not thinking about this when you're doing that 10 step skincare routine. But there are risks, and once you're allergic, you can't get rid of it. You have to then, the rest of your life, find products that don't have the chemicals. So, yeah, so it's hard to find out, but the way that you can limit the chances of this happening is by choosing products that are truly hypoallergenic.

Speaker 1:

And I wanna actually ask you about that, because what is truly like what is the definition of being like hypoallergenic as a product? Like what should we be looking for? Cause I mean, we know that there are so many ingredients. Now, you know, in every product, like, every time you pick up a skincare product, there's like so many ingredients. So I mean for a consumer to pinpoint what they're allergic to that's gotta be so hard, you know what I mean. So if you could walk us through the definition of, you know, being a hypoallergenic product, that'd be great.

Speaker 2:

Totally and so hypoallergenic. There is no formal definition or criteria, right Like every these chemicals that can cause allergies, what we call sensitizers. Some of them are likely to cause allergies in a lot of people, and so those are strong sensitizers. So that would be something I would say is not hypoallergenic. And then there are things that are like pretty, pretty innocuous but in some people will cause allergies, people who are very sensitive, and so it's hard to say. What's important to know is that the FDA does not regulate the term hypoallergenic, and so when you go to, you know, cvs, walgreens and you have, maybe you have X amount where you're more mindful about ingredients, and you start looking, you're gonna say you're gonna be like oh well, I can pick a product that says hypoallergenic, and surely this was somehow vetted right, but it's not. There's no minimum definition, and so many of those products are, but many of them are not, and unfortunately that's because there's no regulation, and that's important to know that. That's different from the situation in Europe and Canada.

Speaker 2:

For example, there's a chemical that I won't bore you too much with my chemical stories, but this is a pretty shocking one. I think there's a chemical called methyl isothiazolanone. It's a preservative and it's caused these like epidemic of reactions over the years, and it's now been banned in Europe and in Canada in leave on products like a moisturizer and in cleansers and things that wash off. It's been restricted to 15 parts per million. In the US. There's no regulation and so, believe it or not, it is still in a bunch of our products. It's still weekly a cause of contact dermatitis in my clinic and I've even once in a while found it in products that are, like dermatologists approved or hypoallergenic. So it's very challenging for consumers because I think there's a lot of misinformation out there. I would say an easy thing to do if you want to look for stuff that's hypoallergenic is starting with fragrance free, because that's a little bit easier to identify.

Speaker 1:

That makes sense. Wow, I didn't know that. I didn't know that that was found in so many of our products and I feel like that is the case right, like. I mean, I feel like Europe and Asia are so far ahead with their regulations than we are. I just wonder, like, why we are not catching up, you know, faster, like in terms of FDA kind of. I mean, I know FDA is stepping in now, but I wish they were just things are more regulated, I really do, because it needs to be.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I know so many people that I've had terrible reactions, and I mean, whether it's like immediate or delayed, like you said, it's always like. I've always known people that have like and they always say you know, I have very sensitive skin. But then that makes you also wonder, you know, is it because you have very sensitive skin or is it just because you've been using something very sensitizing for a long time? You know? So it's like your skin. Yeah, it's easily triggered at that point. But I want to ask you, you know, I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about, you know, vettered Derm Lab. I know that's your brand and I, by the way, I absolutely adore it and I want to learn more about it in terms of why you created it, what was the process behind it, and you know the real vision. If you could share that with us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so basically you know I worked with my two co-founders, nina Bottle, lindy Fox they're the three of us are all dermatologists and Dr Bottle and I do patch testing, contact dermatitis and Dr Fox is like a world renowned medical dermatologist. Dr Bottle was actually my mentor in patch testing. She's like the most generous and amazing clinician and we were kind of brought together through this serendipitous situation. We were all at UCSF together and Dr Fox developed contact dermatitis and you know, nina patch tested her and then I also had I actually posted about it the other day I had like this horrible case of perioroid dermatitis would not get better. So embarrassing, cause I'm like a dermatologist, I was a resident at the time and Nina patch tested me and then I found out I was allergic to a bunch of stuff and got better.

