Dr Sheldon Pinnell 


As SkinCeuticals founding scientist, Dr. Pinnell changed the face of topical Vitamin C Serums with his pivotal research. More than just a dermatologist, professor and skincare chemist, meet the man behind the lab coat and hear him explain his ground breaking work. 
Dr. Pinnell passed away July 2013. His quest for knowledge and dedication to skin science was paramount for establishing SkinCeuticals as the antioxidant authority. His work will continue to inspire our research and promote our mission, which is to develop advanced skincare solutions backed by science. 


Dr. Pinnell received his Medical Degree from Yale University, conducted his medical internship and residency at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and completed his dermatology training at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Pinnell conducted his research training as a collagen chemist at both the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and also the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich, Germany. Dr. Pinnell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry at Duke University, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa academic honours. 



Dr. Pinnell’s skin science research earned him eight patents over the course of his career. The most important patent in SkinCeuticals history pertains to “A Stable Solution of L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).” The formulation standards put forth in this study are now known as the Duke Antioxidant patent. Three additional patents have supplemented Dr. Pinnell’s initial patent, one for the formulation-specific application to protect the ingredient combination used in Skin Firming Cream and Eye Cream; another to protect the combination used in SkinCeuticals C+E skincare products; and a third to protect the formulation used in SkinCeuticals phloretin skincare products. Together, these patents provided a firm foundation for all SkinCeuticals antioxidant products. 

A distinguished member of the Duke University Medical School faculty for almost 40 years, Dr. Pinnell was a professor of dermatology, held the title of J. Lamar Callaway Professor Emeritus of Dermatology, and also served as Chief of Dermatology at Duke University Medical Centre for 15 years. At Duke, he trained physicians from the United States and abroad both as dermatologists and research scientists. With almost four decades of experience in skin cancer, skin disease, and skin ageing research, Dr. Pinnell published more than 200 scientific articles about topical vitamin C, antioxidants, collagen synthesis, and photo-damage in peer-reviewed dermatology journals. 


Clinical Studies 

Dr. Pinnell had 100 peer-reviewed publications, including many related directly to the topical antioxidant innovative technologies 

Peer-reviewed publications 

Additional peer-reviewed publications prove the ineffectiveness of other antioxidants - including alpha lipoic acid, ubiquinone, idebenone, and kinetin - in protecting skin from oxidative stress 

Awards and Recognition 

As one of the most well respected doctors and skin scientists of our time, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell has won countless awards and accolades. Among his key recognitions: 

In 2013, the Duke University School of Medicine and the Department of Dermatology created The Sheldon Pinnell Centre for Investigative Dermatology to honour Dr. Pinnell’s unwavering commitment to the discovery of new and innovative methods of treating skin diseases and to training the next generation of young investigators. The establishment of the Pinnell Center provides a comprehensive program for investigative dermatology through support for early career investigators with initial funding; support for post-doctoral fellow training; funding for innovative proposals and new projects focused on translational research leading to new therapies for skin disease; and the enrichment of the investigative community through regular seminar series, development of core facilities and laboratories, and support for translational and clinical research. 

  • J. Lamar Callaway Professor and Chief Emeritus of Dermatology at Duke University 

  • Honorary Membership to the Society for Investigative Dermatology 

  • The Best Doctors in America 

  • The International Who’s Who in Medicine 

  • Who’s Who in Science and Engineering 

  • Who’s Who in America 

  • Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology 

  • Member of the American Academy of Dermatology 

  • Member of the American Dermatological Association 

  • Member of the Society of Investigative Dermatology 

  • Member of the Association of American Physicians 

With a vision to build a world-renowned Department of Dermatology, Dr. Pinnell marked his tenure as division chief from 1982-1997 with bold strategic initiatives, including the recruitment of new clinicians and investigators, establishing new areas of research in immuno-dermatology and connective tissue, as well as initiating new clinical efforts in wound care, laser medicine, dermatologic surgery, and paediatric dermatology. His efforts and those who have come before and after him culminated in the establishment of the Department of Dermatology in 2009, highly regarded today for innovation and excellence in research, clinical care, and training. 

