I get a ton of DM’s on my Instagram (@laelaryn) about what skincare products I use and have used and recommended. Since joining Reward Style (Like To Know It) I get so many requests to link the skincare products I use and most of the time my response is I can’t link them because I only use Medical Grade Skincare and most of those products have to be purchased at a physicians office.
However, I just discovered that through Dermstore I can link the skincare products that don’t require a prescription and then I will just share the names of the ones that do!
I know it can get confusing knowing the difference between Medical Grade and OTC Skincare. When I am hanging out with my Dermatology, Plastic Surgery and Skincare specialized Esthetician friends its always a topic of frustration that not enough women know the difference so I will try my best to break that shiz down!
When I think about the differences between the two I often think of these 3 things:
1.) FDA Regulation & Scientific third-party Research Studies: Because Medical Grade skincare products penetrate the surface of the skin and go into the dermal layers they are strictly regulated by the FDA. Before a product can be put on the market the FDA requires extensive studies and data that prove the product is effective at what it says it will do and the product must contain 99.9% of the active ingredient!
Over the Counter (OTC) products that you find in drugstores, department stores and through individuals selling through home parties or online are NOT considered Medical Grade. These products are designed to sit on the surface of the skin, can and require zero scientific data before they can be sold. When you see a report saying 99% of women said such and such improved that could simply be a poll sent via email and therefore not very accurate or provable.
2.) 99.9% Stabilized Active Ingredients in the purest form:Medical Grade skincare products are required by law to contain 99.9% of the active ingredient in the purest form which basically means the most effective form the ingredient can offer.
This is not to say that some OTC products are not effective because there are plenty that are. However, you must do your research on them and their effectiveness for the area of concern. Typically these products keep the amounts of active ingredients low so they’re irritation-free for a broad consumer base. There is still no guarantee that a product will deliver on results likely because it does not contain enough of the active ingredient and if it does it will likely take several, several months or a year to even produce minimal results. What most people fail to consider is that you often will spend more on OTC skincare products to achieve lesser results in a longer amount of time.
3.) Highly effective Medical Grade skincare products will often require a doctor’s prescription: This is why most of the Medical Grade skincare lines are sold at doctors offices. The skincare lines will contain some products in their range that don’t require prescriptions and some that do. With products this potent you want a physician to prepare the patient for possible side effects, such as irritation and sun sensitivity, and to oversee the treatment.
I always look at it like this you can buy the OTC teeth whitener, pain reliever, whatever ails you cream BUT when you need something to get the job done and get it done fast you often turn to a physician.
Your dentist’s whitening treatment will always be faster and more effective than white strips! Doesn’t mean white strips don’t work. They just take way longer and never deliver quite the same result!
I hope I did an ok job of explaining that in lament terms.
In my experience, I find that buying cleansers, exfoliators, toners, sheet masks, clay masks, some serums, etc are totally fine to buy OTC. When you are looking for products that are more or less fixing aging concerns or preventing aging, wrinkles, texture, brown spots, pores, fine lines, acne, acne scars; etc that is when you should rely on more potent medical grade products.
Here are some of my favorite Medical Grade Skincare Lines:
My holy grail line is Zo Medical by Dr. Obagi (This is NOT the same thing as the Obagi you might have heard of. Dr. Obagi sold that line years ago and its quality is no longer the same, in my opinion. He started his new line Zo Skin Health & Zo Medical.) I have tried tons of products from different lines but when I strictly followed Dr. Obagi’s program I saw the best results I have ever seen with my skin.
I also like Neocutis, Skinceuticals, Skinmedica, Biologique Recherche, IS Clinical, Glytone, Dermalogica & Elta MD. These skincare lines as a whole offer fantastic range of Medical grade products!
Here is a list of OTC lines that I have personally researched and have found to have effective products within their range: Tula Skincare, Dr. Brandt, Dr. Perricone, Dr. Dennis Gross, Drunk Elephant, SK-II, ROC & Peter Thomas Roth.
So there ya go ladies! A little breakdown on the major differences between Medical Grade and OTC skincare products. If you have certain skincare issues that you are looking to resolve and want to know if I have a recommendation in terms of skincare product or line; please shoot me an email via my contact page or DM on Instagram (@laelaryn) as I am more readily available on there.
I will be doing more articles talking about specific skin issues and products that have proven to be effective for treating those issues and linking what I can!
