Over-the-Counter Skincare vs. Cosmeceuticals- What is the difference?

As a professional esthetician, I often hear this common question from my clients: What is the difference between a “professional” skin care cosmeceutical vs. a brand you can find “over-the-counter” at a drug or department store? Over –the- counter products do not contain the same amount of active ingredients as cosmeceuticals…they aren’t allowed to!  Because many consumers “self-diagnose” when choosing a skin care product to try from  a drug or department store, these products must be made safely, meaning, big cosmetic companies would have masses of consumers with issues from the improper use of  very active ingredients.   Cosmeceuticals are a medical grade cosmetic, they contain the higher amounts of active ingredients. Professionally recommended in a consultation and sold by a licensed esthetician, physician or other educated skin care professional.

The biggest difference between over-the-counter and cosmeceutical skincare is not only the active ingredients and their amounts, but the level of penetration into the skin.  Medical grade products have the ability to penetrate the  top layer of skin, hitting the lower layer of skin where collagen and pigmentation lay as well as where our new skin cells are produced. Since the loss of collagen ages us and the increased pigmentation results in brown spots,  using the proper active ingredients can improve and promote changes in the skin that over-the-counter products do not.

Aroma Essences Skincare, located in down town Gunnison offers a variety of cosmeceutical products.