Anti-aging biz boom
By SOO YOUN
DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER
Monday, May 24th, 2004
New Yorkers on the crowded quest for the fountain of youth will have one
more stop this fall.
Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, whose anti-aging products
are already sold in upscale department and specialty stores, is opening a flagship
boutique on Madison Avenue and E. 67th St.
The dapper doctor, who dresses in designer suits and silk ties and treats
clients like supermodel Heidi Klum, will open his doors to aging baby-boomers
this fall in a two-level store that will sell his skincare products, nutritional
supplements and even food items.
Perricone, 55, is one of the ballooning field of doctors-turned-celebrities
who market skin care products called "cosmeceuticals."
Other players like Dr. Howard Murad and Dr. Frederic Brandt as well as endocrinologist,
Dr. Jose Comenge also produce books, high-end products or both.
Perricone prescribes a plan that focuses on eating a high-protein, low-sugar
diet combined with vitamins and topical creams to combat inflammation, which
he blames for aging and acne.
The result is a mini-empire built on a cult-like following, boosted by frequent
TV appearances and three best-selling books. A fourth, "The Perricone Promise"
is due out in October.
HERE IT IS!! THE PERRICONE PROMISE
The Wrinkle Cure: Unlock the Power of Cosmeceuticals
for Supple, Youthful Skin
The Perricone Prescription
The Acne Prescription
His privately held company expects more than $50 million in sales this year,
up from $11.9 million in 2001. The brand launched at Nordstrom's Atlanta in
Perricone's success has tracked the growth of the cosmeceutical industry.
Such doctor-associated products grew 77% from 2002 to 2003, according to the
marketing firm NPD.
Sales of upscale anti-aging products hit $612 million in department stores
in 2003, up 14% from 2002, according to NPD. Skincare product sales overall
hit $2 billion last year.
Perricone, who says he never intended to be famous, began applying for patents
as a teen. Now a board-certified dermatologist, he started patenting formulas
to treat his own skin.
Today, he treats a host of others, at a price.
Cosmeceuticals don't come cheap. A 6-ounce bottle of the new "Neuropeptide
Facial Prep" costs $175, but Perricone says it's worth it because his products
"How inexpensive is a $10 jar of cream if it doesn't work?" he asks.
Still, those without deep pockets can still spend their money on products
like sunscreen and stay out of direct sunlight. Indeed, some doctors are skeptical
about the value of pricey cosmeceuticals.
"A well-balanced diet and topical anti-oxidents (like vitamin C or E) might
prevent future signs of aging and sun damage but it's probably not enough to
reverse them. The key is prevention," said Dr. Elizabeth Hale, assistant professor
of dermatology at New York University medical school.