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  • Ever wonder what a Cosmeceutical was?
  • Dr Natasha Cook

Ever wonder what a Cosmeceutical was?

Have you even heard the term?
If you have any kind of obsession with the appearance of your skin then you may know something about cosmeceutical skincare brands. But, you’d be forgiven for not knowing, as it is, after all, a made-up word. That doesn’t mean you won’t find it on ‘The Google’ Oh yes indeed you will.

In fact, the term cosmeceutical even has its own Wikipedia page. But I’ll give you a quick definition. It’s a made up term or to be more accurate, a product with a merging of cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients. Cosmeceuticals contain biologically active ingredients that have science to support their mechanisms of action. A product that actually exerts a BIOlOGICAL benefit on the skin. A product that actually works!

Unfortunately, the word has been used and abused by marketing departments the world over. So much so, it’s hard to sort fact from fiction.

So, just to clear things up for you, in my opinion, a ‘true’ cosmeceutical should contain active ingredients that are clinically proven to work on correcting the skin. Sometimes referred to as medical grade skin care, which usually indicates an endorsement by cosmetic physicians.

The real dilemma is not so much the identifying category a product has been anointed (cosmeceutical), but knowing whether the product is going to deliver on results. Hence my motto “If it doesn’t Deliver I Don’t Consider”.

It’s a conundrum and if you’ve ever aimlessly wandered around a department store hoping and praying for a bit of honest advice, then you know what I mean.

A few tips that a real cosmeucetical will offer

1. The right ingredients backed by science. AHA’s, BHA’s, Vitamins A, B C. Plus your natural moisturizing factors like hyaluronic acid and anti-inflammatories.

2. The Right Concentration of the ingredients and declare this on the packaging. You see you can have a good ingredient in the bottle but if its not in the correct concentration / percentage it simply will not be bioavailable ( a fancy term meaning it just won’t work). Many companies don’t do this to save money as these ingredients are expensive and unfortunately too many skincare companies focus on profits and bottom line rather than results.

3. Learn to read an ingredients label! By law the label has to put the ingredients in order of highest concentration to lowest. The first ingredient is usually always water. Therefore your good ingredients should be in the top 5 on the label.

4. Not too many products. Stay away from companies that make too many products. This is called line extension products. Selling you stuff you don’t need. I then question are they really a scientifically backed range as the science supports using fewer products BUT with the right concentration and combination of the actives.
If the Cosmeuceutical is made effectively then you wont need a heap of products to get great results. As soon as you start seeing eye creams, neck creams, 15 serums etc start to question is the brand truly scientific and an authentic Cosmeceutical?

Your skin, like your body, will benefit from a regular cosmeceutical workout.
If your products are going to perform, they need to
1) Correct the errors of the past
2) Bring your skin back to a state of normality and then when you’re ready
3) Get your skin working as nature intended.

Efficiently and effortlessly.
As time goes by (ie ageing) the efficiency and effortless activities of the skin slow down. Your skin cells go from turning over every 30 days to every 60 days after the age of 30, which leaves you with dull tired lack luster skin.
Which is why you will need the powerhouse active ingredients of a good cosmeceutical regimen to give your skin a great workout. Up-regulating the skins metabolism, reversing ageing and bringing back fresh new skin cells.
The answer lies in the ingredients. The ingredients are your friends.

Like all good workouts, it requires a strict and regular routine!
We like to keep it simple. 3 steps morning 3 steps evening and once a week.

Active and Gentle can go Hand in Hand
Oh and one last point, Just because its active doesn’t mean its going to irritate. One of the biggests myths I’m constantly expelling is that cosmeceuticals are too strong for my skin.
Gentle and Active can go hand in hand if you’ve got the right ingredients.

For example lactic acid is a more gentle AHA than Glycolic. They both do the same thing, but we choose lactic over glycolic to give all the benefits of an AHA cosmeceutical without the downside. Lactic is also a multi tasking ingredient. Not only is it a fruit acid that generates new skin cells, it’s a humectant so it holds moisture in the skin at the same time.

True to our values of using clever ingredients that provide multi benefits to the skin.

  • Dr Natasha Cook

Comments on this post (2)

  • Jun 28, 2017

    Got a question re: the use of B3 and Vitamin C. A friend told me her aesthetician doesn’t recommend using products containing both active ingredients and if using both, should be used at different times due to contraindications. The B3 interferes with absorption of Vit C. Is this correct?


    — Katy

  • May 20, 2018

    I’ve got a question re: a tip given to me by a friend re: contraindications of using B3
    and Vitamun C products. Her aesthetician told her that B3 interferes with the efficacy/ absorbsion of asorbic acid. It should be used at separate times. Is this true?


    — Katy

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