Medical grade skincare vs. Over the counter

Registered Dental & Medical Aesthetics practitioner Ana Sakinyte explains the difference between medical grade and over the counter skincare.

When looking for an effective skincare product or routine, it is hard to know where to start. There are so many different brands, skin types or conditions, it can be overwhelming. With the variety of products on the market, how can you discover the right ones for you?

The medical grade skincare process takes you through a consultation with a licensed skincare specialist who will diagnose your skin type and condition. They will discover what your real concerns are, and help you understand how to target these areas with the correct formulas and products. When purchasing over the counter, the customer tends to self-diagnose, whereas a medical professional can examine your skin correctly.

Typically, the problems targeted with medical grade skincare tend to be acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Being under the care of a licensed professional gives the advantage of checking in to see how the products are working for your skin and if anything needs to be adapted along the way. A licensed professional has undergone specific, in-depth training to be able to prescribe these products and they will help manage your expectations with products they recommend, whereas someone who you purchase from over the counter may just be needing the sale, and not fully understand what your concerns and needs are.

The biggest difference between over the counter and a medical grade level, is that products you can purchase over the counter are produced to work on most of the population and sit on the skins surface, meaning although it may have a nice scent, it is not particularly targeting your areas of concern as they do not absorb as well. Medical grade products, however, penetrate deeper into the subcutaneous layer of the skin, the dermis, so they are working from the inside out. This will provide longer lasting results.

Due to medical grade products having more potency and purity than the products you can purchase over the counter they contain a higher concentration of the active ingredient within the product. For example, if you have dry/dehydrated skin and looking for a more hydrated, youthful glow, the product which you use may contain hyaluronic acid but at a higher concentration, meaning you will achieve the desired result much faster, and it will last longer.

You should wear your skin with pride and the products you apply are an investment. Although medical grade products may seem slightly more expensive, a little goes a long way. It is worth spending time to make sure you have the correct products for your skin type and condition.

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