When selecting products, two major factors come into play: quality and effectiveness, and price. Of course, we want to balance cost and effectiveness, but ultimately, our main concern is to find products that ”work.” Most patients tell me that they are more than willing to invest in products if they actually work, and often follow that with a statement regarding the numerous products they have tried that have fallen short of their claims.
Patients often ask about the differences between the professional products that we offer and the over the counter items they are currently using. Are the professional products really better? Are they worth the investment?
I believe they are and I’ll tell you why. Over-the-counter products are legally classified as “cosmetics”, while professional products are considered “drugs” or “medical grade.” According to the FDA, cosmetics are “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Drugs, on the other hand, are defined as “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)]
In short, cosmetics are intended to improve the appearance of the skin, while medical products are intended to actually change the structure and improve the health of the skin. Most over-the-counter products act to moisturize the skin, which causes the skin to look more supple and smooth out fine lines of dehydration. Some over-the-counter products also contain additional nutrients or botanicals that can be beneficial, but often they are not present in large enough dosages to really create a noticeable difference. Medical products, on the other hand, contain very high quality ingredients and dosages that have been scientifically demonstrated to effect actual change in the health and appearance of the skin tissue. If you are looking to treat a particular skin disorder or correct or prevent skin aging, most over the counter products are not going to be able to provide you with results.
As a medical office, we feel responsible for providing patients with products that are backed by true scientific research and have been proven to effect an actual change in the skin tissue. We have personally researched the market and have chosen to carry products for which we found satisfactory clinical trials, outstanding professional reputation, and proven results. All of our products are either prescription strength or medical grade, such as the Obagi systems and SkinMedica.
Not only is it important to choose quality products, but it is equally important to choose products that are appropriate for you. You could purchase high quality products, but if they are not right for your skin type, you are wasting your money. This can be achieved through a systematic, professional assessment and recommendation that will take into account your specific skin type and condition and that will address your individual goals. As a licensed medical aesthetician, I am trained to provide just that. I also make sure to take the time necessary with each patient to ensure that we have discussed all relevant issues, and that all of your questions have been answered. Sales representatives working at department store cosmetic counters or those working under home sales may not be trained to provide this service.
As they say: “The proof is in the pudding.” I would like for you to experience our products and see for yourself. But, maybe you already have a medicine cabinet full of product? Well, if you will do a little “spring cleaning”, and bring in all of your current products, Colorado Plastic Surgery Center will award you a 10% discount on your entire purchase of our products. Or, sign up for our “Spring Cleaning” event on March 23 and receive 20% off your entire purchase. Please call our office to schedule an appointment for a consultation, and I will assist you in assessing a skin care plan that is appropriate for you.