Speaker 2:

And Lindy and I realized when we you know, when we had to start looking for products that were hypoallergenic and didn't have our allergens, that there were very few options in terms of like high performance, truly hypoallergenic skincare that didn't feel medicinal. You know that gave you a beauty experience and allowed you to kind of indulge in that experience and do something anti-aging for your skin. So that sort of started the process. You know, it's something we see every day in clinic. And then, like we kind of just were like why? I mean, this is crazy. We're all academic dermatologists, you know, we do research. None of us are in, none of us are in social media at the time and we were like, but we should just do this, like this is so important. There's a gap in the market and there's a lot of people creating products, but there's nobody out there that has the particular expertise that we have, where we literally talk about chemicals all day in our practice with touch testing, and we just felt compelled to solve this clinical problem for our patients. So we did it backwards.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I love that you actually went and had a problem that you were solving that you actually experienced. I think a lot of times as clinicians, like we can often forget that there's a gap between how someone is feeling the patient's feeling a certain way, versus the way you see it as a doctor. You know what I mean. So I think that's a really unique story that you have, that that it's founded an experience, both, obviously, professional and personal. So that's huge. So what were some of the things like for vetting that you wanted to keep out of the formulas? What were the big no-nos for you in terms of ingredients?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we have a very long list on our website, but basically the main new addition is very strict criteria of hyperallergenicity. So we basically excluded all the common chemicals that we patched test to. That we know cause reactions in people, which meant that we had to find different surfactants and different preservatives and had to get creative Things that are less commonly used to make the formulations work. But we also, in addition to that so we did, we used all the epidemiologic data that we have. Actually, nina is part of this very prestigious research group that collects data on patch test results in North America and then they publish these large every year updates on what are the common allergens.

Speaker 2:

So, in addition to using all that data, we also wanted to engage with the concept of clean beauty when we thought about our chemicals, and that's a big part of what we wanted to do too, because I think we saw a lot of promise in the clean beauty movement, but we felt like this concept was missing. We know that, for example, a lot of clean beauty. There's research that clean beauty products 94 percent of them have common allergens. We wanted to incorporate that. So other things that we included in the vetting process was we wanted to look at data about sustainability with something ethically sourced. Is it toxic? So is there actually credible evidence that this is an endocrine disruptor, or is this? So we would try to vet it on all those different tiers, and then the few chemicals that made it through are the ones you see in our formulations.

Speaker 1:

Wow. That's interesting because I think that there is this real. I feel like it's happening right now in the industry and maybe you've noticed it as well. But I think a whole category is forming and I'd like to call it like clinically clean beauty, and the reason I say that is because it's founded by professionals such as yourself. It's created as a whole niche that's being created where people are now realizing that you don't have to compromise efficacy, you don't have to compromise results and actually getting what you want out of your skincare, but then you also know that it's clean and it's still vetted by dermatologists. You know what I mean? It's backed by dermatologists, it's something that works and you're not going to harm yourself. So I think it's a very interesting category and that's why I'm really intrigued by the whole hypoallergenic thing and the response or the route that you've taken, because I think it's very novel.

Speaker 1:

A lot of times when you see these brands pop up, it's really under that umbrella. Like clean has had this very misleading umbrella, I think, with the term clean beauty for a long time, and I've just never been a fan of it as a consumer. But I am a fan of something created by someone such as yourself and your team and your colleagues, and that is rooted in science, but it's just not going to make you have allergic reactions or break out unnecessarily, and so that's huge. So I really applaud you for that, because it's definitely a new niche in our industry.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Yeah, and that's exactly. You perfectly captured it. We thought, hey, clean beauty is awesome, the concept Like we're all moms, right, and I think that's really informed my thinking about everything I do. I'm like we have a footprint on the planet. The beauty industry has a footprint. I want to make sure that we are having a good impact. So like sustainability, recyclable, that's, you know, non-toxic, that's all awesome, but a lot of it is not evidence based. And, yeah, our experience was like these clean beauty products they don't really work. Yeah, and essential oils are super sensitizing. So it's actually like I see every single week, patients come into my practice and they're like, well, you know, I've come in with their suitcase. They're like I've spent thousands, I've switched all clean beauty and my ex is still out of control. So I just don't understand and I'm like, well, it's probably because actually you switched to clean beauty products that you're ex-emise, out of control.

