Whenever you hear people talking about cosmetics, they generally refer to make up. The FDA defines cosmetics as make-up and as products designed "for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". So soaps, shampoo, deodorant, fragrances, make up, etc are classed as cosmetics.
However antiperspirants that stop you from sweating, toothpaste that whitens teeth, or anti-bacterial soaps as well as SPF 30 or 50+ sunscreens are classed (by definition) as cosmeceuticals.
I used to think it was Dr Albert Klingman who first used the term cosmeceutical, however researching it, I found it was actually Raymond Reed, founder of the U.S. Society of cosmetic chemists, who created the concept of "cosmeceutical" in 1961. The American dermatologist Albert Kligman popularised term “cosmeceutical” in the late 1970s. In the 1980, he went on to research Vitamin A and its effects on acne, sun damage and premature ageing. This is when Retinol and its use in skin care was born, which has revolutionised how we treat skin today.
Dr Alber Klingman defined Cosmeceuticals as skin care products combining cosmetics and pharmaceuticals ingredients. They are more active than basic skin care products that cleanse and cover up imperfections, but not as active as prescription skin medications. Cosmeceuticals are regarded as skin care products with active ingredients claiming to have medical benefits.
Some similar terms I have seen for cosmeceuticals include: nutraceuticals (ingested orally), aquaceuticals (using marine products with drug & cosmetic effect), floraceuticals (using botanicals with grug and cosmetic effect), neoceauticals (over the counter drugs with cosmetic benefits), dermaceuticals, cosmedicals, active cosmetics, nutricosmetics, etc.
Cosmeceutical products can now be purchased just about everywhere. I have seen some impressive formulas in pharmacies, not surprisingly, since cosmeceuticals ARE a marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. These days, cosmeceuticals are not restricted to professional products only. Many department store, supermarket and pharmacy products contain ingredients that fall under the classification of cosmeceuticals such as retinol, B3, vitamin C, hydroxyl acids, peptides, growth factors, etc. High percentages are no longer a differentiating factor, nor is the delivery system. Encapsulation technology has been around for decades. Some pharmaceutical products do have high percentages of active ingredients and department store products have been using active ingredients and advanced delivery systems for a long time.
So what makes a professional, salon-only cosmeceutical different to a department store or a pharmacy skin care product?
From my experience what makes the difference is the quality of the raw ingredients and the quality of the end product. Professional only products rarely advertise to the mass market, they rely on RESULTS and word-of-mouth, not on marketing. So they HAVE TO PERFORM and deliver DRAMATIC results FAST.
Professional-only products usually have an extensive range that can be tailored to individual skin types, conditions or concerns. They are professional-only for a very good reason. It takes a thoroughly trained, minimum Certificate IV, Diploma or Degree qualified skin therapist to understand the skin in detail, the complex biological mechanisms and how these are affected by the environment and lifestyle. Only a qualified and trained therapist can confidently develop an effective treatment plan using professional-only products that will deliver results.
Some terms used to differentiate cosmetics from cosmeceuticals include:
Cosmetics: smooths, boosts radiance, clarifies, evens skin tone, improves skin texture, moisturises, hydrates, protects, conceals, highlights, softens, conditions, lubricates, cleanses, tones, refreshes, clarifies, deodorises, absorb excess skin oil, removes impurities
Cosmeceuticals: strengthens skin, strengthens/improves barrier, reduce redness, reduce appearance of rosacea, anti-irritant, minimise blotchiness, unclogs pores, removes congestion, controls breakouts, purifying, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, increases skins elasticity, firming & lifting, prevents signs of ageing, anti-aging, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, regenerates damaged skin, stimulates skin repair, heal, penetrates into the skin to act, fades or reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation
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Article written by Jana Elston from The Beauty Business.
For other great articles, visit Jana's blog here.