8th January 2020

Medical-Grade Skincare vs Consumer Products: Which Is Better?

Last Modified: August 3, 2022

Four out of five women follow beauty industry trends. Now, skincare is the ultimate trend.

The modern woman wants to take off her makeup and see a clear complexion and glowing skin.

Is there a difference between the products you purchase at department stores and the ones your dermatologist prescribes? Is medical-grade skincare truly better?

Here are the differences between over-the-counter and medical skincare products. We'll also explain why you should see a dermatologist.

Quantity of Ingredients

Have you ever looked at the back of your skincare products? You probably notice the ingredients list with a percentage. This is the amount of that specific ingredient you’ll find in the product.

Over-the-counter skincare brands don’t feature significant ingredient dosages. That’s because OTC skincare brands must abide by laws that limit the ingredient dosages.

Let’s take the popular skincare ingredient retinol. Retinol is available in consumer form, but most products contain between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent retinol. Dermatologists can prescribe products containing higher amounts of Retin-A.

Quality of Ingredients

Sure, the consumer-grade skincare product may contain anti-ageing and skin-enhancing ingredients.

But are the ingredients used in their most stable form, ensuring the ingredients are used at their fullest strength? Are the brands choosing the high-quality form of the ingredients? Probably not.

This is ultimately why medical skincare products work better than consumer products. Dermatologists have access to different research and testing methods. This ensures the ingredients used will provide results.

Let’s use retinol as an example again.

Retinol is the consumer-quality ingredient. But dermatologists prescribe Retin-A. Retin-A is the more potent version of retinol. It's only available with a prescription. It’s used to treat acne and ageing symptoms.

When Retin-A reaches your skin, it turns to Retinoic Acid. This enhances cell turnover more than consumer-grade products.

Research and Testing

Medical grade skincare requires significant research and testing to ensure they’re safe and effective. This is done before the product can even be made available to patients.

While consumer skincare products require testing for safety, they don’t require the degree of research and testing that medical-grade skincare products require.

Product Delivery

Medical grade products penetrate the deepest levels of your skin, ensuring your skin heals from the inside out. Consumer-grade products only work at the surface level and there’s no guarantee they will treat your skincare concerns.

Choose Medical Grade Skincare

If you have skincare concerns, medical-grade skincare products will have the biggest impact.

These products contain the highest quality ingredients and in generous quantities, ensuring the products will improve your skin at the deepest level.

The products have been researched and tested thoroughly for your safety and product effectiveness.

In addition to using medical skincare products, receiving dermatological treatments will improve your skin tremendously. We offer both Botox and Dermal Fillers to treat a variety of skincare concerns.

We’re based in Birmingham. Contact us and book an appointment.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 8th January 2020
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
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