In-clinic vs. Online Skincare Consultations; how to choose

Hannah Wilson

You may be weighing up your skincare options and wondering whether a Skincare Consultation might be right for you. Perhaps you have a particular skincare condition or concern? Or maybe you’d like to begin a skincare routine with professional, cosmeceutical products? If so, you may be considering a video skincare consultation or an in-clinic consultation.

So, what’s the difference? And which is right for you? Many clinics and companies are now offering virtual consultations for skincare. It might be difficult to discern which are experts, and which aren’t. Perhaps you just wanted to find out more about how it all works? In this blog, I will discuss how an Online Skincare Consultation works as opposed to an in-clinic consultation. Using this information, you will be able to decide which option is best for you and your personal circumstances and skincare needs.

 Want to book your free online video skincare consultation now? Tap the button below or read on to find out more.


Is the future of Skincare in-video consulting?



Person using computer



Everyone has a smartphone. Well, nearly everyone! This makes it clear to see why the option to choose a video consultation could be pretty handy. Covid-19 has pushed us even further into embracing video technology to communicate, like it or not. In reality, we’re so lucky we have this option right now! You can now choose to have a Skincare Consultation from the comfort of your own home, without having to visit your local clinic. It also allows you the ability to choose from a range of fantastic experts across the UK and find the right “virtual clinic” for you, offering products you’re interested in.

However, I’m sure a number of questions may have crossed your mind. Is it safe and secure? Who will I have my consultation with and where are they in the country? Is the consultation recorded, and do I need any special equipment to make it work?

A lot of these answers will depend on the clinic or business you are choosing to go with. In the age of technology, having virtual services available at your fingertips is becoming a reality.


Is an Online Skincare Consultation right for me?



Skin Expert holding up a ZO Skin Health product



The best thing about Skincare Consultations is that they are suitable for everyone. Anyone who has a skin concern, or would like some skincare advice can choose to have a skincare consultation. However, your skin concern or reasons for reaching out might determine whether you should see a skincare expert or a GP with dermatology expertise. Most reputable clinics should be able to offer you the choice between both of these options, depending on the concerns that you have.

The great thing about Video consultations is that a skincare expert is still able to see your skin. This will help them to advise you further on any conditions you may have, as they will be able to see your skin clearly via video.


Do you have a skincare concern?


If you have a particular skin concern you would like to address, then a skincare consultation may be the perfect option for you. If your condition is severe, or even just really annoying, a skincare consultation could provide you with options you didn’t even know you had to tackle the issue head-on.

A good skin expert should be able to advise you on your skin condition or concern, regardless of whether you visit a local clinic or you decide to have an online consultation. Provided the lighting is good within the room you have chosen to have your video call, and you don’t have makeup on, your skin expert should be able to clearly see your skin and consult with you.


Would you like a skincare routine refresh?



Skincare product collection



If your current skincare routine isn’t working for you as well as it used to, it might be worth refreshing your routine. A really great skincare regime should be adaptable to your lifestyle, health changes and age. If you’re looking for a skincare routine refresh, a virtual appointment may be the perfect solution. This is because you can discuss your current routine, and even show your skin expert the products you use without having to lug your products to the clinic or have to remember what it was you used after your toner again!

If you’re looking to quickly pick up some new skincare items, an in-clinic appointment will ensure you will be able to immediately walk out with new skincare products. However, if you’re able to wait just a little bit of time, a video consultation can work for you. For example, at Face Dr, our skincare experts can consult virtually and then provide you with recommendations. You would then simply need to let us know which products you like, pay for them and we can send them over to you first-class, with free P&P. The products are well worth waiting for, and you don’t have to come into the clinic without your makeup on which I’m sure a lot of our clients appreciate!


Maybe you’d just like some general skincare advice


If you’d just like a quick chat with a skin expert about a particular issue, popping into the clinic might always not be the best option. A lot of popular skincare clinics are quite often fully-booked, so you might find it tough to get time for a quick chat with your usual therapist. This is where video consulting can come into its own. You could book in for a quick review or catch-up with your skin expert via video link, you don’t have to travel to your appointment and you can get some quick advice without too much trouble.

Most reputable skincare clinics offer this service either in-clinic, via video or both. If you have a question about SPF,  the new serum you have started using, or how to take care of a particular skincare concern, a quick 10-minute chat is perfect. Here at Face Dr, we offer free 10-minute video skincare reviews for our clients. We also offer free telephone consultations for our clients who feel they need a quick chat but don’t require the video service.


Should I speak to a Skin Expert or a Doctor?


