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If you’re seeking the holy grail of anti-aging, medical-grade skincare then there’s no doubt that SkinCeuticals and SkinMedica should be on your watch list. Both of these brands have been around since the 90s and are founded by highly-accoladed dermatologists.

Both brands' products are said to produce some truly incredible results, but which one are you better off choosing for your skin? Skinceuticals vs Skinmedica - let's get into it.

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SkinMedica vs SkinCeuticals

SkinMedica and SkinCeuticals are classed as 'cosmeceutical' brands; in other words, they offer cosmetic products with pharmaceutical benefits - such as, for instance: serums. Today, we'll be comparing their best-selling serums side-by-side, starting with their retinols.

Retinol serum comparison

Retinols are one of the most talked about derivatives of Vitamin A. Their benefits range from stimulating collagen, reversing sun damage, improving tone and texture, and decreasing acne, among other things. Basically, retinol is great for skin of any age! With all the retinol products on the market, Skinceuticals and Skinmedica have managed to stand out with the most effective formulas.

As we analyzed Skinceuticals’ Retinol 1.0 and Skinmedica’s Retinol 1.0 Complex with a fine-tooth comb, we are loving that Skinmedica added both Niacinamide and Squalane to their formula. These superhero ingredients pair with the retinol and provide anti-acne, antioxidant, skin brightening, soothing and moisturizing effects! Thanks to this thoughtful combo, many users don’t experience the dryness and irritation that is common when starting a retinol-based routine.

Skinceuticals’ retinol has BHT and MI, two controversial preservatives that can cause skin irritation. Another plus for Skinmedica’s is that it goes on like a moisturizer but doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue. Skinmedica’s Retinol 1.0 Complex is checking all our boxes and we’re sure your skin will love it, too!

Retinol 1.0 Complex by SkinMedica, renews skin and diminishes the appearance of fine lines.

Retinol 1.0 Complex by SkinMedica

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Renews skin and diminishes the appearance of fine lines.

What makes it special? Skinmedica’s Retinol 1.0 Complex is a professional-grade retinol that has been shown to be as effective as .025% prescription tretinoin. Packed with glycine soja oil, niacinamide, squalene and PhytoShield™ Complex—a proprietary combination of antioxidants. This cream will reverse the signs of aging and leave your skin plump and glowing!

Which skin types? For all skin types.

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Retinol 1.0 by SkinCeuticals, a high-concentration pure retinol cream.

Retinol 1.0 by SkinCeuticals

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A high-concentration pure retinol cream.

What makes it special? Developed by Dr. Sheldon R. Pinnell, a dermatologist, professor, and skincare chemist, this retinol is powered by the highest concentration of retinol and a soothing complex of chamomile and frankincense extracts. This retinol utilizes specialized packaging which preserves its potency and is specially formulated to minimize irritation.

Which skin types? Normal, Oily, Combination.

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Anti-aging serum comparison

Next up, let’s look at two of the most highly-rated and awarded serums on the market: Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic Serum vs Skinmedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum.

You really can’t go wrong with either of these serums. They’re both clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and significantly improve skin tone and texture. Skinmedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum came on the market in 2020, and is quickly climbing rating charts.

However, it truly doesn’t hold a candle to Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic Serum. Since its launch in 2005, dermatologist, beauty bloggers and skincare experts can NOT STOP RAVING! It’s a combo of vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid. These three ingredients work together to protect your skin from the sun and the environment and ramp up collagen production. Since adding it to our morning skincare routine, our skin has never looked better, and we’ve been getting more compliments than ever. We are giving CE Ferulic Serum an overwhelming stamp of endorsement as the best overall serum!

CE Ferulic Serum by SkinCeuticals, high potency triple antioxidant treatment.

CE Ferulic Serum by SkinCeuticals

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

High potency triple antioxidant treatment.

What makes it special? This patented serum is clinically proven to reduce the damage of environmental free radicals by nearly 50%! With 15% L-ascorbic acid, 1% vitamin E and .5% ferulic acid, this serum reverses signs of aging, firms skin and brightens your complexion.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

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TNS Advanced+ Serum by SkinMedica, skin rejuvenating formula improves the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone, and texture.

