Spanish skincare brand Sesderma is known to provide science-backed formulas that can work wonders on your skin.
As pioneers in the use of nanotechnology, the Sesderma has achieved the highest penetration of active ingredients ever seen through the efficiency of their formulae.
With a high-demand for quality skincare services in the region, the brand has opened its doors in the Middle East in Dubai Mall with its unique brick & mortar structure to ensure aesthetics for both the skin and body.
To delve into his journey as a dermatologist and founder of Sesderma, Emirates Woman spoke to Dr. Gabriel Serrano to see how it all began.
Talk us through your career.
Medicine has always been my passion in life, stemming from an early calling I felt at the age of 12 in my native Colombia. I sneaked into the family library to explore the medicine books belonging to my father and grandfather, fostering my love for the field. Years later, I ventured into the United States and eventually settled in Spain to study medicine, and later specialised in Dermatology, obtaining a doctorate Cum Laude from the University of Valencia. Subsequently, I worked as a resident doctor and dermatologist at the University General Hospital of Valencia, becoming Deputy Clinical Head of the Dermatology Service, where I worked for more than 25 years. In 1976 I opened my own dermatological clinic in Valencia, where I have had the privilege of treating over 40,000 patients throughout my career as a dermatologist. For over four decades, I has been at the forefront of dermatology, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Now, I have clinics in Madrid, Dubai, Bogotá and Bayahibe. In fact, the Valencia (Spain) clinic is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. In 1976, after establishing my dermatological clinic in Valencia, I recognided the necessity of developing products to address his patients’ specific skin conditions. This realization led me to found Sesderma Laboratories in 1989, as a mean to create innovative solutions and provide effective skincare products.
What inspired you to launch Sesderma?
Driven by my deep understanding of patients’ skin needs, gained through direct contact in the daily practice, I founded Sesderma Laboratories in 1989. With a commitment to personalized care and attentive listening, I embarked on a journey to develop specialized products that address a myriad of skin concerns. Now, Sesderma is the leading Spanish dermatological laboratory with a remarkable 34-year history and it is present in over 90 global markets. The company is dedicated to intensive research, development, formulation, and manufacturing of advanced dermocosmetic products, nanonutraceuticals, and medical-aesthetic cosmetics.At the heart of Sesderma’s success lies a relentless pursuit of research, development, and innovation (R+D+I), driving the creation of groundbreaking solutions. The Sesderma Group encompasses several notable brands, including Sesderma, Mediderma, Sophieskin, Dr. Serrano, and Dermopartners, specializing in third-party manufacturing.
What are the key services offered at the newly opened flagship center in Dubai Mall?
At Sesderma Skin Center we offer all types of aesthetic treatments, being our key services: peelings, microneedling, facials and mesotherapy. Nanopore technology is widely considered the next generation microneedling solution to hit the beauty market. It is great for targeting more age-related skin concerns, such as wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, sagging skin and sun damage. It can also help with acne scars, hair loss, cellulite and even stretch marks too. Results can be seen following the first session of Nanopore treatment and because this technique is minimally invasive, there is very little downtime. A properly selected peeling session allows you to keep your skin healthy, aesthetically attractive, and more resistant to aging. This is a procedure involving applying a properly selected mixture of chemical compounds to the skin at a certain concentration. These substances penetrate deep into the skin and cause the remodeling of collagen and elastin, which are supporting factors in the skin, affecting the renewal of the epidermis and dermis. For example, Ferulac Peel is a non-invasive method of combating skin problems: dull skin, excessive dryness or discoloration. It allows much deeper penetration of active ingredients than before, which carried by high-quality liposomes, easily pass through the epidermal barrier and penetrate into the deep layers of the skin. Ferulac acid contained in the Ferulac Peel has strong antioxidant properties, combats signs of skin aging, especially skin damage caused by sunlight. The peel brings immediate and noticeable effects in the form of visible lightening and improvement of skin tone. After the procedure, the patient’s skin becomes luminous, firm and most of the problems (discoloration, wrinkles, acne scars) disappear without a trace or undergo a significant reduction. We are proud to offer our clients the most up to date beauty and anti-ageing treatments available on the market that are scientifically proven to help achieve results.
Sesderma are the leaders in the use of nanotechnology – tell us more about this.
In 2008, Sesderma made history with the introduction of complete product lines utilising the power of nanotechnology. This groundbreaking achievement revolutionized the industry, allowing ingredients to effectively penetrate the skin’s protective layer, ensuring their utmost efficacy. These encapsulated active ingredients are transported through nano-sized liposomes, wherein the aqueous volume is surrounded by a lipid bilayer of biodegradable and biocompatible phospholipids. Unlike superficial offerings from other cosmetic lines, Sesderma’s liposomal products go beyond mere hydration and comfort, providing comprehensive repair and protection throughout all layers of the skin. These benefits also include excellent skin tolerance due to the composition being similar to skin cells, and controlled release of active ingredients, thereby enhancing the product’s long-term effectiveness.
