Walk into any Target nowadays and you’ll see that the skincare, haircare and cosmetics departments now span across 8 aisles or more. Scroll through your Facebook feed and you’re bound to see countless ads and before and after pictures of multi-level marketing skincare lines. Page through your favorite fashion magazine and see the latest celebrity touting the benefits of yet another skin cream. Wherever we go, it seems we are bombarded by beauty and skincare options, and for many of us, we feel overwhelmed and under informed! And now, added to the lineup, is a new designation of skincare labeled “Physician-Dispensed,” offered only through your doctor’s office. What makes this skincare different? Is it better, or more effective than what we can pick up at the drugstore or department store? And if so, why?
There’s no getting around it, Beauty is BIG Business! In fact, analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that the global beauty industry is growing at 7% each year, more than TWICE the rate of the developed world’s GDP. Skincare products alone contributed over $24 billion in sales in 2016. With all of these options, and their aggressive marketing campaigns, how can the average consumer identify what options are truly effective? Let’s take a closer look at what makes Physician-Dispensed skincare different!
What ARE Physician-Grade or Dispensed Skincare Lines?
Although the term, “Physician-Dispensed Skincare,” is not officially recognized by the FDA, it generally refers to products (available almost exclusively through your physician’s office) that trigger biological actions on the skin below the stratum corneum. A “Cosmetic,” by definition, is a product that does NOT alter the skin’s structure or function. Many physicians whose practices or specialties involve skin health, choose to dispense these cosmeceuticals, or have them specially compounded, to offer heightened results to their patients and to enhance their results with other treatments, such as surgery or Botox®. These lines often combine pharmaceuticals, like Tretinoin, which are regulated by the FDA.
Designed to Deliver REAL Results
“I explain to my patients that the key difference between drugstore, department store and multi-level marketing skincare and what we retail at our clinic is the quality and strength of the ingredients and how they are formulated together,” explains Sara, a Licensed Esthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare, the skin clinic of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “Physician Dispensed product lines are able to formulate with stronger concentrations of ingredients and enhance the way they are delivered into the skin,” she continues, “this translates into better and faster results for our patients. Plus! Patients get to partner with a Licensed Esthetician like me, who will follow their progress every step of the way!”
An example of stronger, more effective ingredients being used in Physician-Grade Skincare are peptides and Vitamin C. The concentration and delivery of peptides is crucial for them to have any impact on the appearance of the skin. A clinical amount (which varies by peptide) is required to encourage such responses as increased fibroblast activity or collagen synthesis. Many of the skincare lines you see advertised will say they include popular peptides, yet the amount in the product is so miniscule that it will have virtually no impact on the skin. It’s important to look at ingredient lists and see where the ingredients you are paying for a placed. The further down the list it is, the less concentrated that ingredient is.
Vitamin C is available in multiple forms. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is the most stable, non-acidic and effective of all forms but it is very expensive. It is almost exclusively found in Physician-Dispensed skincare lines for this reason. But, ANY skincare line can say that they have Vitamin C included in their products, even if the formulation of that Vitamin C has absolutely no clinical results on human skin.
Physician Dispensed Products Can Penetrate More Deeply into Your Skin
One of the biggest challenges in skincare is getting key ingredients to go deeper into skin so their impact is more profound. Due to research and development, Physician-Grade Cosmeceuticals are far more likely to do this than OTC products. Most Physician lines are created and formulated by physicians, scientists and skin professionals who have researched ingredients for years and put them into action in their own practices. They are custom formulated to have ingredients that actually reach their intended targets, such as the basal layer, to encourage actual change. Most drugstore and department store lines simply sit at the surface of your skin and provide hydration and absolutely no change in the quality, appearance, or health of your skin.
Profits Go Back into RESEARCH, NOT to Celebrity Endorsement Deals
A celebrity can get paid MILLIONS to endorse a department store line and be featured in its ads. In many cases, this celebrity does not even use the product on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the profits from the sales of most Physician-Dispensed lines go directly back into research and development. Many of these lines spend millions in clinical research and trials to ensure that the product is not only safe and efficacious, but that it delivers real and tangible results in the skin.
In addition, Physician Dispensed skincare lines are evaluated through countless studies to determine their “proof of concept,” or in layman’s terms…THEY DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY DO! Although most drugstore and department store skincare products are studied for overall safety and to make sure they aren’t too irrigating for skin, very little is spent on research to determine that they actually work.
The Bottle Doesn’t Deliver Results. What’s INSIDE of it Does!
Yes, we all like nice and attractive things, but a crystal or gold-encrusted lid on your more recent skincare purchase is NOT going to improve your skin! So, why pay extra for crazy, superfluous packaging? Prestige skincare lines know that you have MANY options when making your way through the cosmetics department. As a result, they spend millions packaging their products in eye-catching container colors, shapes, sizes and embellishments that will attract your attention. In many cases, the cost of container design and production FAR exceeds the cost of quality ingredients of what is actually inside the container. In turn, Physician-Dispensed skincare is oftentimes a far better value than department store products because your investment is in the ingredients, NOT the packaging!
A FREE Skincare Concierge is Included in the Price of your Physician Dispensed Skincare
“I take my partnership with my patients very seriously,” says Cyndi, also a Licensed Esthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare. “I listen to my patients concerns and perform a thorough skin analysis before I recommend any skincare to them,” she continues, “this allows me to customize their homecare regimen to ensure the best results and educate them about their skin and my recommendations.”
In addition to having the knowledgeable guidance of a Licensed Skincare Professional recommending your products, Physician-Dispensed products may offer far more versatility to matching your lifestyle. Unlike their OTC counterparts, these products may come in a variety of strengths, formulations and concentration to match all different skin types and conditions. They may also be developed to care for your skin while undergoing treatments with your dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon such as laser, chemical peels and/or Botox. Traditional drugstore and department store products just can’t afford to offer that level of customization or education.
“I check in with my patients on a regular basis and monitor their progress; if we aren’t seeing the results we want, or if they are experiencing symptoms like dryness, or flaking, we work together to adjust their regimen. It’s a true partnership that you’ll never find from a drugstore or cosmetics counter,” advises Cyndi.
The average consumer throws about hundreds of dollars on skincare products each year that have absolutely no medical or scientific backing. Hundreds of thousands of us are left frustrated and disappointed in products that don’t deliver the results promoted on TV or in Facebook Ads. Knowing the difference between Physician-Dispensed Skincare and OTC Skincare can have a dramatic impact on our skincare regimen’s effectiveness AND our pocketbooks!
Want to get started on a skincare regimen that actually works? Schedule a complimentary consultation with a Face Cosmetic Skincare Licensed Esthetician! Call (651) 632-9700 today!