Podcast 209: Medical-Grade Skincare: Marketing Hype vs. Scientific Reality

Medical grade skincare

There’s been a trend in recent years for skincare brands launched by medical professionals and aestheticians, often with famous names and almost celebrity status in their fields or countries. We’re sure you’ve come across “Dr” this, that or the other on cosmetic labels. This, in itself, is not an issue. After all, the all-natural brand Dr. Hauschka has been around since the 1930s.

Today though, we are also seeing a rise in so-called medical grade skincare and liberal use of the word “clinical” to describe brands and formulations. In this episode, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier is joined by colleague School Education Manager Ana Green to delve into the controversial world of medical-grade skincare, and explore the intricacies of this term and its implications.

Ana sheds light on the marketing strategies behind the medical-grade term and unravels whether there’s substance behind the claims of cosmetic formulations penetrating deeper with higher levels of actives. Is medical grade just a marketing term to ensure brands do exclusive sales deals and attach luxury price tags to their products? Listen in for the big reveal on medical-grade cosmetics.

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Inspiring quote:

“In the world of skincare, the label ‘medical-grade’ might sparkle, but it’s the formulation brilliance that truly illuminates your skin’s potential. Remember, the magic lies in understanding your skin’s unique needs, not just in the marketing gloss.” – Ana Green, Education Manager, Formula Botanica

In this episode on medical-grade skincare, you will hear:

  • An exploration of what medical-grade skincare entails and how it is predominantly used by brands selling through professionals like aestheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons.
  • Insights into the controversy surrounding the term, as Ana highlights the lack of specific regulations and its roots in marketing strategies.
  • Debunking claims made by medical-grade skincare brands, including the notions of deeper penetration, higher levels of actives, and exclusive sales through professionals.
  • A discussion on the types of actives commonly found in so-called medical-grade skincare and the lack of mandatory clinical trials, emphasising the importance of discerning marketing claims.

Key takeouts include:

  • Marketing strategy: The term “medical grade” is primarily a marketing strategy used by brands to differentiate themselves and create an aura of exclusivity.
  • Debunking claims: Claims such as deeper penetration and higher levels of actives lack scientific foundation and may not necessarily translate to better skincare efficacy.
  • Clinical trials: While some medical-grade skincare brands conduct clinical trials, it’s not mandatory, and the presence of clinical data doesn’t guarantee superior product efficacy.
  • Consumer choice: The decision to buy medical-grade skincare should be based on personal preference and product effectiveness, with an understanding that the term itself may not carry substantial weight.

Join us in this thought-provoking episode as we navigate through the intricacies of medical-grade skincare, unraveling the marketing tactics, and empowering you to make informed skincare choices.


There’s a wealth of information in our old episodes and we encourage you to go back and listen to them. If you want to hear more about some of the topics we covered in this episode, please do delve back into the podcast archives. Go and listen to:

Episode 8: Why 100% natural claims could get you into trouble
Episode 160: The beauty industry’s most ridiculous claims

 
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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