The Healthcare Entrepreneur

A Jay Oyakawa blog

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REPOST: Selfie Craze Causes Surge in Plastic Surgery Procedures

The rise of selfies is fueling demand for plastic surgery, according to a new research conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The article below contains significant insights from the study.

Man taking selfie

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The selfie obsession is leading more people to seek plastic surgery, according to a study conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“One in three facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more self aware of looks in social media,” stated the 2014 study. “AAFPRS members surveyed noted a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasty in 2013 over 2012, as well as a 7 percent increase in hair transplants and a 6 percent increase in eyelid surgery.”

A follow-up study of 2014 data stated that the “surge in self-awareness and an increase in requests for aesthetic procedures (especially in the under 30 set) sired by ‘selfies’ […] shows no sign of declining.”

“I have noticed more people becoming obsessed with the way they look in their selfies,” Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Mani tells PEOPLE. “When we see ourselves in pictures, we notice more things that we may want to change, as opposed to looking in the mirror. The selfie obsession has fed into this and made more people come in asking if plastic surgery can help them.”

Mani says that among his patients, the nose and neck are the two body parts patients have been most concerned about due to the way they look in their self-taken photos.

“The nose looks bigger in close-ups, and all selfies are close-ups, so they think it should be smaller,” he says. “Since selfies are often shot from below, the neck looks either fatter or saggier from that angle.”

However, Mani does not believe that the selfie craze is leading people to get excessive cosmetic procedures, but rather that it is just bringing already underlying insecurities to the surface.

“The desire to take a perfect selfie may push someone to have plastic surgery, but I think people who are obsessed with selfies are often insecure and lacking in confidence,” he says.

“Plastic surgery is intended to boost self-esteem by enhancing confidence, so if it’s done right, maybe the selfie-taker will have the confidence to put down their camera phone and share their beauty in person!”

As the managing director of DermPRO, Jay Oyakawa utilizes his expertise in business strategy, finance, and new business development to help dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and medical spas attain their goals and objectives by enriching patient care experience. Click here to learn more about plastic surgery and the new trends in e-commerce solutions for aesthetics providers.


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REPOST: 5 Cosmeceutical skincare brands giving your skin a workout

You might be surprised that some of world’s best skincare products are from Australia. Five of its well-known cosmeceutical lines, as listed in this article from, not only make the skin softer and more glowing than before, but also carry the promise of ‘fountain of youth’ that people usually seek in cosmetic surgeries and anti-aging vials.

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Ever wonder what a Cosmeceutical is?

Have you even heard the term? If you have any kind of obsession with the appearance of your skin then you may know this term. But, you would be forgiven for not knowing as it is, after all, a made up word. That doesn’t mean you wont find it on The Google.. oh yes indeed you will. In fact, cosmeceutical even has it’s own wikipedia page which you can find here. But I’ll give you a quick definition. It’s a made up term or to be more accurate, a product with a merging of cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients.
Unfortunately the word has been used and abused by marketing departments the world over. So much so, it’s hard to sort fact from fiction.

So, just to clear things up for you, in my opinion a ‘true’ cosmeceutical should contain active ingredients that are clinically proven to work on correcting the skin. Sometimes referred to as medical grade skincare, which usually indicates an endorsement by cosmetic physicians.

Does all this matter?

Probably not, but what does matter is whether the product does what it says it is going to do. Ah yes, my friends, there’s the rub. The real dilemma is not so much the identifying category a product has been anointed (cosmeceutical), but knowing whether the product is going to deliver on results. It’s a conundrum and if you’ve ever aimlessly wandered around a department store hoping and praying for a bit of honest advice, then you know what I mean.

What’s good for you may not be so good for me.

Knowing of a brands reputation is one thing, but liking and trusting is quite another. We’re all different, all unique and you and your skin have your own set of circumstances, problems, concerns and issues. You will have reasons why you gravitate to one product over another, sometimes it’s advice from a friend, or it’s the packaging that clinches the deal, other times it’s the scent of a product or (if you’re lucky) you’ll stumble upon something that just seems to work. For me, after so many years of experience, it’s often intuitive, but of course, an understanding of the science and sophistication behind the brand helps at lot.

No matter what idiosyncrasies, beliefs or celebrity endorsements bring you to your decision, what is truly important is the workout your skin is going to get with a cosmeceutical skincare brand..

