#SkinSchool: The Medical Grade Difference

March 5, 2020

With an overwhelming number of skincare products available on shelves and online stores, It's almost impossible to tell which product is right for you and truly gives you results as promised on their labels.


There is a big difference between products you see on shelves in grocery stores than the medical grade products we offer from companies like Alumier, Pro-derm or Jane Iredale . If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with great-looking, flawless skin, then this may not pertain to you as much. By keeping your skin clean, hydrated and protected – you’re golden. But, if you’re more like the vast majority of people and want to improve your skin complexion, then your skincare choices are crucial and in the long run, will save you tons of money – and space in your bathroom.


Medical grade is a term that is so loosely tossed. In essence, it signifies  a meaning when it comes to skincare. You may often find yourself asking “Is this really going to make a difference? Or is this just another  marketing scheme?” Quite honestly, the answer can be “yes” for both questions. But let me tell you a secret… you’ll know the difference when you decide where you’re going to buy it.


Department stores and drugstores offer appealing products. They smell nice, they feel nice and are, for the most part, quite affordable. But at the end of the day, they are over the counter products.


A real medical-grade skincare brand is unique. Though marketing claims are threaded through countless drugstore products, the unique classification of medical-grade products is that they are physician dispensed. This means that these products are sold by medical professionals like us, in a clinical setting, or a med spa with a medical director who oversees product recommendations.


Today’s blog will discuss the differences between medical-grade skincare vs department store products, why you should pay extra attention when buying them, and see what they truly are doing to your skin.


It is imperative to speak to someone who knows skin in depth, someone who has dedicated their professional career to looking at all sorts of skin types and conditions, and has a proven track record of positive outcomes. You also want to know that this person can explain what is happening inside your skin and why, as well as discuss the granular details with authority. This person is usually an aesthetician,  cosmetic nurse, GP or, of course, a dermatologist. Now if you consider these professionals, you will also notice that they usually don’t JUST sell medical-grade skincare. They also, like us, perform a wider range of work treating the skin effectively, which includes technologies like lasers, IPL, microneedling and injectables.


We have established that medical grade means they are available from clinics and establishments that operate under the medical direction and licence of a physician. This is not to be confused with a brand that claims to have been developed by a physician or endorsed by physicians – that alone does not in any way make a product medical grade.


A secondary component which differentiates medical grade from over the counter products are the ingredients. This includes the purity, concentration, as elements like pH, and the use of natural minerals. Over the counter products contain lower concentrations and buffers that prevent skin reviving and may potentially irritating and further damage the skin or potentially causing cancer from the harmful chemicals. Medical-grade ingredients usually have a punch. They are potent, pure and efficacious with the highest concentrations of natural active ingredients. This is done with a purpose – to treat very specific skin conditions or concerns, under strict professional direction by one of our specialists or doctors.


Let’s take a closer look at these two types of products. In one hand you’re holding a medical-grade serum which you picked up from us at Zora Skin Care & Wellness Centre and in your other hand, you have a serum you picked up at a drugstore or grocery store. Right off the bat, you can expect that the over the counter product will most likely feel good when applying and bring hydration to the skin but when it comes down to performance, it wont stand a chance. Your product from us or another dermatologist’s office will include real natural active ingredients like pure actives, acids, humectants, peptides and enzymes to name a few. Many active ingredients have structural benefits, or work strictly on or inside the skin, with the ability to penetrate deeply offering a multi-layer approach to treatment.


When considering the cost, you may feel like medical-grade products can add up. However, the brilliance behind medical-grade is that you usually require less product to achieve your desired goal, resulting in having that product for a longer period of time rather than the typical over the counter. When considering the times you have tried to get rid of the imperfections in your skin, and how much each over the counter “solution” cost, I can guarantee that the overall cost would be much greater than purchasing a medical-grade serum from the get-go. PLUS you get your own skincare coach who will dive much deeper into understanding your skin. So, in the long run, medical-grade products are also easier on your wallet.



Always remember....


Medical-grade products will always offer stronger, active ingredients strategically formulated for your skin under the guidance of a professional who knows YOUR skin best.


Medical-grade products focus on correction and prevention. They are physician dispensed and backed by science. No angel dusting or buffers


Also, physician endorsed is not the same thing as medical grade.



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