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  • Writer's pictureKaren Johnson MSc

Over The Counter VS Clinical Skincare

Stop wasting time (and money) on over the counter skin creams

Here’s why they will never be as effective as clinical/medical grade skincare:

Low levels of active ingredients. Many over the counter skin creams contain very low levels of active ingredients compared to professional grade products. While these ingredients such as retinol, peptides and antioxidants can be of benefit, the levels found in over the counter creams are often not high enough to make a significant impact on deeper lines and wrinkles, and can’t act as preventives for long term skin ageing.

The one-size-fits-all approach from skin companies selling to a mass market means that you might find these products are not suitable for your skin concerns, or may do very little to improve your skin overall, leading to disappointment, not to mention the money you have spent.

The best you can expect from over the counter products is extra moisture on your skin’s surface, which temporarily improves the appearance of fine lines by plumping your skin. However, when it comes to addressing skin concerns like collagen breakdown, loss of elasticity and environmental damage, the only skincare products that will improve your skin by acting at a deeper level, to restore youthful and healthy skin, are the products you will find in professional clinics.

Next time you go into a store to look at skincare products, ask whether their products are able to repair cell damage by acting on the DNA in skin cells. Do they have clinical data backed up by scientific studies that show the effectiveness of their active ingredients? How far can their product penetrate into your skin, or does it just sit on the surface doing not very much?

The price point of clinical and medical grade skincare is higher, but so is the effectiveness of the product. Often there is only a small price difference between an over the counter brand and a clinical brand, but the gulf between the two in terms of ingredients and effectiveness can be very wide.

When it comes to skincare, you really do get what you pay for.


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