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Pharmaceutical vs. Cosmetic Grade Products

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) divides skin care products into two separate categories: cosmetic and pharmaceutical. Pharmaceutical grade products you apply topically penetrate through the layers of the epidermis and affect the function and structure of the skin. Pharmaceutical products undergo rigorous testing that can go on for more than 10 years and cost millions of dollars. Pharmaceutical grade products are only available through a licensed professional. These products not only contain a higher percentage of active ingredients, but a higher quality of each ingredient. According to the FDA, Pharmaceutical grade products are required to be 99% pure, where Cosmetic grade products are only required to be 70% pure. Active ingredients are those that can make a change in your skin such as (reducing wrinkles, pigmentation, alleviate acne, etc.).

The FDA defines cosmetic grade products as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkle, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance…” Cosmetics are not required to prove the claims they make, but they are allowed to cite “scientific studies” of the ingredients being used in their products. This means that the formula doesn’t technically have to prove efficacy or safety, but it can contain an ingredient that may cause activity in the skin.

You’ll find countless cosmetic grade companies out there who will try to draw you in using fancy buzz words, or catchy phrase: “Clinically Proven,” “Clinically Tested,” or “Dermatologist-Tested.” It is important to approach these words and phrases with caution because cosmetic companies are not required to prove efficacy claims, and the special “active ingredient” they’re advertising only has to appear somewhere on the ingredient list – ingredients are listed in content order, from highest to lowest percentages. So if you see that “active” ingredient toward the bottom of the list you know you’re only getting a tiny percentage, which most likely not enough to be effective.

Over-the-counter, or cosmetic grade products are manufactured in large batches, and they contain almost as many preservatives as they do “active” ingredients.


A leader in the botanical skin care revolution.

For centuries the use of plants have been used as a remedy for various conditions, both internally and topically.  We know for healthy bodies we must fight free radicals through the use of antioxidants.   With scientific support we now know that we can have that same healthy benefit for our skin.  A renewed interest in botanical based skin care is rapidly expanding.  As consumers search for a safe, natural and efficacious approach to skin care, they are turning to products that contain botanical extracts and Glymed Plus is a leader in the industry.

Our botanicals come from all parts of the world; Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and of course the US and Canada.  They are grown and cultivated to retain their purity and efficacy.  We demand that our botanicals come from suppliers that meet these criteria.  We do our own processing; using techniques that retain the beneficial properties in the highest concentrations possible, thus assuring our customers that Glymed Plus is committed to an exacting standard of excellence.

Plant based skin care is proving that by combining science based technologies and natural botanical extracts, the results are quite amazing.  Just as we try to maintain our physical well being through a more natural lifestyle, we can now attain the same natural beauty for our skin.


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Licensed skin care professionals may purchase online or by phone at 1-800-676-9667.
If you are not a licensed skin care professional, please locate one in your area.

We do not offer any consumer on-line ordering, and are only affiliated with a handful of professional spas and clinics selling online with whom we partner in business.