Clinical vs Cosmetic Grade

As Stanford-trained dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields created the Rodan + Fields skincare line based on their years of practice and skincare philosophy. They learnt that it takes more than one ingredient or one product to fully address a skin concern. It takes a Regimen-based approach, and each of their Regimens uses the right ingredients in the right formulations in the right order to deliver visibly transformative results.

Did you know R+F products are Pharmaceutical or Clinical Grade? That means according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, each product must contain 99.9% pure ingredients. In addition, our Regimens undergo dermatologist-run third-party clinical testing to ensure safety and efficacy.

Only 5% of the entire skin care industry can meet such high standards.

Rodan + Fields is committed to product safety and efficacy, and compliance with cosmetics regulations. Adequate preservative systems, including parabens, are essential when formulating safe and effective cosmetics. There are no known health risks when preservatives are used within their recommended concentrations. Further, parabens are very effective preservatives at low concentrations, heat stable and behave synergistically with other preservatives. Currently, no other preservatives on the market perform as well as parabens even when maximising their concentration limits.

Cosmetic Grade products are not subject to any regulations, safety testing or require any review. The FDA allows cosmetic grade products to contain up to 30% bacteria so you may be using a product that is only 70% pure. YIKES! So the rule about throwing out your makeup every 3-6 months makes sense with all the potential bacteria festering in those products.


Active vs Cosmetic Ingredients

An active ingredient is an official term used by the FDA for materials that are classified as either over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs. As an American company, active ingredients must be called out separately on the primary package with specific labelling requirements known as Drug Facts.

The FDA defines cosmetics by their intended use as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body … for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance.” A cosmetic ingredient is intended to affect the appearance or have other aesthetic benefits without altering the function or structure of the body. Materials classified as cosmetic must be listed in the ingredient declaration. Ingredients that are in a formulation at greater than 1 percent must be listed in order of concentration with those at the highest concentrations listed first.


As a company, we conduct irritancy studies on all our products, which have been demonstrated to be safe to use. We cannot assure that any product is allergy-free as everyone’s skin type is different. Those who are concerned about allergies should review the ingredient list with their healthcare professional and patch test all new products prior to usage.

The ability to use one skincare brand for all your skincare needs is a big reason why I love this company. Depending on the time of year or even hormonal changes (the bastards), I can easily switch out the regimens depending on what my skin needs at the time. For example, during the summer months, I’m more aware of the potential for more sun damage on my face so I will focus on a solution that can prevent any more discolouration. Then when my skin is feeling drier, or irritated, I can apply more TLC with our anti-ageing or soothing regimens.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your current skincare, I highly recommend you give these products a try. They even offer a 60-day satisfaction guarantee because they are confident their products will deliver real visible results.


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