TNS Advanced+ Serum by SkinMedica

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Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

Skin rejuvenating formula improves the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone, and texture.

What makes it special? Coined as a next-generation skin rejuvenator, this formula utilizes TNS®-MR (a unique growth factor blend and peptide complex) and Renessence (RSC) Advanced (a blend of botanicals, marine extracts, and peptides) to provide results in just 2 weeks!

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Hydrating serum comparison

We all know how essential hydration is for a healthy skin barrier and glowing, dewy skin. #GOALS! Hyaluronic acid is the ultimate skin care ingredient for delivering maximum moisture. As a humectant that naturally occurs in your skin and can bind up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, hyaluronic acid has been a go-to ingredient for brands from A to Z.

Skinceuticals HA Intensifier Serum and SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator are both top-rated hydrators, but which should you add to your line up? Skinceuticals’ HA Intensifier Serum tackles moisturization from two angles. It uses a formula of 10% Proxylane, 2% Licorice Root Extract and .2% Purple Rice Extract to prevent hyaluronic acid loss, while the 1.3% Hyaluronic Acid replenishes naturally occurring losses throughout the day. Their formula is noted for amplifying skin’s hyaluronic acid levels by 30%!

On the other hand, SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator packs in 5 types of Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration! Including their proprietary time-release Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin moisturized for hours after application.

While both can tackle even the worst of dry or dehydrated skin, Skinceuticals has fragrances, alcohol and PEG compounds which can be irritating to some skin types. Some users have also reported that it can go on thick and tacky. Because of that, we’re recommending the lightweight, 100% clean SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator. We’d like to note that it does contain whey protein derived from milk powder, so anyone with a milk or whey protein allergy should steer clear.

HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator by SkinMedica, supports the skin's natural ability to retain moisture.

HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator by SkinMedica

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Supports the skin's natural ability to retain moisture.

What makes it special? This intense hydrator instantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles with its proprietary mix of 5 types of hyaluronic acids which provides hydration for up to 8 hours. It also utilizes VITISENSCE® Technology that delivers potent antioxidants from Vitis Flower Stem Cell Extract, Peptide Complex to support rejuvenation and hydration, and Polysaccharides from French Polynesia.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

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HA Intensifier Serum by SkinCeuticals, a powerful corrective serum that helps amplify skin’s hyaluronic acid levels.

HA Intensifier Serum by SkinCeuticals

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★

Price: $$$$

A powerful corrective serum that helps amplify skin’s hyaluronic acid levels.

What makes it special? This immediately hydrating serum includes a potent blend of pure hyaluronic acid, proxylane, licorice root and purple rice work to boost skin's hyaluronic acid levels, improving skin texture and restoring elasticity. Clinical studies show that after 12 weeks of use, 23% of participants saw improvement in plumpness, and over 10% saw improvement in firmness, elasticity, and texture.

Which skin types? For all skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Conclusion

As stated in the intro, SkinCeuticals and SkinMedica are premium brands that come with premium price tags, but as we've discovered through rigorous comparison, those price tags are more than warranted thanks to their fantastic effects and results.

Regardless of which brand you choose to try, it’s crucial to pay attention to how your skin feels or reacts - especially when using retinol. The rush to see results may cause more harm than good if your skin feels raw or sensitive. Customer reviews for both brands' products are overwhelmingly positive, but it is always important to remember that everybody's skin is different, and what works for you may not be the same as what works for others.

We highly recommend starting out with the critically-acclaimed Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic Serum or Skinmedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum.

Skinmedica Best-Sellers

For cleansing:
Try AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser


For the eyes:
Try TNS Eye Repair


For moisturizing:
Try Rejuvenative Moisturizer

SkinCeuticals Best-Sellers

For redness:
Try Redness Neutralizer


For blemishes:
Try Blemish + Age Toner


For the eyes:
Try the Eye Balm

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