Professional Skincare Products vs. Over The Counter

Ever walk into a drug store to restock on your skincare products? You probably felt a little overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of products claiming to solve every skincare concern you have. There is a difference between what you can buy in store and what your esthetician or skincare professional can offer you.

Professional products have a higher concentration of active ingredients which means simply… they are more effective! This also means they will last longer because a little goes a long way.

The reason for the higher concentration of actives is that they are prescribed to you by a skincare professional to ensure proper use. Your skincare professional will be able to pick the exact products with the ingredients that address your specific concerns. You will understand exactly how and when to use these products. A product with the same ingredient listed in the formulation can probably be purchased over the counter in a drug store but without the direction of your esthetician, you can dry your skin out causing a compromised barrier which leads to a plethora new skin issues! Even if you compare the labels and it appears that your drug store brand has very similar ingredients, they are not. The sourcing of ingredients it’s incredibly important. For instance, not all vitamin c derivatives are created equal. You would never know without having the training in product knowledge what exactly to look for in the ingredient deck.

“Vehicles” are substances added into a product that allow for spreadability, without these substances, you moisturizer wouldn’t glide as nicely onto the skin’s surface. Nonprofessional skincare brands tend to skimp on these substances and use lower grade option which can be very comedogenic or pore clogging.

When comparing price, at first glance it may seem like some professional grade products are more expensive if you are used to purchasing your products at the drug store, however like I explained earlier you will get your money’s worth out of professional skincare. How many times have you picked out your own skincare regimen and actually finished all of the products? I know before becoming an esthetician, I bought endless products and rarely finished them, I would have cabinets full of rejected products. This ends up wasting way more money than if you were to consult with a professional and let them guide you in the right direction. Also, keep in mind expensive over the counter products are still not professional grade. Just because a moisturizer has a $250 price tag at a department store doesn’t mean it is superior to the $15 one at CVS.

Keep in mind claims on the packaging aka marketing “gimmicks” are an issue in the beauty industry.

Did you know there is no regulation on the beauty industry and the claims they make as to what results a product will yield? Yep that’s right! You can have a product that says it will brighten your skin tone, reduce sun damage and it can lack enough of the brightening ingredients in the ingredients to shift the skin at all.

It is imperative to see your skincare professional regularly to maintain your skin’s health, address concerns and achieve any goals you might have. With the help of your esthetician you will know exactly which products will work best for you, how long to use them, and in which order.

Christie Caroll

Licensed Esthetician