Star Products: Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1; Tri-Peptide Complex + Advance Elixir; Cosmetic Gold Roll-CIT
Behind the Brand: Desmond Fernandes, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Cape Town, South Africa. He pioneered the use of vitamin A, or retinoic acid, in skin care to guard against environmental damage.
#SkinGoals: “I first came across vitamin A in 1979 when searching for ways to treat melanoma,” says Fernandes. “I was so impressed with my patients’ [line-smoothing and spot-fading] results from retinoic acid, I began using it myself, but found I was very sensitive to it.” In the mid-80s, he set out to create a product line to protect against sun damage — one built around vitamin A and antioxidants — but cosmetic manufacturers “thought I was crazy, because vitamin A only irritates the skin, they said, and free radicals were still ridiculously unknown.” From an independent lab, he researched appropriate levels of vitamin A to create his signature “step-up system” that allows people to gradually get professional results from retinoids without skin reactions. “I’m actively involved in the concept and formulation of each product right from the start, and I test my ideas on real people, many of whom are my patients,” he says.
Inside Scoop: “Dr. Des, as he’s known to patients, is one of the top aesthetic doctors in the world, and his product line is regarded as a giant among doctor-backed brands, having been influential in advancing the MD skin-care concept in the 1980s. His brand’s heritage is based on vitamins A, C, and E, plus a host of other antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and peptides. He’s also a pioneer in the field of microneedling — and was one of the earliest proponents of at-home dermarolling. When I first saw his spiky, gold-plated roller, I remember thinking it looked like something out of the Tower of London. Now, I keep several of them by my bedside, and use them nightly, without hesitation, to stimulate collagen. This doctor has always been way ahead of his time,” says Lewis.