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Dr. Fulton’s journey began as a desire to end his own battle with acne and grew into an obsession that propelled him to the forefront of dermatological progress. The name of James E. Fulton Jr. M.D., Ph.D., would undoubtedly appear on every dermatologist’s list of leading innovators in skin care.

In 1969, Dr. Fulton, renowned scientist, dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, co-developed Retin A® setting the gold standard for the treatment of acne and aging, and changing the skin care industry forever. In addition to the Retin A® breakthrough, he is responsible for the most widely used acne treatment available, Benzoyl Peroxide. A member of the American Board of Dermatology and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Fulton authored more than 300 medical articles and the definitive text on the treatment of acne, Acne RX. In the 1970s, he opened the first line of acne clinics and was the first to employ an aesthetician in a dermatology office. He also pioneered surgical treatments and patented retinoid therapies that now form the basis of the Vivant line.

In the field of dermatology, Dr. James Fulton is renowned as an innovator and pioneer responsible for scientific advances relied upon by the industry for more than 40 years. Dr. Fulton earned Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Tulane University. He was inducted into Tulane’s prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and Phi Beta Kappa Society. During his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, his work led to the development of Retin-A®, a topical form of Vitamin A that revolutionized the treatment of acne and aging skin. Dr. Fulton earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine under the noted dermatologist Harvey Blank, M.D.



Dr. Fulton’s Education and Accomplishments

  • 1969 Dr. Fulton co-developed the Gold Standard for the treatment of acne and aging, Retin-A®.
  • 1970 Developed the Gold Standards stabilized benzoyl peroxide gel and topical erythromycin.
  • Introduced the practice of combining retinoid and alpha-hydroxy acids for enhanced results.
  • Led innovation in the field of aesthetic science with the invention of a high-speed diamond fraise for dermabrasion.
  • Developed a paramedical training program for aestheticians and was the first to bring aestheticians into the medical office.
  • Launched a chain of 12 acne clinics and established the Acne Research Institute.
  • 1990 Developed and patented the Gold Standard non-prescription retinol Vitamin A Propionate.
  • Co-founded Vivant Skincare with researcher and formulator Sara Fulton.
  • 2000 Further develops the use of Mandelic Acid in skincare.