What are Cosmeceuticals?

Posted by EDCskincare.com on 6/19/2012 to Make-Up
Cosmetics 101: Cosmeceuticals

What Are Cosmeceuticals?

In order to maintain skin at its best condition at all ages, it is important to adopt an effective daily skincare regime, to moisturize, treat, nourish and protect the skin. Cosmeceuticals have gained huge popularity, especially in recent years due to their effectiveness. State-of-the-art skincare technologies are employed to produce cosmeceutical products that, when used as a daily skincare routine, helps to achieve optimum skin condition. Cosmeceuticals is an umbrella term applied for these skincare products that exert cosmetic effects and also contain ingredients that have pharmaceutical-like functions and enhance the natural physiological activities of the skin.

Cosmeceuticals Have Ingredients that Delivers Skincare

The quality and delivery of the ingredients in a cosmeceutical product is important in determining its effectiveness. Some commonly found ingredients in cosmeceutical products include:

Antioxidants  molecules


Antioxidants are molecules that function to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are formed in the body due to environmental damage such as excessive sun exposure, or formed as part of the natural aging process. They attack the proteins responsible for maintaining the integrity of the skin cells, causing unwanted inflammation and damage to the skin. Therefore, to prevent free radical damage, it is beneficial to use cosmeceutical products that provide effective antioxidant protection. Prevage MD Anti-Aging Treatment contains 1% Idebenone, an antioxidant powerhouse with an Environmental Protection Factor (EPF) rating of 95 out of 100, which has been clinically proven to protect the skin against free radicals.


Botanicals generally refer to plant extracts and form the largest category of cosmeceutical ingredients in use today. Due to their natural derivation, they are more easily accepted by consumers. Appropriate botanical extracts contained in cosmeceutical products can complement and enhance the effect of other commonly found ingredients, and often have anti-inflammation and soothing effects. Some botanicals also offer powerful antioxidants effects. Vitamins C and E, naturally found in various vegetables and plants are excellent natural antioxidants and confer anti-aging benefits. Other commonly added botanical extracts include green tea, pomegranate, licorice root and aloe vera.

Botanicals is a key ingredient of cosmeceuticals.

Hydroxy Acids

These acids work by removing dead skin cells from the topmost layers of the skin via exfoliation. Hydroxy acids are capable of breaking the adhesive bonds that bind dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. The skin is naturally capable of removing surface dead skin cells and cellular renewal, however these natural processes slow down with aging, hence hydroxy acids can be used to stimulate and accelerate these processes, allowing for effective skin cell renewal and reveal brighter, toned skin. A recommended cosmeceutical product that provides effective yet gentle exfoliation and promotes cell renewal is Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel which removes dead cells and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, leaving skin looking refreshed and clear.


Peptides is often a key ingredient of cosmeceuticals.

Peptides are small proteins fragments that increase the production of collagen and elastin fibers and help to reduce their breakdown. This is important because loss of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin cells cause the skin to lose one of the main structural supporting molecules, resulting in sagging of the skin and development of fine lines and wrinkles. NIA24 Skin Strengthening Complex is an effective cosmeceutical product containing peptide complexes that minimizes fine lines and wrinkles for visibly firmer skin.


Retinoids refer to a family of vitamin A derivatives that helps to enhance the process of skin cell turnover, stimulate beneficial thickening of the skin epidermis, and promote the removal of hyperpigmentation and other skin discolorations. Products that contain retinoids are often too harsh for many people's skin; however, cosmeceutical products such as SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex are especially formulated to combine all the benefits of retinoids in an innovative, high-tech delivery system to ensure minimal skin irritation.

Sunscreen is often a key benefit of cosmeceuticals.


The most essential cosmeceutical ingredient that can really help prevent and reverse the signs of aging, as recognized by dermatologists and skincare experts, is sunscreen. These include compounds that reflect and scatter light such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Or, they can be in the form of PABA esters, which absorb the sun's rays and prevent it from entering the skin. Cosmeceuticals often contain a combination of various ingredients that work synergistically to offer maximum protection from the sun's UV rays. An example of this is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, which provides lightweight, yet super powerful sun protection. Sunscreens should be the cornerstone of any skin care routine.

Now, you know what cosmeceuticals are and how to read into their ingredients!

Choose the best cosmeceutical products that effectively combine and make the most of each type of the above mentioned ingredients to provide the best available skincare results.

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