Updated: Jan 16
Okay, lets start to unpick some of the terminology used about skincare.
What we are told:
Cosmetics - skincare you buy from somewhere like Boots or the supermarket. Sits on top of the skin doing nothing. Waste of money.
Cosmeceuticals (A.K.A. Medical grade or Professional-led)-skincare you buy from a clinic. Penetrates deeper into the skin. Better ingredients, better testing and better research.
What the real story is:
Cosmeceuticals is not a term that is regulated by any governing body. It has been created by marketing, for marketing. ‘Cosmeceutical’ brands are not always tested more stringently. They do not always use better ingredients. They can alter the apperance of the skin, but not the structure. The legally correct term for what you buy from Boots and other ‘professional’ led skin care brands (think Environ, Tropic etc) is ‘cosmetics’.
Medical grade is an entirely different entity. These are classified as medicines/drugs and require a prescription and can only be issued by someone with a legally registered prescribing qualification. Me! These products make cellular changes to the skin structure, therefore cannot be purchased over the counter.
So, what brands do I work with and why?
I have tried a few different brands over the last 20 months and still use a few different brands. Why? One brand cannot possibly meet the needs of every single patient. I use some ‘cosmetic’ brands, some ‘cosmeceutical’ brands and some ‘medical grade’. I choose the products based on my patients skin concerns and a full medical consultation, including what they have used previously. 90% of the time I use Obagi Medical. My patients and I have had fantastic results with Obagi, where other brands have failed miserably to make a difference. The ingredients, formulation and percentages in their cosmetic products are fantastic for the price compared with some other brands and they have an amazing range of medical grade, prescription only products.
And that is the crucial bit of knowledge, training and experience that makes good results more likely. Knowing about ingredients, storage, order of application, contra-indications, indications...knowing a good clinician who can guide you through it, me!
Sometimes I use products which are not from a skincare brand. Certain prescription only products for skin conditions are just the same as the ones you get from the GP.
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