Your skin, like your body will benefit from a regular cosmeceutical workout.

If your products are going to perform, they need to 1), correct the errors of the past 2), bring your skin back to a state of normality and then when you’re ready 3), get your skin working as nature intended. Efficiently and effortlessly. But, of course as time goes by the efficiency and effortless activities of the skin do begin to slow down, which is why you will need the powerhouse active ingredients of a good cosmeceutical regimen to give your skin a great workout.

Like all good workouts, there can be some pain, well, actually it’s more like a tingling sensation and occasionally (especially in the beginning), you may experience some redness in the skin. This is normal and part of the restorative powers of products that contain highly active ingredients. Just take it easy and start your regimen slowly..

So today I’d like to present you with 5 cosmeceutical skincare brands that do indeed live up to their own reputations in delivering results. Of course, as good as these 5 stars are, they are only as good as your commitment to them. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Stick with it! For a brand to deliver results, you will have to commit and follow any professional advice you are given. If not, then there’s really not much point spending any of your hard earned money on these worthy contenders. But, if you are ready to commit, then any of these 5 are worth a closer look. No need to mix and match, each of these brands will have a unique system intended to deliver what they promise.

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I worked for Rationale a couple of years ago and I can honestly say, this is a beautiful product to use and always delivers. Created and formulated by cosmetic chemist extraodinaire Mr. Richard Parker. Rationale’s Isotropic skincare formulations are skin identical and preservative free. What I love about this skin care range is the affinity with the skin, which means Rationale formulations offer improved delivery of active ingredients to target cells, enhancing cellular communication and strengthening the all important skin barrier function. For Rationale, skin integrity equates to a luminous healthy skin at any age. I like that and I love the passion and wholehearted determination Richard and his team bring to this wonderful product.


This product was my first real foray into the wonderful world of cosmeceutical skincare brands. I worked with Ultraceuticals for 5 years and in that time had the honour of training many beauty therapists in this fantastic product. So I feel I know it well and a brand always close to my heart. Developed by cosmetic physician Dr. Geoffrey Heber, this brand born in Australia has a keen understanding of protecting and rejuvenating the skin in a harsh climate. I have always been impressed with Dr. Heber’s insistence on clinical research and studies to back up the brand. Collaborating with renowned universities and leading researchers, they remain at the forefront of innovation with sophisticated, patented delivery systems and potent anti ageing ingredients forming a simple regimen that delivers discernible results. I particularly love their exceptional range of Vitamin C products.


This is not a product that I have such an intimate knowledge of, but what I see I really like. Founded by award winning cosmeceutical chemist Sam Dhatt, what I love about this brand is the idea of taking the skin on a journey and like all good journey’s it begins with the end in mind. Nothing can be achieved without getting the fundamentals right. Restoration and bringing balance back to the skin is at the heart of this journey and the continuous quest for optimal skin health. Amen to that. Dermaquest are keen on formulating and harnessing the power of stem cell innovations for the skin. Worth a look.

Synergie Skin

This Australian brand was founded in 2005, so in the scheme of things, the new kid on the block, but by no means a novice. Terri Vinson is the founder and creator of this brand and puts all her knowledge into protecting, creating change and nurturing the skin. I have tried the basic daily regimen in this range and I do like it. Terri has some great video’s worth taking a peek at over at the Synergie skin website if you want to get a feel for the brand.

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Alpha H

Another great Australian success story. Alhpa-H takes the skin out of its comfort zone in order to make a difference that is evident and genuine. Founded on the promise of replenishing and rejuvenating the skin, Michelle Doherty heads up this Australian brand. It is a Cosmeceutical skin care brand that delivers fast & meaningful results with predictable, scientific, pharmaceutical effects and ingredients that are going to give the best outcome for the skin. An impressive range you can find here if you live in Australia or here for everywhere else.

Where to next?

If you are wondering about the fundamentals of a good skin care regimen you may like to read an article I wrote here or if you are interested in these brands, then I suggest contacting the companies directly or visit their websites where they will happily advise you on where you can experience a personalised consultation and buy the products. I have included links to all the brands websites or affiliated sites. If you are intrigued or have more questions and would like to get in touch with me, fantastic, you can leave a comment or shoot me an email. I respond personally to all questions and if you like this article share it with your friends using the social media links below.

Jay Oyakawa is the managing director of DermPRO, a digital marketing platform helping cosmeceuticals and aesthetics providers increase their sales and brand equity. Visit this website to know more about the firm’s services.

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Cosmeceuticals and the workings of anti-aging products

Cosmeceuticals are personal care products containing active, clinically-proven ingredients. Essentially, these products are cosmetics with pharmaceutical components. The appeal of cosmeceuticals as affordable alternatives to more invasive dermatological procedures has made the sector one of the fastest-growing in the personal care industry. Leading this surge is the sub-sector of anti-aging products.

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Anti-aging products primarily contain laboratory-produced substances incorporated into creams and lotions. These chemicals act as exfoliants and moisturizers; it removes dead cells while rejuvenating the skin underneath. Anti-aging products can also address acne problems, lighten skin, remove pigmentation, and minimize wrinkles. There are instances when all-natural ingredients are used; it has become a popular marketing tool to package some cosmeceuticals as “natural,” “herbal,” or “organic.”

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One of the dangers of a rapidly-growing industry like personal care is that not all products deliver what they promise. In fact, some cosmeceutical companies bypass internal testing – which may catch the attention of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – and instead sell their anti-aging products directly to consumers, without regard for quality or safety. While this can create short-term profit for these companies, eventual negative consumer reviews will render this practice unsustainable. As the industry matures along with the consumer, the market will ultimately reward companies with reliable products. If today’s cosmeceutical companies want to stay in the long run, their marketing strategies should be based on truth, reliability, and quality.

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Jay Oyakawa is a finance and cosmeceutical marketing specialist, serving as the managing director of DermPRO, a turnkey e-commerce service. For the latest news about the industry, add this Google+ page to your circles.

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REPOST: New FDA warning on popular acne treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against certain over-the-counter acne products, which may contain ingredients that can cause serious allergic reactions. FOX News has the full report.

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Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, the most common skin condition in the United States is acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin disorder and affects 40 to 50 million Americans. Many treatments promise to clear up the condition, but they may be hazardous.

We recently got this question from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
The government recently issued a warning on certain popular acne products claiming that they can cause potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. My teenage daughter uses a bunch of different acne cleansers, so how can I be sure if what she is using is safe?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that certain over-the-counter (OTC) acne products can cause rare but serious allergic reactions or irritations.

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However, the FDA does not know which ingredient is causing the severe reactions. It may be the active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, or the inactive ingredients like salicylic acid— or a combination of both.

“Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are very commonly used OTC and because they’re not required by prescription, many people think they are automatically safe,” Dr. Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Center told

The FDA warned that these ingredients could potentially cause hypersensitivity reactions including throat tightness, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, and a development of hives or itching on the skin where the topical treatment was used.

Day said the government warning is a perfect reminder that anyone can be allergic to any type of product, even if it is OTC and doesn’t require a prescription.

“One thing I recommend is not to start too many new products at once,” Day said. “You might want to start with one [new product] and add in one new one every week to make sure that if you do have an allergic reaction, you know which product you’re reacting to.”

If consumers experience an allergic reaction from an OTC acne product that contains benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid they should stop using the product and seek immediate medical attention.

There are acne treatments available that don’t contain salicylic aide or benzoyl peroxide.

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“One product I recommend that doesn’t have those ingredients is called Aczone [a prescription product]. It’s an anti-inflammatory that helps all the different kinds of pimples I see, whether they’re papules, pustules or those ones under the skin that can be very annoying,” Day said.

While the new FDA warning advises consumers to always check for allergic reactions and carefully read labels, Day said it’s always a good idea to check in with your dermatologist to find a treatment that works for you.

Jay Oyakawa is the managing director at DermPRO, an e-commerce platform that helps dermatologists and other aesthetics providers offer their services online. Follow this blog for more updates on dermatology and e-commerce.

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REPOST: E-commerce speeds up, hits record high share of retail sales

MarketWatch writes about the growing role of e-commerce in retail through its increasing share of the market at large.

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Shoppers are beating a path to retailers’ virtual doors, with e-commerce sales hitting $75 billion in the second quarter, representing a record high share of total retail sales, according to a government report released Friday.

