There is an overwhelming choice of skincare available to us out there. It can be very confusing for a consumer to know what which of these claims skincare brands make can be supported and how to choose between the different products on offer. Can skincare actually make a difference to your skin, in terms of solving problems and anti-ageing? Is there really a difference in the products available to us, or is it just clever marketing?
Well I’m here to tell you there is a difference and it’s a really big one! The difference is medical grade skincare vs cosmetic skincare, I will explain what the difference is.
Both department stores and drug stores sell a wide range of over the counter products. They smell nice, they feel nice, they deliver a degree of hydration but this, unfortunately, is where their effect ends. For the most part they are affordable but this is not always the case, with some cosmetic brands retailing in department stores at over £600 for a small pot.
A true ‘medical grade’ skincare brand is different. The first difference is that a true medical grade skincare brand can only be dispensed by a medical professional or under the supervision of a medical professional. This would be in a clinical or medi-spa setting.
Although many cosmetic brands claim to be endorsed or developed by a physician, this is not the same as medical grade. The term ‘cosmeceutical’ is bandied around a lot with respect to skincare, but in fact, this has no real meaning in law.
But here’s the crux of it; the cosmetic products you’ll find in stores are created for the masses. They are developed so the most sensitive of skin types will not react to them. So, imagine this, a potential buyer goes into a store, armed with their self-diagnosis. Firstly, their self-diagnosis may be incorrect. Secondly, if they were able to lay their hands on very active products without the right direction they could end up causing more harm then good or having a reaction to the product they purchase.
Cosmetic companies don’t want a hoard of people banging their doors down because they had a reaction. This is why cosmetic products are often, what we call ‘angel dusted’ with active ingredients, such as retinol for instance. If a product can’t tell you how much of a certain ingredient it has in it, think about that for a minute. The reason is because there is probably hardly any of that active ingredient present. So you can’t do much harm with it, but it also doesn’t WON’T give you the desired result.
That’s where medical grade products differ massively. They can only be prescribed for you once you have had a proper in-depth consultation and received a correct diagnosis. Medical grade products contain therapeutic doses, of active ingredients, in a bioavaliable form (i.e. it is active and not just there as a word on the label). All these active ingredients are backed by science. Medical grade skincare packs a punch, so you need to know how to step onto and apply your new regime in the correct way. For products to have an effect they need to have an action on the skin, which can sometimes leave your skin a little pink for instance. This is not a reaction it is simply a controlled action of the product on the skin.
When you buy medical grade skincare, you are not just making a purchase, you are making a decision informed by science to achieve the results you want. You are also gaining a skincare coach, who will be on hand to monitor your regime, answer any questions and support you through your skincare journey.
Another big difference with medical grade skincare is that is has delivery systems within the product that allow the active ingredients to get to where they need to be. This could range from low-molecular-weight molecules that are small enough to penetrate into the deeper levels of the skin. To micro-encapsulation, where the active ingredients are supplied within protective vesicles to allow them to get where they are needed, without reacting with other things on the way. Mico-encapsulations also allows for time released dosing of up to eight hours. This means that rather than all the active ingredient being dumped onto the skin in one go, it is released slowly, prolonging the action, while reducing the chance of a reaction.
Not many of us are blessed with a THE perfect complexion. Medical grade skincare can treat and prevent all kinds of skin problems including acne, pigmentation, rosacea and a whole range of issues associated with ageing such fine lines and wrinkles and skin laxity. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a perfect completion, then maintaining it is the name of the game.
So In summary, medical grade skincare is potent, pure, efficacious and science backed. If you’ve never used it before, it’s unlike any cosmetic brand you will have used before. It can be combined with a programme of in-clinic treatments, such as peels or medical grade facials, that can be tailor-made for you by your skin care professional, to suit your ever changing skin. It’s will also enhance any injectable treatments you may be having such as Botox and fillers, making them look better and last longer. Injectable treatments carried out without good skincare, can deliver an incongruous result. Ultimately, we pursue injectable treatments to help us achieve a more youthful look, so don’t forget about your skin being an integral part of that.
So if you want to upgrade your skincare routine, why not book a consultation with a professional today? We are now offering these online with medical grade skincare that can be delivered directly to your door.
Dr Emma McKay BDS MJDF