Valerie Monroe
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: Do more-expensive skincare products have some kind of "professional strength"?

A: Price alone has nothing to do with the strength and effectiveness of skincare products, says Cheryl Burgess, MD, medical director at the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington, D.C. A drugstore mask or moisturizer can have the same concentrations of active ingredients as one from a department store or spa. But there is a correlation between the strength of a product and whether it's prescription or over-the-counter, says Burgess. A prescription product will likely contain a higher concentration of active ingredients than an OTC formula, and for that you may pay more than you would for some products with a lower concentration.

Bottom line: The price and strength of a product do not necessarily correlate.