Skin Care Debate: Over-the-Counter vs. Pharmaceutical Grade


What does OTC mean? OTC stands for Over-The- Counter and represents any product that can be purchased without a prescription.  OTC’s don’t contain the same amount of active ingredients as pharmaceuticals; they simply aren’t allowed to.

Pharmaceutical grade skin care is only available through a Licensed Physician. They contain a higher amount of active ingredients than anything you could buy over-the counter. Active ingredients are those that can physically change your skin (ie; reduce wrinkles, brown spots, hydrate, repair etc.)

The biggest difference between over the counter skin care and pharmaceutical grade skin care is not only active ingredients and their amounts, but also the level of penetration into the skin. OTC products cannot penetrate past the dead tissue layer on the surface of the skin.  Pharmaceutical skin care products have the ability to penetrate the epidermis, or top layer of skin, to the dermis or lower layer of skin. This is where collagen, elastin and pigmentation lay, as well as where our new skin cells are produced.  Since the loss of collagen and elastin in the dermis is what ages us, we need to use products that can penetrate to that level.

Does that mean that OTC skin care products don’t work? Not necessarily…. you will receive minimal results from an OTC skin care, but know that it will take longer and you will have to use more, which means spending more money.

This is why we recommend products that are pharmaceutical grade.  These products will not only give great results long term, but are GOOD for your skin and worth every penny!

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