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Cosmeceuticals vs Over the Counter Skincare

04th April 2022

There are different ways of getting skincare to treat skin concerns: over the counter, cosmeceutical or pharmaceutical. But which is best for you and your skin’s needs?

When you have skin concerns, you’ll need the right skincare products to help treat the issue. Whether you’re after something to smooth wrinkles and lines on ageing skin, or reduce redness from rosacea, there are ingredients and products to help all skin types and concerns.

There are different ways of getting skincare to treat skin concerns: over the counter, cosmeceutical or pharmaceutical. But which is best for you and your skin’s needs?

H2 – What is Over the Counter Skincare?

Over the counter skincare or high street skincare are the sort of products you can just buy in a shop without the need for a prescription or diagnosis from a medical professional or clinician. The type of skincare you can find in the likes of Boots or Superdrug in the UK, for example.

Over the counter skincare is widely accessible, but very generic when it comes to ingredients, so you will find that these products cost less than products that have been prescribed by a clinician or Practitioner.

A collection of high street skincare products

What are Cosmeceuticals?

Cosmeceutical is a portmanteau for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They are more intensive and beneficial than over the counter skincare, but do not contain medicinal properties like some pharmaceutical products. Cosmeceuticals are available to purchase at skincare clinics and directly from retailers.

Unlike pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals do not have to be regulated like a medical product, but any claims made about its effectiveness have to be backed up by clinical or scientific evidence in the UK.

Cosmeceutical products will cost more than over the counter alternatives due to their concentration of active ingredients. Therefore, you’ll want to get the right product first time, so seeking advice from a reputable skin clinician is always recommended.

Here at Bristol Skin Clinic, we use AlumierMD skincare products, which can offer brilliant results for your skin.

What Are Pharmaceutical Skincare Products?

Pharmaceutical skincare will require a prescription from a medical professional. Prescription skincare is often used to treat skin concerns such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

In the UK, skincare prescribed to you will be the price of a prescription. Products like steroid cream will often be considered a pharmaceutical. As pharmaceutical products have such high-intensity ingredients in them, they can sometimes cause side effects after use, such as topical steroid withdrawal.

If you have skin concerns, we at Bristol Skin Clinic can assess your skin’s needs and recommend a cosmeceutical skincare routine to help treat and improve the condition of your skin. Here are a few reasons why we use cosmeceutical skincare:

Higher Level of Active Ingredients

Cosmeceuticals will have a higher percentage of active ingredients than over the counter or high street skincare. To be classed as a cosmeceutical, a product has to contain active ingredients at a scientifically-proven level of concentration to offer a positive effect on skin.

Better Skin Penetration

To get the best from your skincare products, they need to be absorbed into your skin. Your skincare product has to penetrate the dermis – the upper layer of the skin – to benefit your skin.

The higher concentration of active ingredients in the cosmeceutical skincare products makes it easier for the product to penetrate the skin properly.

Professional Skin Diagnosis

While skincare products that are available over the counter or from high street retailers are typically cheaper than cosmeceuticals, you can end up wasting a lot of money seeking the right products for your skin. And even then, you might not be getting it right.

Instead of purchasing a product that could cause a bad reaction on your skin or do nothing to help your skin concern, visiting a skincare clinic can help you find the right diagnosis for your skin type and concern, and fix it with the best cosmeceutical product to suit.

If you want to improve the condition and appearance of your skin, get in touch with us at Bristol Skin Clinic to discuss your skin needs or book your first treatment.


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