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Over the Counter VS. Professional Skincare – What’s the Difference?

Over the Counter VS. Professional Skincare – What’s the Difference?

You may have noticed that over the counter skincare is different from the skincare sold in your dermatologist’s office. Why is that? Over the counter skincare that you find at your local pharmacy differs from professional skincare in more ways than you might think.

While some may benefit from using over the counter products, the efficacy levels will vary from person to person. If you are someone with sensitive skin or with specific skin conditions, it can be extremely difficult to find something over the counter that will work for you. Let’s explore some of the differences between professional skincare and over the counter products.

Batch Size

The first big difference between over the counter and professional-grade skincare is batch size. Professional-grade skincare is made in smaller batches to maintain high levels of active ingredients, whereas commercially produced skincare is made in large quantities. Smaller production means higher quality and limited distribution to select sellers. With large manufacturers, you’re probably getting more preservatives, water, and filler than actual active ingredients in order to keep up with mass production needs.

Active Ingredients

As mentioned above, the levels of active ingredients are higher in professional-grade skincare to treat specific issues you might have with your skin. While over the counter skincare is designed to blanket a multitude of needs, professional skincare is designed to target specific needs. Professional skincare is typically sold at dermatologist offices and other aesthetic practices so that patients can treat their skin with actives that work with both their skin type and conditions.


The potency levels in professional skincare are often much higher than in over the counter skincare since they are designed to be more effective. Rather than offering a moisturizer that sits on the outer layer of the skin and doesn’t offer any benefits, professionals have access to skincare that goes deep into the skin for renewal from inside to the outside. This is usually the result of microencapsulation which you can find in serums such as the Audrose Serum Concentrate.


Another huge difference between over the counter and professional skincare is the balance of the ingredients. Mainstream skincare often uses minimal amounts of their tagline ingredient just so they can use it to market their product. In professional skincare, you’ll often find there not only higher levels of ingredients, but there is also science put behind which ingredients are paired together. Each ingredient is formulated to work together to be effective rather than put together to look good on a label.

Delivery System

A delivery system is defined as the process in which active ingredients reach the inner layers of the skin to sustain maximum benefits. Most products you find in the drugstore are going to sit on the outer layer of the skin without absorbing into the deeper layers because they don’t have a delivery system. Professional skincare will have one or more delivery systems such as microencapsulation or liposomal encapsulation to ensure the active ingredients go deep enough to be effective.


While you might pay more for professional skincare, the effectiveness between professional-grade and over the counter skincare is night and day. With more effective skincare you won’t use as much, and your skin won’t require several different products to do what one or two can accomplish. With products like The Essentials Bundle, you can swap your ten-step skincare routine for two steps and your skin will be healthier than ever. It’s a win-win.

The Bottom line

While over the counter skincare might be cheaper, professional skincare is ultimately a better value and far better for your skin health. Not to mention, investing in professional skincare can give you a huge boost in self-confidence!

For skincare that works with all skin types and offers clean ethically sourced actives that provide visible results, shop The Essentials Bundle today. This two-step skincare duo offers professional levels of actives ingredients delivered right to your door. Click here to shop now!

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