Topical Rosacea Treatments
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In Review: Pevonia RS 2 Skin Care
Despite the lauded popularity of the Pevonia brand among salons and spas ("the global leader in skin rejuvenation and health"), and because their RS2 product range is one of very few indicated specifically for rosacea (and not the more usual categories of "red" or "sensitive skin"), I am surprised that more patients haven't ventured to try them.
Every couple of months a patient will bring Pevonia RS2 products into a consultation or treatment for an opinion, although without a list of their ingredients, the only basis on which I could venture a sound opinion.
Patient experience with the product range varies however is definitely in the lower range of "effectiveness" for the majority.
Most purchase all of the products in the line (comprising a cleanser, toner/lotion, serum and cream), some have additional RS2 salon treatments which involve the application of ampoules and masks which cannot be purchased for home use:
I am impressed that a small number of patients continue to use these products despite experiencing new and unnecessary problems with them, following a mistaken belief that they are bona fide or somehow superior rosacea treatments.
Patients who have had rosacea for longer are more jaded about the worth of skin care products in general, however will still trial these products for short periods of time, or use them continually in lieu of other options which may be better for them, again mostly in response to the marketing which suggests they should.
Notwithstanding the above, this is a review of the RS2 products, and to a lesser extent, Pevonia, as I find them.
Claims of The Range
Cosmetics are not generally (or legally) considered therapeutic, however the official marketing sets therapeutic expectations:
"Treating rosacea has never been easier with Pevonia's RS2 range"
"If improperly addressed these skin conditions [rosacea, acne rosacea or skin conditions linked to rosacea] may eventually lead to permanent skin damage"
Pevonia RS2 Gentle Cleanser
Contains: Water, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Glyceryl Stearate, Safflower Oil, Green Tea Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Chamomile Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Allantoin, Olibanum Extract, French Rose Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
This is a creamy but water-soluble cleanser which would be suitable for skin which tended to be more dry than oily. It may not remove some mineral make ups or sunscreens effectively and could compromise the absorption of prescription medications.
It contains negligible concentrations of ingredients (italicised) which have been shown to be effective in helping manage rosacea. Rose oil, by French or any other name, is an ingredient in all RS2 products.
Rose is traditionally associated with a myriad of very mild skin care benefits. Here I feel it is most likely included to tie-in with RS2's French name, Ligne Rose, and the condition's (and marketing's) association with rosiness.
Pevonia RS2 Gentle Lotion
Contains: Water, Green Tea Extract, Sorbitol, Chamomile Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Guarana Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, Olibanum Extract, French Rose Oil, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
This lotion, which is used in the same manner as a traditional toner, contains a blend of anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, however I purchased this product and on the basis of its near-neutral colour I conclude they are in paltry concentration (an appreciable quantity of antioxidants, particularly of green tea, should render a product dark).
Typically, an effective antioxidant product will list an effective compound by name and concentration. Here, only "green tea extract" is cited, rather than one of it's known beneficial constituents in isolation (e.g. epigallocathecin gallate).
The inclusion of a stimulant (guarana) in this product is odd and may be irritating or inflammatory, however it may confer caffeine, which has been shown to be beneficial to rosacea.
Pevonia RS2 Concentrate
Contains: Water, Green Tea Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Chamomile Extract, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Chloride, Olibanum Extract, Rose Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Citrate, Methylisothiazolinone.
A serum which should provide the highest concentrations of ingredients common to the range, however the RS2 Concentrate befalls the RS2 Gentle Lotion's issues of which it is essentially a thicker version.
Unfortunately the product uses the preservative methylisothiazolinone in preference to less-sensitizing alternatives.
Pevonia RS2 Cream
Contains: Water, Squalene, Hazel Nut Oil, Green Tea Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Safflower Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Chamomile Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Allantoin, Olibanum Extract, French Rose Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
Similar to the cleanser, this product is only suitable for dry skin types.
Squalene is a basic but effective moisturizing ingredient with excellent skin compatibility.
As per the ingredients italicised common to the other RS2 products, concentration is low and, unlike the lotion/toner and concentrate/serum, one would expect even less to be absorbed from a cream.
Premature oxidation of antioxidant ingredients in products packaged in jars is also a point worth raising.
Some marketing material suggested this product protected against the sun. Unless the formula has changed, this product lists no active sunscreen ingredients and doesn't carry an SPF rating, so should not be relied upon as a sunscreen.
Pevonia RS2's formulas contain several natural ingredients which have been shown to assist in managing rosacea, however their concentration and presentation are not adapted to mainstream dermatological science or practice.
Claims made as to actually treating rosacea, targeting skin circulation problems, strengthening capillaries or forestalling worsening rosacea are not borne out by these products.
These products can provide very mild and moderate short-term benefits to those with with very early rosacea skin characteristics, however the RS2 products are not well-suited to oilier skin types, and the range appears to omit sunscreen (particularly effective sunscreen), which typically makes the greatest impact in preventing common symptoms in the majority of patients.
Patients may enjoy the experience of using these products, but they would be remiss to see them as superior to alternatives, or to regard them as known effective treatments for their rosacea.
Author: Peter Wilson.
Reviewed: Wednesday, 19 February 2014.