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February 3, 2020

Professional v/s Over the Counter – the difference is the concentration

People often ask us about the difference between drugstore skin care products and the professional products that we sell at Dermacademy. You’ve probably wondered whether our products work better and may have even heard us joke about the inability to go back once you’ve tried Dermalogica. The simplest answer to the musing is that Dermalogica and other professional products do indeed work better. Here are some reasons why Dermalogica will deliver better results than drugstore or even department store products.

Professional products are made in small batches to ensure freshness. They’re also made to deliver immediate results. Ask for some samples at your next visit and you’ll see! Along that same vein, Dermalogica is focused on results instead of mass selling, so it has a higher quantity and percentage of active ingredients that are added to ensure the product does what it says it’s going to do.

Did you know Dermalogica was developed by an esthetician? In fact, when Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwant, a UK trained skin care therapist, entered the US skin care industry, she recognized that not only was the industry under trained and under respected in the US, but additionally, US products were created for beauty, rather than for skin health. As such, in 1986, Dermalogica was born out of a vision for a product line free of common irritants and ingredients (including lanolin, SD alcohol, mineral oil, artificial colors and fragrances). Dermalogica set out to develop products to improve skin health, and ones that were only available from qualified skin care professionals.

Additionally, Dermalogica is recognized as cruelty free by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Leaping Bunny and is certified vegan on almost all products (all but four in its entire line). All formulas are free of artificial colors and fragrances, mineral oil, lanolin, S.D. alcohol, parabens and microplastics, and by the end of 2020, 90% of all packaging will be recyclable or biodegradable. Much of their packaging is already sustainable. Still, going forward, all paper and carton will be FSC certified to be sustainable for forests. Finally, all formulas are manufactured not only in the US, but in fact in California, which boasts some of the world’s strongest environmental and consumer protections.

Conversely, over the counter and department store products are generally made in large batches for the masses. This means more preservatives to accommodate a longer shelf life.  Additionally, many have less or lower percentages of active ingredients since they need to be sold to work for all skin types; this results in more basic and simpler formulas. (If you don’t know your skin type, come in for a free face-mapping!)

As opposed to Dermalogica, over the counter and department store products are largely formulated by chemists and are sold to the public by marketing specialists. Dermalogica products packaging may look simple, but there is a reason: the company focuses on the product instead of the packaging. Over the counter products use hype and packaging, which is designed to entice you to buy it. The problem is, it’s not likely to work for you as well as a product that is “prescribed” by one of our students who has received extensive education in the line.

As you may imagine, over the counter products use added synthetic dyes, colors, and fragrances to heighten the sensory experience and esthetic look for the sole purpose of encouraging sales.

Besides the marketing aspect, the drugstore products often have low quality, inexpensive oils that have potential pore-clogging properties. The drug store is loaded with products containing mineral oil and petroleum which are forbidden ingredients by most skin care professionals.

High SPF numbers (like SPF 50 and above) were originated by mass marketers to mislead people into believing that the products were more effective without scientific proof for the sake of selling more products. (The FDA has put in a ruling to ban all sunscreens higher than an SPF 50 since there is no proof showing it protects the skin more.)

*Important information to know: 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. This is because all ingredients are supposed to be listed in order of the concentration used, but for ingredients with a concentration less than 1% they can be listed in any order. There’s a big difference between an ingredient used at .01% versus 1%, but you would never know it from the label on the bottle, tube or jar.

Since skin care formulas are proprietary, cheap products can easily disguise themselves as looking like quality products–especially if fancy packaging is used. You must choose a skin care company that you trust. The credentials of the company as well as positive results experienced by real customers make all the difference in skin care.

If you truly want to improve the appearance in your skin, there is no better place to purchase your skin care products than through a reputable professional or professional in training. Dermacademy would love to be your trusted skin care consultants.

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