Speaker 2:

So we wanted to not have people make that compromise and the piece that you mentioned, that is like you know. We're like we know what works. There's a lot of evidence behind vitamin C, retinoids, you know, niacinamide ceramides, and so we're like it was avoiding all the bad stuff and then like we should formulate products with stuff that there's a lot of evidence for not like you know, not stuff that's hyped up and gimmicky and exciting one day without a lot of evidence and gone the next.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. I'm glad you did that. You brought up a really one of the ingredients you brought up is very near and dear to my heart. I've done a lot of actual bench research on it as well and written papers about it, and that's niacinamide. I kid you not, every time someone wants to come down on niacinamide I feel like it's a personal protector. I love niacinamide. I think it's just such a great. Niacinamide is just so great.

Speaker 1:

And I think a lot of the ingredients that you mentioned to add to your point. You're right, they're tried, true and there's data. We can't argue with that. At the end of the day, If you have about 50 papers proving the efficacy of something, you have to go with that. The scientific mind comes in. That's what kicks in when you see these ingredients that are working. And I love seeing brands like yours that are saying no, we're going to stick to the stuff that's working, we're going to stick to the stuff there's actual research behind. Because, you're right, Clean beauty. I feel like it has been for so long. This playground of made in the kitchen beauty. You know what I mean. Made in someone's freaking barn. I don't believe in that. As a scientist myself, I can't sit here and say that you can make a skincare line in non-controlled environments and add whatever you want and all that stuff. It's just not logical.

Speaker 2:

I don't want it in my skin. If you made it in your kitchen, I know Me neither.

Speaker 1:

I think there's nothing wrong with us boldly being able to say that, but it's really really nice to know that there are entrepreneurs, slash doctors like yourself that are taking it on now. I mean, you're taking the space on and you're saying it can still be clean, but we're going to do it right. Screw the bullshit. I think that's great. I want to ask you how many SKUs are in the line and how did you know, starting off, this is what we want to create and this is the amount of products you want to make, or how was that process?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we basically were like we want to give people what we do every day. I want to create a product that I want to use every day and is everything that I'm going to use. We have five products, five SKUs. We have a cleanser. We have an RM1 moisturizer, which is a lighter moisturizer. Some people like to use it during the day. It's great if you have more oily skin. Rm2 is our rich moisturizer. It's packed with like possible lipids and is really rich. I like to use that at night. Some people like to use it morning and night if you have more dry skin or more mature skin. Then we have our two serums, which are our vitamin C serum, which is we like to use in the morning with sunscreen, and then our retinoid serum.

Speaker 2:

Truly, I think, if you ask most dermatologists, those are the things they do. Most dermatologists are not using toner. We're not using hyaluronic acid. There's a lot of other stuff Bacchusia or whatever. Those are the tried and true ingredients with a ton of efficacy behind them. We were like, if you're going to invest in a product, invest in something that you know is going to work and is high quality. That's what I do every day. That's what we started with. We have dreams of additional SKUs. This is where we landed in terms of what is absolutely essential to offer at the starting point.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. I like that. It's a fair range. That's nice that you have options, but it's not too cluttered. I like that because I think there is a lot to be said about brands that have like about 50 different products, and not in the best way, because I think you're just confusing people at that point. I'm not a fan of that. I think when you give the option of a lighter and a more richer option in terms of moisturizers or serums, I think that's fair. That's a good thing to have that. More importantly, I want to know, because you are using these tried and true ingredients, I would love to hear about what your version of a good retinoid product is. What do you think or what went into yours? If you could explain that, because a lot of times we get questions about retinol and retinol or any of the vitamin A derivatives and people always ask me Ecta, is it important? Do I need a retinoid? I'm like, well, I'm not a dermatologist. Now that I have you, I want to ask you what is a good retinoid product?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think if you're going to do anti-aging, that is the most apt like, that's the essential product you've got to do. It just has so many benefits for the skin In addition to anti-acne. It smooths out like, evens out skin tone, improves texture all the things that we associate visibly with aging retinoid address and so that's something in the core of my anti-aging regimen that I recommend for all my patients. And I think there's two things you want to be looking for One you want to look for the most powerful retinoid that you can tolerate for your skin, and so if you are someone with oily skin, you don't have irritation, then go for a tretinoin the prescription strength and that might work really well for you. But if you are someone with more sensitive skin and every time you use tretinoin you get days of peeling and you can't use it more than twice a week, then it really makes sense to find a retinoid that your skin is able to tolerate on a daily basis, because consistency is what's going to translate to results over time. So we use hydroxypenicone retinoid, which is a newer retinoid that targets the retinoid receptor directly, and it's been shown in studies to not only be more stable than other over-the-counter retinoids in terms of stability against things like temperature and oxidation over time. But also it's a lot less irritating and in some studies, at high concentrations, it's comparable to retinoin. So it kind of ticks all the boxes and I really think is a really exciting ingredient that I think is going to blow up.