There may be occasions when it is more appropriate to have a consultation with a GP instead of seeing a skin expert. If you have a skin concern you are worried about for medical reasons, then it might be more suitable for you to see a GP or Dermatologist. If you are considering an Online Skincare Consultation, make sure to ask the provider what their Skin Expert’s qualifications are. You can also ask them what skincare concerns they specialise in, if any.

At Face Dr, we can provide advice and treatment for any and all skincare conditions. This is because our Skin Experts are overseen by GPs with dermatological and aesthetics experience. So, when might you need to see a GP instead?




Our Skincare Experts can deal with all levels of Acne Vulgaris and Acne Rosacea. However, if you wanted to explore medical treatments for either of these conditions, then they may refer you to one of our GPs. Additionally, if you would prefer a dual approach to treatment including both skincare regime and medication, then our Doctor would also be able to help here.


Pigmentation issues


Our Skin Experts deal with all pigmentation problems including melasma and sun damage. However, if you had an isolated pigmented lesion, for example, a GP would then take over and have a closer look at this. This would be to make sure there was nothing serious to worry about. For example, a GP might want to take a look to make sure your lesion is not potentially cancerous. If your pigmentation is more severe (i.e. moles or papilloma), then we would ask a GP to take a look with a view to prescribing Hydroquinone (HQ) or non-HQ pigmentation programme, or peel, because these drugs have to be prescribed by a Doctor.


Skincare condition diagnosis issue


If you have a particular skin condition that is difficult to diagnose by either yourself or a Skin Expert, then we would recommend that you have your skin looked at by one of our GPs.

Other than the rarer scenarios mentioned above, a Skin Expert at Face Dr can manage, advise and treat all other skin concerns and conditions.


Technological limitations of an Online Skincare Consultation


There are a few things you need to make sure that you have in place before your Online Skincare Consultation. For example, you need a device with a working front-facing camera, a speaker and a microphone. This is so your skin expert can see and hear you, and you can hear and see them properly. If you do not have a device with such capabilities then you may find it difficult to have a consultation online. In this instance, visiting the clinic may be a better option for you. However, as most people now own smartphones, a video consultation should work no problem with your handheld device.

You may also find it more difficult to have an Online Skincare Consultation if you have a particularly bad internet connection (you’ll have probably discovered this already with all the Zoom meetings and quizzes during lockdown!). The good thing about smartphones is that you can often switch between 3/4/5G connections and WIFI depending on whichever is working better for you. However, if you have trouble connecting to the internet or are unable to connect, you’re better to book an in-clinic appointment over a video one.


Is my data personal, and safe during an online skincare consultation?


 Graphic depicting data



Another concern you may have is about the privacy and safety of your personal data online. It’s a worry I think a lot of us have, a lot of the time. Especially as more and more services are moving online. If you’re choosing to book an online consultation with a clinic, you should think very carefully about what data you provide to them and who they are. Are they holding your data on a secure server? Do you trust them? Do you know who they are, and where they’re based? These are all important questions you should be asking yourself, and them!

Make sure you know who you are dealing with and that they have a secure network to store your data, and a secure video conferencing platform so you know your data is in safe hands. For example, at Face Dr we store all our client’s details on our secure system, and our video calls are all hosted on a secure conferencing platform. This means our clients are protected, and we are comfortable in the knowledge that we are doing everything we can to stay safe and keep our clients safe online.


If you need tests or have a more severe condition


If you have a severe skin condition, it may actually be more suitable for you to have a consultation with a doctor or dermatologist over having one with a therapist or skincare expert. For example, if you have severe acne vulgaris, your best course of action may be a combination of medication and topical skincare. Although a skincare expert may know exactly how to treat your acne from a holistic point of view, they may not know the full spectrum of treatments available to you from a medical point of view. For this reason, it may be best for you to see a GP, before you choose between a video or in-clinic skincare consultation.

Here at Face Dr, our skincare clinic is directed by Dr Julia Langford, GP and dermatology expert. A lot of the time if we see a client who has a very severe condition, we offer them a consultation with a Vaila Health GP first, so they get a complete picture of the options available to them.


In summary


To summarise, there are a number of reasons why an Online Skincare Consultation could be right for you. Equally, we have discussed the occasions where visiting a skincare clinic may be a better option for you. I hope this blog has helped you to decide which is right for you if any, and you are able to take your next step towards your perfect skincare routine.

Read more about our Online Skincare Consultations:

How to get the most out of your Skincare Consultation

Take a look at our Skincare Product Collections


Is there anything you are still unsure about? Want to ask us a question? Feel free to pop us a message on Facebook or alternatively you can pop us an email to


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