& How the FDA Comes Into Play

Medical-grade skincare has a reputation of being higher-quality than drugstore skincare products. However, their higher costs can leave people hesitant to make the purchase and curious about whether or not these products are really worth the price and all of the hype.

So what is it about these product formulations that make them a better alternative to other skincare brands? What role does the FDA play in producing these solutions, and what does the term “medical-grade” even mean?

Dr. Simran Sethi is an Internal Medicine doctor and the Founder and Medical Director of RenewMD medical spas in California. She applies her knowledge of high-end skincare and medical-grade products to treat and refine her patient’s skin. On The Skin Report podcast, Dr. Sethi shares all about the relevant information surrounding medical-grade skincare.

What Does “Medical-Grade” Mean, Anyway?

Medical-grade skincare is different from the brands you see lining the shelves of your typical drugstore, but what does medical grade really signify?

Well, medical grade products are able to reach the deepest layer of the skin, the dermis, where medical-essential skin proteins such as collagen and elastin are produced. This means they can deliver the ingredients further within the skin to nurture it from the inside out.

The Difference in “Medical-Grade”

Medical-grade skincare is generally more potent and contains higher-quality ingredients. In addition, the ingredients used in these products are more stabilized than over-the-counter brands, which last longer and take longer to degrade.

Let’s look at Vitamin C, for example. This is a widely available ingredient, but it is more potent at the medical grade level due to the higher concentration. This is also because medical-grade product formulations go through more rigorous clinical studies.

Over-the-counter (OTC) brands commonly found in drugstores are not subject to trials or undergo the testing standards that medical-grade products do. This means that how over-the-counter brands label their merchandise is not regulated for products other than SPF.

Medical-Grade and the FDA

The FDA plays a vital role in the production of medical skin care available in the United States. Medical grade brands must go through a process with the FDA to ensure that their skincare products’ ingredients and manufacturing processes are regulated.

While skincare products aren’t directly regulated, the FDA mandates that products marketed in the US are manufactured in factories under hygiene guidelines and contain what they state on their packaging. In addition, the FDA will randomly test products produced by manufacturing facilities to ensure their potency and hygiene.

The FDA regulates ingredients, oversees complaints about certain products, and has the authority to pull unsafe items, to provide well-established standards for the safety of medical-grade skincare.

Is Medical-Grade Worth the Extra Pay?

As a medical professional with years of skincare experience, Dr. Sethi believes that when it comes to skincare products, medical-grade is worth the extra hype.

Skin is our body’s exterior defense against environmental factors and is subject to damage. To keep it serving its purpose as an effective barrier, you must continually repair it with nurturing ingredients. Doing so will also keep your skin looking its best.

Skincare ingredients that reach the dermis are ideal for supporting the skin repair and protection process. Therefore, investing in medical-grade skin care can leave you with healthier, smoother skin no matter when you start incorporating these practices. While the earlier you begin, the healthier and stronger your skin will be, starting the process at any age will provide significant benefits to the health of your skin.

Finally, the medical grade skincare process with the FDA ensures that these formulations contain approved and tested ingredients. The tested and proven safety standards of medical-grade skincare can help you care for your skin with the highest quality active ingredients to keep it feeling healthy and beautiful.

To learn more about medical-grade products, tune into Season 1, Episode 12 of The Skin Report Podcast, and follow the series for more information about science-backed skincare!