Speaker 2:

I'm starting to see a lot of other brands incorporate HPR as well. But then there is the other piece, because if you're putting something on your skin that's going to exfoliate your skin and kind of, in a way, expose your barrier a little more, you want to make sure that you don't have other things in there that are sensitizers. And that's what I see in some of the other brands that have HPR or have retinoids. You have a retinoid but then you're putting fragrance, you have propylene glycol, you have vitamin E and those are the things. Over time You're putting that in your skin over and over again and you're going to increase the risk that you're going to get sensitized. And so that's what we try to do with our retinoid. We have the HPR, we have squalene, which helps repair the barrier, so it kind of nicely balances out that like peeling and dryness that retinoids can cause. It doesn't have any of the other common sensitizers. That could be a problem for you.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Yeah, I haven't heard of HPR yet, and that's interesting that you mentioned that, because I literally was making a video the other day for my TikTok where it was about trying to explain to people like the different steps of turning vitamin A into the actual trepinoid, the binds to receptors and all that good stuff. But that's interesting that it binds directly to the receptor, so the potency is probably a lot higher than your conventional retinal products then, for sure, yeah, so I'm curious about that because wouldn't I mean see, this is where I get a little like it becomes a gray area for me, because I feel like when products are very potent and they're working, for example, like I said, at the receptor site, is that something we should be mindful of as consumers in terms of allergy and reactions, when that increase the risk of having allergic reactions, or does it actually lower it?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's a little bit more complicated because so, as an allergen, retinoids in general are very they're not really a common cause of allergies, but they are a common cause of irritant dermatitis. So it's not the effect of retinoids, aren't due to, you know, t cells recognizing the retinoids and then causing an immune response when they're exposed. Usually it's just because they cause all this like epidermal turnover, and then you get scaling and irritation, and in the studies it actually was a lot less irritating than retinoin, and so that's the sort of reason why for us it was kind of an optimal candidate for our retinoid, for retinol serum, because it is so much less irritating. And we also have ongoing clinical trials which we should be, you know, publishing on our and reporting on our site in the next few months.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Thank you for answering that. Yeah, because I'm. I asked because I am like, for example, me, I am allergic to benzoyl peroxide and I kick you not.

Speaker 1:

Whenever I talk to any germs they're like oh, you're joking, I'm like no, I really am. I'm terribly allergic to it. Only skincare ingredient I can't use. And you know, I've had so many times where I've gone to germs and they've prescribed it to me and you know, in my younger years I'd use it right, and then I didn't realize that I was older than I was allergic to it because I was using it in other OTC products and I didn't know that it had it and I was like, oh my gosh, I am really allergic to this, you know, and it's a common ingredient, it's a common thing that you're prescribed, you know, from the doctor. So that's why I ask, and I think it's you know.

