Skin Care Products – OTC vs. Medical Grade

Published on October 23, 2015

The Skin Care Debate: Are Medical Grade Skin Care Products Worth the Additional Cost?

Skincare is the least invasive way to change your skin, and can be highly effective. In order to achieve optimal results, the patient needs to understand the difference between Over The Counter (OTC) skin care and pharmaceutical or medical grade skin care.

Over-The-Counter products can be purchased without a prescription and are available at department and drug stores nationwide.  OTC’s don’t contain the same amount of active ingredients as pharmaceuticals, and are not nearly as potent. They are also not regulated by the FDA, and the manufacturers can make certain claims to efficacy without the necessary testing that is required for pharmaceutical grade products.

Medical grade skin care is only available through a licensed Physician. It contains a higher concentration of active ingredients than any product you can potentially buy over-the counter in a drug store. These active ingredients can physically change your skin by reducing wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, acne scars while also repairing and rehydrating the skin.


The major difference between these two forms of skin care is not just active ingredients and concentration, but also the level of penetration into the skin that the product can achieve. OTC products cannot penetrate past the dead tissue layer on the surface of the skin. 

Medical grade skin care products have the ability to penetrate the epidermis, or top layer of skin, to the dermis or lower layer of skin. The dermis is the skin layer where collagen, elastin and pigmentation reside, as well as where our new skin cells are produced and this is where you will see the visible results of utilizing medical grade products. Since the loss of collagen and elastin in the dermis is what ages us, we need to use pharmaceutical grade products that can penetrate to that level.

At FACEOLOGYMD®, we carry a variety of the latest and proven skin care lines including: IS Clinical, EltaMD, SkinMedica, and NuGene. Please consult with our in-house dermatology specialist to see which products are best for your skin.

Dr. Raymond Lee is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon with expertise in facial rejuvenation under local anesthesia. He has been practicing in Orange County for the past 9 years and has performed nearly 4000 facial rejuvenation procedures under light anesthesia.

In his prior practice, his patient satisfaction scores ranked him #1 in the nation. Dr. Lee wants you to “Experience Beauty, the most natural way”. Dr. Lee’s does not believe in the old traditional facelift. Over the course of his career he has mastered the art and science of facial rejuvenation with natural results, minimal sedation, and easy recovery. His signature “FACEology LIFT” is the embodiment of all these elements and is what he is widely sought out for.


Newport Beach  PH. 949 706 2277

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