Professional Skincare Vs. Over-the-Counter: Which is Best?

Professional skincare Vs Over the counter: Which is best?

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We are truly blessed to live in an age where everything – literally everything– is on-demand. Can’t be bothered to head to a movie? Netflix it is. Out and about when it starts to rain? Uber to the rescue. Struggling with a skincare condition that’s affecting your life? I’m sure the local pharmacy will have something to fix it. Right?


Yes, in theory, pharmacies and supermarkets – even social influencers – willhave a whole range of products for sale, promising to fix every single skin condition under the sun. But should we be relying on these? Absolutely not. Allow us to explain.

Understanding your skin

Before we look at the plethora of over-the-counter (OTC) products available, we must first start with understanding the skin and how it responds to products. You see, the human body hasn’t quite got the memo that we live in an on-demand world and thus expect results yesterday. As such, it can take up to 30 days for your skin to even accept what is being put on it and react in kind. Understanding what you use, therefore, before you use it, is vital.

So, why use professional skincare products?

There are several reasons we recommend this:

They’re made in small batches

Medical grade skincare is tailor-made, due to the fact it’s only intended for licensed skincare practitioners. OTC products, on the other hand, are made for the masses. As a result, the smaller batches are better able to maintain the ingredients’ integrity and freshness, thanks to the quality control processes they undertake.

They contain higher levels of active ingredients

Because most consumers self-diagnose, OTC products must contain fewer active ingredients to protect the buyer. This is because they need to cater to ‘all skin types’ due to the fact they’re being sold to the mass market. To bulk their products out and increase their shelf life, OTC companies use a large amount of fillers and preservatives. This means the little amount of desirable ingredients they douse will not penetrate the skin like medical-grade skincare products will. The result? A superficial treatment that might – if you’re lucky – provide temporary relief (but might also irritate due to the non-active nasties such as synthetic colours, fragrances and harsh chemicals).

Professional skincare products, on the other hand, are specially formulated to help eliminate skin conditions while fitting your specific skin type. Despite what OTC companies would have you believe, skincare is not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation.

It’s important to understand that an ingredient will only be clinically active if enough of it is used. This means an OTC alternative may seem to contain all the good stuff but if it’s not concentrated enough, it’s not gonna do a damn thing.

They take pH into account

The pH level of a product refers to its ratio of acid to alkaline and is very important when it comes to skincare.  However, OTC products rarely take this into account and will often leave the skin in an alkaline state. As a result, bacteria and free radicals (such as pollution) can invade the skin, as well as making it more susceptible to sun damage and aging. In contrast, medical-grade skincare companies will use pH-adjusted ingredients to ensure the integrity of the skin’s barrier is kept intact.

'budget frirendly' spelt out in scrabble tiles

Photo: Home Water Softener Reviews

They use chirally correct molecules

Molecules are made up of two sides but only one side will provide benefit while the other will cause irritation. When a product is chirally correct, this means the right side of the molecules are used. Yup – you’ve guessed it – professional products will ensure this is the case whereas OTC products will not.

They’re more budget-friendly

Hear us out, okay? Yes, when you look at the price of a medical-grade skincare product vs its OTC counterpart, the former will look more expensive. However, when you take into account the fact that a professional product is made with a limited use in mind (thanks to the high concentration of active ingredients involved), it actually works out more cost-effective than an OTC product which you will have to use continually, due to the temporary results it gives. Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to the more expensive products and you should be looking for quality over quantity. We could keep dropping more sayings, but we think you probably get the point!

They come with the expertise of licensed beauty therapists

Professional skincare products are sold by professionals – not by a young sales assistant who’s fresh out of school. As a result, when you buy professional, you’re not just getting the product but all the training and education that comes with it, too.

The Best Professional Skincare Products For You

Here at Lovoir Day Spa, our online shop includes a wide range of professional skincare products that cater to all skin types and skin concerns! If you’re not sure what is best for you, we have an exceptional team of qualified professionals who will examine your skin, diagnose your specific needs and create a targeted skincare routine to help you achieve your goals.

So what are you waiting for? Book a consultation with us and shop our professional skincare products today!

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