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Most of us have heard the term cosmetics but few people understand the word “cosmeceutical.”
The term ‘cosmeceutical’ was introduced by a dermatologist, Dr Albert Kilgman in 1984. It is derived from the terms cosmetic and pharmaceutical.
Cosmeceuticals contain ingredients that are medically proven to penetrate active ingredients deeper into the skin to have a direct effect on cell function. It can depend on the type of product being used, as some, such as exfoliants are more designed to influence the surface of the skin, whilst others are designed to penetrate more deeply to target the cells and influence the biological function of the skin.
Cosmetics on the other hand are typically the type of creams found on most of the supermarket shelves. They don’t target the areas of concern and therefore, in the main, leave the problem unaddressed.
So how do these active ingredients manage to do their job and get into the deeper layers?
It comes down to encapsulation. In other words, how the active ingredients are contained to deliver into the skin. This keeps the ingredients stable. It also helps preserve the active ingredients. Some ingredients also can be very heavy, in the case of cosmetics, so a low molecular weight of ingredients is required for the skin to be able to absorb them.
What does this mean for you, when you are looking at what will and won’t work in skincare?
Firstly, when if you are really wanting to address concerns with your skin, there is no better starting point than consulting with a skin professional. With the array of products on the shelves in the shops, it is impossible to really get a bespoke solution and in the correct forms to make the necessary changes.
Secondly, it’s about the ingredients themselves. There are only a few ingredients that are proven to make physical changes to the skin and as we have already stated, they need to be in the correct forms, the correct concentrations and also the correct packaging. Also, not all great ingredients for the skin are great for all skin types.
The main ingredients that are proven to work in the skin and classed as cosmeceuticals (subject to the above) include:
1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin C (as L-ascorbic acid)
4. Hydroxy Acids
5. Co-enzyme Q10
7. Hyaluronic Acid
Confused? We are not here to confuse you, but to educate you to seek the correct advice.
It may seem expensive to get the expertise of a skin professional, but when you think of the wasted products that you have spent your money on over the years then it really is the perfect investment.
Is it time for your journey to flawless skin?