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Expert Skin Care Products vs. Drugstore Options

Posted on: October 5th, 2016 by California Skin Institute

When it comes to using the best products in your skin care routine, it can sometimes be difficult to decide between a drugstore item and a professional skin care product. There are so many different ingredients out there, and the wide range of options can make the process very confusing. However, there is a big difference between drugstore skin care items and expert products from brands like OBAGI, SkinMedica, and California Skin Institute’s product lines. This difference becomes especially important when we consider how the effects are compounded over decades of your daily skin care routine. Let’s take a closer look at some of the main aspects of expert skin care products versus drugstore options.

Skin Penetration

One of the determinants of a topical product’s effectiveness is how deeply it can penetrate the skin.* Many over-the-counter items sold in drug stores are great at forming a surface film that creates a feeling of soft, smooth skin, but such outcomes are often superficial (literally).* These products have ingredients that, due to their molecular size or other factors, cannot address skin damage at the deeper layers.*

Expert skin care products, like those that were developed by California Skin Institute, are formulated with refined ingredients and utilize molecular mechanisms that allow for penetration to deeper skin layers.* This ability can really add up in positive effects on the skin over years and decades of daily use.*

Ingredient Quality

Another aspect that determines the ultimate effectiveness of a topical skin product is the quality of ingredients.* For example, drugstore products are often cheaper than many expert formulations, but it’s because they often use lower grade ingredients.* This in turn affects your ability to slow the skin’s aging process.*

Ingredient Concentrations

Concentrations of active ingredients are also very important.* For example, a 15% glycolic acid cream will achieve a different effect than a 5% cream.* This is also true for other ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and skin lighteners, among others.* The impact is even greater when you factor in long term use over several decades.*

Because expert skin care products are sold through dermatology practices, the concentration of active ingredients is often higher than in over-the-counter version.* This can be especially helpful when it comes to ingredients like antioxidants, Retinol, or Hydroquinone.*

Formula Freshness

Another important point with any skin care product is the freshness of the formula.* When purchasing from a drugstore, there’s no telling whether the product formula has lost its effectiveness.* For example, if the cream has been sitting on the shelf in some hot warehouse for several months, the efficacy of the ingredients could be compromised.*

On the other hand, expert products sold through dermatology offices are manufactured in smaller batches and are formulated in state-of-the-art laboratories.* They are manufactured to be high quality, and are handled with great care so that the patient receives a fresh product.*

What are You Paying For?

When purchasing skin care products, it’s important that the consumer stays cognizant about what they are really paying for.* Products that are sold in drug or department stores are often brands from companies that have invested a great deal of money into advertising.* So when the consumer makes a purchase of such a product, they are often paying for that brand name and all that advertising.*

Expert skin care products don’t have the same associated costs of advertising and build-up of distribution channels.* Therefore, the consumer gets more for their money.*

Beyond the Product

Here at California Skin Institute we’ve always found it interesting how little time skin care companies invest into educating their consumers.* After all, a skin care product is just a tool and it must be used correctly to achieve maximum improvement.* Sadly, the consumer is really shortchanged when making such a purchase, because the staff members at the local drugstore are rarely trained on the nuances of proper skin care.*

When patients visit one of our practices, on the other hand, we can help them select just the right product for their unique situation.* Additionally, our skin experts can provide tips on the best ways to use a product to its full potential.

Take the Next Step

If you’d like to learn more about California Skin Institute products, or brands like OBAGI or SkinMedica, please schedule a complimentary Skin Care Routine consultation.* Just call a CSI practice near you, or schedule online now!

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.