Meet the Skincare Chemist
With an educational background in pharmacy and chemistry and a career dedicated to dermatology and skincare, Barbara is Vice President, Technology & Clinical Evaluations at NeoStrata Company, Inc. She is responsible for the clinical programs to support the NeoStrata®, NeoCeuticals®, Exuviance® and CoverBlend® skin care brands. She also guides technical development and commercialization of the company’s patented skincare technologies, including the revolutionary alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), polyhydroxy acids, bionic acids and the emerging aminosugars.
What makes hydroxy acids so useful for maintaining skin health?
I am a huge fan of hydroxy acids. Having worked with them in clinical studies for many years at NeoStrata, I am convinced of their exceptional benefits, and don’t go a day without using them. While many other ingredient technologies target improvement of one aspect of skin, the hydroxy acids benefit all of the layers of skin, having multiple effects including increased cell turnover (making skin softer and brighter), and increased thickness and health of the epidermal layers with more even distribution of skin pigment (giving skin a healthy tone and texture). To target fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin firmness, hydroxy acids build volumizing components in skin. The hydroxy acids, including the alpha and poly hydroxy acids, provide consistent and predictable anti-aging effects to skin. Studies prove it!
What are your personal desert island beauty products?
My must-have products are a foaming cleanser, a daytime anti-aging moisturizer with sunscreen and a repairative night cream. It’s probably no surprise that I use Exuviance products: Purifying Cleansing Gel, Essential Daily Defense Fluid SPF 15 and Evening Restorative Complex. For added sunscreen protection, I like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock, and I always have something on my lips to keep them hydrated – lip balm or gloss. I currently have Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer, MAC frost lipstick and Nivea Kiss of Moisture in my bag. For makeup, I never miss wearing mascara – L’Oreal Lash Out is my favorite.
Which of the products that you have developed for NeoStrata are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of developing some of NeoStrata’s newer anti-aging ingredients, including the bionic acids (e.g., lactobionic acid) and NeoGlucosamine. The bionic acids are in the alpha-hydroxy acid family, but they offer many additional benefits over traditional AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc.) because they are gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin, after cosmetic procedures and around the eyes. NeoStrata has several products that contain the bionic acids – the one I am most proud of is the Exuviance Ultra Restorative Crème, which is a high strength formulation that is non-irritating (it is the same as saline solution in irritation tests!). It’s a highly moisturizing product that can be used on all types of sensitive skin. NeoGlucosamine firms skin and increases skin clarity. Check it out in Exuviance Sheer Refining Fluid, SPF 15.
What is going to be the future of skin care?
As we look around at the cosmetic product landscape, we are starting to see combination products that merge various benefit ingredients in one product or product regimen. For example, a peptide that targets increased collagen may be combined with a retinoid to target other aspects of the aging process in skin. This is a concept that NeoStrata believes in wholeheartedly and is embracing in new product offerings.
Are you a mom?
I am a mom! And I love it. I have a son in middle school and a daughter in elementary school, and they keep me very busy with sports and Girl Scouts and many other activities.
What’s your favorite bag?
Since my closet is full of them, I guess I’d have to say my favorite bag is a Coach bag. I am currently carrying a boxy, tan leather Coach bag with silver buckles. My favorite was the blue Coach Signature Stripe reversible tote. That reminds me, it’s time to get that bag out again!