Dermatology and the beauty industry have lost one of their great innovators. Sheldon Pinnell, MD, dermatologist and scientist, passed away on July 4 at the age of 76. His breakthrough investigative research on the uses of topical antioxidants lead to the founding of cosmeceutical company SkinCeuticals in 1994.
Dr. Pinnell was the first person to patent a stable form of vitamin C, which was proven through peer-reviewed research to effectively penetrate that skin and deliver eight times the skin’s natural antioxidant protection. The antioxidant benefits of vitamin C help the skin defend itself against sun damage as well as other aggressors.
“Prior to the introduction of topical vitamin C in the early 1990s, skincare professionals were largely limited to sunscreens to protect against the deleterious effects of the sun. It was Dr. Pinnell who gave the medical community the confidence to transform the approach to at-home skincare,” stated SkinCeuticals co-founders, Alden Pinnell and Russell Moon.
A graduate of Duke University’s Trinity College, Dr. Pinnell earned his medical degree at Yale University and trained at the University of Minnesota Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in West Germany. Dr. Pinnell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry at Duke University, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa academic honors.
Dr. Pinnell served as SkinCeuticals chief medical advisor, and at the time of his death, he was the J. Lamar Callaway Professor Emeritus of Dermatology and Chief Emeritus of the Division of Dermatology at Duke University. He passed away peacefully in Durhamn North Carolina, and is survived by his wife Dr. Doren Madey Pinnell; three sons, Kevin, Alden, and Tyson; and five grandchildren