Medical Grade Skincare vs. Mainstream Skincare Products

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According to theAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent over $16 billion on cosmetic procedures, including expensive skin care treatments like injectables and laser technology. It’s clear Americans want to take care of their skin’s appearance, but treatments and procedures performed in a dermatologist’s office are only part of a complete skin care plan. If you’re not caring for your skin before and after your cosmetic procedures, you may see your results dwindle and disappear.

For the best and longest-lasting results, your cosmetic skin care treatments should always be followed up by using medical-grade skincare products. What many patients don’t know, as well, is that using non-medical grade skincare products after your treatments can actually stunt or slow the progress of your skincare.

In this article, we’ll explain what medical-grade skincare is and how to use it to promote longer-lasting sustainable results after your skincare procedures.

What Is Medical Grade Skincare?

Medical grade skincare is skincare that has been developed specifically to combat medical skin conditions. For instance, some products may be formulated to provide deep moisturizing for those who struggle with extremely dry skin. Other products might offer relief from the inflammation associated with acne or rosacea. Various pharmaceutical-grade products have been designed to tackle specific skin conditions. As such, these products come with a higher concentration of active ingredients. Medical grade skincare products have also been tested  and studies to meet medical grade standards, which means they have been proven in a lab to be effective in treating the condition they have been developed for. These products will give you the best long-term results, improving your skin’s appearance with medicinal ingredients.Pharmaceutical-grade products for your skin are less accessible than mainstream skincare. Often, you will have to purchase them from your dermatologist, although they are becoming increasingly available on the internet. Even so, you will only find these products from authorized sellers.It is crucial to incorporate medical-grade skincare into your routine after any skincare treatment or procedure. Using tested products with higher concentrations of active ingredients will help you to maintain the appearance your procedures achieved. Your provider will recommend post-treatment skincare that is medical grade to help supplement the results of your procedure as well.In short, there is a reason why your skincare professional will recommend medical-grade skincare after you’ve undergone a Botox and fillers or a facial, or any other cosmetic procedure. They work better than anything you can purchase over the counter.

Choosing Medical Grade Skincare Products

Shopping for medical grade skincare is not as easy as it is to shop for your regular drugstore skincare products. First, you have to find a seller which can be a challenge. Only authorized sellers can offer medical grade skincare, which often means you have to purchase your skincare from a doctor’s office or Med Spa like Refine Aesthetics. It can also be challenging to choose the right quality skincare for you and to understand which ingredients to look for.  With that in mind, let’s go over some of the most common ingredients in medical-grade skincare and what benefits these ingredients will offer your skin’s appearance.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid acts as a micro-peel, revealing fresh, new layers of skin. After using medical-grade products with this ingredient, your skin will appear smoother, fine lines will be diminished, and your skin will be soft to the touch. Glycolic acid is one way to improve skin texture.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid acts like a moisture magnet. It pulls hydration into your skin and holds it there. It’s a profoundly transformative ingredient for those suffering from extremely dry skin. Additionally, this amazing ingredient can also help to promote healing and increased your skin’s flexibility.

Chemical Peel Kits

Take-home chemical peel sets will help you to remove the top layer of skin, revealing new, more youthful-looking layers underneath. Chemical peels can smooth out fine lines, reduce the appearance of pigment, wrinkles and diminish the visibility of scars. 

Derma Rollers

Derma rollers are handheld tools with tiny needles on a roller wheel. When used on the skin’s surface, they create tiny, superficial punctures that trigger a healing process to begin. This process can help to heal scarring, cause the skin to become firmer, and reduce the appearance of many signs of aging.  

Post-Injectable Homecare Kits

Post-injectable homecare kits are exactly what they sound like. After you’ve had your injectables done at your dermatology doctor’s office, these kits are essential for caring for your post-procedure skin. They ensure you’ll see the best results possible from your treatments while protecting and caring for your skin. They often contain two or three essential medical grade skin care products developed to enhance the results of your procedure. 

Medical Grade Face & Skin Applicants

Skin applicants come in a wide variety, even when you’re just looking for medical grade products. They can offer many different benefits for your skin, from moisturizing and peels to sunblock and adding elasticity. 

Ferulic Acid

Ferulic acid is an ingredient that acts as a protective barrier on the skin, helping to slow the development of fine lines and wrinkles. This ingredient boosts other antioxidants and helps the skin look firmer and more youthful. 

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C is a common ingredient in medical-grade skincare that offers many benefits, including the promotion of collagen production. It is said to slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to address oxidative stress on the DNA of your skin.  It can also act like an anti-inflammatory topical to help reduce the appearance of acne and scars. 


