Monday, December 22, 2014

REPOST: 2015 Trends - Top 8 Predictions in Facial Plastic Surgery

With safer, less invasive, and more accessible technologies, expect to see more procedures in 2015, predict cosmetic surgeons. See what pretty prospects are in store for both those seeking to restore their youthful glow from this write-up.  

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As 2014 draws to a close, facial plastic surgeons are gleaning their crystal balls to predict what we will see more of and less of in 2015.

And we will surely see more of nips and tucks. "We expect the interest in cosmetic procedures -- both surgical and non-surgical -- to continue to climb in 2015 due to the improving economy, increased consumer awareness and a growing comfort level with the safety of cosmetic treatments," says Dr. Stephen Park, facial plastic surgeon and president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The stigma of getting a little work done is so last decade.

Here's what else we can anticipate in facial plastic surgery in 2015:

Blurred Lines

The line between cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery will fade. "Today someone who wants a rhinoplasty for functional reasons may also desire a cosmetic benefit, and people who opt for the procedure to correct a bump or another concern also want to breathe better," says Dr. Park.

It's All About the Combination

In 2015, one plus one will equal five or more as facial plastic surgeons learn that stacking procedures - whether fillers plus neurotoxins to smooth wrinkles or laser-assisted drug delivery to ensure that an active ingredient effectively reaches its target tissue - can exponentially increase the benefits of individual stand alone therapies.

Smile, You're Still on Facebook

The selfie trend shows no sign of expiring in 2015. Growing numbers of teens to seniors are seeing themselves all over social media, and are more cognizant of their appearance on these networks. Expect an uptick in requests for rhinoplasty, eyelid rejuvenation and neck contouring and other facial plastic surgery procedures based on these images and the social media era.

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On Golden Pond

Seventy is the new 50 and there is nothing stopping today's active seniors from looking as young as they feel and act. "It is increasingly common for women and men in their 60s and 70s to seek out the expertise of facial plastic surgeons to maintain a youthful appearance. As less invasive techniques continue to evolve, coupled with people living better and longer, there is really no maximum age for cosmetic procedures anymore," said Dr. Park. A recent study showing that even octogenerians are at no higher risk for complications from cosmetic surgery when compared to their younger counterparts will likely encourage even more seniors to seek cosmetic enhancements in the New Year.

Bright Eyes

Advances in rejuvenating the delicate eyelid area are exploding. Procedures to brighten aging eyes and rehabilitate lower eyelid bags and crepey skin will soar in 2015. "When it comes to rejuvenation procedures, blepharoplasty often offers the most bang for the buck. The surgery can be performed in an accredited ambulatory surgery center under local anesthesia by a board certified facial plastic surgeon. It can take years off your face, with minimal risks, side effects and recovery time," said Dr. Park. For patients wishing to avoid surgery, there is a myriad of non-surgical treatments that can also be effective in this area.

Fat Still Phat

Fat grafting will continue to be the biggest game in 2015 thanks to refinements in harvesting techniques as well as more reliable, reproducible results with or without facial surgery. "Research on the power of stem cells and growth factors found in fat will also help confirm the place for fat in the facial plastic surgery hall of fame," says Dr. Park.

The Small Stuff

Facial plastic surgeons are seeing more patients asking for little tweaks that can have a big impact on their overall appearance and self esteem. For example, earlobe reduction, injecting fillers into creases in front of the ears and into the hollows of the face such as the temples and jawline, using energy based devices to remove moles and birthmarks, lifting the upper lip through hidden incisions under the nostrils, as well as soft lifts using resorbable suture material to gently lift up sagging cheeks, brows and jowls.

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Coming Soon to a Syringe Near You

While no one knows exactly when the FDA will act, many facial plastic surgeons are bullish about a new fat-melting injection to help reduce the appearance of double chins, as well as a new topical form of BOTOX®. The FDA nod could come some time in 2015. Stay tuned.

