Are You Wasting Your Money on OTC Skin Care Products?

Spend a few minutes browsing the skin care section at your local drugstore and you’ll see just how plentiful over the counter products are. Sadly, though, not all of these products are worth the hype. We’ve all bought lotions, moisturizers, and other such products, hoping they’d offer a discernible change in our skin quality—but inevitably, these drugstore products fail to live up to their lofty claims.

But aren’t these products supposedly proven to be legitimate? Not necessarily. While over the counter products are tested and confirmed by the FDA, it’s important to note that the FDA only evaluates safety. Its stamp of approval doesn’t necessarily signify effectiveness.

If you’re going to spend your money on skin care treatments, then you might as well purchase something that’s actually going to get results, and that means opting for the kinds of medical-grade skin care treatments that you can only get at a place like The Skin Center.

There is hope for those who face skin problems, and who wish to have a smoother, healthier, and more youthful appearance. Medical-grade products are proven to be effective. And we’re proud to offer some truly excellent products at The Skin Center, like SkinMedica®, Senté®, EltaMD®, Latisse®, Revision® and many others.


Ingredients: Quality and Quantity

We’ll start with ingredients, undoubtedly on every consumer’s mind. There’s been an increased push for ingredient transparency in our culture, from food products to medications; labels like non-GMO now come on product labels, signifying our concern over the things we put in and on our bodies. Medical-grade skin care products offer very different ingredients from their over the counter alternatives—different both in terms of the quality of ingredients and the quantity of the effective ingredients.

When we talk about quantity, we don’t necessarily mean the length of the ingredient list, which is really neither here nor there. It’s a reference to the fact that medical grade skin care products can include more of each ingredient, i.e. higher amounts of each ingredient. Simply put, even the over-the-counter products that claim to have high concentrations of their active ingredients can’t have nearly as high of the amounts that are allowed in clinical skin care solutions.

There’s also ingredient quality—and certainly, we all have experience with low-quality ingredients. Have you ever bought a skin care product that you found to be heavy, greasy, or otherwise unpleasant to use? And have you ever found yourself using huge amounts of an over-the-counter product, and still didn’t get the results you had hoped for? These are both signs of low ingredient quality.

Here, it might be helpful to think of that old saying, you get what you pay for. If a product claims that it will take thirty years off your appearance, and it’s on sale for $20, that’s almost surely too good to be true. The reason for this is that finding and balancing the right ingredients takes a lot of time and a lot of work. It’s not something you’re going to get “on the cheap.”

Learn more from our Nurse Injector, Tiffany Moore and watch this quick video!

Consider this. Some skin care problems don’t have solutions, so scientists and researchers will actually set about to invent the proper products. Those products aren’t going to make their way to store shelves for a long time. That combination of ingredients will only be available in a clinical setting, where you can truly find the right product to meet your skin care needs.

On the topic of ingredients, it’s also worth noting that the drug store products can often contain a lot of stuff that you don’t need, meaning fillers, fragrances, and ingredients that can actually irritate your skin. Contrast that with medical grade products, which are concentrated to be clinical and corrective. There is nothing in them that isn’t going to have a real medical benefit.

Product Testing

Another key issue is product testing. When it comes to any kind of personal wellness product, you obviously want to invest in something that’s been rigorously tested, time and time again, to make sure it’s truly effective. The products you get from your clinical provider are held to a higher standard than the ones you can buy at the drugstore. The formulas are tested with higher levels of scientific scrutiny, and they are only approved for clinical use once they meet a high threshold of data and analysis.

Typically, this isn’t true of over-the-counter products. Again, the FDA doesn’t require these products to be effective. It only requires them to be safe. The criteria, then, is quite a bit less impressive. These products don’t have to go through the gamut of independent, third party testing that medical grade products do, and that makes clinical strength products implicitly more trustworthy.

The fact that medical-grade products have been so thoroughly vetted is ultimately a good thing: They’ve been shown not just to be acceptable for use, but effective in delivering results. That should give you hope: If you’re tired of skin care products that don’t seem to make a lick of difference in your personal appearance, it’s not because good products don’t exist. It may just be that you haven’t yet tried the right products.

Product Delivery

What about the way these products are delivered? Simply put, a product can have the best possible list of ingredients, but if those ingredients don’t penetrate the skin, they won’t do any good. The way the ingredients are delivered to the body matters a great deal. And here again, there is a world of difference between medical grade and over-the-counter skin care.

The products you can buy at your drug store are only allowed to penetrate the surface of your skin. But what if you have deeper skin care issues to deal with? Medical grade products are designed to go below the surface and to address the root cause of your skin problems. This means their results are not only better, but they last longer.

When you consider different options for skin care, always consider the delivery method. How are the ingredients actually getting to where they need to go? All medical grade products will come with unique delivery method formulas, allowing them to address your skin care needs.

Invest in the Right Products for Your Skin

As a closing thought, we’ll note that skin care products aren’t just about helping you look your best, although that’s certainly a big focus. They’re also about promoting skin health, and that’s not something you want to scrimp on or to leave to chance.

For that reason, we encourage our patients to remember that drug store products can sometimes be helpful, but they’re seldom going to be as effective as the clinical strength solutions we can offer here at The Skin Center. Plus, we have a seasoned medical staff who can help you identify the best product for your specific skin care needs.

Ask your physician or nurse injectors about the products we can provide you—including pharmaceutical specialties such as SkinMedica ®, EltaMD®, Revision Skincare ®, MDRejuvena ®, and more. Contact us today to find out more about the skin care products that can truly make a difference!