Buyer Beware: The Amazon Skincare Scam

By Jill Seiler

By now, you know that we are staunch proponents of using only medical-grade skincare products purchased from a physician or physician’s practice. It’s really not complicated – if you buy over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products, you’re essentially paying for untested, unproven, unregulated and potentially ineffective ingredients. Conversely, medical-grade products sold through a physician’s office are clinically tested, contain pure ingredients – not filler – that actually work as described and a necessary, effective delivery system to get the ingredients into the skin. Medical-grade products are, in most cases, slightly more expensive up-front, but they typically last longer and produce a significantly higher return on investment (ROI) for your skin health over time.

If you are new to the world of medical-grade skincare products, there are a couple of things you need to understand right away. First, medical-grade products should ONLY be purchased through a physician’s office. Second, it is illegal for unauthorized resellers to sell medical-grade products online and rampant abuse of the laws that govern these products persists across the web. One of the biggest, and most unfortunate, offenders is Amazon – a widely trusted resource for many online shoppers.

Amazon is loved by many for a few very obvious reasons: it’s simple, convenient and – thanks to economies of scale – often the cheapest option. If you’re looking for electronics or home goods, Amazon could be your retailer of choice! However, if you’re a price-conscious patient looking for the best deal on your recommended skincare products, you should avoid Amazon at all costs. Not only are you putting your skin health at risk, you’re almost certainly wasting your money on fake products.

Here’s a great example – SkinCeuticals, a trusted manufacturer of high-quality, medical-grade products, has spent millions of dollars buying back their own products from unauthorized retailers on Amazon for several years now. After the products are received, they are sent to a laboratory to be clinically tested. What SkinCeuticals determined is that more than 99 percent of their products bought from Amazon retailers were either completely fake or contained impure, untested or counterfeit ingredients.

If you have purchased your medical-grade skincare products through Amazon, you should throw them away immediately. While you can be sure that the products are fake, you can’t be sure what is actually in them or if the ingredients are harmful. In addition, you might have purchased an expired product whose ingredients have become inactive or an empty product bottle that has been filled with some inert, unknown substance. At Seiler Skin, we have seen patients who have gotten chemical burns from using products bought on Amazon, and heard similar horror stories from other medical practices around the country witnessing the same problems.

We’ve discussed on our blog previously the truth about buying medical-grade products online through unauthorized retailers. It pains us deeply to say the problem, and potential dangers, are becoming more prevalent as online shopping becomes increasingly popular. One important thing to remember is that this issue goes beyond avoiding Amazon skincare scams and the associated risks. There are a plethora of unauthorized skincare retailers online that claim to be authorized, or selling real products, when in fact they are not. Attempting to save a few dollars up-front on medical-grade products by buying them online is ultimately costing you the results you seek to achieve and potentially your skin’s health in general. To put it bluntly, you’re throwing your money away and getting nothing in return.

Don’t become a victim or another horror story. Led by Dr. Seiler, our Seiler Skin team’s number one priority is helping you achieve your skin health goals. Let us create your individualized skincare regimen and provide the high-quality, medical-grade products that safely produce results you desire. We promise to deliver an ROI that you can visually measure.

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