In the quest for good skin, few ingredients have proven to be as effective as tretinoin, a prescription retinoid that’s effective at treating a range of skin conditions from acne to sun damage. Most tretinoin products, however, are only FDA-approved for acne. The exception? ReFissa, an emollient tretinoin that is triple indicated to treat fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and tactile roughness of skin.
This month, ZO Skin Health, a product line created by Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist Zein Obagi, MD, announced it acquired ReFissa along with the generic equivalent of the product. “Dr. Obagi has been using tretinoin in his skin care system for 30 years and it’s tried and true,” Noelle Denlinger, vice president of global marketing at ZO Skin Health tells NewBeauty. “However, in recent years we’ve had some problems getting our hands on it because it requires a drug application to manufacture. We own all our formulas, but we could not make this one ourselves, so our acquisition was about continuing to get a product that is really critical to what Dr. Obagi is known for. We have gotten rid of other tretinoin products in our portfolio, and going forward will only be offering ReFissa, as it is a superior product with superior benefits.”
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Existing consumers of ReFissa can expect no change from the acquisition in the short-term. ReFissa will remain a prescription-only topical under its own brand, although ZO may eventually integrate the technology into the ZO product line and offer a ZO version of the tretinoin product. ZO Skin Health confirmed that ReFissa will continue to be available to all physicians who currently dispense it, regardless of whether they carry the ZO product line. ZO also stated that although they can’t control what physicians charge, they are hopeful that the acquisition will allow them to pass along better pricing to their physician partners, who may be able to offer it for less to their patients.