4 ways to differentiate skincare products for patients
Dermatologists who sell professional skincare solutions in their offices might not think it’s necessary to educate patients about how to differentiate between the products they dispense and those that consumers buy at the beauty counter at Saks Fifth Avenue or in the isles at their local pharmacies. But taking the time to educate consumers about key differences between professional and OTC skincare can increase a practice’s sales.
It doesn’t have to be a lengthy explanation. In fact, there are simple differences that could turn savvy patients into regular clients.
We’re going to make it easier by breaking down key talking points. We’ve asked a few dermatologists experienced in selling professional skincare lines, as well as licensed esthetician Rita Lee for expert advice. Ms. Lee has a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and she is founder and author of the skincare blog Just About Skin.
Value of education
For starters, professional skincare offers more powerful solutions at a much better value than retail or over-the-counter skincare, according to Ms. Lee.
“The key differences between professional and retail are in the ingredients, and how they are put together. Higher amounts of key ingredients, more advanced ingredients and better delivery of those ingredients produce better and faster results,” Ms. Lee says.
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Educating patients about these differences is a dermatologist’s responsibility, even if the doctor isn’t dispensing the products in his or her office, according to Joel Schlessinger M.D., president of LovelySkin.com.
“Education is always a part of our job as dermatologists and, even though many dermatologists don't sell products in their offices, patients come in seeking advice. This advice is often a culmination of a series of purchases from department stores, pharmacies, television ads, multi-level sales schemes and friends — none of which worked out to their benefit,” Dr. Schlessinger says. “While many dermatologists choose to ignore these questions, they are valid for us to address and the act of not addressing these legitimate questions leaves patients open to more mistakes or misadventures in their quest for a good regimen.”