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What’s In A Name? Cosmetic vs Cosmesceutical vs Cosmetical?

Published: Tue April 16, 2013
Categories: The Myth Minx

Hello there, When it comes to skin products, we are bombarded with many claims and promises. Is it possible that something from a supermarket can really deliver the same results as a product in a skin clinic? Is there an almost identical match between key ingredients and chemical formulations between products sold in a department store, supermarket, beauty salon or medi-spa? First I must answer -- What is a “cosmetic” product? A cosmetic can be classed as a skin beautifying product that is applied to the surface of the skin. This includes make ups, cleansers, toners, masks and moisturizers. Don’t be fooled by the clever marketing tactics deployed with cosmetics; these products rarely deliver any long term results for treatment of more aggressive skin issues such as acne, severely photo-damaged, hyper-pigmented or severely sensitized conditions. Typically cosmetics have little or no medically proven, high-active ingredients and are designed to cater to a larger, “non-educated” consumer. What is a “cosmeceutical” product? Defined as the link between a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical, a cosmeceutical was the new breed of products that emerged in the early 1980s. With the concurrent emergence of AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), cosmeceuticals generally combined the power of both Glycolic and Lactic acids with other active ingredients such as Retinoid technology (including Retinol) to create skin changing results for dramatic and long last lasting condition solutions. With the ability to treat beyond the surface of the skin, cosmeceuticals, ingredients and are best prescribed by a skin professional. Whilst cosmeceutical skincare products are recognized in the industry as the use of active ingredients to improve skin health the reality of what this term really means is misleading. Many companies claim their products to contain active or cosmeceutical ingredients however there is no regulation to stipulate the percentage or stability of the ingredient being used. This means that a cosmeceutical product can be purchased from a supermarket, department store or professional skin therapist with no way of telling how effective it really is. What is a “cosmedical” product? Cosmedicals are the newest and arguably the most effective category of skin products that can be purchased without prescription. Often described as an advanced cosmeceutical, Cosmedicals have the ability to target not only present and past skin damage, but provide the skin with some preventative capacity for the future. Based on a medically and clinically proven blend of AHA, Retinoids, Vitamin C, Peptides, Antioxidant and SPF technology, Cosmedicals are not only reliant on a potent percentage of active ingredients but utilise carefully formulated base formulas, encapsulation technology and penetration enhancers to deliver benefits as deep as possible into the skin. Cosmedicals are often described as the last step before a doctor’s prescription and will typically be prescribed by a skin professional in a medispa, skin clinic or medical practice environment. Cosmedical products need to be used in specific dosage amounts and are not applied liberally to the skin like traditional cosmetics or cosmeceutical products. Used correctly cosmedical skincare products can transform the skin back into optimal skin health however due to the nature of the active ingredients a period of change is expected. This usually occurs during the first two weeks of use as the unhealthy skin comes to the surface and is replaced by new healthy skin cells. This is a sign that the ingredients are working and that you have a good quality cosmedical product. This settles over a couple of weeks revealing your best skin ever. The beauty of cosmedical skin care is that the skin becomes healthier and stronger unlike a cosmetic that merely masks underlying conditions such as dryness. So there you have it, when it comes to your skin – it’s always good to know the definition of the name for the product you’re using. Especially before you decide to let it touch something as important as your skin ☺ MMx What do you think? Do you find being educated on the names of different things is important? Are your health professionals around the names for different treatments and products asking you questions?

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