Cosmetic / Cosmeceutical / Pharmaceutical grade skin care products. What is the Difference?
A question often asked:
“What is the difference between cosmetic-grade skin care, cosmeceutical-grade skin care (often called “professional-grade”), and pharmaceutical-grade skin care? Which category of products should I spend my money on?”
Cosmeceutical-grade products: Often sold by recommendation only by doctors and/or estheticians. Sold in salons, spas and doctors’ offices. They don’t spend much money in advertising and marketing. Usually not endorsed by celebrities—many times you do not even know the names of the companies that sell these high-quality products.
- Prepared in small batches to ensure absolute freshness
- Focus on results rather than mass selling
- Contain a higher percentage of active ingredients to obtain results
- Greater product selection to cater to different types of skin conditions
- No added synthetic fragrances, color or dyes. This lessens your chance of sensitivity and irritation to these unnecessary chemicals
- High quality ingredients with proven results. Avoid mineral oil and petroleum; avoid poor quality oils commonly found in drugstore products
- Sunscreens contain safe chemicals and proven SPF ratings
- Sold only at medical offices and spas or salons by estheticians/doctors who have true understanding of skin and its function
Cosmetic-grade products aka over the counter products: Often sold at Department stores, drug stores, MLM companies, television, on the internet without recommendation. Often sold by salespeople trained only by the company whose products they sell.
- Made in large batches for the masses. More preservatives are added since the shelf life will need to be longer
- Have a lower percentage of active ingredients since they will be sold “for all skin types” and therefore need to be more basic; simpler formulas. If you are looking for results, it is crucial that you use products for the unique needs of YOUR skin
- Formulated by chemists and presented and sold to the public by corporate marketing specialists. Lots of hype to get the customer to buy it
- Endorsed by celebrities and cost of endorsement passed on to consumers
- Added synthetic dyes, colors, and fragrances to heighten the sensory experience and esthetic look for the sole reason of encouraging sales
- Some possess low quality, inexpensive fillers with potentially dangerous properties. For example, the drug store is loaded with products containing mineral oil and petroleum, which are known carcinogens; they also contribute to the aging process by interfering with the body’s natural moisturizing mechanisms
- Products in this category can cost even more than “professional” grade products. Customer pays for the high cost of fancy packaging, advertising, marketing, endorsements by celebrities, etc
Ingredient concentration makes a big difference!!!
Two products can have the exact same list of ingredients, and one will be highly effective while the other could be completely useless. The difference is the concentration of those ingredients.
One product may use a very small amount while the other uses a clinically active level. Unfortunately for you, the consumer, there is no way to understand the difference. It is often impossible to know, from the label, whether a product contains .01% of an ingredient or 1% , as you would never know it from the jar or bottle.
Pharmaceutical-grade skin care: Sold by prescription only. These are oral or topical drugs that are prescribed by a dermatologist to treat a specific skin conditions.
See you soon! Carmen