But really, what is ‘medical grade’ skin care? | well+well


WWhen shopping for skin care and makeup, it’s easy to browse the collections at a local department store or drug store, which tend to have a good variety of skin care and beauty products. However, there is one thing they lack. It’s more difficult to buy brands that offer medical-grade skin care, access to which is limited and not readily available at popular beauty stores, such as Sephora Y ultra.

You’re more likely to find medical-grade skin care options when you’re at your doctor’s office or a medspa, both of which tend to offer medical-grade products and can offer recommendations for choosing a safe, high-quality product.

Also, “medical grade” can represent a lot of things in terms of what the product is supposed to treat, and it can be tricky to navigate all the different types of medical grade skincare to choose from. To simplify the process a bit, here’s everything you need to know about it and how to incorporate it into your skincare routine, if needed.

What is medical grade skin care?

For starters, there are products labeled “medical grade” for just about every skin-related problem, so there’s no vacuum in what these products are supposed to treat. Unfortunately, the price is much higher, and there is not yet enough research and data to support the benefits associated with medical-grade skin care.

“Claims for these products focus on potential studies and the quality of ingredients used, however, there is no uniform definition of this claim across brands,” says the board-certified dermatologist. Erum N. Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAADand CEO and Founder of ambernoon.

Who Should Use Medical Grade Skincare?

“This is difficult to answer, as there may be a place for these products in a skincare routine in specific circumstances, but the average person with a routine skincare regimen without specific skin concerns may not. need to use a medical grade skin care. ” says Dr. Ilyas.

That said, there are some skincare challenges and conditions, such as hyperpigmentation, which can occur due to a number of sources including hormones, sun damage, and inflammation, among others, that can benefit from better absorption and increased absorption. quality of ingredients.

Those who suffer from hyperpigmentation may want to try medical-grade skin care, as recommended by their doctor, to see if there is a difference and improvement in skin health and tone. There are very few options for treating pigmentation problems, and it’s hard to know which method is best.

“Hydroquinone and some combination products of hydroquinone with tretinoin and other ingredients are available by prescription and can address the immediate need to lighten pigmentation; however, hydroquinone-containing products in particular cannot be used long-term, so this is where other ingredients, such as vitamin C, glycolic acid, ferulic acid, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, etc., they can have a significant benefit,” says Dr. Ilyas.

However, the availability of some of these ingredients in generic skin care and makeup brands is limited, so you cannot guarantee that you will get the specific ingredients and in the correct volumes with common non-medical grade brands. “This is where medical-grade skin care can be really beneficial in addressing these everyday challenges more effectively,” says Dr. Ilyas.

It is worth incorporating medical grade skin care brands into your skin care routine to see if there is a noticeable difference and any benefit to use, as effects vary by individual.

Common Ingredients Found in Medical Grade Skin Care

Common ingredients found in medical grade skincare include vitamin C, Glycolic Acidferulic acid, kojic acidand tranexamic acid, among others. Vitamin E is another major player in medical grade skin care brands. “Many worthy topical vitamin C-containing serums will often be combined with ferulic acid and vitamin E because the combination can actually increase the effectiveness of vitamin C eightfold,” says Dr. Ilyas.

Vitamin C products usually come in a dark bottle as if the vitamin C is exposed to light it can quickly deactivate inside the bottle and unfortunately means the product is useless when it reaches the skin.

You will also commonly find AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids in medical grade skin care. According to Dr. Ilyas, they may have the potential to increase potency and absorption, as well as improve exfoliation. resveratrol is another common ingredient in medical-grade skincare brands.

“Resveratrol is a unique botanical antioxidant in that it has been shown to directly scavenge damaging free radicals and also upregulate our cells to produce more natural antioxidants,” says Dr. Ilyas. In addition, “resveratrol is considered a phytoestrogen, meaning it can provide the anti-aging skin benefits of estrogen, but without the other risks that estrogen can carry.”

Another common active ingredient in medical grade skin care is retinol. The percentage of retinol in medical-grade skincare is higher than over-the-counter products, but it is also lower than the percentage found in prescription retinol products.