Retinol is a common word found in skincare that you’ve likely seen before. There is a good reason for that: retinol helps to boost the production of skin cells, which assists in repairing damage, clearing pores, regulating oil glands and fighting the signs of aging. 

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid helps the skin shed dead skin cells, revealing a fresh, new layer of skin underneath. This ingredient helps to clear pores, treats acne, and can fight the many signs of aging. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acid

AHAs help promote faster skin turnover. When used over longer periods of time, this ingredient can reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. 

Beta Hydroxy Acid

BHAs are similar to AHAs in that they help to exfoliate the skin, revealing newer, brighter skin underneath. This ingredient fights off many skin complaints, from hyperpigmentation and acne to wrinkles, lines, and bags. 


Ceramides are powerful protectants for the skin. They are fatty acids that help to moisturize the skin while keeping out detrimental pollutants and preventing damage from environmental factors such as UV light and extreme temperatures. 


Resveratrol fights off free radicals, preventing skin damage at the cellular level. This ingredient also promotes antioxidants and their benefits, assisting in faster healing and repair of skin damage. 

Natural Cholesterol

Natural cholesterol helps rebuild your skin’s barrier, providing a more plump, healthy skin appearance. 

Recommended Medical Grade Skincare Brands

There are several medical grade skincare brands that are favorites of most dermatologists. They have built a significant trust in the industry and made a name for themselves by providing products that continually prove to be immensely effective. These brands will not disappoint. While many of their products may feel pricey, the products you receive will help to protect the investment you’ve made into your skin with cosmetic treatments and procedures. They also deliver results on a more reliable basis than drugstore brands, which means that with these clinical skincare brands, you’re actually getting your money’s worth. Some of the top brands in medical grade skincare are:

Revision Skincare is one of the best medical grade skincare brands that is heavy on science, which means all of their products have evidence to back up their efficacy. This brand continually challenges traditional skincare practices with innovation and a desire to provide better skincare. Their Youthfull Lip Replenisher is a favorite among dermatologists for smoothing out the appearance of lips.

Skinbetter Science is among the top medical skincare brands offers a line of products backed by piles of clinical evidence. This award-winning brand offers serums, creams, and one of the best medical-grade moisturizer products. Each of their products has been proven to provide the results you’re looking for. Their popular face washes and scrubs are gentle enough for post-procedure skincare, and their protective serums and creams help to ensure the longevity of your results.

Skinmedica’s clinically proven skincare is a highly trusted brand sold by dermatologists everywhere. Their most popular products include anti-aging serums and body toning lotions that have been clinically proven to deliver results. This brand has dedicated itself to researching skin rejuvenation, and its products are loved across the industry.

The mission of Skinceuticals is to provide skincare backed by science. Their products have been studied and proven effective in clinical research. Bestsellers from Skinceuticals include a Vitamin C serum to refresh and revitalize the skin and counter the signs of aging as well as anti-aging creams.

Alastin is another brand that prides itself on the science that backs all of its products. As a physician-dispensed skincare brand, Alastin’s products have been proven effective. Clients love their Restorative Skin Complex that fights the signs of aging. Available in an eye treatment as well, this product is tried and true and backed by science.

Invest in Your Skin - Invest in Your Skincare

There is no doubt that medical skin care products are the route to seeing visible results from your daily skincare routine. These science-backed products have been proven to be effective and are the best choice when it comes to after-treatment skin care. There is a reason why your doctor recommends and dispenses medical-grade skincare. The products make for happy customers and long-lasting results from skincare procedures and treatments. While pharmaceutical-grade skincare is often more expensive than drugstore skincare products, they come with a larger amount of each active ingredient, making them more potent, more effective, and better at protecting your investment in skincare treatments.

Shopping for medical-grade skincare is easy when you reach out to your local medical provider esthetician. They will not only be able to sell you the products you’re looking for, but they can also offer clinical advice for the most effective brands and skincare for your skin concerns.

At Refine Aesthetics, you can shop many of these medical-grade skincare brands with the guidance and advice of a professional and experienced dermatologist. Refine Aesthetics is a Med Spa in Downtown Austin providing a full array of skincare treatments and procedures as well as the products to care for your skin afterward. To find out how to treat your skin complaints, reach out to Refine Aesthetics for your free consultation today so you can reveal your best skin and care for it, too. Don’t wait to find out why so many others love Refine Aesthetics. Book your free consultation today!

Picture of Courtney Gill, PA-C

Courtney Gill, PA-C

Courtney Gill is a Master Licensed Aesthetician at Refine Aesthetics, renowned for her expertise in skincare and dedication to personalized treatment plans. She strives to enhance her clients’ natural beauty using advanced aesthetic techniques.

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