I know that most of the tutorials I share are more of a glam look but trust me, with a rambunctious toddler running around I need to have an arsenal of products that can help me get presentable fast!
If Raj and I decide we want to do a last minute brunch or movie and I have to get ready while still being the channel changer and snack opener for Rohan; I need products that will help me look put together pronto! These are also what I would be using if I was still working a 8-5 job because aint nobody got time for 20 minute eyebrows at 7am!
CoverFX Blurring Primer: Even when I am trying to get ready fast, I still don’t forget a primer. This one fills in your pores & fine lines and helps your makeup stay on longer! I only use this on the T-Zone and upper forehead FYI.
YSL Touche Eclat All-In-One-Glow: This lightweight, medium coverage tinted moisturizer changed the game for me in 2018! I typically am not a tinted moisturizer fan as they do not have enough coverage for some of the redness I naturally have I my skin tone but when I tried this one and realized it had medium coverage and looked amazing on the skin, I was hooked! With all tinted moisturizers I make sure to use a primer, good setting powder and setting spray to help it stay longer. Tinted moisturizers are not made to be super long wearing like foundation so these 3 additional steps will help with the longevity.
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer: I still use my normal everyday concealer but when I’m in a hurry I typically don’t do a full highlighting routine with it and stick to under my eyes and any blemishes.
Nars Liquid Blush in Orgasm: When I am doing a quick makeup look I skip highlighting and contouring so a healthy glow from within so I don’t look so one dimensional is key. I love Nars Liquid Blush but it is very pigmented so I suggest barely barely pumping out any product on your hand or wherever and using a brush or beauty blender to lightly apply to the apples of the cheeks and then blend out.
Laura Mercier Translucent Powder: Because the YSL tinted moisturizer is nice and creamy the Laura Mercier powder is a perfect fit since it tends to be more on the drying side. It helps dry down the tinted moisturizer and stay longer. I use this to set under my eyes after concealer and my whole face. If you prefer more of a dewy look to the skin only set under your eyes, T-Zone and under your cheekbones!
Benefit Hoola Bronzer: If you have seen any of my tutorials or have followed me for awhile then you know that I am a huge fan on cream highlighting and contouring but as I said above when I am in a hurry there is just no time for this. So I bronze my face instead and a great universal bronzer is the Hoola one by Benefit. I apply to the hairline, cheeks an upper cheekbones, a light swipe across the nose and under the chin and jawline for definition.
Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc: This in another product that will literally save you so much time! You could skip the Hoola bronzer and Ears liquid blush all together and just use this 1 product if you wanted! These shimmer blocs are a quad powder compact that includes a bronzer color, 2 blush colors & a highlighter. All you have to do is literally swirl your brush through all the colors and apply to the apples of the cheeks and cheekbones like a bronzer. For the forehead and jawline only use the bronzer color and then use the highlighter by itself for the highest points on your cheekbones and a tiny bit down the bridge of the nose! I have even used this product as eyeshadow and its fast & easy!
Benefit Gimme Brow: This is a holy grail quick makeup product you need to have in your arsenal. This is a tinted brow gel so when I need to be fast I use this and nothing else. I comb it through my natural brows and because it is tinted it helps fill in any sparse areas while also setting the hairs in place. Its a win win!
Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara: This mascara is awesome for thickening, lengthening and darkening lashes in a flash! I have eyelash extensions now but before I did this was my fastest mascara to use!
Urban Decay All Nighter Spray: I never and I do mean NEVER do my makeup and not finish with a setting spray. It helps lock in your makeup and in my option is a non-negotiable makeup product. I absolutely see a difference in the longevity of my makeup if I don’t use one! I have tried a ton and I always come back to this one.
(OPTIONAL) Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette: Whenever I am doing a quick look I usually just take my large, fluffy blending brush and swirly it through 2-3 matte light brownish colors and apply it in windshield wiper and small circle motions to my crease and call it a day. If you like eyeliner always then do the same thing and then apply your eyeliner. This palette is inexpensive but comes with all the colors you would need and none that you don’t for an easy eyeshadow look!
Apply your favorite lippie color and off you go! I have this look down to 10 minutes flat…if I am not interrupted, lol, which is like never!
Have any questions, let me know!
If you have any other questions about Veneers that I didn’t answer in the video shoot me a DM on Instagram @laelaryn or comment below!