Skin Care Products: Over-the-Counter vs. Medical Grade

Department stores carry a wide variety of skincare products from popular global brands. These over-the-counter (OTC) products often make bold claims about their potential effects on your appearance, and some of them cost as much or more than prescription-strength skincare products only available from a medical provider. So, what’s the difference between these types of products? Is there an advantage to one over the other?

Over-the-Counter (OTC)
Most consumers purchase skincare products from department stores or drug stores for two reasons:  They are easily accessible across a variety of retail outlets, and OTC manufacturers do an excellent job of advertising their branded products. While some of these products can help fight the aging process, they typically contain petroleum-based fillers, phthalates (a chemical that makes plastic flexible), and parabens (preservatives).

Medical Grade Products
The most effective skincare products on the market are only available from licensed healthcare professionals because they contain higher percentages of the active ingredients necessary to restore your skin (e.g. hyaluronic acid, growth factors, peptides, acids, retinol and antioxidants). These products have been tested and studied to show scientific efficacy, and the providers dispensing medical grade products are highly trained on skin and science.

Aside from convenience, there really aren’t any advantages to purchasing skincare products from department stores or drug stores.  Medical grade products often cost less than popular department store brands and always deliver better results. They have more active ingredients, scientific efficacy and safety in mind. Talk to your provider or schedule a complimentary consultation in our Skin Center to learn more about medical grade skincare.


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