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Cosmeceuticals, a miracle cure in a jar?

Ever considered all the factors that affect our skin as we age?

That in itself is enough to age you.

But what is really brow furrowing, excuse the pun, is having to wade through the mountains of hyperbole, about supposed miracle ingredients.

Whilst also trying to decipher trademark names, that manufacturers give to everyday ingredients.

When it comes to our skin and ageing, we put a lot of trust in skincare companies and their bold beauty claims.

Yet in reality, when you look at the long list of conditions associated with ageing skin;

  • dry skin
  • wrinkles
  • furrows
  • crow’s feet
  • loose jowls
  • sagging jawline,
  • forehead wrinkles
  • thin and transparent skin
  • hyperpigmentation
  • loss of fat beneath the skin
  • a decrease in cellular turnover
  • a reduction in elastin and collagen in the skin

It should come as no surprise then, that there isn’t just one miracle cure in the jar that can target all of these skin conditions at any one time.

So what’s a girl or guy for that matter to do?

Fortunately, this is where cosmeceuticals step in, active ingredients that have a great deal of scientific research behind them, making a visible difference to the skin.

The king of cosmeceuticals

Albert Kligman

The term cosmeceutical was coined by a leading dermatologist Albert Kligman, and he discovered that by topically applying retinoic to the skin, it could be used to treat wrinkles.

His years of research completely changed the way we view anti-ageing skincare, and today, the term cosmeceuticals are widely used, by both physicians and manufacturers alike.

What does the term cosmeceutical mean?

It refers to a personal care product with both a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical effect on the skin.

Whilst still classed as a beauty product; they contain a blend of powerful active ingredients, including retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, antioxidants and peptides, such as copper peptide found in DNA age delay complex.

When applied to the skin, it is claimed these ingredients go beyond traditional formulas, visibly helping to reverse ageing signs.

In many countries, the law still has to catch up with the science, because although there is no medication in cosmeceuticals, they still span the drug, cosmetic divide and require FDA approval.

  • currently, there are anti-ageing formulas to improve the appearance of skin
  • there are drugs that treat the skin, by altering the structure and function

Some skin care products, fall under the umbrella of being both a cosmetic and a drug -this occurs when a product has two intended uses, including Retin A and higher strength minoxidil.

The Naked Chemist A+ Retinol complex is one such product, containing anti-ageing Vitamin A – considered a potent cosmeceutical, that can ward off premature ageing.

What also affects whether a product is considered a drug, comes down to its intended use and exactly how it is marketed.

If a skin care product claims to treat or prevent a disease, or if the product is said to affect the human body’s structure or function somehow, like reducing cellulite, then the product is deemed a drug.

This article is well worth a read if you’re keen to find out more about active cosmeceuticals and their role on the skin.


In answer to the question, are cosmeceuticals a miracle cure in a jar? Well, yes and no.

No in a sense, that you’re not going to get every result from just one product, but yes in respect to the fact, that some stimulating ingredients are coming to the forefront, in the skincare industry,  that has obvious results on our skin, especially when it comes to targeting skin conditions related to ageing.

It is also important to note, that some ingredients work in synergy with each other, for instance, both Vitamin E, ferulic acid and Vitamin C when combined, has potent anti-ageing benefits -as found in our C+ vitamin complex,


OTC vs. Cosmeceuticals

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