What is Medical Grade Skincare?
Medical grade skincare is a term used to differentiate between skincare products that are clinically proven to improve skin conditions and concerns and the non-medical grade products that simply feel and smell good.
The major difference between these lies in the name. Medical grade skincare is, in fact, medical grade. Medical grade skincare contains prescription grade ingredients and therefore is only available for purchase at licensed facilities that are overseen by a medical director.
The medical grade skincare offered at GraceMed medical spa clinics across the GTA, are designed to assist in the treatment of skin concerns such as: acne, melasma, rosacea, or something as simple as anti-aging.
Medical-Grade vs. Over the Counter
There are a few key differences to consider when comparing medical grade skincare versus over-the-counter products.
Medical grade skincare used to only be sold in limited doctor’s offices. With the popularity of the internet, however, accessibility of medical grade skincare has dramatically increased.
Medical grade skincare companies use high-quality, prescription-grade ingredients that are highly stabilized, so the product lasts longer and takes longer to degrade. Not only does higher stabilization increase the shelf-life of the product, but it also improves the function of the product and enhances the delivery of the product into deeper layers of the skin.
Another consideration is that over-the-counter products are regulated differently by the FDA and Health Canada and cannot penetrate the top layer of the skin. Over-the-Counter products are also regulated in that they cannot make any medical claims and cannot state that they ‘treat’ skin conditions.
Medical grade skincare is clinically proven and tested by medical professionals and therefore can make claims backed by their research about their products. Medical grade skincare can also penetrate deeper into the dermis.
Over-the-counter products are not held to the same standards of research and ensuring efficacy of their products, and therefore often contain filler ingredients that are not beneficial or proven to assist in improving skin concerns and conditions.
Does Medical Grade Skincare Work Better?
Medical grade skincare is clinically proven to provide results when treating various skin conditions. Because medical grade products can penetrate deeper into the dermis, and contain higher concentrations of premium ingredients, people often notice improvements in their complexions sooner than in comparison to when using over-the-counter products.
It is important if you are considering medical grade skincare products that you consult with a dermatologist or a medical professional as because the potency of ingredients in medical grade skincare is much stronger, certain skin conditions may be irritated. You should discuss with your medical professional the skin conditions and concerns you are trying to treat and seek their advice as to which products will help you achieve the results you are looking for.
GraceMed clinics in the GTA offer complimentary skin analysis consultations, where you can meet one-on-one with a medical aesthetician to develop a customized medical grade skincare routine for your skin’s needs.
Is Medical Grade Skincare Expensive?
There is a misconception that medical-grade skincare is expensive, but the reality is that investing in higher quality skincare will likely save you money in the long run. Although the initial cost of medical grade skincare may be more upfront, using medical grade products that are tailored uniquely to your concerns means you’re more likely to visibly see the results you’ve been seeking.
Additionally, because medical grade products are higher concentrated with active ingredients, you require less of each product to get results. Furthermore, clinics such as GraceMed in the GTA offer patients who use their medical grade skincare complimentary VISIA® skin analysis, so patients can track their complexion’s improvements.
VISIA® Skin Analysis
What is VISIA® skin analysis
A VISIA® is a state-of-the-art complexion analysis system, that is used to evaluate the health of a patient’s skin and to diagnose what his or her individual skin needs are. VISIA® uses advanced technology to classify skin type, identify issues such as hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and wrinkles, and much more. Using this data, a patient can be given optimal skin care and treatment recommendations, and the subsequent changes to the complexion can be tracked over time with the highly refined imaging process.
The VISIA® is an amazing tool that GraceMed offers their skincare patients to help manage their skincare journey. Patients who are new to the clinic, and who are interested in starting a customized skincare routine, have a VISIA® skin analysis performed with a medical skincare specialist to determine their unique skincare needs and to establish a basepoint for future VISIA® skin analysis. Once the medical specialist reviews the VISIA® results with the patient, they develop a tailored medical grade skincare routine for the patient to follow at home.
Depending on the patient’s unique skin concerns and goals, the medical aesthetician will typically recommend a routine that will include many of the following skincare items: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, treatment serums, retinol products, eye cream, and sunscreen.
How does VISIA® skin analysis work
During your VISIA® skin analysis and complimentary consultation at a GraceMed clinic, your medical aesthetician will review each individual step in your customized skincare routine, and why each individual product selected will help you achieve your skincare goals.
Furthermore, your medical aesthetician consultant will provide you with a chart that outlines both your morning and nighttime skincare routine and the order in which to apply each product and how much of each product. This checklist is very helpful when starting your new skincare routine and are new to the products.
Once your medical grade skincare routine has been established, you will be invited back routinely to have follow up VISIA® skin analyses performed. Your updated VISIA® skin analysis will be compared side by side to your previous VISIA® skin analysis. This is incredibly helpful for you to see improvements in your complexion and may be an opportunity to discuss the changes you’re noticing with your medical skincare specialist.
Depending on how your skin is progressing, your medical aesthetician may introduce stronger medical grade skincare products into your routine or alter how much of a certain product you’re using. Having the follow up appointments with the medical aesthetician who specializes in these products is hugely beneficial because it allows you to make any necessary changes throughout your skincare journey. This will ultimately help you achieve your skincare goals sooner.
