The Interview: Catriona Maybury, Medical Lead at Dermatica
Dermatica was founded in 2018 by Dwayne D’Souza. The brand aims to make expert, effective, science-backed skincare accessible and affordable for everyone, combining the power of clinical ingredients with personalised treatments to offer products tailored to specific skincare concerns.
In this interview with TheIndustry.beauty, Dr Catriona Maybury, Medical Lead at Dermatica, speaks about the importance of evidence-based products, how the prescription service works and why affordability is key to success.
Can you tell me about your career background?
I graduated as a Doctor from Manchester University in 2005. I then completed my dermatology training at the St. John's Institute of Dermatology in London. During my training, I did a PHD in psoriasis at King's College London. Combining that research time with my clinical training gave me some added insight into the importance of evidence-based skincare. I've also always had an interest in writing and worked for the British Medical Journal, prior to joining Dermatica.
In addition to working as a as Medical Lead at Dermatica combines my previous experience in research, clinical practice and editorial work. It's something i'm really enjoying.
What are your responsibilities as Medical Lead?
Firstly, I manage the clinical team. This is quite a large team of doctors, pharmacists and nurse practitioners, who deliver care to our customers. As part of this, I make sure they're all well trained and up-to-date on the latest evidence.
My role also involves looking at all our formulations and treatment pathways to make sure that we're using the most evidence-based, effective products we can. It requires lots of improvement work too, such as thinking of ways to improve our customer experience, communication with patients as we're online, and our diagnostic accuracy. In addition, I have to make sure the business is appropriately regulated. So, it's quite a diverse role.
How are Dermatica's evidence-based formulas developed?
Dermatica has set treatment pathways for skin concerns like acne, rosacea, melasma, hypermutation and ageing. For these, we have a clinical librarian who will research guidelines from the UK, US and Japan, so we can review the latest evidence and look at which combinations of ingredients are having the best results. I will then write out some ideas of what we should be providing and make some provisional plans.
Next, we will take this to a panel of dermatologists for their important iterations and it will go to our product development pharmacy team, who carry out testing. Then the product is made.
So, it's quite a long process. We regularly look at all our treatment pathways to see if any new products or evidence comes out, then we update our pathways accordingly.
How does the prescription process work for customers?
Customers can fill out an online consultation form, which asks a selection of questions that could be asked in a real life consultation. They will also need to upload photographs. Our clinical team will then review the photographs alongside the consultation form. This allows them to make a diagnosis, grading the skin in terms of severity from mild to severe.
Looking at Dermatica's treatment tables, the team can select what they think is the best formulation, offer some general advice about a customer's skincare routine and answer any questions they might have. The products are then delivered very quickly to the patient and they can get started. There's also the opportunity for customers to check-in with us. So, we're offering a flexible, accessible service where customers can access both products and advice.
What are the benefits of offering personalised skincare advice and treatments?
The skincare market is huge. It can often be quite confusing to select products that are going to offer the best results. It can also lead to overcomplicated skincare regimes. I think if you speak to most dermatologists, our skincare routines are actually quite simple. So, having access to a dermatologist who can give you tailored, simple skincare advice and treatments is a huge benefit.
Why is accessibility and affordability important to Dermatica?
There aren't many dermatologists trained in the UK, compared to the US and rest of the world. It's difficult to see a dermatologist through the NHS, as the waitlists are very long. Plus private dermatologists can be extremely expensive. So, Dermatica hopes to be a helpful option for people that cannot afford private medical care, but also waiting or unable to access it via the NHS.
There's often lots of misinformation and confusion out there about skincare, why is it important that consumers have access to accurate information and treatments?
If you have an inflammatory skin condition, like acne or rosacea, it can impact quality of life. We know that people who have skin conditions affecting their face can find it difficult to go to school or work. It can also affect their social life and confidence. I've been a dermatologist for a long time and I've heard this message very clearly from patients over and over again. So, I think it's important for people to have access to the right information that's best suited to them.
I also think that consumers, especially in the current financial climate, should not be spending a lot of money on skincare that doesn't actually work. As I've said previously, Dermatica offers prescription skincare that is backed by evidence. I'm not saying that everything will work perfectly for everyone all of the time. However, if you're trying to improve something, you're much more likely to get a better result from good advice and something that's on prescription. That's why Dermatica is effective.
Are there any innovations that Dermatica is working on at the moment?
It's a tech company, so innovation is in our blood. So, definitely! We're going to be looking at streamlining and improving our customer experience. That's one of our big goals to ensure Dermatica continues to offer the best range of formulations, customer experiences and access to clinicians. There are lots of projects in progress to improve those things.