Besides the use of nanotechnology, are there any other formulation characteristics that the brand is known for?
Continuous innovation has been a key driver of success for me and Sesderma Group. My commitment to research and innovation is rooted in my belief that it is the pathway to develop effective products and treatments. Current trends in the industry align with the demand for dermo-cosmetic products that are easy to use, safe, effective, and incorporate innovative active ingredients. Sesderma continues to invest in research within the realm of nanotechnology, which they have been utilising since the early days of Sesderma. We have recently developed new types of liposomes, such as chitosomas (chitosan-coated liposomes), which are applied in sunscreens for oral use. The Sunses line from Sesderma exemplifies this innovation. Additionally, the company has taken a keen interest in the application of exosomes in dermatology. Exosomes, tiny vesicles ranging from 30 to 150nm, are naturally produced inside cells and serve as vehicles for transporting biomolecules such as lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. They play a vital role in intercellular communication, and their utilisation in dermatology holds great potential. I have also expanded the services at my clinic by launching a new Aesthetic Gynecology Center in Valencia and a range of intimate products. With these initiatives, I have become a pioneer in Spain in formulating products specifically designed for this field. The medical center offers innovative treatments for regenerating the female genital area as well as intimate surgeries, addressing the growing demand for these specialized services.
The brand has made its mark in the wellness industry for more than 30 years – how has it evolved since its launch.
When I began my medical practice over 50 years ago, the field of dermo-cosmetics was virtually non-existent. However, I was actively involved in the development of procedures for doctors to incorporate into their practices, including chemical peels and substances used in facial, hair, or body mesotherapy. In fact, our division of products for medical professionals, Mediderma, has become a leader in this category of treatments. One notable achievement from 15 years ago was the development of the first safe and non-sedative formula for a phenol chemical peel. Phenol is an anti-aging ingredient that yields effects similar to those of non-surgical facelifts but typically required hospitalization and patient sedation for monitoring. In response to this challenge, I embarked on the search for new phenol formulas. This led to the creation of Nomelan Fenol, a line of peelings based on a “domesticated” phenol that offers high efficacy and safety. It can be used in clinics under the supervision of a medical professional, eliminating the need for hospitalisation, monitoring, or sedation. Another major innovation in the field of medical-aesthetic treatments was the development of Mediderma’s well-known Nanopore micropuncture device, together with German entrepreneur Horst Liebl. Currently, Mediderma’s Nanopore Stylus 02 is a revolutionary medical micropuncture device with one of the most powerful motors on the market, capable of creating up to 2000 microchannels per second; and the new Nanopore Pen, more versatile and lighter thanks to the fact that it has no cables, making it possible to use it comfortably anywhere, since it is a fully portable device. This treatment, which generates thousands of micro-channels in the skin and improves communication between cells, promotes the production of collagen and elastin, and transports the active ingredients to the deepest layers of the skin. Currently, this line of devices has added a new development: Nanopore Emses RF, which is already achieving great success in the market. This is a non-invasive and multifunctional device that allows personalized treatments for each patient, combining radiofrequency, microcurrents, LED phototherapy and rotational stimulation. The benefits achieved are visible from the first session, enhancing the luminosity of the skin, and in the long term, reducing flaccidity, improving the quality of the skin, reducing wrinkles and improving microcirculation. If we look back 30 years, there were very limited options when it came to skin products. However, we now have cosmetics formulated with pH balance, carefully selected active ingredients, and skin-friendly fragrances that do not cause harm while delivering effective results. Moreover, extensive research is being conducted in the field of nanotechnology, which represents the future of cosmetics. This involves exploring the potential of growth factors, stem cells, and other cutting-edge technologies.
Liposomes… an important innovation in the field of cosmetics, which Sesderma has always championed. What is this innovation?
As I mentioned, in 2008 we managed to increase the effectiveness and penetration of formulas by incorporating Nanotech, our most advanced smart sphere technology, based on the latest innovative encapsulation methods. The benefits of our liposome encapsulation include analogues to the cell membrane that act without altering the skin, unique levels of penetration and efficacy, excellent tolerance, gradual release of active ingredients: immediate and long-term benefits and they provide additional properties: epithelialising, antioxidant and sebum-regulating. The ethos of “Listening to your skin” encapsulates the essence of Sesderma, a laboratory devoted to nurturing skin health and beauty. Through dermatological innovation and an unwavering dedication to the well-being of the skin, Sesderma continues to redefine the boundaries of the industry, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals.
The C-VIT serum is highly popular – tell us how it works on the skin.
