That being said, when it comes to choosing the best products, there is a constant question looming over everyone’s head: what is better, over the counter skincare or medical-grade skincare? Dr. Ostad can answer the most important questions in this blog while offering some convenient suggestions.

What Makes a Skincare Product Medical-Grade?

The term “medical-grade” in skincare refers to products that are formulated with higher concentrations of active ingredients and are often designed to address specific skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or anti-aging with potent ingredients. Medical-grade skincare also delivers quicker and more noticeable results because they penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. Medical-grade skincare products go through extensive testing and scientific research to make sure the ingredients can help treat the concerns you have. 

However, over the counter skincare products have a lower concentration of active ingredients and are designed to work on the majority of the population. Over the counter products sit at the top of the skin and do not go through the same tests as medical-grade skincare products. 

Differences Between Product Categories

Certain factors differentiate medical-grade products from over-the-counter ones. Here are the most important:

1. Ingredients

The most significant difference between the two categories is the types of ingredients they use. Medical-grade skincare such as the Retinoid Eye+ should have ingredients that are 99 percent pure active ingredients. This ensures that the product will help treat the concerns you have without irritating your skin. Over-the-counter skincare are not held to the same standards and  often have more chemicals and preservatives, which does not provide the same results. 

2. Research Standard

Medical-grade skincare is grounded in scientific research and clinical trials. With a focus on evidence-based formulations, these products undergo rigorous testing to prove their efficacy. This is different from over-the-counter types, which do not need such approval. This makes medical-grade products the safer alternative with reduced potential for side effects.

3. Availability

A very important aspect of medical-grade skincare is that you are not alone in the process. When you choose medical-grade skincare, Dr. Ariel Ostad is able to work together with you to create a skincare regimen to treat your concerns and help guide you through the process. When using over the counter skincare, you’re stuck trying to figure out what works best for your skin and what can treat the concerns you have. 

4. Formulation

Unlike over-the-counter skincare products, the medical-grade type is better formulated, with more effective ingredients that can reach deeper into the skin. It is one of the main reasons why these products cannot be purchased from a shelf but from a medical provider. 

For the formula to obtain a medical stamp of approval, it needs to show it can reduce a certain imperfection. Products such as the Clarifying Daily Pads or the hyperpigmentation regimen set have such approval, their formulas aiming to go deeper beneath the surface to address hyperpigmentation and improve skin texture.

5. Customization

Over-the-counter products are meant to be used by the masses and are not tailored for specific skin conditions. They might be able to make your skin slightly better for the moment, but they don’t usually succeed in curing the underlying cause. However, medical-grade products are designed for specific skin types. For instance, Dr. Ostad’s Rosacea/Redness Regimen Set is mostly appropriate for individuals with suffer with rosacea and experience facial redness, offering long-lasting results. 

The Bottom Line

Both over-the-counter and medical-grade skincare products have their benefits. The former works best when you are looking for a quick fix, but if you want actual treatment, the latter should be your choice. Contact Dr. Ostad for an appointment and get your medical-grade skincare today!

For more information about skincare products, you can contact Dr. Ariel Ostad at 212-517-7900. He can book an appointment for you at his practice on Lexington Avenue, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Alternatively, you can use the provided online contact form and we will get in touch with you as shortly as possible.

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