Medical Grade vs. Mainstream Skincare: The Difference

Walk down your local cosmetics aisle and it’s easy to see that there is no shortage of choice when it comes to skincare products.
Over-the-counter (OTC) brands are plentiful. They offer skincare solutions for all ages, but they differ tremendously from medical grade skincare products. Both serve unique purposes. We want to make sure you completely understand their differences.
Let’s talk about the difference between over-the-counter and medical grade skincare products.

WHAT IS MEDICAL GRADE SKIN CARE?

Medical-grade skincare is targeted to specific medical conditions and needs, such as acne or wrinkles. This type of skincare is meant to offer both medicinal and cosmetic benefits.

WHAT IS OVER THE COUNTER SKIN CARE?

OTC skincare refers to products that you can buy at your local drugstore or beauty store without a prescription.

FDA-REGULATION

Both OTC and medical grade skincare are subject to FDA-Regulation.

Because of FDA-Regulations, OTC products cannot make any medical claims, and they cannot state that they ‘treat’ a skin condition.
Medical-grade skin care is subject to FDA-Regulation and backed by clinical trials. Skin care companies such as Skinbetter, Topix Pharmaceuticals, and ZO Skin Health are backed by science and make products that are safe and effective.

BEHIND THE BRAND

The OTC skin care industry is heavily saturated, so marketing costs can be very steep. 😳
Medical Grade skincare is structured to be offered directly to clients by licensed dermatologists and estheticians. Therefore, the funding saved on marketing is invested back into research and development to create technologically advanced, top of the line products created and modified for your skin and skincare needs.

OTC SKINCARE INGREDIENTS

Mainstream brands may claim that their serum or night cream is an incredible skin-transforming product, but sometimes this claim is supported by trace amounts of active ingredients surrounded by synthetic additives.
This low or unrecorded percentage of active ingredients is known as ‘angel dusting’ and it’s not supported by the medical grade skincare community.

MEDICAL GRADE SKINCARE INGREDIENTS

Clinical/medical grade skincare products have a high percentage of active ingredients to really treat and target your skincare concerns.
No detail is overlooked in order to deliver the best results, down to the size of the molecule.
Most medical-grade companies also use highly stabilized ingredients that last longer, take longer to degrade and allow for deeper penetration for up to 10 hours. This means the active ingredients are not sitting on the surface of your skin, but actually reaching the lower levels of your dermis.

THE DIFFERENCE IN COST

There’s a difference in price between OTC and medical grade skincare. It comes down to concentration.
You don’t need to use as much of your medical grade product to see amazing results!
Because of the concentration of active ingredients, medical grade products produce less waste and deliver better. It’s also clinically proven that you’ll see greater efficacy with medical grade products.

DOES PROFESSIONAL-STRENGTH SKIN CARE WORK BETTER?

If you’re looking for more active ingredients, bang for your buck, and clinically proven results, medical-grade skincare products may be the best choice.
That being said, always consult with a board-certified dermatologist or one of our estheticians before venturing down the road of medical-grade skincare.