Vitamin C has many benefits, however, the main problem is that it is an unstable active ingredient, which degrades easily when it comes into contact with the outside environment. This is the reason why we use ethyl ascorbic acid in our C-VIT Serum, as it is a stable derivative of vitamin C that does not oxidize when applied or stain the skin. In addition, vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes thanks to Nanotech technology allows for deeper penetration and a gradual release of the active ingredient, thus achieving greater effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of facial photoaging. Specifically, Sesderma’s C-VIT Serum, based on vitamin C, has become a best-seller worldwide. It is the ultimate solution for a glowing and youthful skin. Another of the main advantages of vitamin C from Sesderma’s C-VIT Serum is that it can be used all year round, even in summer. As I have mentioned, vitamin C has a problem: it is a slightly unstable ingredient and certain creams include an acidic pH for stability. This acidity is the one that causes a slight exfoliating effect on the skin and makes them incompatible with the sun. Hence, many people think that it cannot be used in the summer. C-VIT Serum, thanks to its triple antioxidant, anti-wrinkle, and tone unifying effect, greatly boosts skin glow. The antioxidant power of encapsulated vitamin C fights damage and premature aging caused by sun exposure, pollution, or stress. Thanks to its anti-wrinkle effect, it increases the synthesis of collagen and elastin to achieve firmer and more elastic skin. Finally, its continued use evens out the skin tone and restores the skin’s natural vitality and glow.
Sesderma has a wide catalog of products that meet the needs of all skin and hair types – what are some of the other hero products?
Our success is made possible by human touch, generosity and know-how. My commitment is to provide dermatology solutions rather than business. Through our product catalogue we make available a wide range of solutions that target different skin disorders such as vitiligo, psoriasis or dermatitis, to mention a few. I refuse to withdraw them, because even if they cause losses, there are people who still need them. Now, Sesderma has more than 400 references and formulas. The first product line I launched in 1990 was ACGLICOLIC, based on glycolic acid. Back then, my team and I were pioneers and, over the years, this line has become a best seller. Another line I’m proud of is AZELAC RU, based on a powerful depigmenting formula. It’s a huge commercial success. We also have deep knowledge on retinoids and have developed a lot of specific lines for all skin types: RETI AGE with 3 Retinol-System; RETISES which combines free and liposomal active ingredients; SESRETINAL with bioretinoids; and SAMAY for sensitive skin. On the other hand, I’m very satisfied with the results of our microneedling devices, NANOPORE Stylus 02 and NANOPORE Pen, launched by our Mediderma professional division. They are employed by doctors to treat acne marks, wrinkles, and alopecia, among other skin conditions.
What is an essential skincare step to protect your skin? What’s a social media fad to avoid on your skin?
The sun is the main cause of spots that appear on the skin, such as melasma or solar lentigines. Therefore, the first and most important recommendation is to avoid the sun directly and always use SPF50 sunscreen, even when it is cloudy. Regularly applying sunscreen can significantly lower your chances of developing skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but it is also highly preventable. Sunscreen is a vital part of a comprehensive sun protection strategy. Regardless of your skin tone or type, everyone needs protection from UV rays. Even individuals with darker skin, who may not easily burn, can experience skin damage from sun exposure. The skincare routine should include, after cleansing, a depigmenting treatment in the morning and evening, and some complementary products that will help improve and reduce the appearance of spots.
What’s next in line for the brand?
As I have already mentioned, I have always been committed to innovation and research, as I firmly believe that this is the way to success, to continue developing effective products and treatments. The important thing is not what we have done, which is a lot, but everything that we have left to do. I am always working on many projects, such as the recent launch of the Dr. Serrano high-end cosmetic line. My short-term focus is to strengthen our new line of gynecoesthetics and continue promoting new courses to train medical professionals in this specialty, such as the one we already organized in our laboratories just a year ago and in my clinic in Valencia. More than twenty professionals from gynecology, dermatology and aesthetic medicine from all over the world came together in this course on functional and regenerative aesthetic gynecology. Current trends point towards products that are easy to apply. For example, serums, which also have a component, hyaluronic acid, which is very popular, or products with niacinamide, retinol… On the other hand, a lot of research is being done in the field of nanotechnology, the cosmetics of the future, working with factors such as DNA. On the other hand, the sun is the skin’s first and foremost enemy, so sunscreen will be a must-have product for any daily regime, also during wintertime. Sunscreens as a product, for example, have changed a lot, they used to protect from the sun and block harmful radiation. Today we also talk about repairing. Nanotech technology has allowed us to study micro particles. All this is going to be emphasised in many ways. Without going any further, think about stem cells. Cosmetics is important in every way because it has an impact on health. Another of my tips is to complement daily care at home with a visit to the dermatologist at least once a year, and to go to medical clinics to undergo some professional treatment, such as peels or micropuncture. The combination of professional treatments together with the use of dermo-cosmetics enhances the results, and a healthy and beautiful skin is achieved. In this field, we have Mediderma, specialized in professional treatments.
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