ALL SKINCARE IS NOT CREATED EQUAL
O v e r T h e C o u n t e r VS MEDICAL-GRADE S K I N C A R E
THE BEST PRODUCTS HAVE THE BEST INGREDIENTS,
ARE IN THE PUREST FORM,
ARE OF THE APPROPRIATE STRENGTH,
ARE IN THE CORRECT COMBINATIONS,
AND ARE BACKED BY RESEARCH STUDIES.
Why is medical-grade skincare better than drugstore?
1. ADDRESSES SPECIFIC NEEDS VS FORMULATED FOR ALL
Medical-grade skincare products are formulated to treat individuals with specific skin types and/or conditions. They have potent, stable, and premium-quality active ingredients in exceptionally higher concentrations.
Over-the-counter skincare or drugstore products are designed for the general population with normal skin health. They may be advertised to contain similar ingredients as those found in medical-grade skincare but usually only have trace amounts that are less optimal in quality and less stable.
2. PURITY AND SAFETY REGULATED BY THE FDA
The FDA closely regulates medical-grade skin care products. Most of these are marked as pharmaceuticals. By law, they must have 99.9 percent pure active ingredients. Before they can be used by the public, there must be scientific evidence showing the skin care product is beneficial and that it does what it advertises. In other words, before a medical-grade wrinkle reduction cream can make it to the market, there are multiple studies done showing that it really reduces wrinkles. This is not the case with over-the-counter products.
3. BETTER QUALITY INGREDIENTS
Medical-grade products contain quality ingredients that are 99% pure. Products that are purchased at Sephora, grocery stores, or online are not held to the same standards. Always buy from an authorized licensed skin care professional or from the brand directly so you can ensure you’re getting medical-grade products that do not contain fillers and are not expired. Did you know that over-the-counter skin care products are not required to have clinical studies or research to make a claim about how the product will work on your skin? Even mainstream over-the-counter brands that contain Vitamin C or Retinol as active ingredients are likely paired with synthetic additives or fragrances.
4. GREATER POTENCY
When we talk about quality, it’s also important to talk about potency. We’ve all heard of the important active ingredients recommended for healthier skin: retinoids, vitamin C, antioxidants, and the list goes on and on. Medical-grade skincare products have higher concentrations of active ingredients. If there is an active ingredient in an over-the-counter product, there may not be enough to see results, or it may take much longer. Because of the potency of the ingredients in medical-grade products, you will see results in a much shorter time frame.
Hydroquinone is the active ingredient in skincare products that aim to lighten hyperpigmentation. It is used in medical-grade skincare in concentrations up to 5%.
But over-the-counter concentrations are capped at 2% since the FDA put a limit in place.
To be compliant, Rodan + Fields lightening agent contains 2% hydroquinone. While some patients will achieve great lightening at this low dose, others will need a higher concentration, which is prohibited in over-the-counter products. VI Derm (a medical-grade skincare product sold by medical skincare professionals only), has hydroquinone at a 4% concentration.
5. DEEPER DELIVERY
If you’ve purchased products from a non-medical professional, in any store, or online, these products only work on the outermost skin layer called the epidermis, which means they sit on the surface. Aside from the potency and quality of ingredients, medical-grade skincare has more advanced mechanisms to ensure optimum absorption and delivery into the deepest layers of the skin. This guarantees that you'll get your desired results, and in a shorter amount of time.
6. MEDICAL GRADE IS NOT NECESSARILY MORE EXPENSIVE
Medical-grade skincare lines are not always more expensive, for three reasons:
YOU'LL USE LESS OF IT
Medical-grade skincare products contain more potent ingredients. Only a small amount of the product is needed for each use, so they generally last longer than less expensive over-the-counter brands.
NO MARKETING COSTS BUILT-IN
Medical-grade skincare companies spend money on research and quality product development instead of expensive advertising campaigns.
THEY WORK, SO YOU'RE NOT THROWING AWAY MONEY
Piles of money are wasted on over-the-counter products that simply don’t work.
Am I suggesting that all over-the-counter products are inferior?
Some over-the-counter choices do include effective ingredients - just not enough of them.
Leave it to your trained skin care professional to recommend the right product(s) for you and explain why their ingredients are ideal for your needs. It’s important to get the most out of active ingredients and to know how to properly use them - so that you get optimal results.