“Retinol is a great ingredient to have in your skincare routine, as it is, but you may need an even higher percentage to meet your skin’s needs than you can find in medical-grade products,” He says Dr. Jeannette Graf, a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mt Sinai College of Medicine. “This can be used for fine lines, dark spots, and acne,” says Dr. Graf, making it a great anti-aging ingredient as well.

Lactic acid is another ingredient found in most medical grade skin care products. “While OTC lactic acid is designed at a lower percentage for people with sensitive skin and is available to the general public, medical-grade lactic acid can better exfoliate and hydrate skin, as well as even out skin tone. the skin. ” says Dr. Graf.

Best Medical Grade Skincare Brands

“The medical-grade skincare brand that I tend to prefer is Skinceuticals as its product line offers clear and distinct benefits for the specific challenges our patients tend to face, and is a well-informed brand in that each product offers a unique advantage over other brands that are prescription or over-the-counter ”, says Dr. Ilias.

Chat with your doctor to discuss the best treatments; but nevertheless, Skinceuticals is a good brand you can trust, especially when transitioning to a skincare regimen that incorporates medical-grade skincare and beauty products.

Dr. Graf names a few others, including SkinMedica, Sente, Revision, Alastin, SkinBetter, and Defenage. “These medical-grade skincare brands use proprietary technology that can address specific skin concerns as well as give skin a healthy glow, and these scientifically studied skincare brands are well-researched and they are effective,” says Dr. Graf.

The benefits of medical grade skin care

The benefits of medical grade skin care are specific to the individual and their respective skin care challenges. This is where the volume of products available makes it hard to tell if a brand as a whole is reasonable to use, or if only specific products within the line are of the highest quality and offer the most benefits.

“For example, it’s hard for me to understand the benefit of a medical-grade cleanser over a regular facial cleanser; however, a medical-grade cleanser with AHA for someone who can’t seem to tolerate retnols or other AHA products such as leave-on products can really benefit,” says Dr. Ilyas.

“This niche of patients is looking for some benefits of AHAs, without leaving them on the skin,” continues Dr. Ilyas. However, most people do not have this problem and need a medical-grade skincare or cleanser with AHAs.

Benefits vary by individual, so some may benefit more than others. And in terms of timing, you can expect the onset of benefits to also vary in terms of better absorption of certain ingredients over others, potentially leading to faster and more noticeable results. “However, this is more likely to be seen with products that have specific goals, such as hyperpigmentation or hydration,” says Dr. Ilyas.

Where to buy medical grade skin care products

You can usually find medical-grade products at your doctor’s office, at a medspas, or online through specific sites. They are not usually sold in drugstores or beauty supply stores, so you need to do a little more research.

“They don’t need to be prescribed by a doctor, however, it can be helpful to discuss the role a product can play in your skincare routine in achieving the results you’re looking for,” says Dr. Ilyas. His doctor can help guide you through the process, and it’s wise to check with them before using any type of medicinal product on your skin, in general.

And considering the price, it would be disappointing to spend a lot of money on a product that may end up not offering any added benefits for your overall skin care goals and treating any underlying skin conditions you may have.

Tips for Using Medical-Grade Skin Care Products Safely and Effectively

You should check with your doctor before using medical-grade skincare, as people who don’t need it may experience skin irritation and other challenges. “The potency can be too high for some skin types, leading to tolerance issues,” says Dr. Ilyas. Additionally, it can be difficult to navigate the wide range of options available and ensure that you too are finding the right product for your skin and needs.

Dr. Ilyas advises gradually moving to medical-grade skincare, so your skin has time to adjust. The best way to protect your skin from irritation is to start by applying any new medical-grade skin care product to your skin every other day, or even every third day, first. He will then progress until he can safely apply the products every night, where it is well tolerated and he begins to see some benefit.

“In terms of the amount of product to use, consider a pea-sized amount of product, which will adequately cover an area the size of your palm, once it is evenly distributed over the skin,” says Dr. Ilyas. The dip, dot, and smear method of applying products can help with overnight distribution.

Watch the video of a skincare routine from a board-certified dermatologist:

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