by skin care expert Heather Anderson*

Most of us want to find quality skin care products.  Yes, it’s true… there are so many options out there, and you can purchase some really good beauty products right at your local store. There are also the pricier medical grade skin care products available at the doctor’s office. So what is the difference?  It’s simple: medical grade products are stronger and penetrate deeper into the skin, while over the counter skin care products contain smaller amounts of active ingredients and do not penetrate beneath the outer layer of skin.

So what do you do if you don’t have access or cannot afford medical grade skin care products? Well, I am here to make some suggestions and direct you as to what you need to look for when shopping for over the counter skin care products and also highlight a few specific product lines.

First of all, skin care regimens should consist of products that nourish, repair, and protect the skin. At a minimum we should all use a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF daily. Consistency is key; daily use for months is needed to see results.

When considering which products to buy, look at the labels for the active ingredients. Antioxidants and collagen stimulators nourish the skin. Retinols and acids repair damaged skin, while antioxidants and broad spectrum SPF protect the skin.

Oil of Olay offers some nice options. Their anti-aging products range in price for $15-$20 and can be found in most drugstores and even grocery stores. The Regenerist line of products focuses on anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. The active ingredients are Pro Retinol, anti-aging proteins, antioxidants, and moisturizers.  Olay also offers the Pro X Line of products that target specific skin care concerns such as skin brightening and spot fading. The Pro X products are the closest you can get to medical grade skin care in the Olay product line.

La Roche-Posey is a product line found in many drugstores such as CVS and Walgreens. These products are made from healing thermal spring water infused with selenium, which is an antioxidant. The cost of these products ranges from $20-$40, and are offered with many great SPF options. The Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with Sunscreen has been featured as one of Elle Magazine’s essential beauty products. This product contains light reflecting particles that instantly correct signs of aging while offering SPF 50 sun protection. The end result is skin with a smooth, matte finish that makes for easier make-up application.

Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase is an over the counter product line available at Walmart. Kinerase is a company with a long solid history that has made medical grade skin care products for years. As with the original Kinerase line, the Dr. LeWinn products contain the active ingredient kinetin. Kinetin is a super anti-oxidant that improves skin tone and texture. Available products include cleansers, moisturizers, serums, and lip treatments. The prices range from $8-$35.

Remember to look for ingredients with a purpose. Good products should nourish, repair, and/or protect the skin. Consistent use for months is a must in order to see noticeable results.  Now go ahead and enjoy a moment to shop for some products  – you deserve it!


*Heather Anderson is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Anderson Medical Aesthetics in Scottsdale, AZ. She is a skin care expert with over 10 years of practice in the field of Cosmetic Dermatology. You can contact Heather via email: