Whether you regularly shop for skincare products or not, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that “clinical skincare” has become a huge beauty buzzword. It certainly sounds impressive, but what exactly is clinical skincare, and is it something worth buying into?
What is Clinical Skincare?
Initially, clinical skincare was a term used to describe products containing medical-grade ingredients. Products that have undergone high levels of testing and clinical studies.
However, let’s get things straight – the term “clinical” in relation to skincare that’s sold over-the-counter isn’t a regulated term. Neither is “medical-grade”, “dermatologist-approved”, or “professional”. There isn’t actually any specific testing needed, or a long list of standards that have to be met, for a brand to be allowed to label their products as “clinical”.
So, does this mean that clinical skincare is just a marketing gimmick?
In a way, yes. So many brands have jumped on the clinical bandwagon, using the term to describe a formula that’s nothing more than basic.
However, clinical skincare is also very real – there really are products out there that are deserving of the clinical title. The secret to actually benefiting from the “clinical” part of clinical skincare is understanding how to discern between the good and the bad.
Over-the-Counter Clinical Skincare Products
It’s very rare to find an over-the-counter cosmetic product that’s truly clinical. Why? Because they’re not allowed to be.
Over-the-counter products are only legally permitted to penetrate the skin to a very small degree. Any more than this and they would be considered a drug, at which point they would need to be properly regulated.
That’s not to say that over-the-counter clinical skincare products don’t work. Many of them are highly effective, with some brands choosing to carry out years of research and clinical trials. Many of those brands also make use of exclusive, high-quality ingredients – compounds that you would struggle to find from the more common drugstore brands. You can learn more about that by reading this Dermadoctor review.
It can be easy to mistrust a brand that labels their products as “clinical”, even when they’re not. However, when shopping for any skincare, it’s important to look past the marketing – the ingredient list is what will teach you about the quality of a product.
When is Clinical Skincare Really Clinical?
In order for a skincare product to significantly alter how the skin functions, it would need to be classed as a drug. As you know, drugs are heavily regulated. They’re subjected to numerous clinical trials, and this is where the term “clinical” becomes real.
If you require a prescription to purchase a skincare product, then that means that it contains true medical-grade ingredients. These are the products that have more than just a cosmetic effect – they change how your skin cells work on a deeper level, which is what brings about long-term results.
The Increasing Availability of Clinical Skincare
Consumers are becoming increasingly skin-savvy. More and more people, just like you, have been learning about how difficult it is to trust the term “clinical” when it comes to over-the-counter skincare. However, real clinical skincare needs a prescription, and not everyone has access to, or can afford, a dermatologist.
Fortunately, clinical skincare has recently become more accessible than ever. There are now numerous brands out there that offer customers the chance to easily try prescription products. Those brands work closely with dermatologists, who put together custom prescriptions based on information and photographs provided by each client.
This gives people access to medical-grade ingredients and professional advice at an affordable price. That professional advice is often key for so many. While people tend to want to just “grab and go” when it comes to cosmetics, this lack of attention to detail is often what causes many skin concerns to begin with. Using a product with the wrong pH, over-exfoliating, using ingredients that are detrimental to your skin type – a dermatologist, even an online one, will soon set you on the right track.
Is Clinical Skincare Worth it?
When it comes down to it, clinical skincare is definitely worth it, so long as that skincare is truly clinical. Don’t buy into the term simply because a product looks good and sounds trustworthy. If it doesn’t require a prescription, then you’re right to be suspicious. That doesn’t mean that the product won’t work, but it does mean that the brand has a great marketing department. Don’t be fooled into paying more than what it’s worth.
On the other hand, true clinical skincare is pretty much guaranteed to make an impact. Yes, you’ll need a prescription, but, as mentioned, this is now easier than ever to get. If you’re simply trying to maintain a healthy complexion, then there’s nothing wrong with using over-the-counter products, whether they’re branded as clinical or not. However, if you’re trying to treat specific skin concerns, then it’s worth taking things a step further and seeking out true clinical skincare products.