Skin School: Medical Grade Vs. Over-The-Counter Skincare - AN Skin & Beauty

Skin School: Medical Grade Vs. Over-The-Counter Skincare

 Yes, sis. Medical grade skincare costs more. But remember: you pay for what you get! Let's talk about the difference between medical grade (or pharmaceutical grade) and over-the-counter (or OTC) skincare so you understand what I mean.


OTC skincare products do not have oversight by the FDA, which means that thorough product and ingredient testing is NOT required. Over-the-counter drugstore products do not have to be tested, often contain many filler ingredients to keep costs low, consist of lower strengths/percentages of active ingredients, and are formulated for the general population so that everyone (no matter what your skin type) can use them. This is done purposely, as OTC brands, which can sell to any and everyone, cannot risk being held liable for selling products that penetrate deep into the epidermis (top layer of skin) and potentially cause reactions from being made with strong and effective concentrations.

Since OTC skincare is made for the masses and cannot penetrate deep into the skin, the molecule size for the ingredients in these products is very large. The skin is not like a sponge where everything absorbs into it. In fact, the skin is very particular about what can and cannot pass through the skin barrier. Because of this, the molecular size needs to be very small in order to get down into the deep layers of the skin, called the dermis, where collagen, enzymes and other factors stimulate change in the skin, giving you the results you are hoping for. 

The cost is relatively low upfront for OTC products, but long-term, it adds up fast. You’ll notice with OTC products that you tear through them quickly, requiring you to purchase more frequently than you would with medical grade skincare which lasts months at a time.


Medical grade products are manufactured using extensive research and only use pure ingredients, holding them to a much higher standard. Medical grade products are also created by licensed professionals, are tailored to specific skin concerns, and contain much higher percentages of active and clean ingredients.

Why? Medical grade products are designed to create CHANGE in the skin. In order to do this, medical grade products contain higher concentrations of active ingredients not allowed in OTC skincare products. And as I mentioned before, the molecular size of these ingredients are much smaller, penetrating easier (and deeper) into the skin. This also means that, with medical grade products, a little goes a much longer way than when you use OTC skincare.

Medical grade skincare is notorious for being at a higher price point, and this is because you are truly paying for quality, testing, and pure, active ingredients that will bring great results. It's worth the investment if you are serious about improving your skin! I have seen life-changing results from medical grade skincare, and this is why I am so passionate about it. It is also why I have created my own line, because I stand behind pharmaceutical grade ingredients!


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