Speaker 1:

Again, it feeds back to what you were saying, where it's like you know, we just have to, we have to know, you know what is known to be, you know an allergen or what's not. And I remember when I had looked into, like benzoyl peroxide for example, I noticed there were a lot of people that had an allergy to it, you know. So I think it helps to kind of dig in, you know if you're a consumer like dive into, like these ingredients and understand if you are or not allergic to it yourself, so that you can, you know, look for it further. But that's really cool. About the retinol, though, I'm interested to see you know how HPR like the results of it as compared to normal. That's really cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and you're absolutely right. By the way, benzoyl peroxide is commonly an irritant, but it can also be an allergen and we patch test to it sometimes. So if you were here in Dallas, I would patch test you to proof.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I'm sure, like I just think that people didn't believe me because it was so you know what I mean so readily available, you know, and prescribed, so but yeah, I mean, I think it's definitely a better world now that we live in and you know people go the extra mile to figure out these kind of things and that's great. But I want to actually ask you I know that you have vitamin C as well, I think is it a special kind of like stabilized vitamin C that you're using, or most?

Speaker 1:

people are prefer stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure. So we have. It's a combination of tetrahexyl desolate, a scorebate and a scorebore tetrisopalmitate. Okay, I said it, it's hard to say it sometimes these are a lipophilic vitamin C derivatives, and so we know that. You know, one of the issues with vitamin C is that they often don't even get absorbed by the skin, and so these lipophilic derivatives, we know are absorbed by the skin and we stabilize them with ferulic acid, which has its own antioxidant properties, but and it's a 15% concentration, so it's, you know, comparable to some of what we call medical grade, which, by the way, isn't a real term either. But it's comparable to some of the medical grade really expensive vitamin C serums, but doesn't have any of the sensitizers like propylene glycol, fragrance, vitamin E, that are often added in there to neutralize the smell of ferulic acid or, you know, for added potential, added benefit, like vitamin E, for example, but can cause allergies.

Speaker 1:

Right. No, that's really cool, though, because I know vitamin C has come a long way. You know we've come a long way with vitamin C now, I think, in terms of formulation. So that's good to know that, because, you know, for me personally, I cannot stand like the products that have like, say, like 20% vitamin C. You know what I mean. I'm just like why? Why are we doing this Like we do not need 20% vitamin C? But I think it's important to know, like you know, if an ingredient is stabilized versus not, and that'll help a lot in your consumer decisions, because you want results at the end of the day, and especially with something like an antioxidant. You know vitamin C is known to be an antioxidant, as all of us know. For everyone listening, you want the. You know the version of the molecule that's going to last long enough to be an antioxidant, you know.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, Absolutely, and that's so right, Eta. You know, you see, these vitamin C serums that are packaged with droppers and you're just like every time you open that bottle it's getting oxidized and it turns yellow and you know then it doesn't work anymore. And it's one of the most challenging things, I think, for consumers. And I totally get it, I mean, as a dermatologist. It's like if I wasn't a founder and I had spent so much time deciding what to put on my product. It's so hard to figure out what is stable, you know. And then, like, pure vitamin C sounds so great but you have to have such an acidic pH that it is so irritating for most people to have pure vitamin C in their product. And, like you said, it's like 20% vitamin C sounds fabulous, but then if you can only use it once a week because you start to break out in rashes, if you use them more often, then again not going to translate to results.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, yeah, and it's that consistency that really matters, and you know that actually. You know I have a big question for you about you know, just if you do have sensitive skin or you're having an allergic reaction to something that you've used, what do you recommend you know people do in that situation? Do you just completely leave your skin alone I mean, do you even cleanse your skin at that point, or would you recommend just using water?

Speaker 2:

I think if you're having a reaction, the first thing I would do is take away the actives, you know, vitamin C and retinoids, because those things can definitely be their common cause of irritation. Serums, all that we still want to cleanse, you still want to moisturize, but I would use stuff that's really basic, not so stuff that's hypoallergenic, and try to do kind of like a skin diet where you kind of really pare it down and try to see, if you know, adding back one thing at a time, you can figure out what the trigger is. But the funny thing that people don't realize is like it's not just about what you put on your face. Like your hair products, for example, can also cause rashes on your face. Your acrylic nails can cause rashes in your eyelids, so it's very complicated.

Speaker 2:

But what I usually do when my patients are having reactions, you know, we treat them, we give them some topical medications, I put them on what I call like a skin diet, which is like a list of products that are like safe. You know that I personally vetted the ingredient lists and then we see if they get better and a lot of times they do. And then that's when I say, hey, you're probably allergic to something in your products, so we should patch test you.

