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Not all skin care products are created equal. Medical-grade vs. cosmetic grade skincare.

Updated: Jun 27, 2023




What are Medical Grade Products and why do they matter?


If you’ve ever bought products from a grocery store, pharmacy, Sephora/Ulta, or department store (who hasn’t?), you may be wondering why those products just aren’t making it happen when it comes to seeing the changes you want to in your skin. Have you ever wondered why your medical spa doesn’t sell any of the same brands as any of those stores listed above?


The reason: because there’s a class of products called medical grade skin care products.

What are they?


Let us tell you…


Medical grade skincare products are the purest form of the most quality ingredients at the right strength and combinations backed by clinical research studies.


Sounds good right? It’s because it is.


Let’s jump in and tell you the 5 key differences between medical grade vs. over-the-counter skin care products:


1: Background Check: When they say it, they mean it...


Medical grade products are backed by clinical research studies and safety that is regulated by the FDA. When they make claims about their benefits, they mean them. Did you know that over-the-counter skin care products are not required to have clinical studies or research to make a claim about how the product will work on your skin?


Maybe you already knew that…but maybe you didn’t.


Some mainstream brands may tout their Vitamin C or retinol as an incredible skin-transforming product, but even if there are trace amounts of active ingredients, it’s usually likely that they’re paired with synthetic additives or fragrances, which are false claims medical-grade brands don’t stand behind.


Over-the-counter products cannot state that they treat a condition unless they have clinical studies and research, which is a truth for all medical grade product brands.


2: Quality Ingredients


Medical grade products contain better quality ingredients. They are required to contain the purest form of their medical ingredients– ingredients that are 99% pure.


Products that are purchased at Sephora, grocery stores, or online are not held to the same standards.


3: Greater Potency


When we talk about quality, it’s also important to talk about potency. Medical-grade products are made with higher concentrations of active ingredients. This helps the product be a more quality product.


The active ingredient in an over-the-counter product may not be enough to have an effect, or it may take much longer to get a result.


Usually, because of the potency of the ingredients in medical-grade products, you will see visible results in a much shorter time frame vs. the use of an over-the-counter product.


4: Depper Delivery


Our skin is made of layers. Medical grade skin care products are formulated to be delivered deeper into the dermis than many over-the-counter brands. Over-the-counter brands may benefit the outermost layer of your skin, but chances are good that’s as far as it’ll get.


We often talk about “boosting collagen”. Believe it or not, it’s not just something we say because it sounds nice.


The reason most medical grade brands can effectively make this claim is that they penetrate through the outermost layers of the skin, into the dermis where the collagen-producing cells live– in other words, where the “magic” happens. If you’re looking for real change from a product, medical-grade products are an excellent choice because they can deliver in this way…deep into the dermis.


5: Backed by Science


All of our formulas at Nude are:

  • Built on layered systems of the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade ingredients

  • Formulated with ingredients proven in peer reviewed medical literature

  • Contain optimal concentrations of purified actives with final formulations published in medical literature

  • Paired with proprietary, effective delivery systems

  • Utilize the lowest preservative levels

Is a prescription required for medical-grade products?


The short answer is no– medical-grade skincare products do not require a prescription.


We hope this information is helpful for the next time you set out on the hunt for the best skin care products for your skin. Don’t forget about your trusted skin care professional, and if you don’t have one– this is your sign to book a quick skin care consultation right now.

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