Over the counter Vs Cosmeceuticals

At Purple Valentine advanced beauty salon we stock cosmeceutical, medical grade products.

“What’s the difference between an over-the-counter (OTC) skin care product and a professional or cosmeceutical skin care product?”


OTC beauty products are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can only penetrate the first layer of your skin, also known as the “dead layer”.

Professional products (cosmeceuticals) are not controlled by the FDA and penetrate the bottom layers of the epidermis also known as “live tissue”.

In order for a product to change your skin and treat your skin concern, eg. dryness, wrinkles it needs to penetrate into the dermis.

OTC Cosmetic:

“Articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or function.” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)].



The term “cosmeceutical” was created in 1990s from cosm(etic) + (pharma)ceutic. It’s a cosmetic product claimed to have medicinal or drug-like benefits. Cosmeceutical products are marketed as cosmetics, but reputedly contain biologically active ingredients. While drugs are subject to a review and approval process by FDA, cosmetics are not. In other words, the formula does not technically have to prove efficacy or safety, but it does contain an ingredient that may have activity in the skin.

Since many consumers “self-diagnose” when choosing a skin care product from a department/drug store, these products must be made safely. Meaning, big cosmetic companies cannot afford to have a huge number of consumers with issues from using very active products — so, that skin care product may feel good and smell good, but, most likely won’t have a lot of activity in its formulation.

Hence the reason why you will have to have a full skin consultation before buying any active image skincare products.

Cosmetic companies don’t have to prove efficacy, the special active ingredient listed in the formula only has to appear somewhere on the ingredient list – ingredients are listed in content order, from most to least, so if you see that ”active” on the last half of the list (usually alphabetically) you can bet you are getting a tiny percentage of that specific ingredient.

Image skincare have even gone that one step further by developing Vectorize™ Technology, it is a revolutionary delivery system of active ingredients, available exclusively in Image Skincare products.

Up to 100 layers of active ingredients such as stem cells and peptides are encapsulated in spheres. These spheres time-release layer after layer, giving our products the ability to offer unparalleled results and deeper product penetration.

See the video below for more information

Call 01708 750 989 to book in for a complimentary skin consultation

#cosmeceutical #skin #skincare #fda #professional #products #overthecounter #medicalgrade #medical #advancedbeauty #purplevalentine #salon #dermis #skinlayers #image #imageskincare #vectorize #stemcells #peptides #ingredients

192 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All