Cosmetics vs. Cosmeceuticals

Cosmetics vs. Cosmeceuticals

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Cosmetics vs. Cosmeceuticals
Cosmetics vs. Cosmeceuticals

Currently much controversy surrounds the use of the term cosmeceutical, in the description of preparation used for the care of the skin. The primary issue at hand is the definitions and descriptive words applied to medicines and cosmetics. Cosmetics have been greatly improved with various technological advancements and scientific research in recent years, which has led to advent of terms such as cosmeceutical, skinceutical and dermacosmetic. These terms are mostly used to describe the effective penetrative ability, biological activity and resultant therapeutic improvement to the structure and function of the deeper as well as superficial layers of the skin. The effect of ingredients in such preparations are normally supported by extensive scientific research and validation and set apart from traditional cosmetic skincare. This has lead to the classification of cosmetic products as: preparations which cleanse tone and beautify the skin on the superficial level. The situation currently exists that a number of effective ranges fall neither into the strict definitions of either medicine or cosmetic. They are loosely classified in the health and skincare industry as cosmeceuticals, although, strictly speaking, the term cosmeceutical is not officially recognized as a preparation classification by various medical and cosmetic associations at this point. Despite all this medical pedigree, the term cosmeceutical is not in any way regulated or controlled, and anyone can slap that label on their products to promote them as being more “medical.” Cosmeceuticals are nothing more than a marketing term with illusions of grandeur. Even the FDA says cosmeceuticals don’t exist, and considers these products to be merely cosmetics with clever marketing language attached, however, I do not agree. I do believe that some companies, the good ones at lease, who not only claim to be ‘cosmeceutical’ or ‘medical’ product houses, have done the research and can proof that there ingredients do in fact penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. You will also, mostly, find that the companies that’s products really do have ‘medical’ properties, spend more of their resources in the research and development of their houses, than the actual marketing, as they all know that the product’s results does the marketing for them. You will also vary rarely find such skin care lines in department stores, as they require more intensive training for the people who distribute them. I do not believe that product houses that ‘claim’ to be ‘cosmeceuticals’ would be so rigorous in the individuals that they allow to sell their products, if it were safe for any one to distribute, as these products, if truly ‘cosmeceutical’ have the ability to do great harm to skin if put in the wrong hands. Do cosmeceuticals really differ from any other cosmetics? The answer is both yes and no, because, as stated above, no matter how a product is labeled and marketed, many skin-care treatments contain ingredients that affect the biological function of skin. The biologically active ingredients to look for include antioxidants (most of which have anti-inflammatory properties), cell-communicating ingredients, exfoliants, skin-lightening ingredients, and intercellular substances (ingredients that mimic skin structure). Regardless of the name, cosmeceutical or otherwise—a skin-care product is only as good as what it contains and how those ingredients can help your skin function better, or in the vernacular, to act younger. In fact, moisturizers (or any skin-care product claiming to have an effect on wrinkles or sagging skin) should absolutely contain an elegant mix of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and intercellular substances as they help skin keep a normal level of hydration, build collagen, reduce skin discolorations, and prevent cellular damage.