Skin Problems: Medical-Grade Skincare Vs Over The Counter Products

Skin problems can be frustrating. Whether you’re suffering from acne, wrinkles, dry skin, premature ageing or rosacea, it’s easy to feel like “nothing works” when it comes to skin products.

But that’s not quite the case. Not all skin products are created equal. Most people buy over the counter skin care products – and it’s easy to see why.

They’re readily available, affordable and there’s plenty to choose from. They do range from “pretty good” to “downright awful”. If you have “normal” skin and good genes, then you might get away with over the counter skincare. This actually says more about your skin’s ability to function well in general, rather than the products you are using.

But if you suffer from skin problems then medical-grade skincare is the way to go.

But why? What’s the difference? And could they really be the answer to your skin problems?

The Truth About Medical Grade Skincare

Let’s discuss the differences between medical-grade skincare and how they can help your skin concerns.

1: The Ingredients

Let’s start with the basics: the ingredients.

Medical skin care products have to adhere to much stricter rules and regulations than their over the counter alternatives. They have to pass stringent tests and their ingredients have to be pure – at least 99%.

This is not the case for over the counter products. While some products are better than others, there are many out there on the high-street that are packed full of fillers, cheap ingredients and sometimes harmful chemicals.

They’re not always good for your skin either. Some common ingredients that you’ll find in that face cream from Amazon include Acetylated Lanolin, Isopropyl Palmitate and Sodium Chloride – all compounds known to cause acne and other skin problems!

If you want to learn more about skincare ingredients to avoid check out my previous blog post here…

Medical skincare products have been carefully formulated, using high-quality and medically approved ingredients, such as hydroquinone (a compound used to lighten skin pigmentation) or retinoids (used to help improve acne, boost collagen production or slow ageing). They’re usually designed with specific skin problems in mind, giving you a much more targeted approach.

2: Quantity

It’s not only the type and quality of the ingredients that are different, but the quantity of the ingredients differ too.

Because medical skincare products are more stringently tested and regulated, they are able to have higher amounts of active ingredients – making them more effective at resolving your skin problems and more likely to give you the clear, smooth skin you desire.

Take retinoids as an example; retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and are a powerful ingredient in the battle against ageing and wrinkles, brightens dull skin and treats acne.

There are different types of Retinol so not all “retinol” creams are the same. The different retinols include retinyl palmitate which is the weakest form, retinol is the most well known and tolerable, retinaldehyde is a stronger form of retinol and then tretinoin which is the strongest and normally prescribed by a medic.

Retinol creams are available over the counter with an average concentration of around 0.5% of retinyl palmitate which is a very different strength to 0.5% of Retinol as Retinaldehyde. You can expect medical skincare products to use the stronger, more potent versions of retinol. These higher concentrations make the products more effective and give you a better chance of resolving your skin problems.

3: Proven Results

While advertising standards prevent companies from making outright false claims, skincare companies can get away with promising a lot without actually having any research or clinical studies to back it up.

Medical skincare however is strictly regulated in the UK and EU. Any claims that medical-grade skincare companies make must be backed by research and the products themselves must have passed safety regulations.

This means that if a medical-grade skincare product claims to prevent acne, it has been clinically proven to prevent acne. If it claims to slow down the ageing process, there must be research to back that up too.

4: Designed To Target Specific Skin Problems

Most over the counter skincare products are designed for the mass market. They’re a “one-size fits all” skincare solution. Sure, some may say they’re for dry/oily/problematic skin, but they still have to please a wide range of skin types, making them too broad-brush for people suffering from specific skin problems.

Medical-grade skincare products are created with specific skin problems in mind. They’re formulated with a scientific approach, aiming to target that skin problem rather than be a “jack of all trades” for the mass market.

This means they are much more likely to be effective in treating your skin problem, be better suited to your skin type and offer you more noticeable results.

5: Professional Advice From A Skincare Specialist

And finally, when you’re buying a skincare product over the counter or online, you’re on your own. Yes, you can do some research and try to find one that best suits your needs, but you can never replace the value of getting professional advice from a skincare specialist.

You can’t buy medical-grade skincare products over the counter – only from a certified professional who is qualified to prescribe them. This means they have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the products and what skin types and skin problems they are best suited to, so they’ll be able to help you and advise you on the best options for your unique skin.

What About The Cost?

Ok, so medical-grade skincare products offer higher quality ingredients, higher concentrations of the active ingredients and proven results.

They’re going to be expensive, right? Wrong.

People are always pleasantly surprised by the affordability of medical-grade skincare products, with many costing the same as some over the counter alternatives.

How come? Well, while medical-grade products do have to spend more on research and development, they tend to spend less on advertising and marketing. Because these products are only available through a certified skincare specialist there’s no need to spend big bucks on billboards or TV ads. They take a different approach and the savings are passed on to you the customer, making medical-grade skincare products an affordable option for anyone suffering from skin problems.

Want To Learn More?

Here at The Body Clinic, we’re dedicated to helping our clients find the best solution for their skin problems, whether that’s medical-grade skincare products or non-surgical treatments for acne, acne scarring, wrinkles and sagging skin or hyperpigmentation.

We’ll listen to your concerns and answer all of your questions. Click here to book a consultation

If you have recently started experiencing skin problem it could be caused by wearing a face covering. Check out our blog to find how to deal with “Maskne”.