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Why Are Medical Grade Skin Care Products Better for Your Skin

Why Are Medical Grade Skincare Products Better for Your Skin Blog

Although over-the-counter (OTC) skin care products are readily available and typically less expensive than their medical grade (aka pharmaceutical grade) counterparts, the mixture of ingredients used in OTC products is usually nonspecific. This generalization is necessary because over-the-counter products are designed to be sold in the mass marketplace. Generalization also means that these OTC products are not created with your specific skin care needs in mind, which is one of the biggest differences between over-the-counter products and the medical grade skin care products that are available.

Medical Grade Skin Care Products vs. Over-the-Counter Skin Care Products

When compared to the medical grade skin care options available, the level of active ingredients in OTC products is lacking. The inability of over-the-counter products to permeate the skin hinders their ability to provide the physical facial changes necessary to decrease the visibility of wrinkles and address skin discolorations. Furthermore, rehydrating the skin is impossible when the skin care product is unable to penetrate the outermost layer of skin (i.e., the epidermis).

The Differences Between Medical Grade Skin Care Products and OTC Skin Care Products

Medical grade skin care products:

  • Pharmaceutical grade skin care products are only available for purchase through highly trained skin care providers. These providers take the information they receive from you and recommend skincare products specifically designed for your particular skin type and address your skin concerns (e.g., to address the signs of aging or improve your overall complexion, etc.).
  • Medical grade skin care products are backed by science and research; therefore, they are proven effective.
  • Pharmaceutical grade skin care products contain active ingredient concentrations that surpass the amounts available in OTC skin care products. Ingredients like L-Ascorbic Acid, Tripeptides, Apple and Citrus Stem Cells are key ingredients in the Fig Skin Care Line. 
  • Some medical grade skin care products are regulated by the FDA, which ensures the skin care product meets the highest standards in potency, stability and purity.
  • Pharmaceutical grade skin care products are able to permeate the epidermis, which allows the product to treat the deeper layers of skin.
  • With the ability to penetrate the epidermis, these products can influence the production of collagen, which is the main structural protein in the connective tissues throughout the body. Collagen gives the skin its youthful appearance, however, as part of the natural aging process the production of collagen slows. Therefore, using a skin care product that is designed to increase collagen production can reduce the signs of aging. Two skin care products available through the Fig Skin Care line that support healthy collagen production are the Vitamin C Serum (redness pump) and the Vitamin C Brightening Serum (complexion/dropper).

Over-the-counter skin care products:

  • Instead of having the advice of a skin care provider, you must determine which type of product you need and then select an OTC product that will be the best for addressing the skin issue you are experiencing.
  • Active ingredients in OTC skin care products are less potent because these products are formulated for use by everyone in the mass market. Less potent translates into less effective. Furthermore, since the active ingredients in over-the-counter skin care products are incapable of penetrating the epidermis, these products are unable to provide the anti-aging benefits that medical grade skin care products can.
  • With over-the-counter skin care products, no standards are required; therefore, OTC products may or may not be effective and/or stable.

Key Differences to Consider Before Creating a New Anti-Aging Skin Care Regimen

When comparing the permeability, purity, efficacy and possibility of irritation between OTC skin care products and medical grade skin care products, the vast differences are evident.

Pharmaceutical grade skin care products typically offer:

  • 100% Purity
  • 1% Irritation
  • 100% Penetration
  • 100% Efficacy

Since medical grade skin care products actually work, you will no longer be throwing your money away on ineffective OTC products.

With high concentrations of the active ingredients that can penetrate the skin, you only need to use a small amount of a medical grade skin care product to achieve noticeable results.

Food/Cosmetic grade skin care products offer:

  • 1% Purity
  • 80% Irritation
  • 5% Penetration
  • 20% Efficacy

The best skin care products consist of ingredients in their purest form, that are formulated correctly with the best combinations and at the strengths required to provide results. Furthermore, medical grade skin care products have been proven effective by research studies.

Why not seek the advice of an experienced skin care professional to find out which medical grade skin care product will help you attain a more youthful appearance? To request an appointment with Dr. Leslie Storey at Valley Skin Institute, please call 559-472-SKIN (7546) or click here. If you would like to purchase a medical grade skin care product, please click here.


Dr. Leslie Storey | Valley Skin Institute

Dr. Leslie Storey is a board-certified physician specializing in medical and surgical dermatology. Her mission is to find and remove skin cancer, which she does more than 2,000 times a year. An expert in Mohs Surgery, Dr. Storey’s patients often comment that they are amazed at how minimal their scar is after they have healed from surgery. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, request an appointment with Dr. Storey to have it checked out.

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