In Hollywood, a single pimple on otherwise creamy skin can ruin the day of any actor or model – especially with today’s high-def cameras.

And don’t get makeup artist Patty Bunch started on what she faces when a client arrives on set with ravaged skin after partying hard all weekend.

But Bunch and some colleagues are increasingly using what’s called medical makeup. The latest entrant to the market is a small line called Oxygenetix, made by a City of Commerce company of the same name.

“It can be hard to find something that covers well when you’re shooting with high-def cameras, and yet doesn’t make a skin condition worse,” Bunch said. “This is one of the tools I can use.”

Bunch is an esthetician who does makeup for TV shows and last week prepared Janice Crystal, wife of Academy Awards show host Billy Crystal, for her walk down the red carpet.

The Oxygenetix line is sold nearly exclusively through cosmetic surgery and dermatologist practices. It originally was marketed to cover and treat skin recovering from surgery, dermatological procedures such as dermabrasion, and conditions such as severe acne.

“There are consultations that go on every day in cosmetic surgeons’ offices that don’t result in a booking (for surgery) because the patient doesn’t want other people to know they’ve had something done,” said Oxygenetix founder Barry Knapp, 48. “We offer to physicians an answer to that argument.”

Knapp touts not only the product’s ability to cover unsightly skin, but an ingredient called ceravitae. It enables oxygen to get deeply into the skin, he said. The line’s moisturizer also contains high levels of synthesized humectants, chemicals normally generated by the body to help keep moisture in the skin.

Those ingredients come at a premium price. The foundation typically costs about $75, and the moisturizer, which contains several high-cost ingredients, sells for $85 to $120, depending on the size of the bottle.

Oxygentix has a lot of competition. Elise Minton, executive beauty editor at NewBeauty magazine, said medical makeup is a fast segment of the multibillion-dollar skin care industry. The niche until now has been dominated by lines based on minerals, which Oxygenetics does not contain, such as boutique line Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics of Simi Valley.

Mineral cosmetics contain a blend of pigments and natural minerals such as zinc, iron, and titanium dioxide that are finely crushed to produce microscopic crystals. The crystals are said to allow the skin to breathe as if it were makeup free.


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