Cosmeceuticals is a term that was coined 25 years ago by Dr Albert Kligman, a revered dermatologist responsible for developing the topical acne medicine Retin-A and bringing a scientific base to cosmetic dermatology.
Cosmeceuticals have medical properties and the term bridges cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They are applied externally to the skin and are designed to improve skin function through the reversal of the ageing process and help with specific skin issues and concerns.
Cosmeceuticals are scientifically-produced products, containing biologically active ingredients and are required to meet rigid chemical, physical and medical standards.
When cosmeceuticals are applied topically to the skin, these active ingredients reach deeper into the dermal layers to make changes to the structure.
Cosmeceuticals contain more active ingredients and in much higher ingredients than cosmetics and penetrate deeper into the epidermis layer of the skin delivering more visible benefits for a longer period of time. Examples include reducing the severity of acne, brightening dull and dehydrated skin, promoting a healthier complexion, reducing the appearance of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles, improving uneven skin tone and reducing the appearance of sun damage.
Common active ingredients in cosmeceuticals include:
What it is:
HA is a naturally occurring component of the skin and is present in connective tissue throughout the body. As we age, our ability to produce HA declines, which accelerates and exposes the visible signs of ageing. Age-related effects of hyaluronic depletion include sagging of the skin, the development of fine lines and wrinkles and increased skin dryness.
+ Hydrates the skin
+ Enables skin to retain moisture
+ Helps repair the skin
+ Provides elasticity
+ Strengthens the skin’s barrier to achieve softer, smoother and younger looking skin
Botanicals: Green Tea Extract, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera
What is it:
Botanicals are made from plant leaves, bark, root or flowers and can help improve the health and integrity of the skin.
+ Botanicals can reduce inflammation of the skin and address concerns of oily skin, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation
+ Green Tea Extract is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory helping to improve skin elasticity and firmness
+ Tea Tree Oil can help reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin and inflammation
+ Aloe Vera helps to hydrate the skin and is wound-healing. It can be used to effectively heal eczema, psoriasis and acne
Retinol (Vitamin A)-
What it is:
Retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin which speeds up the skin’s cell turnover, helping to keep it firm and healthy. It helps reduce pigmentation, sun damage, fine lines and scarring. Retinol also helps produce collagen, helping to slow down the ageing process.
+ Helps regenerate skin cells
+ Increases the production of collagen, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
+ Reduces the size of pores
+ Improves skin texture
+ Reduces hyperpigmentation
+ Assists with the formation of healthy blood vessels
+ Removes dead skin cells
Amino Acids (Peptides)-
What it is:
Amino Acids are the building blocks that make-up proteins in our skin, such as collagen.
Collagen is responsible for plumping our skin and gives it firmness. Collagen depletes as part of the natural ageing process as well as a result of sun damage and stress, causing the formation of wrinkles. As collagen breaks down with ageing, peptides are formed, which signal to the skin that it is damaged and needs to create more collagen. Peptides play a vital role in the biological processes of our body. They are very small, enabling them to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
+ Stimulates the production of collagen to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
+ Stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid
+ Reduces the production of oil
+ Acts as a moisturiser-binding agent
What it is:
Vitamin B cannot be retained by the body.
In cosmeceuticals, Vitamin B brightens and rejuvenates the skin and helps to address concerns such as an oily or dry complexion and pigmentation.
+ Reduces dry, flakey skin
+ Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines
+ Vitamin B3 is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that helps to increase the production of fatty acids and ceramides, key components of the skin’s outer barrier. It can be effective in treating acne and reducing signs of sun damage
+ Improves water retention from the outer layers to improve the barrier function and reduce dehydration, making the skin less susceptible to dryness, redness and environmental damage
What it is:
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning the body struggles to absorb it. Vitamin C helps protect the skin against free radicals. As the body ages, Vitamin C levels decrease, however including it with a daily skin care regime helps protect against collagen degradation.
+ Prevents the depletion of collagen
+ Reduces inflammation of the skin and redness
+ Assists in protecting the skin again damage from free radicals caused by UV exposure
+ Addresses skin pigmentation and uneven skin tone
It is important to note that active ingredients play a key role in transforming the complexion. For optimum results and to address specific skincare concerns it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist who will be able to recommend the most effective products, combinations and complementary treatments to achieve optimum results