In comparison to over-the-counter products where a sales associate may make initial recommendations and establish a skincare routine with products from a variety of different lines, GraceMed offers consistent support for their patients using medical grade skincare.
The initial investment of medical grade skincare may be slightly more costly in the beginning, but the customized support that is provided by clinic’s such as GraceMed is hugely beneficial to you and can greatly improve the success of your skincare goals.
Is There Any Downside to Using Medical Grade Skincare?
When beginning your medical grade skincare routine, it’s important to keep in mind that the potency of these products is much stronger than over-the-counter products. This is because the medical grade skincare products contain more active ingredients and may have higher doses of these ingredients. Therefore, your skin will need to adjust to the strength of these products.
When you begin a medical grade skincare regimen, your skin may initially be sensitive and may purge. Skin purging means that the build-up of dirt and oils are coming to the surface (typically in the form of pimples) because the medical grade skincare is encouraging new skin cells to come to the surface.
During this time, your skin’s health is improving! Although it may look on the surface to be worsening for a very short period, it’s important to remember that this is proof that your new skincare routine is working.
You may be tempted to stop your new skincare routine, but it’s vital for the long-term success of your skin that you continue your new medical grade skincare regimen. One skin cycle (the length of time it takes new skin cells to form and come to the surface) is 28 days. You can expect that for the duration of one full skin cycle (28 days) when beginning your medical grade skincare routine, you may experience skin purging or skin textural changes. Once your skin has acclimatized to your new routine, your complexion will start to dramatically improve with continued use of your medical grade skincare products.
Who should use Medical Grade Skincare?
People with Dermatological Skin Conditions
Anyone can benefit from investing in medical grade skincare to maintain and improve their skin’s health. However, people who have dermatological concerns such as acne, rosacea, and sun damage may find medical grade skincare particularly beneficial.
Medical grade skincare can help treat skin concerns to address current flare-ups and prevent your skin condition from worsening. Medical grade skincare can be an alternative for people who may be considering oral prescriptions to treat their skin concerns.
People Seeking Anti-Aging Solutions
In addition to treating dermatological concerns, medical grade skincare is hugely beneficial for people who are interested in anti-aging treatments. Investing in medical grade skincare will improve the function of your skin and its overall health.
Unhealthy skin is lacklustre, and dull and may even start to lose its firmness and tautness. In comparison, healthy skin is radiant and even glows! Healthy skin is firm and hydrated, which helps provide a more youthful appearance.
Using medical grade skincare that is tailored for your unique skincare needs will help you achieve a healthier complexion. You can meet with a medical aesthetician to access your skin and create a customized treatment plan for your skin. We recommend visiting GraceMed, as our multiple clinics offer amazing skin treatments using state-of-the-art technology that will compliment your new skincare routine!
Enhances Your Skincare Treatment Results
Using medical grade skincare improves your skin’s ability to tolerate more invasive or aggressive treatments. If you have healthy skin, your skin will be better equipped to undergo skin treatments such as: chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and even injectables.
In the aesthetics industry, medical professionals will typically recommend to patients who are interested in more aggressive treatments to “pre-treat” their skin. Pre-treating your skin means using medical grade skincare products for a period before your in-clinic treatment occurs.
Pre-treating is often recommended to improve your skin’s health so that your in-clinic treatment yields more successful results.
Pre-treating is also essential as healthier skin will have a shortened healing time post-treatment. This is because the skin’s cells are in an established turn over routine, and new skin cells are already coming to the surface faster in comparison to people not using medical grade skincare. Investing in medical grade skincare will also help enhance the longevity of the results you achieve with in-clinic skincare treatments.
What You Should Know Before Starting Medical Grade Skincare
Long Term Financial Investment
It’s important to consider the financial investment you are making in your new products. You will need to continue to repurchase and replenish the products as you run out. You should consider that this will be a longer-term investment, albeit one that will greatly improve the quality of your skin and improve your skin’s overall function and health.
There are many ways to help increase the longevity of your new skincare products. Firstly, you should always store your skincare products as advised on the label of the product. Many skincare products state which temperatures they are safe to be stored in, you should be sure to store the products in an appropriate temperature to keep the ingredients stable.
Secondly, follow the directed dose of the product that is recommended. It may be tempting to slather your skin in your new products but remember less is more! Medical grade skincare is stronger; therefore, you can use much less than over-the-counter products and achieve amazing results. Using the product as advertised will help your product last you longer.
Plan for Special Occasions
If you’re looking to improve the appearance your skin for an upcoming special event or occasion it’s important to remember that results will not be immediate.
Ideally you should begin your medical grade skincare routine months in advance to the special occasion. This is because your skin will need to adjust to the new routine and may go through the skin purging phase.
You will want plenty of time, and multiple skin cycles, to allow your skin to look and feel its best with the new products. Remember each skin cycle is 28 days! It takes time for your skin to begin to improve and for these improvements to be noticeable on the skin’s surface.