Have you ever noticed the word cosmeceutical on your favorite anti-aging cream or moisturizer and were not sure what it meant? The term cosmeceutical was created in 1990s and is derived from a blend of the words cosmetic and pharmaceutical.
They are products that can be used to improve the functioning of the skin and are beneficial in preventing premature aging.
Keep reading to learn more about cosmeceuticals:
- What is the difference between a cosmetic product and a cosmeceutical one?
- What to look for in a cosmeceutical
- Allergic reactions
- Available cosmeceutical products
The best way to understand the difference between cosmetics and cosmeceuticals is to separate them by purpose.
Cosmetics are used for beauty or style purposes and merely cover the skin, hair, and nails. Examples of cosmetics include makeup and hair dye.
Cosmeceuticals, on the other hand, are used to actually improve or enhance the skin’s appearance with biologically active ingredients such as ALA and DMAE. These include many non-prescription anti-aging products.
Even though cosmeceuticals have drug-like benefits, they are not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. This makes it difficult to know what products actually contain effective ingredients.
Effective ingredients to look for include:
- Antioxidants: Protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, molecules that break down and damage skin cells. Antioxidants include Vitamins C and E.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): The ultimate antioxidant, it is located in nearly every cell of the body and is very effective against free radical damage.
- DMAE: Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is involved with muscle activity; it helps firm the skin by working to stimulate increased tone in the muscles behind the face.
- Hydroxy Acids: Exfoliates the skin, removing the dead skin cells that can cause the skin to look rough, leaving it looking smoother and softer.
- Retinoids: Forms of Vitamin A. Adding vitamin A through a topical treatment causes skin cells to grow and die more rapidly, thereby increasing the turnover of cells.
Because cosmeceuticals contain active ingredients that are added topically to the skin, the skin might react negatively if not properly applied. Reactions can range from simple irritation to allergies that involve the immune system. For example retinoids might cause skin irritation, dryness, and peeling, so it is important to carefully follow directions when applying cosmeceuticals.
Dr.Perricone offers a wide variety of cosmeceuticals in his lines of topical anti-aging regimens and acne treatments. One effective anti-aging cosmeceutical is the Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator, which contains the key sciences ALA and DMAE.