We’re proud that patients who get skincare treatments at our Dallas practice trust us to use professional-grade, top-of-the-line products. Unfortunately, many people fall prey to online retailers selling counterfeit skincare products that are ineffective, at best, and possibly dangerous.
In this blog post, we offer some tips on how to avoid these products when you shop on the internet or at cosmetic dermatology practices. The first step is to make sure you choose a dermatologist certified by the American Board of Dermatology, which is the only dermatology board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Other boards with official-sounding names don’t have the same rigorous standards and testing that is required by the ABMS-sanctioned board. Even if someone says they are the best dermatologist in Dallas, check out her or his certification.
The expertise of board-certified dermatologists is important because these highly trained doctors can explain exactly what’s in a product and describe how different ingredients work to improve skin’s condition. That’s something patients can’t do when ordering from online retailers such as Amazon. It’s virtually impossible to distinguish an authentic product from a fake one online because the bottles and writing appear identical.
As an article on counterfeit products published late last year explained, “What’s inside these serums and creams may be glue instead of retinol or rubbing alcohol instead of hyaluronic acid. But on the outside? It’s almost impossible to tell you’re getting a fake.” And remember that these products aren’t being sold in some dark corner of the internet. They can be found on Amazon and other mainstream online retail sites. According to a recent survey, more than 25% of people responding reported being duped by counterfeit makeup and skincare products that they purchased online.
This isn’t to say you should never order online for skincare products. But there are some steps to take to help ensure that what you’re ordering is legitimate:
- Look for typos on the product box image
- Compare a product’s price with other products to see if there is a significant price increase from the average
- Research the seller’s reputation
- Look at product reviews
This kind of caution can help with other products as well, including fillers or BOTOX® Cosmetic. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice that’s administering the injections, you can ask to see the box the products were shipped in. Also, be wary of steep price discounts because doctors all pay essentially the same cost for BOTOX and fillers. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.