What You Need to Know About Buying Skin Care Products Online

What To Know About Skin Care Products | RefinedMD, Los Gatos

What You Need to Know About Buying Skin Care Products Online

You can always trust RefinedMD to offer the best medical-grade skin care products both in-person and on our website. These products are clinically-tested, dermatologist-approved, and proven to help you achieve younger-looking, healthier, beautiful skin. Due to the pandemic, there has been an influx of so-called medical-grade skin care products available to purchase online, and initially that sounds fantastic. However, there are some things you need to know when you go online to shop.

There is a difference between medical-grade skin care products from a dermatology office and professional products that you might find for a steal on other websites. Technically, some professional products are medical-grade by some definitions because they contain higher amounts of the active ingredients. However, such products should only be recommended by a dermatologist. The same is true for “cosmeceuticals,” a type of skin care product that’s in between medical-grade and over the counter.

FDA Makes All the Difference

Skin care products typically do not require FDA approval. That means they can easily be sold irresponsibly on websites that aren’t supervised by a medical professional. For example, a skin care product that is touted as high in glycolic acid and a low pH can be used in an unsupervised manner. That’s risky for some people, because medical-grade products are not suited for every type of skin or condition.

People are even finding and using medical-grade chemical peels online, and the results are devastating. A real chemical peel should never be applied at home, and should only be performed by a licensed professional. Chemical peels literally peel away the top layer(s) of skin and must be performed in a highly controlled environment. It’s getting easier and easier to find “medical-grade” products online, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to buy them and use them. If they aren’t from a dermatological office, you can’t be certain that they’re legitimate, that they are what the label says, or that they’re safe as a DIY treatment.

Taking Care of Your Skin

All medical-grade products can be high-risk for some shoppers, but acids are especially risky. This includes salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and glycolic acid, which are all typically found in chemical peels. Any product that has higher than 10 percent for these acids should exclusively be used in a clinical setting. There are some products, such as TCA peels, that actually are FDA approved because they treat actinic keratosis. However, TCA peels are also popular for a purely aesthetic result. Since it is a very powerful peel designed, in part, to treat precancerous conditions, every treatment should be managed by a professional who can tailor it to your needs.

Unfortunately, right now there is little to be done to stop shoppers from finding “bargains” online. You can even find shady stores touting a TCA peel that’s at 100 percent (the highest in a clinical setting is 30 percent). So, what can you do to make sure you’re getting the right quality product for your skin? Trust the professionals at dermatology offices.

What to Know About Skin Care Products

The FDA does regulate cosmetic products, but OTC skin care is oddly considered in the food category. Medical-grade products are pharmaceuticals, so they are considered medicines and must abide by stringent standards. This means intense testing, research and studies, and the ability to prove a 99 percent purity when it comes to ingredients. If a skin care product claims a clinical effect, it legally has to be supported by research.

Given how strict the FDA is when it comes to authentic medical-grade products, you wouldn’t want to risk purchasing such products from anyone but a trusted clinic. If it sounds too good to be true, from the price to what a non-professional site claims a product will do, it likely is. You don’t want to take a chance on your skin, especially since at-home chemical peels have caused third-degree burns in recent months. These burns, typically on the face, often cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. Medical-grade products work because they have been tested and designed to achieve the best effects—but only if the product is the right one for your skin.

Shop online with confidence from a dermatologist you trust. Call RefinedMD today at (408) 688-2082 for a consultation (virtual or in-person) and for customized recommendations on the right medical-grade skin care products for you.