The skin has likely been exposed to external and intrinsic factors that contributed to concerns such as acne, sun damage, and premature aging. In this case, medical-grade skincare, also known as cosmeceutical skincare, is formulated to target specific skincare concerns but on a deeper and more effective level than over-the-counter products. While there’s plenty to choose from, medical-grade skincare can only be found at a medical spa, a dermatologist’s office, and authorized online retailers.
What Makes Medical-Grade Products Different?
There are a few critical differences between medical-grade skincare versus mainstream products.
- Limited Purchasing Power: Back in the day, medical-grade skincare could only be bought in a doctor’s office, but now, it is already sold online by authorized retailers specializing in this product level. Visiting a medical spa or dermatologist’s office also gives the advantage of personalized guidance and specific product recommendations.
- Stability: The best medical-grade skincare is formulated with more highly stabilized ingredients, which take longer to deteriorate than mainstream products. They also have greater absorption, meaning these results-driven ingredients are delivered more profound into the skin. However, buyers must beware that some companies only use trace amounts of active ingredients coupled with synthetic additives that aren’t effective and false claims while it’s a small number.
- FDA Regulation: Since the FDA doesn’t regulate over-the-counter products, they can’t penetrate beyond the top layer of skin. OTC formulas also can’t make any medical claims, such as treating a particular skin condition. Since medical-grade skincare is regulated, it can provide claims and safely penetrate the skin on a deeper level.
What Are The 5 Common Ingredients Found In Medical-Grade Skin Products?
Below is a list of the most common medical-grade ingredients, along with an explanation of how they work and compare to over-the-counter versions.
- Retinol. It is a vitamin A derivative known for its anti-aging effects that can boost collagen and firm the skin. However, clients must be aware that some brands combine retinol with another ingredient and claim the level of combined ingredients is stronger. Still, the levels are much higher with medical-grade products and must be administered by a physician.
- Glycolic acid. Often used in chemical peels, this is a chemical exfoliator that helps remove the outermost layer of the skin. For over-the-counter products, they use less than 10% and have a pH above 3.5 to minimize irritation or other problems. However, medical-grade products contain much higher concentrations of this ingredient, as high as 70% in peels administered by a professional, giving results that are dramatically different.
- Hyaluronic acid. This compound is ideal for revitalizing dull, dry skin and acts as a natural humectant, restoring moisture and plumpness. For over-the-counter products, they typically use a low molecular weight of hyaluronic acid below 1 million daltons, which works on the top layer of the skin to provide hydration. In contrast, medical-grade hyaluronic acid has an ultra-low molecular weight below 10,000 daltons, which means its molecular size is much smaller, and because of that, it absorbs more deeply into the skin, working within the lower layers.
- Polyglutamic acid. Before, this peptide was only found in medical-grade skincare that helps improve skin moisture but will eventually be purchased over-the-counter. Experts said that polyglutamic acid is 10 times as potent as hyaluronic acid in binding moisture deep within the skin’s lower layers. For sure, this is an ingredient that will be available in the over-the-counter market as more brands continue to develop therapeutic skincare products.
- Salicylic acid. The American Academy of Dermatology has recommended this treatment as ideal for acne and the single most effective active ingredient. Reports say that salicylic acid is a milder anti-acne agent, and it primarily fits people with more sensitive skin, those with comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), and women with adult acne. This must-have skincare offers to unclog skin pores, prevent blackheads and whiteheads and has some anti-inflammatory effects.
Moreover, it’s vital to have a skincare consultation with skincare specialists when using medical-grade skincare since this product has active ingredients with high concentration. That said, they are usually formulated to treat medical skin concerns.
What Are The Benefits Of Medical Grade Skin Care?
Since the medical-grade products have active ingredients with high concentration, below are the known benefits that the products provide:
- Assists the collagen fibers of the body with toning and tightening the skin.
- Helps smooth the skin’s texture and brightens skin tone
- Helps pigmentation to break up, creating a lightening of the skin and an overall even tone
- Deeply penetrates to nourish new skin cells and create healthier skin
- Softens wrinkles, fine lines, and the signs of aging
- Softens scarring caused by acne or surgery and can be used with micro-channeling
What’s The Difference Between Medical-Grade Versus Over The Counter?
The active ingredients with a high concentration in OTC (over-the-counter) skincare products are greatly limited to avoid its risk to people with the greatest sensitivity to those ingredients. On the other hand, medical-grade skincare products contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. That said, these are only dispensed by trained medical professionals since they can evaluate if the concentration is appropriate for their clients.
In addition, most OTC’s ingredient lists do not contain the ingredient concentrations in their products, making it challenging or impossible for the consumer to compare OTC and medical-grade products. Depending on the goals and the skin condition, OTC products frequently produce much poorer results than those obtained from a medical grade line. Medical grade skincare products are strong enough to reach and correct problems in deeper layers of the skin than OTC products.
How Can I Purchase Medical-Grade Skincare?
It’s crucial to only buy from trusted sources regarding medical-grade skincare. For instance, the market for counterfeit Environ products is huge, but these products don’t have the active ingredient concentrations found in some products. Counterfeit products may also contain filler ingredients or ingredients that harm skin health.
The Bottom Line?
Much attention has likely been given to the importance of medical-grade skincare. Indeed, medical-grade products have combined the most potent ingredients at the highest available concentration levels to provide results faster and more effectively than any other alternative. At ZI Bloom Aesthetics, they offer Medical Grade Skincare that is thoroughly researched, repeatedly tested, and cleared by the FDA for client use.
Including a medical-grade skin care regimen helps maintain and reach the skincare goals. So many clients are underwhelmed with previous skincare regimens they’ve tried. At ZI Bloom Aesthetics, they are after results and proud to offer medical-grade skincare based on SCIENCE and rooted in research that provides results.