02 Sep Why Store-Bought Skin Care Products Aren’t Such a “Deal”
Why spend more on skin care products from your dermatologist when you can pick up a product that promises to do the same thing at the supermarket for just a few dollars? There are plenty of reasons why—and we’ll discuss seven of them. RefinedMD now offers all products available for purchase online live, including the popular Hyalogy line. From Obagi to SkinCeuticals, you won’t find these medical-grade products on non-clinical sites or in your local store and here’s why.
The bottom line is that medical-grade products from dermatology clinics have better ingredients, purer ingredients, the ideal strength, and the best combinations plus these products are backed up by research. That’s enough for most people to realize it’s better in the long run for your skin and your wallet to only trust products from clinics, but let’s dig a little deeper.
But the Ingredients Look the Same in Clinic and Supermarket Buys!
There is some overlap in ingredients if you’re comparing medical-grade products to what you find in stores. However, medical-grade products are required by law to have ingredients that are at least 99% pure. That isn’t the case with over the counter (OTC) products. This means “cheap” products usually have a lot of fillers. No wonder they’re available in economy sizes and you need so much more to make them even semi-effective.
You get more of every active ingredient with medical-grade products. The active ingredients are what make these products work, including must-haves like retinoids, antioxidants, vitamin C, and much more. When you get products from a trusted clinic, you know you’re getting higher concentrations and that you can use these products sparingly. When you do find what seems to be a quality active ingredient in an OTC product, there might be just a small amount that doesn’t actually do anything for your skin.
Is there Really a Difference in Skin Care Products?
One perfect example is hydroquinone, which can help with hyperpigmentation. In medical-grade products you can get concentrations of up to 5%, but that’s capped at just 2% in OTC products. That’s been a legal requirement since an FDA limit was imposed nearly 40 years ago. You’ll find some OTC products with this ingredient at 2% and a lot of people won’t see any improvement no matter how much of the product they use! However, opt for a medical-grade option like SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector and you enjoy 4% concentration—but the “ingredients list” might look the same if you compare SkinCeuticals with an OTC product in a hurry.
Only medical-grade skin care products are rooted in clinical research studies, which means they can actually back up their benefit claims. OTC products aren’t required to have any clinical research or studies and can sometimes get away with saying whatever they want to some degree. Medical-grade skin care products are overseen by the FDA who only has two categories for these types of products: pharmaceutical grade and cosmetic. Pharmaceutical grade, otherwise known as medical-grade, are the only products that are allowed to penetrate deeper than the surface level of the skin for maximum effect.
Going Deeper with Skin Care
Getting products delivered to the deeper skin layers is a must if you want real, lasting results. This layer is where the cells that synthesize collagen live, so getting to the deep dermis is critical. OTC products can (legally) only sit on the skin’s surface or delve into the most superficial layer, so they can’t accomplish much.
One of the best benefits of medical-grade skin care products is that you actually need a professional clinic in order to access them. RefinedMD offers a large suite of products that are proven safe and effective, plus we’re always happy to provide customized recommendations. In the face of COVID (and beyond!) we’ve also made shopping easier than ever with an online store that lets you take care of your skin while maintaining social distancing.
What to Remember with Skin Care
The reality is that medical-grade products aren’t actually more expensive than OTC products because there’s little marketing costs involved. The best products usually aren’t household names, but those “in the know,” well, know! These products actually work, and in much lower doses, so you’re not throwing money away on fillers. Just think about how big your product graveyard has grown over the years.