It’s safe to say that most of us don’t know the difference between certain types of skincare products. In fact, one of the most common questions we get is: “What’s the difference between medical-grade products and skincare products I find over the counter?”
After all, there are a countless amount of ads claiming that their skin products are the best of the best. But are these claims really true? What are the main differences between pharmaceutical grade skincare products and over the counter products? Are over the counter products really just as good as pharmaceutical ones?
1. Quality and Quantity
One of the most notable differences between pharmaceutical and over the counter products is the quality and quantity of the ingredients used in each formula. So what exactly does quantity mean in relation to skincare products?
Well basically, the percentage or dosage of each ingredient is allowed to be higher than regular over the counter products. While this may sound like a good thing, more isn’t always better. For example, Vitamin C products found at a department store may claim to have a high percentage of Vitamin C. However, chances are it’s not the stable form used in physician-dispensed products and therefore, the full strength is lost before it even penetrates the skin.
However, medical grade products have a more stable form and higher concentration which ultimately means better results. The same goes for the quality of the ingredients. While over the counter products cost less, their ingredients aren’t always of the highest quality.
After all, quality skincare ingredients often require a lot of research and development.
2. Research and Testing
As we mentioned above, research is crucial when it comes to creating quality skincare products. Medical-grade products are subjected to rigorous and extensive testing and clinical studies. However, over the counter products are not held to such high standards.
In fact, over the counter products do not have to have studies conducted or even years of research backing the formulation. Medical grade skin care products have a wide variety of studies and research to back their quality.
The effectiveness of a product has to do a lot with the delivery method. What exactly do I mean by this? Well, a product can be formulated with all the best ingredients, but without an effective delivery method, the product cannot penetrate the skin. If the product cannot penetrate the skin, then it is ineffective.
Over the counter, skin care products can only penetrate the surface of your skin, which means they can’t address deeper skin problems. However, medical-grade products have advanced delivery methods and technologies that penetrate the deepest level of the skin.
Medical grade skin care products correct your skin concerns at the source. However, over the counter products can only work on the surface layer of your skin.
The Skin Care Products Takeaway
All in all, the main difference between medical grade skincare products and over the counter skincare products has to do with effectiveness and quality. Remember, true skin change happens at a dermal level, not the surface.
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