Medical-Grade vs. Department Store Products: Which is Better?


When it comes to choosing your home skin care system, there are plenty of options today. Department stores are stocked with plenty of sweet-smelling concoctions and smiling staff to help you select the best formulations for you. However, there may be good reasons to skip the department store products and head to your local dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your skin care products instead.

Active Ingredients

Not only do medical-grade products offer the best active ingredients, they typically offer them in higher concentrations than department store brands. Products sold over the counter are limited in active ingredient concentrations, to minimize risk of irritation or allergic reactions. However, higher concentrations are often necessary to achieve the actual results you are hoping for.

Latest Formulations

Medical products often provide the newest finds in skin care, bringing you the most innovative combinations to produce the best possible results. These formulas are also designed to work with the latest professional treatments, extending and enhancing the results you achieve in the clinic at home. Department store products often follow the lead of medical skin care in terms of adding the newest ingredients to their formulations.

Better Penetration

In addition to the right mix of active ingredients, effective skin care needs to be able to work below the skin’s surface in the underlying layers where help is needed most. Medical-grade products are created with better penetration in mind, ensuring those ingredients get to the cells where they can provide the greatest benefit. Department store brands simply don’t have the ability to go deep enough to achieve dramatic, long-lasting results.

Scientifically Proven

Medical-grade skin care is typically backed by science that objectively shows the safety and efficacy of the products. Studies on these formulations frequently show up in reputable medical journals, so you can read about the results before you try products. While department store brands may also offer “clinical proof” of their efficacy, the studies may not be as thorough as those conducted on medical products.

Customized Solutions

Medical skin care is only available through physicians, medical spas and cosmetic clinics. This means to purchase the products, you must work with a professional skin care expert that can help you determine the best products for your specific skin type and needs. These professionals are specially trained to understand the complexities of the skin and various skin conditions to help you diagnose and treat your skin properly.


At Aesthetic Arts Institute, we carry medical-grade skin care products we are confident in recommending to our patients. The ZO medical formulations are proven, both through clinical testing and through our own experiences with our patients. We can help you find the products that will offer the greatest benefits, based on your specific skin type and desired results. To learn more, contact Aesthetic Arts Institute at 855-337-6988.

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