Speaker 1:

I love that and I like that approach. I like what you said about hair washing as well. I think that's huge actually because and not talked about enough in my opinion I remember, even as a teenager, that was one of my problems. I was using like one of those huge like you know, like the big drugstore brands, and I was always breaking out. And I think when I switch shampoos is when I really saw like a difference in my acne. You know like I hadn't even like, even though I was using product for my acne treatment. You know I was like doing what my germs said. I was on antibiotics, I was doing all these things but the shampoo I was using was causing me to break out and it was.

Speaker 1:

I had no idea. You know like at all and you know I've known people that I've had like. For example, I don't know if you've seen it a lot in your practice, but like the scalp, like they get little bumps all over their scalp and they're like why am I getting this all of a sudden? And you don't realize it. But it's shampoo, you know sometimes like it's your hair care product. So that's huge. I think that's a huge conversation that the industry needs to have you know, in terms of like, what people are putting in these hair care products, because they're definitely causing reactions.

Speaker 2:

Oh, totally. And you pair like a powerful surfactants that are meant to cleanse. Remove all the oils you know, cleanse your scalp and a bunch of sensitizers, and you've got a recipe for disaster. So yeah, you know, or that it may be going next.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I was going to ask you. That's good though, that's exciting. You just gave me a really cool sneak peek into that. I mean I really love your brand though. I mean my skin's been loving it. You know it's really really easy on the skin, like I said, you know I really believe in this new niche. You know it's clinically clean skincare.

Speaker 1:

It works and you know, for everyone listening out there, if you are somebody who has really sensitive skin or even somebody who worries about, you know, exacerbating something you already have, like eczema or any kind of condition, this is the brand I mean this is a wonderful brand. It will not cause any, you know, further problems or even create problems, because I know right now, nothing was just fragrances, dr Woodruff, I feel like fragrances. People are becoming more privy and understanding that. You know we don't want fragrance in our product. But I'm noticing, even with the preservatives that certain brands use, you know so like it's huge, the huge thing, like I think even preservatives are becoming gated now to where we need to reevaluate that whole model and think of what are we using. But your brand is so good, like it's. It's so, so gentle, but it's it works and I really loved it. So far.

Speaker 2:

So that makes me so happy. I mean, it took so long for us to find a lab that was willing to work with us, because they were all like you guys are crazy. We don't do it like that. We tell you what goes in the product, you tell us what the product is supposed to be like like reverse engineering, you know. And finally we found a wonderful lab, and I can tell you, dr Ech, that there were so many iterations because all of us, it was just so important for us that we created something that we ourselves wanted to use. You know, and and I, we landed there Like we, we all love it. That is what I use all the time and I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it too. Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

No, I love the brand and for everyone listening, I will be, you know, tagging obviously everything in the concept art for this episode, but I really urge you guys, check out Better Derm Lab. It's a great line, it's a great set of products and, like Dr Woodruff mentioned, there's something there for you. You know it's. It's just enough. It's just enough. You know it's just enough. It's just enough for you to find what works for you.

Speaker 1:

And again, you know, especially I don't know if anyone else is like this, but for me, my skin is very finicky in the winter months. You know, it's really like as if I have brand new skin. It's like I have a whole different set of problems, you know, that are right in the winter. So I think for the winter, I always gravitate more like gentle lines, gentle products, you know, things that are just not going to make it like freak out, and I can definitely see myself just being on this routine for the winter and using bedded and being, you know, content, because I think that's what all you really need is like really good products that work, and as long as they're not messing with your skin or drawing it out in the winter, I think it's, it's solid. So I'm a huge fan and I hope that everyone listening you guys check it out.

Speaker 1:

I will tag everything there, but if you have any questions for me or any questions for Dr Woodruff and her team, please reach out. Let us know. We'll pass them along. But, dr Woodruff, it's been such a pleasure chatting with you. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

You too. This was so much fun. Thank you, Dr Ector.

Speaker 1:

Thank you and for everyone listening. I'll be back next time.

Understanding Allergic Reactions in Dermatology
Clinically Clean Beauty Innovation
Discussion on Retinoid Products
Haircare and Gentle Skincare Importance
Fan Appreciates Dr Woodruff, Invites Questions