Jay Oyakawa leads DermPRO, a company offering e-commerce solutions for aesthetics providers. Subscribe to this blog for the latest on the cosmetic surgery industry.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cosmeceuticals and the role of the specialist

Medical specialists play a significant role on how their patients view cosmeceuticals. According to a study conducted by the Millennium Research Group, aesthetics patients tend to start with cosmeceuticals recommended by their physicians or dermatologists, before venturing into other treatments. As such, patients rely on their physician to endorse only the best products for them.
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This creates several benefits for practitioners, patients, and even for cosmeceutical companies. To begin with, this allows doctors to directly monitor or control what products their patients are using. Those who self-medicate often try out products without much research or consultation. A specialist recommending cosmeceuticals can help minimize the use of unwarranted and inappropriate products.

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Furthermore, a highly-recommended product can help the cosmeceutical company develop better versions of the said product. Recommendations also provide vital information on what products are in demand and what needs further improvement.

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Of course, doctors need to first determine whether products are well-matched with their practice. This can pose a challenge, as many companies compete in the marketplace. Getting educated on cosmeceuticals and researching what companies specifically provide can help a doctor identify the most compatible products. In addition, the doctor should prepare clinic policies for recommending and dispensing these products, not to mention refund options.

 Jay Oyakawa is a healthcare services expert, who is currently the entrepreneur in residence at GPG Ventures and mentor at Health Wildcatters. Visit this Facebook page for further insights on dermatology and cosmeceuticals.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

REPOST: How selfies help dermatologists diagnose skin conditions

Patients with skin diseases who cannot visit their dermatologists in person can still get clinical advice by taking photos of their skin infections and sending them to their doctors for analysis. According to a new study from the University of Colorado, online communications with dermatologists can be as effective as in-person consultations in treating skin conditions. has the story below:

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While in-office visits may still be best, taking a photo of a skin lesion and sending it to your dermatologist for analysis may be a valuable in treating eczema, a new study finds. "This study shows something interesting - patients' eczema improved regardless whether they saw the doctor for follow-up in the office or communicated online," said one expert not connected to the study, Dr Gary Goldenberg of New York City.

The new technology "gives patients another valuable option of communicating with their doctor," said Goldenberg, who is assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.

The new study was led by Dr. April Armstrong of the University of Colorado, Denver, and published online Oct. 22 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

The study included 156 adults and children with eczema: 78 received typical in-person, follow-up care, while 78 received online follow-up care.

The patients in the online care group sent photos of skin outbreaks to dermatologists, who evaluated the photos, made treatment recommendations and prescribed medications.

After one year, clearance or near clearance of eczema was achieved by almost 44 percent of patients who received in-person care and more than 38 percent of those who received online care only.

The findings show that online dermatology services could help improve access to care in the United States at a time when there are not enough dermatologists to meet demand, the researchers said.

According to Goldenberg, Web-based care, "would be especially important for patients that live in rural areas or those that have transportation issues."

Dr. Doris Day is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She stressed that the office visit still has a big role to play in patient care, however.

"Atopic dermatitis and other chronic conditions often have a strong emotional component," she noted.

"My experience is that the office visit is very important in building the physician-patient relationship and also for the physician to identify any other conditions, such as depression, and to support the patient's compliance in following their skin care regimen."  

Jay Oyakawa is the managing director of DermPRO, an e-commerce and marketing platform that helps dermatologists and other aesthetics providers sell their products and services online. Know more about the company here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Repost: The kale craze creeps into beauty products in face masks, creams and nail polish

Kale has recently become a popular ingredient in face masks, skin-brightening serums, and even nail polishes. FOX Business features some of the most popular beauty brands that champion the leafy superfood.

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This product image released by Eminence Organic shows Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, left, and Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque made with kale. With a boost in popularity as a food and juic, kale has made its way into the beauty industry. 
 (AP Photo/ Eminence Organic) (The Associated Press)

Kale has crept out of salads and juicers into beauty products from niche and mainstream sellers.

The leafy superfood that many love and others love to hate can now be had in face masks, skin-brightening serums, creams and nail polish, pushed along by the march to healthier living and the frenzy to fend off aging.

