Ok. So I get asked this all the time. "What's the real difference?"
Well, here are my thoughts:
Over the Counter products that you can buy at a drugstore, grocery store or whatever, generally :
- contain lower quality ingredients because they are made in bulk, for profit mostly.
- are made in large quantities and therefore need chemicals and parabens (preservatives) to keep the ingredients from becoming rancid.
- contain artificial fragrances and perfumes which can irritate skin.
- add colors and dyes to attract the consumer. Most of these can irritate the skin as well.
- contain occlusive ingredients like petroleum that clog pores.
- show most money spent on high quality packaging and less on quality ingredients.
Professional Products, however, are created by licensed skin care professionals with their name on the product. They are generally:
- made in small batches with high quality ingredients with expiration dates due to the fresh ingredients that will spoil in a certain time frame - designed to expire in one year from purchase. These products sell faster because they work and therefore have faster turnover time.
- higher-quality, professional grade ingredients and are stronger and much more effective.
- created by skin care professionals who have researched and have trained with ingredients that are effective.
- not in sophisticated packaging. Often the maker will not spend money on high quality packaging, but more on better quality and pure ingredients.
Look for RED ZONE ingredients like Petroleum, Parabens, and yes, Formaldehyde (YIKES!) among other chemicals.