The Pinnell Centre serves as an enduring legacy of the faculty, staff and students’ appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Pinnell for his loyalty, mentoring, enthusiastic embrace of academic life, intellectual curiosity and outstanding leadership that has positioned Duke University’s Department of Dermatology as a national and world leader. 


SkinCeuticals Brand History  

At SkinCeuticals, our mission is to improve skin health. We are committed to leading the skincare industry in terms of research and innovation, and we promise to provide advanced skincare backed by science. 
Our skincare philosophy centers on three main pillars: Prevent. Protect. Correct. These principles work synergistically to provide the Healthier looking skin, and effective anti-aging results. 


Our Latest-Generation Approach to Stubborn Discoloration 
Featuring a potent formula combining 1.8% Tranexamic Acid, 5% Niacinamide and 5% Hepes, Discoloration Defense improves the appearance of discoloration, brightens skin, and evens skin tone to address key types of discoloration – even stubborn brown patches and post-blemish marks. 

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Glycolic Acid Corrective Cream for a Quantifiable Glow 

Optimized for efficacy and tolerable for nightly use, Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight blends a 10% glycolic free acid value with phytic acid and a soothing complex to improve texture, tone, and radiance. Clinically proven to deliver a 36% average improvement in skin’s glow. 



Combining high-concentration ingredients with a problem-solution approach, SkinCeuticals enhances its cleanser and toner line for improved usability and efficacy. This range is tested to be an effective first step for at-home regimens and in-office procedures. 

A Revolutionary Serum to Amplify Hyaluronic Acid in Skin Featuring a synergistic combination of proxylane, a blend of licorice root and purple rice extracts, and hyaluronic acid, H.A. Intensifier helps support skin’s hyaluronic acid levels and delivers surface hydration for visible improvement in the appearance of firmness, smoothness, and facial fullness. 



A Multi-Faceted Approach Against Temporary Skin Reactivity Phyto Corrective Masque is formulated with highly-concentrated botanical extracts, a calming dipeptide, and hyaluronic acid. It helps hydrate and intensively soothe the feel of temporary skin reactivity. Tested effective post-procedure to reduce visual redness and discomfort. 

First Ever Anti-Aging Discovery 
Ground-breaking science shows over-exposure to ozone pollution may cause visible skin aging. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Phloretin CF antioxidants are shown to help shield against signs of skin-aging induced by ozone (O3) pollution. 

Innovation in Sun Protection 
Formulated with 100% mineral filters and oil absorbing powders, Mineral Matte UV Defense SPF 30 delivers high broad spectrum protection and is proven to maintain a matte finish even in hot, humid conditions. 

Anti-Aging Treatment to Refill Cellular Lipids Our first anti-aging cream with a 2:4:2 cholesterol-dominant ratio, Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 is formulated with 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids. This powerful formula helps restore skin's external barrier improve visible signs of accelerated ageing. 


A Multi-Corrective Approach Against the Early Signs of Aging 
Featuring a high concentration of niacinamide, a tripeptide concentrate, and pure glycerin, Metacell Renewal B3 visibly improves early signs of photoaging for improvement in the appearance of skin tone, texture, and overall radiance. 

A New Standard in Eye Care 
Mineral Eye UV Defense SPF 30 delivers With 100% mineral filters delivers broad spectrum protection in a non-migrating formula designed specifically for the delicate eye area. Infused with ceramides, it features a universal tint to enhance skin tone and create a smooth canvas for makeup. 


An Antioxidant Cocktail for Night time Use Combining pure stabilized resveratrol, baicalin, and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), Resveratrol B E is an antioxidant night concentrate that neutralizes free radicals and supports skin’s natural antioxidant defenses for improvement in the look of firmness and overall radiance. 

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Advanced Defense Against Skin Discoloration 
Formulated with a high-potency cocktail combining hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid, ellagic acid, and salicylic acid, Advanced Pigment Corrector helps reduce the look of uneven skin tone, discoloration, and improves overall skin appearance. 

