Every bride thinks about how beautiful she wants to look on her wedding day. But bridal beauty really is more than skin deep. To prepare your skin to look its best, it’s important to know what beauty products can – and can’t do – for you. Kathie Conn, owner of Skin Sense gives us the difference between over the counter (OTC) and “Cosmeceuticals”, or pharmceautical grade cosmetics.
As a Master Esthetician I have clients that are so confused about skincare products. From high end stores to Walmart, products are everywhere – not to mention all the skincare shows on cable TV. They are all marketing the magic bullet to improve or correct skin issues, such as brown spots, wrinkling, skin tightening, looking younger.
As a consumer do you really know what these products can do for your skin? Probably not. I believe that’s the reason so many women change their product line so often. So, let’s shed some light on OTC skincare products.
According to the Food & Drug Administration, OTC products 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 without affecting the body’s structure or function.”
That last line is the most important part. If the product cannot affect the skin’s function, then it can’t repair or correct skin issues. OTC products cannot penetrate below what you can touch. The active ingredient sits on the skin. When purchasing OTC products you are “self-diagnosing”. The consumer only knows what they see on TV commercials or in magazines.
FDA also states that OTC products cannot exceed 2% of active ingredients in their products. As a consumer, you don’t know exactly what percentage of “active” ingredient you are purchasing. This is another reason why I believe women keep looking for the next best thing.
Now let’s take a look at Pharmaceutical grade skin care products, commonly call Cosmeceuticals. The term “cosmeceutical” was created in 1990s from cosm(etic) + (pharma)ceutic; a word used to distinguish these products from over the counter.
Pharmaceutical grade products, according to FDA regulation, are “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “affect the structure or any function of the body.”
Reputable manufacturers such as IMAGE and PCA skincare companies allow only licensed practitioners to purchase their products. This is to ensure the practitioners are properly trained and that they have the knowledge to work in the living skin during treatments to affect change in the skin’s function.
When you are looking for a professional within the esthetic industry, be sure to ask the following questions:
Are they licensed in the state they are working?
Have they continued their education in the field of their expertise?
Do they use a skincare line that affects the living skin?
A client that is educated on the profession and asks questions is the best client. Knowledge is power!
Thanks for the skin care lesson, Kathie! To lean more about Kathie’s services and to schedule a consultation, call 703.283.5172 or email her.