In the world of skincare and cosmetics, medical-grade products have been through countless studies to prove they work. The FDA regulates them and comes with a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.
Medical-grade products contain prescription-strength ingredients and can only be purchased with a prescription from a skincare professional. These ingredients are often more effective in reaching the deeper layers of the skin where discoloration, sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles live. The higher concentration of these ingredients may also mean less product is needed for superior results. Medical-grade products are typically more expensive than over-the-counter skincare, but the streamlined approach to your skin health may be well worth it.
These products, known as cosmeceutical skincare, are designed to treat specific conditions and issues like hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, loose skin, and acne. Medical-grade skincare protects your skin from damaging environmental factors and encourages cellular regeneration. Medical-grade skincare can make a dramatic difference in your skin’s appearance, tone, and texture and help reduce the signs of aging. Dermatologists and skincare experts formulate medical-grade products to ensure you receive the most effective ingredients at the correct strength based on scientific research. Medical-grade products can also be tailored to address your specific skin issues and concerns, making them the most powerful option for your skin.
A naturally occurring substance called hyaluronic acid gives the skin suppleness and acts as a cushion and lubricant. Because of its ability to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it’s a significant ingredient in many anti-aging lotions, keeping skin plump and firm.
However, the body’s hyaluronic acid production declines with age, and this is when the signs of aging start to show, such as fine lines around the eyes and mouth. Thankfully, hyaluronic acid is also available in cosmetic products as an over-the-counter topical ingredient.
Often combined with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid offers a powerful skincare duo that brightens over time and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid can be found in various day and night creams, face masks, serums, and cleansers that are best applied morning and evening on clean, dry skin. The hydration is instant, and the results are pretty impressive. This hydrating ingredient is also safe for most people, except those with allergies or sensitivities.
In the world of antioxidant skincare ingredients, ferulic acid is making serious waves.
This phenolic phytochemical can be found in the cell walls of most plants, but in particular in high concentrations in the bran of cereal grains (it’s what gives the fennel spice its flavor). Initially, it was studied for its purported anti-aging properties since it scavenges free radicals and may help slow down their damaging effects at a cellular level.
Ferulic acid is also an antioxidant, which helps protect against sun damage and can help even out skin tone. It functions best when combined with other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, frequently included in ferulic acid-containing products. If you have sensitive skin, be aware that this combination may irritate it; if so, moisturize it for 30 minutes before applying any product with ferulic acid. Remember that ferulic acid can oxidize quickly, so store it properly and use it quickly!
A sugar cane derivative, glycolic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that works to gently and effectively exfoliate the skin by dissolving the bonds of dead skin cells. It also stimulates collagen production and aids the skin to retain hydration.
For skin prone to blemishes, glycolic acid can be a game-changer because it has a more profound penetration rate than physical exfoliants. It exfoliates the skin to eliminate surplus oil and dead skin cells that can cause blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. It also helps to fade discoloration and evens out skin tone.
It’s important to note that while glycolic acid is excellent for retexturing the skin, it can make it more sensitive to sunlight and other environmental factors, so wear sunscreen when using any product with this ingredient. This is especially important if you’re using higher concentrations of glycolic acid found in medical-grade chemical peels or at-home exfoliating products.
Retinol is a powerful skin product that is best used under the guidance of a dermatologist or beauty technician. It is known for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving blemishes, uneven pigmentation, and skin texture. Retinoids thicken the epidermis by promoting cell turnover, which lessens the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.
Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that have over three decades of scientific research behind them. They are proven to be one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients available.
They enhance collagen formation, promote cellular turnover, and condense the stratum corneum’s outer layer. They also help reduce increased pigmentation seen with sunspots and melasma, as well as brighten and even the skin tone for a healthier complexion.
Retinol is a fat-soluble ingredient that penetrates the skin, where it binds to retinol receptors within keratinocytes. Once absorbed, retinol converts to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid, which stimulates the regrowth of epithelial cells in the outer skin layer to help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.