Thursday, 13 December 2012

The lovely Dr Tom Mammone from Clinique

Dr Tom Mammone. Executive Director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology
Clinique Research & Development, Worldwide

So here is the blog post that almost never was. The charming Dr Tom very kindly gave me this interview back in May. Yes, May. He even went as far to give me a telephone interview when I couldn't make it to our planned meeting. Then I put the notes carefully away - so as not to lose them - and well, lost them. The shame. I thought Ava had taken my lovely notebook to school (she's a stationary addict just like her Mother). She swore blind she hadn't, making me feel even worse.

I was then of course, too mortified to say 'Oh HI Kim! Thank you for arranging for me to speak to the Doc personally. Oh yes - I lost my notes. My bad. Ask him again would you?' No. Can't do that. The SHAME.

And then - THEN - I was looking for my passport - checked the 'safe family keepsake spot for all things important', and found my notebook, sitting there, complete with all my notes and questions in the margin. FINALLY.

So, here, without further ado and with my hugest apologies to the lovely Clinique team - especially Kim - who it turns out, has the patience of a Saint, are Dr Tom Mammone's Top Tips for good skin and good ingredients.

I asked the Dr why he thought that cases of adult acne and concerns about pigmentation are on the increase? He mentioned that he had recently had the same conversation with Dr David Orentreich, Clinique's guiding dermatologist. 

'We think they are in relation to the growing cases of adult allergies - such as shellfish, which sensitise the skin. We are also seeing a lot of acne breakouts around the mouth and chin which we are beginning to link to increased usage of oral products. 10/20/30 years ago - this was just not an issue. Its a relatively new concern.' 

I love it when I can relate to what someone is saying and recognise it to be true. Readers of the blog will know that I myself developed both adult acne and a shellfish allergy around my 40th birthday. It's not nice. The increase in adult acne and the readiness of GP's to offer antibiotics out like sweets is one of the reasons, I think, for an increase in pigmentation problems - and I asked Dr Tom for his top pigmentation fighting ingredients.
  1. Vitamin C Ester
    (reads Ascorbyl palmitate on inci lists) -
    A stable form of Vitamin C, it works in both the prevention and cure aspects - it recharges Vitamin E within the skin, aiding antioxidant support by helping your body boost glutathione levels in the skin - glutathione is called 'The Mother of all Antioxidants' (and for good reason).
  2. Dianella Ensifolia (lilacea) - This forms part of Clinique’s patent-pending CL-302 complex, which features five synergistic brightening ingredients and is a tyronaise inhibitor. It is the most powerful inhibitor of pigment synthesis we have ever seen.
  3. Yeast and mushroom extracts -
    These are proven to break down melanin in the skin and are a key part of our Even Better range.
I also took the opportunity to ask Dr Tom for his most annoying beauty myth. What really gets under his skin?
'You know, when I am at dinner parties and people talk about what they do for a living - I am always asked 'Oh come on, those beauty products, do they really work??' - of course they work. You just need to find the right products containing the right ingredients for your skin!'

And finally I asked for his No.1 tip for good skin.

'People need to treat their skin like they do their body. If you want it to be in good shape you have to work at it - its a commitment!'  (<---THIS!)

Thank you to Dr Mammone for taking the time to talk to me! And look out for Clinique Even Better in my 2012 Awards. 


  1. Very interesting! I'd love to be able to pick his brain!
    I am suffering with adult acne (grr) and I only break out around my mouth and on my chin! I also have allergies to artificial colours, flavours, e numbers etc.!
    I've been put on antibiotics for 3 months with a gel to put on my face at night (which stings like hell, and makes my skin SUPER sensitive)
    He mentions increased use of oral products - what exactly does this mean?


  2. The increase of oral products is an interesting point! Does he mean antibiotics? It seems like a lot of dermatologists in the US (well the three that I've gone to) will prescribe antibiotics to help clear up acne as the first course of action. It has always messed with my stomach and made me queasy. Next one I go to see, the answer is going to be HELL NO!

  3. Hi Stacie/Katie,

    I think he actually meant tooth and oral products - like antibacterial mouthwashes etc! Killing off good bacteria internally and causing breakouts externally? I could have it wrong but I'm checking! :)

  4. Very interesting to read! Thank you :)

  5. Thanks, Caroline! I just recently went to an oral surgeon and he said that mouthwashes are actually horrible for your mouth. It's better to gargle with salt water.

    1. Most of them have alcohol which is drying and irritating, as I am sure you beauty fiends know. They also don't really do much except freshen breath. The only ones dentists ever really recommend are chlorexidine for gum problems (but causes staining, its not for aesthetics) and fluoride ones sometimes.

  6. Thank you......always love informative post from you caroline.

  7. I am not a doctor (yet!) but from personal experience I have found that antibiotics tend to work for a while and then the situation tends to go back to where it was (and i have tried a few and was a step from accutane).
    I have tried everyting but so far what has managed to change my skin consistently is: no more dairy and citrus fruits, fish oil, mineral makeup and learning how to read the ingredients in skin products. But this is only my personal experience!
    Oh, and I had an adverse reaction to bismuth oxychloride which caused cystic acne, it is contained in some mineral makeup. Again, it's very personal. Good luck!


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