Cosmeceutical and cosmetic skincare – what’s the difference?
Have you ever wondered if the slight difference between the words in the title above matters? Can the two terms be used interchangeably? Cosmetics and cosmeceuticals may look and sound similar, but when it comes down to it, the two are miles apart. What’s common in both, however, is their widespread involvement in the skincare routine. In this article, we’ll define cosmetics and cosmeceuticals and also highlight the fundamental differences between them for a thorough, more concise understanding.
What are cosmetics?
Cosmetics, according to the definition, are products intended for contact with the external parts of the body: skin, hair, teeth or nails. Their task is to keep these parts of the body clean, protect them, improve the smell, or beautify them. Cosmetics should not contain active substances with a therapeutic effect, such as those contained in medicines.
While cosmetics make sure your skin looks and feels good after proper application, they do not replenish and revitalize your skin from the inside.
What are cosmeceuticals?
Cosmeceuticals can be defined as a blend of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. With the development of cosmetology, as cosmetics started to be no longer sufficient, cosmeceuticals came into existence. Although cosmeceuticals aren’t a legal term, this name has been used to differentiate themselves from cosmetics.
The need to classify products that found themselves between cosmetics and drugs, distinguish them and assign them an appropriate rank led to the creation of the term cosmeceutical in the 1970s. Its author is Albert M. Kligman, professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania.
It’s the composition that makes cosmeceuticals unique.
They consist of active ingredients that bear favourable results for your skin. To clarify with an example, if a product claims that it contains peptides—a substance common for collagen growth—then that product is a cosmeceutical.
Cosmeceuticals vs cosmetics
One of the major differences between cosmetics and cosmeceuticals is the involvement of active ingredients.
These are biologically active substances that offer the very best when it comes to bringing beneficial effects.
These active ingredients can influence the physiological processes in human skin. No matter the level of celebrity endorsements that come with regular cosmetics, what truly holds the potential to reinvigorate your skin is the use of cosmeceutical products. Cosmetics can only do so much to heal your skin.
Biologically, they cannot penetrate the dermal-epidermal junction of the skin which is the space between your epidermis and dermis.
What they can do is maintain and clean the surface where they are applied. Depending on the ingredients it contains, it can act as anti-dandruff, soothe eczema, acne, stimulate regeneration, increase skin resistance, reduce discoloration, stretch marks, cellulite, and, for example, delay the aging processes that occur in the skin to a different extent. These products are not drugs, however, and cannot be treated as a medicine, but as an aid in therapy, used in parallel or after the completion of treatment determined by a specialist, as prophylaxis against possible recurrence of symptoms.
In the case of dermatological diseases or ailments manifested by skin lesions, cosmeceuticals can significantly improve the condition of the skin and alleviate disease symptoms.
Cosmeceuticals like Larens come from the latest inventions in the field of biotechnology and pharmacology. Their composition is often the result of scientific discoveries and long-term laboratory research. Active ingredients are substances which components and production process are covered by a patent.
Thanks to this, the use of cosmeceuticals is safe and carries a much lower risk of allergies.
The active ingredients that provide therapeutic properties to products are, for example:
- vitamins, such as retinol and tocopherol derivatives,
- lipid forms of ascorbic acid and panthenol,
- flavonoids, derivatives of alpha and gamma-linolenic acids and arachidonic acid.
- a specific group of cosmeceuticals are biotechnological preparations, such as low molecular weight peptides (such as those found in the Biopeptide Complex) or oligosaccharides that interfere with tissue processes.
The presence of unique and highly concentrated active ingredients makes cosmeceuticals a bridge between everyday care available to everyone and aesthetic medicine.
For example, preparations with SYN AKE®, a neuropeptide that mimics the action of a toxin found in viper venom (Temple Viper, known as the strongest relaxing peptide) neutralizes micro contractions in muscle fibres. It gives a ‘botox-like effect, but without visits to the office or injections.
Equally important, cosmeceuticals can support or sustain the effects of beauty treatments.
By choosing a cosmeceutical with a healing accelerating, regenerating and improving the condition of the skin after the treatments, the skin will “recover” faster, and the product with ingredients dedicated to anti-ageing action will allow you to enjoy the effects for longer after visiting an aesthetic dermatology office.