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Here’s What Happens When You Start Using Medical-Grade Skin Care

December 8, 2020

In a world full of skincare offerings, making decisions as a consumer can be overwhelming. Everyone seems to be promoting the same ingredients, buzzwords, and the promise of younger looking skin. So why choose pharmaceutical-strength over drugstore brands? And what happens to your skin when you start using the right medical-grade skin care products for your skin? To answer these questions and more, we asked our aesthetic product specialist Julia Plaat to share some of her expertise.

Why Certain Over the Counter Products Don’t Work

Over the counter products usually contain filler ingredients that don’t promote any benefits to the skin and its functions, so the production is more cost effective. There is also a lack of proper research and development, with non-clinical trials. This leads to improperly encapsulated active ingredients, and limitations on ingredient strength. Free floating active ingredients like vitamin C also mean more preservatives, and artificial coloring within a product to hide visual discoloration due to the short shelf life.  

Packaging tricks consumers into buying

So why do we see so many of these products still being purchased off of the shelves? The answer is marketing and packaging. Cosmetic companies invest money in advertising their product to convince the consumer market to purchase it, rather than encourage clientele to see a skin therapist for a specialized recommendation. This leads to consumers buying the incorrect products for their skin, going off the promises on the bottle. Their ingredients are also in a rawer form, and at a decreased potency so that they will be cheaper to produce, and more likely to work with a wide array of skin types instead of having stronger, more pure ingredients that are designed for individual skin types and specialized results.  

What is the difference between medical-grade skin care and over-the-counter?

Just because something smells good and feels good, does not mean that it is helping you and delivering results! A lot of OTC skin care simply does not have the technology invested in it to promote cellular changes within the skin. Their formulations are designed to sit on top of the skin, rather than penetrate it to affect it on a deeper level. 

Real Results Come from Real Active Ingredients

The collagen boosting peptides, liposome encapsulated retinols, and stabilized vitamin C that you find in medical-grade skincare all require a science to develop and produce so they can change it from the inside out and give us the results we seek. For example, Environ’s Frown Serum contains a trademarked peptide (SYN-ake™) that mimics a snake venom that relaxes muscles and was developed to promote deep set line erasure. You would not find an ingredient like this or at this potency in a drugstore product. 

What actually happens when you start using professionally-recommended skin care products

Pharmaceutical-grade companies like the lines we carry in our medspa encourage hand selected, specialist recommended routines to eliminate the need for guesswork when it comes to your skin health. You will also see that there are no filler ingredients, far fewer preservatives, and properly developed active ingredients that promote maximum strength and efficiency within their products. They are also held to much higher regulation standards than cosmetic companies. Certified and trustworthy clinical studies on human participants to support the evidence of increased skin health is something to appreciate in your cleanser, serum, specialty treatments, and moisturizer. 

Here at Donaldson Plastic Surgery, we take skin health very seriously. If your skin is not functioning properly, it might not react or heal optimally when performing professional treatments like microneedling, chemical peels, laser treatments, or something as simple as a facial wax. We want to see every patient have confidence in their skin for their inner glow to shine through. That’s one of the reasons we choose to carry brands such as Environ, Revision, and ZO Skin Health rather than over the counter products.  

While it may seem daunting, making the switch to medical-grade skincare is a simple one. Start by booking a consultation with a licensed skincare specialist to address your needs, so they can help your skin make the gradual change without disrupting the protective barrier and minimizing irritation. You can replace and add in certain products to your existing routine without causing a reaction, if done properly. I do not recommend trying to self-diagnose your skin or buying products without a skin analysis first. Online unauthorized retailers also do not provide the same product guarantee that you will get from an in-person consult. In order to give your skin what it needs, without causing any harm, I highly recommend seeing a professional, whether it is an in-person visit or a virtual one.  

As an aesthetician, one of my favorite things that I do is skincare consultations. I love helping people achieve their skin goals, address concerns, and achieve a healthy glow that I can track with every follow up. Your skin is like a book in the sense that it tells a story. Not everyone can or should have the same regimen. Your skin’s story is your own, and I want to make sure that is given something as special as you are. I want to help you find the answers as to why your skin behaves the way it does to help you understand what it needs for its happy ever after. My goal for every patient is to boost skin health, promote real results, educate, and develop a doable and efficient skincare routine that is formulated for their unique skin. The more educated you are about your skin and your routine, the more confident you are in it. You have your skin for a lifetime, and as the largest organ in your body it is so important to take care of it. Healthy happy skin is an investment, and a worthwhile one at that.  


* Earned by Dr. Donaldson

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