Medical grade skin care products are formulated to reach, and correct problems in, deeper layers of the skin. Active ingredients such as retinols (Vitamin A), Vitamins C and E, and glycolic, hyaluronic, or lactic acids are most effective at deeper skin layers.
As a result, any type of product designated as “medical grade” must pass the scrutiny of the FDA through controlled trials. These products cannot be marketed without first being proven safe and effective. Over-the-counter (OTC) products, on the other hand, are self-regulated by the cosmetics industry. There is no consistent standard in place for their production, which makes it difficult or impossible for the consumer to compare OTC to medical grade products.
Due to medical grade products having higher concentrations of active ingredients less product is typically needed to deliver superior results. Therefore, the cost vs.benefit of purchasing medical grade products is a wiser investment in the long run. Results vary.