MICHELLE PENNIE, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist
September is National Skin Care Awareness Month, and what better time to differentiate between medical grade and over the counter skin care to get you the most out of your investment. Many people are unaware that there are actually any differences in skin care options. Marketing companies, commercials, highly paid celebrity endorsers are all promoting products with one thing in mind—the bottom line. But what is the truth when it comes to skin care?
If you DON’T have any skin issues like fine lines, wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, dullness,
combination skin, rosacea, clogged pores, or any other imperfections, then an over the counter skin care options, might be okay for you to use. Sure a temporary glow is achievable with some of these products, but there are specific reasons why over the counter products will not ever change the way your skin looks permanently.
Firstly, the molecules in those products are typically too big to penetrate the skin’s stratum corneum layer (the outer most layer of the dermis). The stratum layer is made up of dead skin cells and dry keratin that act as a barrier to protect the inner layers of the dermis. No product can penetrate this layer unless they are pharmaceutical or medical grade with tiny molecular sizing that is explicitly made for licensed products.
Secondly, over the counter products may have similar ingredients or similar sounding ingredients to medical skin care lines, but the grade and concentration levels are not equivalent. Also, there are guidelines and FDA Regulations that monitor specific products like Retin-A, hydroquinone, and more, so over the counter products that you can purchase at the drug store, will not have access to, or the ability to use those same ingredients or strengths. In regards to Retin-A, or retinol, this is a prime example of the confusion most people face when purchasing skin care. Retinol is available in many over the counter products, but in pharmaceutical skin care, the active ingredient in Retin-A, called Retinoic acid, is the proven ingredient that builds collagen, treats acne, and penetrates deep enough to show real anti-aging results.
Thirdly, Medical grade products are carefully studied and combined to treat various conditions. Only a medical skin care professional can recommend and prescribe cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and other treatments that are specific to your skin’s needs. For example, if you have vulgaris acne or cystic acne, the skin care a medical professional will advise will be much more effective and efficacious than just picking something up at the grocery store. If you have hyperpigmentation (discoloration), it’s essential for a dermatologist to diagnose its cause and treat the condition according to your skin’s texture and thickness. And if you have a combination of skin conditions, which most of us do, having a dermatology professional recommend specific products is imperative to prevent clogging pores, causing outbreaks or exacerbations of your skin’s disorder(s).
Paradise Dermatology offers the most advanced skin care lines like Neocutis, Revision, and their exclusive private label acne line. All of their skin care products are available exclusively through certified skin care providers; you will never find them available through retail. These lines have the latest anti-aging and healing technology with the highest level of ingredient processing to ensure optimum skin rejuvenation and results.
With two offices to serve you, Paradise Dermatology offers comprehensive dermatologic care including full body skin checks, medical dermatology care, Mohs skin cancer surgery and cosmetic treatments.
Dr. Pennie completed her medical school and residency training in Dermatology at Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia. She then completed her fellowship training with Dr. George Hruza, at the Laser & Dermatologic Surgery Center in Chesterfield, Missouri. Prior to that, Dr. Pennie attended Dartmouth College.
If you or someone you know is dealing with the challenges of psoriasis or other skin concerns, please call Paradise Dermatology today.
3355 Clark Road
Sarasota, Florida 34231
699 S. Indiana Ave
Englewood, FL 34223