Medical Grade Skincare Vs Over the Counter

by Shopify API on Jul 06, 2024

Medical Grade Skincare Vs Over the Counter

There is a big difference between Medical Grade Skincare Vs Over the Counter products when it comes to skincare. Medical grade skincare is more effective at treating skin conditions and providing long-term results. OTC products are cheaper, but they often contain harsh chemicals that damage the skin.

Keep reading our article, resTORbio will show you why you need to choose the medical-grade skin care products better over the OTC.

Over-the-Counter Skincare Products

You can find OTC skincare products in most retail and drug stores. They don't require a prescription, and they are less potent than medical-grade.

Over-the-Counter Skincare Products


Accessible easily: Because they are available in many retail and drug stores, over-the-counter products can be easily found. OTC product is easy to access, so you can choose the products that suit your needs without the assistance of a doctor.

Cost-effective: OTC product also has the advantage of being available at various price points. This means that there is something for everyone, and that price shouldn't be a deterrent in skincare.


The concentration of active ingredients is lower: Many average OTC product is not medical-grade and contain water and filler ingredients. OTC skincare product is limited in their active ingredients. Most ingredients only include 10% of active ingredients, while medical-grade products have 99 percent.

There is a greater chance of not getting what you want: It can also be challenging to know if OTC skincare product will achieve the desired results, especially if you have particular concerns. OTC products can make misleading claims on their labels, promising impossible results with such low levels of active ingredients.

Do not sit on the skin's surface: OTC product has a lower potency than medical-grade products. They rarely penetrate the skin's outermost layers and leave active ingredients behind. OTC product is ineffective in treating advanced problems such as brown spots, aging, or acne.

Medical-Grade Skincare Products

Medical-Grade Skincare Products

Medical-grade skin care products contain prescription-strength ingredients and can only be accessed with a prescription from a medical professional. These products require expert knowledge and can only be used by doctors.

You can reap many benefits from using medical skincare products in your skincare routine. Let us break it down for you:


Clinical research backing: Clinical research is used to back medical skincare products. They are scientifically supported and have shown results.

FDA regulates medical-grade products. Each product must be thoroughly researched and tested to ensure safety, efficacy, and effectiveness.

This means that medical skincare products must have scientific evidence to prove effective and do what they promise. OTC product doesn't have this requirement.

FDA stipulates that medical skincare skin care products must contain a 99 percent level of active ingredients. This is significantly higher than what would be found in OTC product.

Take care of your skin type from the inside out: These products were developed using clinical research and expert knowledge.

They are designed to reach the hypodermis, the deepest layer of the skin. This stimulates collagen producing cells live and elastin and helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines, scarring, and brown spots.

You can customize it to suit your skin type concerns: Also, medical skincare products can be customized. A physician and their team of licensed providers will make an expert recommendation about each patient's best active ingredients and strengths. Products can be customized to suit specific skin types and achieve optimal results.


More expensive: Medical-grade products can be more expensive than OTC products because they contain the best ingredients. However, you get what you pay for. Medical-grade products can be more costly upfront, but they are more effective and last longer than OTC product.

Prescription is required: A prescription is required for certain medical-grade skincare products before being bought. This is due to difficulties traveling.

What’s the Difference Between Medical-grade Skincare and Otc Skincare?

It is essential to know exactly what each term means to distinguish between OTC and medical-grade prescription skincare.

What’s the Difference Between Medical-grade Skincare and Otc Skincare

Many people mistakenly believe that medical-grade means prescription. But you might be surprised to find out that you don't always need to get a doctor's order to buy medical-grade products.

OTC (over-the-counter) skincare products are those that can be purchased at your local beauty shop or drugstore without a prescription. OTC cosmetics are not regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

OTC products may also be called medical-grade skincare. OTC products cannot use medical-grade ingredients. However, many of these products are backed up by clinical studies and comply with FDA regulations.

Although many medical-grade products can only be sold through aestheticians and doctors, they do not require a doctor's order and clinical studies.

The FDA has approved prescription skincare products. Licensed physicians can only prescribe these products. These products are backed by rigorous scientific evidence that proves their safety and effectiveness in treating a medical skin condition.

