Dr Geoffrey Heber – Ultraceuticals & UltraMD

Founder and director of Ultraceuticals and UltraMD, based in Sydney


I started out in my medical career as …

A general practitioner in 1984.  My father had been a GP and it seemed like a natural thing for me to do.

I specialised in cosmetic medicine and established one of Australia’s first clinics dedicated to same in 1988 because …

I had seen the advances made by laser treatment of cosmetic skin problems, and the first dermal filler products had recently been marketed. I thought cosmetic medicine was a very innovative and exciting field that could provide real benefits to patients.

My decision to devote my work to developing advanced skincare was inspired by …

The development of the first truly effective ingredients for the treatment of skin concerns in the early 1990s. Major department store brands were using very low concentrations of some of the weaker of these ingredients in very expensive products and there was a major discrepancy in the value-to price-ratio.

What I regard as the biggest breakthroughs in skincare technology during that time have been …

The introduction of alpha hydroxy acids and the ability to make vitamin A as retinol more stable. These ingredients are the gold standards and other ingredients measure their effectiveness against them. No cosmetic ingredients have yet been shown to be more effective for reversing signs of ageing than these. Their efficacy increases with increasing strength and as consumers may misuse higher strengths and suffer irritation, the most effective products containing these ingredients should be professionally recommended. Also, the effectiveness of skin lightening ingredients has advanced considerably.

AHAs and vitamin A as retinol … no cosmetic ingredients have yet been shown to be more effective for reversing signs of ageing

The biggest mistakes clinics can make when introducing a skincare range and its treatment protocols and home prescriptions are …

Not asking to see clinical testing before and after photos of the range’s products risks stocking a range with weak results. A lot of brands will have before and after images from suppliers of ingredients but not of their formulations containing the ingredients. Ingredients penetrate the skin differently in different formulations and just because an ingredient manufacturer has shown an ingredient to be effective alone, this doesn’t show that it will penetrate the skin in the cosmetic company’s product. The same applies to treatments – real before and after photos over time need to be seen.  Also, staff in clinics should experience the treatments.




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