Once a year, like the baby sea turtles hatching and descending into the ocean, dermatologists travel en masse to the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting. Held this year in Boston, Massachusetts, during the last weekend in March, dermatologists were showered with the newest innovations in the field and attended sessions covering subjects like Controversies in Dermatology, Late Breaking Research, Skin of Color, and more.

It’s here that new research is unveiled and large brands launch their newest products in hopes of getting more face time in dermatology practices. Exhibitors for 2022 included major conglomerates and skin-care darlings like Neutrogena, Allergan Aesthetics, SkinCeuticals, La Roche Posay, and Galderma. 

Galderma, a company whose portfolio includes skin-care offerings like Differin, Cetaphil, Alastin, and injectables Dysport and Restylane, launched a new prescription acne medication: Twyneo (a portmanteau of tretinoin and benzoyl peroxide) Cream, 0.1 percent and 3 percent, a topical treatment that combines two acne-fighting ingredients that haven’t previously been formulated together — like, ever.

Meet the experts:

What is Twyneo and how does it work?

A combination of .1 percent tretinoin, a retinoid, and 3 percent beta hydroxy acid benzoyl peroxide, these ingredients independently fight acne, but haven’t been formulated together due to the fact that benzoyl peroxide deactivates tretinoin. “Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is a strong oxidizing agent, which tretinoin (tretinoic acid) is highly susceptible to,” says cosmetic chemist Javon Ford. “So benzoyl peroxide could potentially react with tretinoin and deactivate it in the process. A combination of the two ingredients would, thus, produce an unstable, ineffective formula.”

However, Twyneo uses microencapsulation to keep the formula from becoming unstable. Ford says he takes most “firsts” in the skin-care field with a grain of salt, but is impressed with microencapsulation as it works twofold. “(Microencapsulation) is the secret behind ‘slow release’ technology as brands claim that helps minimize irritation. In this case, the encapsulation serves the dual purpose of reducing irritation and preventing BPO and tretinoin from reacting with each other,” he says.

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