The skincare industry is huge with thousands of products. Some can be found in your general department stores and others only prescribed by dermatologist. Some products are relative inexpensive, and some can cost so much more. Some are ineffective, and some are able to achieve more. Why is this so? Is cost the correct measure of the effectiveness of a product?
Let us take a closer look today.
Dermatological vs Cosmetic vs Derma Cosmetic
Dermatological / Pharmaceutical / Medical grade products are regulated as drugs. Their ingredients must be pure, undiluted and uncontaminated, controlled and conformed to the specification as claimed. Cosmetic grade products, however, are not held to this high standard. They are regulated by FDA similarly to foods. Just as there are very high quality foods and very low quality foods, skincare products can have very differing quality. Cosmetic grade products can be made with ingredients that are very non-pure, or they can contain filler ingredients thereby reducing their effectiveness.
This is when a 3rd grade was introduced - Derma Cosmetic (also known as Dermocosmetics / Cosmeceutical) grade products. This hybrid grade is coined to indicate a quality and effectiveness that is between cosmetic and dermatological - where cosmetology meets dermatology. Within the skincare industry, derma cosmetics are found to perform better than your average cosmetic.
These derma cosmetic products are usually produced in consultation with dermatologist. They are developed through extensive research, and focuses more on skin health and skin improvements. Most importantly, derma cosmetic products contains better ingredients - this can refer to both ingredient quality and ingredient concentration. Some derma cosmetics manufacturers even purchases the same quality of ingredients that are used in medicines. This is the reason why derma cosmetic grade products are usually more costly and also more effective.
From the ingredient point, derma cosmetics are free of non-physiological emulsifiers, preservatives, mineral oils, dyes and additives - since many of these could have negative effect on the skin. The fact is that the manufacturing cost of skincare products is significantly higher without using such ingredients, and due to the rising cost, many manufacturers prefers not to switch over to this higher grade.
Interestingly, while cosmetic grade product manufacturers usually chooses lower ingredient quality/concentration so that their cost (and the product's effectiveness) are lower, this does not always mean your cost are lower. Many of the highest-priced skincare products you see contain only cosmetic-grade ingredients.
The best skincare products contains pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. If you want your skincare products to effect real change, then you should consider using derma cosmetic products.