What’s the difference between OTC and Dermatologist-dispensed Products?


In 2020, we saw a major rise in DIY activities (because what else were we going to do to pass the time?). From fermenting our own sourdough kits, to learning how to knit, people were willing and ready to try it all. One of the most unsurprising obsessions? Diving headfirst into our personal favorite, skincare. 

After hours of scouring the internet for the best wrinkle reducer or spot treatment, one thing became abundantly clear — there are a LOT of choices when it comes to skincare products. So, why are some products dermatologist-dispensed only and others available at your local drugstore? What’s the difference? Does medical-grade make a difference?

In short, yes. It makes a difference. 

When you purchase products from a dermatologist, not only are you getting a customized routine tailored to your specific needs, you’re also getting medical-grade products that are formulated with higher concentrations of active ingredients. Unlike certain products you might find in Sephora or on Amazon, medical-grade skincare products are researched, vetted, and FDA-cleared for patient use. This thorough examination process enables these products to be tested for both safety and efficacy. These formulations and delivery systems mean those superstar ingredients actually penetrate the skin to tackle the core issues of whatever skin condition you’re struggling with. 

Basically, the more powerful a product, the more likely it is to be dermatologist-dispensed.

The reality is medical-grade skincare products might cost more upfront, but they add far more value to your skin routine overall. Plus, because medical-grade products are stronger, you only need to use a little bit each time. 

Remember, your skin is the largest organ! Investing in it is well worth it.

But what about accessibility?

For those that can’t make it into the dermatology office, The Box by Dr Ava offers the perfect solution. The same dermatologist-dispensed products delivered straight to your door. No appointment necessary!

It’s important to always do your homework on the products you’re putting on your face and body. When in doubt, always consult a medical professional. We’re here to help you!


Not all skincare is created equally! If you want high quality and efficacious products, always turn to your friendly neighborhood derm. Don’t have one? You do with The Box by Dr Ava.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Ready to reserve your Box?