The world is changing for better and getting over the stigma of flawless beauty is a revolutionary turn in this process. Beauty related socio-cultural phenomena are no more a taboo to excel in any field of career. Temporarily beautification of the skin has been replaced with the right skin care regimen to retain its youthful appearance in old years. This is where the emergence of cosmeceutical industry has been proven as a breakthrough for the treatment of various skin and hair concerns.
What does the word “COSMECEUTICAL” mean?
The word cosmeceutical is formed of two words i.e. cosmetic and pharmaceutical. It is a new segment of skin & hair care products that contain biologically active ingredients with therapeutic properties, which have been scientifically researched to deliver best & effective results. The major advantage of Cosmeceuticals over traditional cosmetic products is that they penetrate into the deepest layers of skin, hair & scalp which helps improve their appearance and health. In simpler words, Cosmeceuticals are the formulations capable of restoring the original balance of skin, hair & scalp by resolving specific issues namely hyperpigmentation, collagen levels, sun damage, acne, oily/dry skin, and signs of aging.
Cosmetic vs. Cosmeceutical
Cosmetic implies any product that beautifies your skin, hair & scalp, without any therapeutic benefits. These products work only on the outer surface of the skin (epidermis) and cannot reach the inner most layers. In other words, when applied they help to change the appearance of the epidermis.
On the contrary, Cosmeceuticals are the formulations with a higher concentration of active ingredients that offer deep therapeutic benefits to the skin. These products are capable of reaching the dermis, through which they can enhance hydration, stimulate collagen production, and improve the overall texture of your skin.
What are the active ingredients found in Cosmeceuticals?
Cosmeceuticals contain bioactive ingredients that address specific skin problems which are effective on all skin types. Here are some of the common ingredients found in cosmeceuticals, which are considered important for improving skin conditions.
1. Hydroxy acids
Hydroxy acids are the class of compounds, which helps in gentle skin exfoliation. Hydroxy acids are considered effective for the treatment of pigmentation, freckles, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles. Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA's) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA's) are two main types of Hydroxy Acid which are used frequently in cosmeceutical formulations for their enormous skin benefits.
Type of Hydroxy Acids
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are the fruit acids, which procured from different kinds of citrus fruits. AHA’s gentle skin exfoliating properties help to clear deposited cell debris, impurities, and dead cells, thereby revealing a new layer of skin. It also helps to diminish the appearance of brown spots, facial discolorations, dark spots, and uneven skin stone.
- Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s)
It is commonly known as salicylic acid. BHAs are considered good for treating acne breakouts. Being oil-soluble, it reaches the deepest layers of the skin and removes excess sebum. Another significant function of BHA’s is to keep the pores on your skin unclogged, which further reduces the chances of future outbreaks and acne.
Antioxidants are the other important addition in cosmeceutical products. The role of antioxidants is to fight against the free radical damage that causes oxidative stress. These free radicals are responsible behind cell death, which ultimately causes early skin aging. The current UV spectrum, extrinsic factors, and debilitated lifestyle contribute to causing free radical damage to our skin. Hence, to keep skin healthy and youthful, it becomes imperative to give an apt dose of antioxidants to your skin on a daily basis. A skin care product comprising of antioxidants is beneficial to attain improved skin appearance.
As per several research studies, the external use of vitamins has been found to be beneficial for overall skin health. There are a wide range of vitamins, which are used in various cosmeceutical formulations for correcting skin woes and promoting healthy skin cells. For instance, skin care products containing vitamin C has multiple benefits like skin lightening, anti–hyperpigmentation, and slowing down the premature signs of aging. Vitamin C also boosts the collagen synthesis that prevents the appearance of fine lines, and wrinkles on the skin. Depigmenting properties of Vitamin C further offer a brighter and radiant appearance.
4. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a natural molecule present in our body, which is an active compound, used in various moisturizing lotions, under eyes creams, and skin hydrating gels. With the progression of age, its level starts declining in the skin, which leads to dry, dull and damaged skin. In cosmeceutical formulations, the function of Hyaluronic Acid is to increase the water content of the epidermis to give you a smooth, supple, and youthful skin.
Over time, hormonal changes, increased levels of the air pollutants, inappropriate lifestyle and climatic changes have given birth to several skin and hair problems. To achieve the goal of a healthier and youthful skin, it is of utmost importance to incorporate the right products into your daily skin/hair care regimen. Cosmeceuticals are formulations that not only combat specific beauty concerns, but also nourish your skin & hair with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and bioactives. With the increasing desire to resolve beauty issues quickly, the worth of cosmeceutical products as the safest and most effective solution to restore, improve, and transform the skin structure has also increased drastically.Cosmetics are a good option for enhancing appearance in a matter of seconds. However, to attain a healthy and nourished skin that lasts forever, cosmeceuticals is the way ahead.