Kale hasn't displaced other botanicals, which remain a small segment of the multibillion-dollar beauty industry. There's a wide range of plant life and consumables in beauty products, but where else would the new darling in greens land if not beauty aisles, spas and websites?
A look at kale on the beauty side:

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 This product image released by Nails Inc. shows a bottle of Gloucester Walk Nailkale polish. Kale is making its way into beauty products with a boost from its popularity as a healthy green and juice. (AP Photo/Nails Inc.) (The Associated Press)


Sprawled in ads on a bed of kale, British fashion darling Alexa Chung is the face of Nailkale, a new line of 12 nail shades from London-based Nails Inc. They just launched in the U.K. and will hit U.S. shelves in late August.

Nails Inc. founder Thea Green was inspired by a couple of trips to New York City last year.
"On one trip we saw a group of very lovely girls walking down the street all drinking their green juices, and no one in London was drinking green juice then," she said in a recent interview.

"Then I heard a woman in a restaurant, a very proper Upper East Side New Yorker, reject her salad because it was rocket (arugula) and not kale. I thought the whole thing was fascinating," Green said.
Green took kale for nails and its vitamins A, C and K to a laboratory and Nailkale was born.
"I think they thought I was a bit nutty."

Nutty like a fox. She's the first to offer kale for nails.


Eminence Organic Skin Care sells luxury products to more than 3,000 spas worldwide. With roots in Hungary, that's where the company headed when it decided to work with kale farmers for two new products.

Stephanie Baresh, the brand and product creative director in Vancouver, Canada, said a cold processing method is used on raw kale for the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque. The chunky green product offers a slight whiff of lemon with kale, avocado and spinach.

Eminence is focused on kale's antioxidant properties. Launched in June with the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, user feedback has been positive, she said.

"People will do anything to look good and to stop aging these days. This is a natural approach rather than getting Botox or plastic surgery," Baresh added.

The spas the company supplies weren't a tough sell and include the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village, California, and the Go Green Organic Spa in lower Manhattan.

"They loved the idea of a superfood," Baresh said. "Kale is the new go-to for the plate and in a smoothie, so why not beauty products? But I don't think you're going to see kale products popping up all over Sephora."


Cruelty free, organic and 100 percent vegetarian, Alba Botanica offers five new products "powered by leafy green goodness" — kale, spinach and Swiss chard extracts, to be exact, according to promotional materials.

The Good & Healthy line from the brand owned by The Hain Celestial Group in Lake Success, New York, launched last spring and includes a tinted perfector for combination skin and a daily moisturizer with SPF 15.

The suggested retail price is on the low end at $9.99 each, available at Target, Walmart, Whole Foods Markets and drug stores.

"History has shown that it's very common for food trends to trickle into beauty care products," said Sarah Galusha, director of marketing for Hain. "As consumers learn about the amazing benefits of eating certain superfoods, they start to look for them in their personal care products as well. And the truth is that many superfoods are loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidant vitamins and minerals that happen to be great for replenishing skin."


Dana Kale in Dallas is co-owner of the small Kale Naturals. Kale and her business partner, Tia Pettijohn, incorporated in 2008. They launched botanical grooming products for men in 2010, ahead of kale mania.

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 This product image released by Alba Botanica shows corrector lotion, containing kale. The leafy green having a moment on the plate and in the juicer is now making its way into the beauty industry. (AP Photo/Alba Botanica) (The Associated Press)

There's no actual kale in Kale Naturals, but the packaging is a nice kale green. The two, with just eight products, hope to add some kale going forward, possibly by next year.

"It's kind of in the last year where kale has gotten all this attention and become this superfood and all of that," Kale said.

The company is still benefiting from the buzz due to its name, which pops up in Internet searches for the kale-inclined.

"When we started formulating our products, the naturals market was still a little bit new and so we didn't even think to put it in there," Kale said. "I wish that we had. I always tell people, 'Well my blood, sweat and tears are in there, if that helps.'"

 Jay Oyakawa is the managing director at DermPRO, which helps aesthetics providers market their products and services online. Visit this website to know more about this e-commerce platform.

Monday, August 18, 2014

REPOST: 4 Ways to Nail Your Brand Voice

Branding is everything in e-commerce. Get acquainted with the ins and outs of brand voice from Erica Cerulo of Mashable.

