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Do Over the Counter Skincare Products Work? The difference between OTC & Medical Grade Products.

Let’s Face It we all want to have beautiful, younger, flawless looking skin (#nofilter right?), but we don’t want to break the bank to achieve it. So, should we care where we get our skincare products? Does it really make a difference? While department stores have products that seem appealing, and most are wallet-friendly, you have to wonder- do they actually work? Today we are going to discuss the differences between medical-grade skincare products or cosmeceuticals and over-the-counter (OTC) products and why you should care which you are purchasing.

What’s the Difference Between Medical-Grade and OTC (Over-the-counter) Skincare Products?

The primary difference between OTC and medical or pharmaceutical-grade skincare products is that one can only be prescribed by a medical professional (MD, NP or PA). The cosmetic product industry does not have oversight by the FDA which means thorough product or ingredient testing is not required. Even though medical-grade products fall into the cosmetic product category, many companies that manufacture them use extensive research and only use pure ingredients, 99% pure to be exact. On the other hand, OTC products that you find online, or at your local department/drug store, do not hold the same standards. They also leave you trying to diagnose yourself and hoping you get the results you want. Not only do these products not have to be tested in a clinical study, they often contain random fillers and preservatives! OTC products are generally formulated to work on everyone, no matter their skin type but using a medical grade product allows you to use products that are more tailored to your needs and skin type.

Skincare Product Quality Over Quantity

This is something we have always heard but when it comes to medical-grade skincare products, you actually get both! What I mean is, when you purchase a medical-grade face lotion for example, you are not only getting a quality product, but a little also goes a long way.
Have you ever used a product from the drugstore and feel like you have to use a lot of it, thus causing you to run out more frequently? Well, the reason is because most OTC products only actually contain microscopic amounts of active ingredients (see: doesn’t work) and they typically only work on the top layer of the skin (epidermis). Medical-grade products that have a higher concentration of active ingredients (hylauronic acid, growth factors, peptides, acids, retinols, antioxidants, etc.) are developed to penetrate deeper levels of the skin (into the dermis) as well as help with cell turnover.

I think the ingredients speak for themselves! We work so hard to make sure we are taking care of ourselves by staying active and eating right, why wouldn’t we look into the ingredients of these products to make sure we know what we are putting on our face?
While you might spend more money up front on medical-grade skincare products, you will get better results and, because you need to apply less of it, the product will last longer. You don’t have to buy the most expensive products either, there are plenty of great products that are reasonably priced. It is important to do your homework on the products you are investing in and putting on your face.

Our challenge to you is this- Put our products to the test and try something from any of our amazing medical-grade lines: Image Skincare MD line, Michele Corley Skincare through Better U private label, Topix Pharmaceuticals and very soon we will also be offering ZO Skinhealth by Zein Obagi, MD. Once again, knowledge is power and we strive to make sure you are educated about your skincare needs at all times, offering the best skin care products that actually works!

(Kim Bickly | Sep 19, 2019 | Acne & Blemishes, Discoloration & Pigment, Lines & Wrinkles, Tone & Texture)

Rochelle T. Brumley, DNP, MSN/FNP, RN Dr. Brumley finished her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Chamberlain University College of Nursing in 2014, as well as her Family Nurse Practitioner/Master of Science in Nursing degrees from Holy Names University, Oakland in 2006. She specializes in Perioperative nursing at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, CA and has also been a BRN Content Expert RN Instructor at Carrington College/Devry University from 2009-2017 and a current Instructor at Unitek College's ADN/BSN RN Program. She obtained her Medical Aesthetics Training from the Medical Aesthetics Training of California (MATC) in Newport Beach, CA in 2012. She has been doing medical aesthetics since 2012 and is currently certified in Allergan and Merz cosmetic injectables including Juvederm, Radiesse, Belotero, Botox, and Xeomin as well as IV Glutathione and other Injectable vitamins. She is also trained and certified in Laser use particularly Cynosure's PicoSure laser and the Ellman Cheveux II Diode for laser hair removal among others.

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