Body Correct: Clinically Proven Skin Improvement From Head to Toe 
SkinCeuticals introduces its Body Correct line. Featuring targeted skincare formulations, these powerful technologies help improve the appearance of dry skin, rough texture, loss of firmness, and visible signs of aging on various body areas. 

Retinol: The Essential Anti-Ager 
SkinCeuticals launches Retinol 0.3. Formulated with pure retinol and calming chamomile-derived bisabolol, this high-concentration corrective cream helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, skin discoloration, and blemishes. 

Sun Protection Innovation 
Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF 50 is a tinted sunscreen fluid that combines 100% mineral filters with translucent color spheres for effective broad spectrum protection and an even, radiant finish. 


Shedding Light on Infrared Radiation 
Research reveals that infrared radiation A (IRA) may cause free radical damage that can result in accelerated visible skin aging. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is shown To help neutralise free radicals that can cause premature signs of aging. 

C E Ferulic + Laser 
A SkinCeuticals study, in partnership with a laser and medical device community, shows that the application of  C E Ferulic is tested safe post laser. 




An Unprecedented Innovation from the Antioxidant Authority 
The launch of CF Gel marks an entirely new antioxidant delivery system. Suspended in a gel delivery system, this daytime vitamin C antioxidant delivers advanced environmental protection while diminishing the appearance of skin discoloration and improving skin tone. 



SkinCeuticals Expands In-Office Treatment Options 
SkinCeutical acquires BioMedic and introduces corrective professional peels, marking the launch of the integrated skincare program. Applied by a skincare professional, these solutions exfoliate skin, resulting in the appearance of smoother and less wrinkled skin. 

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Another Skincare First 
SkinCeuticals introduces Phloretin CF, a daytime antioxidant featuring a combination of phloretin, pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), and ferulic acid. 

This triple antioxidant formulation delivers advanced environmental protection while improving the look of discoloration, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. 

Advanced Environmental Protection, Indisputable Science 
The power of C E Ferulic is acknowledged with the publication of a double-blind, peer-reviewed study in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 


The Antioxidant Bar is Raised Again 

SkinCeuticals launches C E Ferulic, a new daytime antioxidant featuring a synergistic combination of ferulic acid, vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), and vitamin E (alpha tocopherol). This vitamin C serum delivers powerful environmental protection while improving the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and dark spots. 


The Origins of Integrated Skincare 
SkinCeuticals introduces a full professional back bar product line exclusively for in-clinic treatments by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other skincare professionals. 

"Prevent. Correct. Protect." is Born 
SkinCeuticals formalises its philosophy of "Prevent. Correct. Protect. " These pillars remain the fundamental elements for an effective skin care approach that maintains and improves skin's healthy appearance. 


The Proof Behind the Patent 

Dr. Pinnell’s landmark study about the parameters necessary for formulating a stable and effective vitamin C serum is published in The Journal of Dermatologic Surgery. 


SkinCeuticals Branches Out 

The SkinCeuticals line grows with the launch of >Phyto+ for hyperpigmentation, Face Cream for prematurely ageing skin and Eye Balm to help combat damage around the eye area. 

A Synergistic Activity Demonstrated 

The addition of vitamin E boosts the effectiveness of SkinCeuticals’ antioxidant formulations. 


The Duke Antioxidant Patent Comes to Life 
SkinCeuticals launches Serum 10, the company’s first stabilised, pure L-ascorbic acid topical antioxidant product. This vitamin C antioxidant serum delivers environmental protection for all skin types and helps to reduce visible signs of premature ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. 


The Dawn of a New Era 
SkinCeuticals is one of the first companies to partner with physicians to offer skincare products in their clinics. 

The Turning Point in Antioxidant Research 
SkinCeuticals Founding Scientist Sheldon Pinnell, M.D. continues his pivotal research on topical Vitamin C Serums, leading to a breakthrough discovery and the creation of an entirely new skin care category. 

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