E-commerce as a percent of total retail sales hit 6.4% last quarter, up from 6.2% in the first quarter and 5.8% in the second quarter of 2013, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

Overall retail-sales growth has weakened in recent months, while e-commerce is quickly picking up, growing 5% in the second quarter from the first quarter, the fastest pace in a year.

“It remains clear — the clicks are outpacing the bricks,” Chris Christopher Jr., consumer economics director at IHS Global Insight, wrote in a research note. “The performance of cyber sales in the first half of the year is stellar compared to the poor showing of the brick-and-mortar sales.”

IHS expects e-commerce sales for all of 2014 to hit a bit over $300 billion, up from about $260 billion last year.

“Many chain stores are looking towards cyber space to gain market share and supplement weak in-store sales,” Christopher wrote.

–Ruth Mantell

Jay Oyakawa is the managing director of DermPRO, which provides e-commerce solutions for aesthetics providers. Learn more about the company and its services here.

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Beauty in megabytes: Cosmetic start-ups as a sound business idea

E-commerce startups have gone a long way. Businesses don’t just sell products anymore; they also sell experience.

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Startups toy around novel, personalized, and customized concepts. They respond to the desires of this generation’s consumers, who are most excited about creating their own experiences that they can share with their friends and the world through blogs and social media. The air of collaboration and customization are what startups breathe.

The billion-dollar beauty industry is one of start-ups’ recent invasions. Discovery shopping services, like BeautyARMY, Birchbox, and Glossybox, have dramatically changed the way shoppers purchase cosmetics. Unlike the intimidating department store counters and the impersonal drugstore aisles, these sites are marketing their aesthetic goods by offering a sampler of innovative, hard-to-find beauty products, allowing buyers to make the right options based on actual results and not on sugarcoated promises.

BeautySets, meanwhile, makes consumers feel like beauty editors by allowing them to share their beauty regimen based on products they purchase on the site, and then make a write-up about each product in a magazine-like template that they can post on their profiles.

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Other ventures take the experience further. France-based Naturalis, adjudged as one of 2012’s top fashion and beauty startups by entrepreneurial firm Springwise, lets customers be their own Elizabeth Ardens and Evelyn Lauders. Customers can select ingredients that have worked for them and avoid ones that have caused them irritation or allergies.

U Autologous, another entry in the Springwise list, stands as one of the geekiest and most advanced concepts. This revolutionary cosmeceutical startup gathers and stores stem cells of its consumers so that it can tailor-fit an anti-aging range that perfectly meets their needs for today and beyond.

Jay Oyakawa, a healthcare services professional, is the managing director at DermPRO, an e-commerce company specifically designed for plastic surgeons, medical spas, dermatologists, and other aesthetic entrepreneurs. Visit this LinkedIn page for more information on his work.

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A touch of youth: The most important anti-aging breakthroughs

While for millennia humans have been searching for ways to reverse the aging process, scientific breakthroughs in the 21st century made us a step closer to that possibility. Here are the most important anti-aging innovations of the past few years:

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Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing According to many dermatological specialists, fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing is perhaps the leading breakthrough of the past decade. It combines standard CO2 lasers, the most effective technology for wrinkle removal and a revamped application process, delivering desired results without the side effects of previous techniques. Carbon dioxide lasers jumpstart the production of collagen, the protein responsible for skin suppleness. The new technique of fractional resurfacing achieves the same result, without damaging the skin’s top layer.

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Antioxidants The use of antioxidants to slow the effects of aging has also garnered much attention in the last few years. These nutrients, which can be purchased over the counter or consumed organically, are used to destroy free radicals, particles that inhibit the skin’s youthful glow. Free radicals result from continued sun and pollution exposure. Antioxidants, when applied topically, can neutralize these unstable molecules before they damage the skin’s collagen.

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Anti-aging sunscreens In contrast to other antiaging solutions that reverse skin aging processes, sunscreens play a more preventive role in maintaining youthfulness. Two ingredients in particular are currently used to make more effective sunscreens: Helioplex and Mexoryl SX (ecamsule). These, combined with antioxidants and other anti-aging substances, prevent skin drying and wrinkling even without constant application.

Jay Oyakawa is a healthcare services specialist serving as the managing director at DermPRO, a turnkey e-commerce service for dermatologists and plastic surgeons. To know more about his latest ventures, visit this Facebook page.