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When my business partner Claire Mazur and I developed the idea for our company, Of a Kind in 2010, establishing our voice was a serious undertaking. We were creating a website to sell pieces from up-and-coming fashion designers and also to tell their stories, and we knew that figuring out how to speak to our audience — not just what to say but also how to say it — would be key in shaping people’s perception of what we were doing and selling.

Having come from the world of magazine editorial, cementing that tone was something I was excited to tackle. And though this project was especially crucial to our ecommerce business with its content-heavy approach, really, every company under the sun has to think about the voice and the personality of its messaging — how do you write an Instagram caption or respond to user feedback if you don't know what your business sounds like?Do you open customer service emails with “Hey, Kanye!” or “Dear Mr. West?” Below, four tactics that have helped us define our vibe that we think will serve you well, too.

1.Know who you're talking to

 Before Claire and I started Of a Kind, we spent time identifying our target customers. Initially, we were talking to these imagined people — think Kate, the corporate creative who mourned the loss of Domino magazine and loved Michelle Williams’s style. But now that we've been in business for nearly four years, we have some knowledge — data! — re: who our customer is: She’s a 30-year-old woman who shops at J.Crew and Etsy and reads Refinery29 and The New Yorker.

Having this intel means we can not only create content that we deem relevant — say, “22 Bikinis for Grown-Ass Women”—but we can also make knowing references. We can namecheck Regina George (Mean Girls!) and Joan Didion, and she'll get it.

Granted, not everyone who comes to our site fits this bill, and we have to walk a fine line. Plenty of publications avoid going down this road at all for fear of alienating a reader or a potential one, but it cuts the other way as well: If you do it right, you show your fans that you really get them and become fast friends.

2. Consider your familiarity with the person on the receiving end

Our ad copy doesn’t read the same as our newsletter content, which is different from the tone of our customer service messages. When we’re encountering someone for the first time— say, in a display ad — we play things a little straighter. We don’t use words like “rad” because we think people have to warm up to us — and that we have to warm up to them.

Bottom line:You need to consider both the context and your relationship with the person consuming each drop of content you produce. You wouldn’t want someone to stumble upon a tweet and be put off by your company because you come off as too insider-y, and, on the flipside, it’d be a bummer to alienate a super-user by responding to an email about a tech glitch in a way that read as too chilly or impersonal. The same way that social-media experts say you need to create different posts for the various platforms you’re using — well, you need to establish different iterations of our company voice for each of the ways and places you’re talking to people, too.

3.Create a banned word list

 Sometimes it’s easier to define what feels wrong than what feels right, so start there. We don't use “bauble” or “frock” — women’s magazine words that people don’t say in real life. Anything that’s aggressively fashion-y — or French — is also on the no list (i.e. “au courant”).

If you’re a food app targeting sophisticated home cooks, maybe “jiffy,” “nosh" and “kid-friendly” are off-limits. Or a beauty site with a teenage audience? Perhaps you decide to steer clear of “luxurious,” “dewy" or “pamper.”

 Building this document is a good way to discover whole categories of words that just don’t fit your brand, and having a sheet to reference is a stellar way to teach others the writing style — it helps give the whole issue of voice some hard-and-fast rules that everyone on your team can follow.

4. When in doubt, err on the side of approachable and conversational

I was going to start this point by saying “Unless you’re a super-serious financial institution or something,” but then I realized that doesn’t actually hold: The online bank Simple does a fantastic job of being direct and informative ... and friendly and accessible. In most cases, buttoned-up, big-word copy feels artificial, like it’s trying too hard or has something to prove, and users can see right through that. Ultimately, you want people to trust you and connect with you, and that’s a tough ask if they feel like you’re wearing a mask.

Jay Oyakawa is the managing director of aesthetics industry e-commerce solutions provider DermPRO. Visit this website to learn more about DermPRO’s services.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Buyers have spoken: Cosmeceuticals reign as the fastest-growing personal care segment

Who's afraid of nip/tuck? A movement of women who are either afraid or have no time to go under the knife has driven the growth of cosmeceuticals---formulations that inject marvels of medical science in beauty products---to spiraling levels. GBI Research reported cosmeceutics as the fastest-growing personal care segment, with sales in big markets, like US, Japan, and France, amounting to $30.9 billion.

