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Medical Skincare

Many aesthetic clinics will sell what they describe as ‘cosmeceuticals’ or ‘medical-grade’ skincare to patients. The purpose of this is either to prepare skin for a particular treatment or to boost the results of a procedure you’ve had. There are many types of skincare available, so it can be difficult to know what will be effective

What’s the difference between cosmetic and medical skincare products?

You can buy cosmetic skincare over the counter in a shop, whereas medical (also known as pharmaceutical) grade skincare must be prescribed by a doctor or other medic with a prescribing license. The main difference is that medical skincare will have a higher concentration of active ingredients and has been tested to be effective on specific skin conditions.

By law, cosmetics sold over the counter without medical prescriptions are not allowed to contain biologically active ingredients that can penetrate beyond the top layer or change the functioning of the skin.

What is a ‘cosmeceutical’?

A cosmeceutical is just a marketing term, but groups together products that contain ingredients that can penetrate the skin with only mild effect. These fall into the grey area between cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They can be bought over the counter.

Are cosmeceutical and medical-grade products worth the hype?

Cosmeceutical and medical-grade skincare can have huge benefits for the skin. There are lots of clinical studies proving their effectiveness, which are easily accessible online.

You should always consult with a qualified aesthetic practitioner to ensure you use the best products for your concerns and skin type.

What skincare products can the BCAM recommend?

BCAM does not endorse any particular brand of medical skincare products. However, the following advice should be followed for a good skincare routine:

  • During the day, products should be used that are designed to protect the skin. This is because our skin is exposed to damaging ultraviolet rays and the environment. Sun block of at least SPF 30 and antioxidants such as vitamin C should be used during the day
  • In the evening, skin should be thoroughly cleansed, and the skincare products should be designed to stimulate the skin to repair. The gold standard for anti-ageing ingredients are retinoids (vitamin A based products)

There are many other medical-grade skincare products that can be prescribed by a doctor to reduce skin pigmentation, treat acne, rosacea and other skin conditions.