Understanding the Difference: Pharmaceutical vs. Cosmeceutical Skincare

by | March 8, 2024 | Skincare

Aesthetician discussing skincare at medspa
By Jessica Parra, LE

In the world of skincare, the choices can be overwhelming. From prestige brands lining the shelves of Sephora to medical-grade products found in specialized med spas, it’s challenging to discern which is best for your skin. In this blog, we’ll dive into the distinctions between pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical skincare to help you make informed decisions about your skincare routine.

Unveiling the Enigma: Prestige vs. Over The Counter

When it comes to skincare, many are familiar with prestige brands like Drunk Elephant and La Mer or over-the-counter options such as The Ordinary and Neutrogena. However, neither falls under the purview of pharmaceutical or medical-grade skincare. These brands are considered cosmeceutical and are not regulated by the FDA.

The Epiphany: Discovering Pharmaceutical Skincare

On the other hand, pharmaceutical skincare, also known as medical-grade skincare, adheres to stringent regulations set by the FDA. Brands like Epionce, SkinMedica, Alastin, and iS Clinical fall into this category, which are all brands we carry at beyond|AESTHETICS. What sets them apart is their commitment to rigorous testing, higher purity standards, and efficacy backed by clinical trials.

Cracking the Code: The Key Differences

Pharmaceutical skincare undergoes extensive testing that can span up to a decade, ensuring the safety and efficacy of their products. They contain a higher percentage of active ingredients and must meet a purity requirement of 99%. Moreover, these products are only available through licensed medical professionals, adding another layer of efficacy and assurance.

In contrast, cosmeceutical brands are only required to be 70% pure and are not obligated to prove their claims of efficacy. This lack of regulation may lead to inconsistencies in quality and effectiveness.

The Revelation: Making Informed Choices

Understanding the differences between pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical skincare is crucial for making informed decisions about your skincare routine. While both offer a plethora of options, pharmaceutical skincare stands out for its FDA regulation, rigorous testing, and higher purity standards. However, it’s essential to consult with an experienced skincare professional before incorporating medical-grade products into your routine to ensure they align with your skin’s needs. By investing in quality skincare tailored to your skin goals, you can feel confident in the products you choose and the results they deliver.

As a medical practice, beyond|AESTHETICS carries only pharmaceutical skincare products. We offer skincare consultations with our licensed and trained professionals at each of our offices. Book yours today!

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