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Many of these products, apart from being sold in websites, upscale shops, and drugstores, are dispensed by physicians. Cosmeceuticals bought from dermatologists contribute to $560 million in 2011 sales, and is anticipated to even grow to $1.8 billion come 2018.

Overall, according to IBISWorld, cosmeceutical sales in 2012 amounted to $7.4 billion, and Freedonia Group reports that projected sales for 2015 may reach up to $8.5 billion.

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While antioxidants remain the most popular ingredient in cosmeceutics, there lies a growing preference toward anti-aging formulations. The rise in popularity of such fountains-of-youth-in-bottles has been meteoric but not surprising. After all, the last few years saw baby boomers reach their silver-gray years. Although keen on undoing the effects of time and gravity to their skin, many of them refuse to undergo measures as drastic as surgery. Cosmeceuticals provide them a viable choice.

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Brands like LancĂ´me and P&G's Olay have created top-selling botox-in-jars, but what further lends credibility and equity to this segment are "doctor brands," or skincare lines created by physicians like Jart, Brandt, and Perricone. What stirs the most surprising buzz among these doctor brands is the start-up venture StriVectin, a wrinkle-fighting line that had its humble, slightly awkward beginnings as a stretchmark application.

Jay Oyakawa, an aesthetic marketing expert, serves as managing director at DermPRO, an e-commerce service catering to dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and beauty entrepreneurs. Subscribe to this blog for the latest in the cosmetic industry.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Notes on the emergence of digital health startups

Various administrative reforms are vastly changing the landscape of the country’s health care. While these new policies are intended to respond to the current challenges in the industry, they are also opening exciting opportunities for providers and recipients. The emergence of digital health startups as a viable business venture is another product of these changes. This renewed energy in health investing is a far cry from the relative caution firms were professing a few years before.
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Before, many venture capitalists were shying away from digital health startups due to the accompanying risks, but recently this perspective has been changing. According to this Rock Health report, since 2011, funding for health startups has been growing more than 200 percent. In 2013 alone, more than a billion dollars have been invested in these young digital health companies. The sector has been growing exponentially for the last five years.
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Understandably, there are still some reservations about funding for the health startup sector, but the above figures show that trust in young companies is growing. Investment firms are starting to see the potential of these startups, not just in developing new technological health breakthroughs, but also in creating new channels for delivering quality healthcare to the masses.  

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Jay Oyakawa is a GPG Ventures entrepreneur-in-residence, specializing in business strategy and development for the healthcare sector. For more stories on the business side of healthcare, visit this Google Plus page.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Face value: Branding and marketing a dermatology business

Standing out from a sea of cosmetically inclined businesses requires comprehensive image and brand work. Here are pieces of advice for branding and marketing a dermatological or aesthetic practice:

Crafting the brand

 For a dermatological or cosmetic practice to gain good brand recognition, it needs a good mission statement and accompanying core concepts describing what the brand is, what it does, and how it wants to be perceived. This mission statement will serve as a guiding philosophy for every activity, process, and operation concerning the business, and will drive patients' experiences as well.
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Managing customer experience and relationships

To keep existing patients and regularly attract new ones, a dermatological practice must provide them with consistent and unwavering luxury customer service and a welcoming atmosphere that they will look forward to visiting. A huge draw for returning patients is a staff of consultants, physicians, and nurses who eagerly create rapport and make an effort to cultivate genuine relationships with their patients. 

Having a plan

Marketing a dermatological or aesthetic practice that aspires to project a certain brand image requires a solid marketing plan for starters. Questions like “What makes this practice unique?” and “What is the purpose of this marketing effort?” provide good details that help define specific marketing goals.  

Having a strong online presence

 For healthcare business developer Jay Oyakawa, multi-tasking websites, like aesthetic provider-focused platform DermPRO, provide excellent ways to build a brand while executing a marketing campaign by hosting arresting, valuable content, enabling purchase of clinical treatments and products, and facilitating discount sales and promotions both onsite and via email newsletter.  

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Mr. Oyakawa connects investors with healthcare start-ups to turn business ventures into sustainable enterprises with maximal returns on investment. More information on dermatologist-focused e-commerce platform DermPRO is found here.