Cosmeceutical Grade Versus Over the Counter: What's the Difference?

Skin care products can be expensive, and you want products that work for your skin at the best price.  We all do! So, what is the difference between cosmeceutical products and over-the-counter products, and is one better than the other?
Let’s start with some much needed information.  Your skin has two layers.  The top layer is called the epidermis, and the bottom layer is called the dermis.  To get the skin you want, products need to penetrate to the dermis where the collagen and elastin are produced.  New skin cells are also produced in the dermis.
Cosmeceutical products are the ones that you purchase at a spa, salon, or beauty store, and they are formulated to do just that!  They can penetrate to the dermis because of their active ingredients, and they are well-formulated and tested to ensure the product can reach the new skin cells.  The active ingredients actually do something beneficial for your skin - anything from reduction of wrinkles or hyperpigmentation to prevention of acne to hydration... among many others.  There is typically a higher concentration of active ingredients in cosmeceutical products as well, and the pH of these products tends to be lower (which means more effective and potent results).  The level of penetration that cosmeceutical products can accomplish prevents loss of collagen and elastin (both signs of aging) because they work on live tissue.  A professional will recommend the cosmeceutical products that work best for your skin type.
Over-the-counter products are those that you can purchase at any drug or convenience store.  You do not need a prescription for over-the-counter products, and the store does not need a license to sell those products.  The FDA approved over-the-counter products to work on the outermost layer of skin, but these do have minimal results that take a longer time to see. Over-the-counter products are usually very affordable due to the ineffectiveness or low quality of the ingredients.  Most often, it is the advertising that you are paying for, not a quality product.
To achieve the skin you want, cosmeceutical products will give you the BEST results, hands down.  They may be more of an investment up front, but you will use less product, and they simply work better!

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