Here are some details about the differences between pharmaceutical-grade and medical-grade skincare products. What is the difference between medical-grade skincare products?

Here are seven things that make medical-grade skincare products unique:

Better Quality Ingredients

Better Quality Ingredients

Pharmaceutical grade or medical grade products must contain at least 99% pure ingredients. These standards do not apply to products purchased in department stores, drugstores, or online. They might contain fillers.

More of Each Ingredient.

You've probably heard about the essential active ingredients that promote healthier skin, such as retinoids and vitamin C. The active ingredients in medical-grade skin care products are higher.

It is possible that there is not enough active ingredient in an OTC cosmetic treatments product to produce an effect. Or it might take longer.

Example: Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is an active ingredient in skin products that aim to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone is also known as a "depigmenting agent". Hydroquinone can be used to treat medical-grade skin conditions in concentrations of up to 5%.

OTC concentrations have been limited to 2% since 1982 when the FDA limit was established.

Rodan + Fields lightening agents contain 2% hydroquinone to comply with the law. While some patients may see excellent results with this low dose, others might not notice any difference if the active ingredient is in higher concentrations than those found in OTC  products. ZO Skin Health has an active ingredient at a concentration of 4%.

Example: Retinoids

Vitamin A derivatives called retinoids have many benefits for the skin. They stimulate collagen production, repair photoaging, treat chemical burn skin from skincare, and unclog pores.

Let's look at the well-known Neocutis Nouvelle plus retinol lotion (which can be purchased on Amazon). This cream contains 0.6% of retinol.

Skinceuticals vs ZO Skin Health's retinol lotion has a 0.5% version with moderate strength, as well as a 1% formula. Similar options are available for medical-grade products like Skinceuticals, which has a high-concentration retinol 1% option.

High Research Standards and Purity and Safety Regulated About by the Fda

Medical-grade skincare products need to have clinical research studies to support claims of their benefits. Over-the-counter skin care products don't need to be supported by clinical research studies.

FDA supervision is given to medical-grade skincare products. The FDA oversees only two categories of products: cosmetic and pharmaceutical. Contrary to popular belief, no FDA law covers cosmeceuticals.

Delivery to Deep Skin Layers.

It all comes down to layers! It doesn't matter if you buy something from a doctor or a store. These agents work only on the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. They can only penetrate the superficial layers of skin and do not penetrate deeper.

The dermis is where pharmaceutical or medical-grade skincare products are designed. The collagen scaffold and collagen-producing cells are found in this area. The deep dermis must be affected to make fundamental skin changes.

Only a Medical Professional Can Prescribe Medical Grade.

The best thing about using medical-grade skincare products is that you will be able to get recommendations from a doctor before you can use them.

After researching the products I wanted to use in my spa, I was able to train you for a long time so that you don't have to guess. You will save money and avoid the stress of constant trial and error.

Medical Grade Not Necessarily Expensive.

Medical Grade: Not Necessarily Expensive.

Companies make many medical-grade skincare products you have never heard of (ZO Skin Health and Skin Better Science, Environ), but many of my clients are well-informed and have done an extensive research to verify this claim. They aren't always more expensive for these three reasons:

Formulated for All, Vs Directed for Specific Needs.

You want skin care products that are tailored to your skin type. You are self-diagnosing if you don't buy your products from a professional. Products must work on all skin types to be considered OTC.

You can achieve the desired results by combining medical-grade products tailored to your skin.

How Do I Know Which Is Right for Me

How Do I Know Which Is Right for Me?

Your needs will determine which products will be most effective for you.

  • Your skin type
  • What skin concerns are you most concerned about?
  • Allergies, sensitivity, or preexisting conditions you might have

OTC products found in your local beauty store are not helping your concerns. A dermatologist or an aesthetician can help you find the right solution for your skin, whether a prescription- or medical-grade product.

Read more some related post:

Medical Grade Skincare vs Over the Counter: Conclusion

There is a big difference between medical-grade skincare and over-the-counter skincare. Medical grade skincare is made with higher quality ingredients and is often more effective than over-the-counter skincare.

Over-the-counter skincare is cheaper, but it usually contains harsh chemicals to damage the skin. There are some fantastic over-the-counter products, but it is essential to make sure that you choose the best one for your specific needs.