Should I Be Buying Cosmetics or Cosmeceuticals?


This is a big question that I hear a lot. To be honest, as with most things, marketing plays a huge role in what products we end up purchasing to use on our skin. And the companies selling the products know all the tricks in the book in order to persuade us in a certain direction – their direction. But is that the direction we should be aiming for?

The thing is, it is very difficult to resist products packaged in a beautiful jar that often exudes everything we would associate with nature and natural ingredients. Usually the verbiage on the package assures us that it is indeed exactly what we are looking for. Perhaps, we tend toward the more fun and vibrant packaging, and we relish the thought of how much flare and colour that bottle will bring to our dresser or vanity. How fun would it be to use that product every morning or night? Same goes for the elegant and expensive looking packaging. Just the thought of seeing and using that product can bring us so much satisfaction and joy that we decide it must become part of our skin care routine.

Then pricing enters the arena, so that we find ourselves swaying between the best-packaged products and the ones that have the best price. Often we end up choosing something that is palatable to both aesthetics. We pick up the products that appeal to our senses, scan the ingredients and if they sound okay, and the price is reasonable to us, we purchase. If we get home, use the product and like its feel and texture, and feel as though it might be doing us some good, we’ll continue to purchase it for the foreseeable future.

This is exactly how not to buy products to care for our skin. After all, if a product is reasonably priced and in a fancy container, how good could the product inside all the packaging really be? And even if the product is decent, how can we be sure that it is the right product for us?

This is where it becomes helpful to know the difference between cosmetics and cosmeceuticals, so I will take a moment to break down the differences and answer some common questions.


What is the difference between a Cosmetic and a Cosmeceutical?

Cosmetics do not possess the ability to fundamentally change the skin and the way it functions.  They are not chemically engineered to be able to penetrate the lipid barrier and enter the deeper layers of the epidermis. To be able to reach the deeper layers of the skin and affect change, a product would need to possess the correct dosage of vitamins or active ingredients and would need to be encapsulated in the proper delivery system. In other words, it is not simply a guarantee that when you apply a topical solution to the skin that it actually penetrates. An effective treatment for a skin concern would need to do this in order to create any positive effects. Cosmetics are akin to putting a band-aid on a problem. Maybe they relieve dry skin or cover a blemish, but they are truly working only on the surface. The problems will still remain when the cosmetic isn’t present, and might even be worse.

A cosmeceutical bridges the gap between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They are specially formulated compounds that are made with the correct dosage and delivery systems so that they CAN penetrate through the lipid bilayer in order to change the skin at a safe effective level. They are a solution, not a temporary fix.


How do you know if what you are buying is a Cosmeceutical and where do you get them?

Cosmeceutical skin care products are primarily found in skin clinics or are prescribed by a dermatologist. Different people have different skin needs, and so it is always best to work with an expert. Often cosmeceuticals contain specific active vitamins or ingredients that target specific skin concerns and help prevent adverse skin conditions like ageing, pigmentation, acne and inflammation or dehydration. There are a variety of important nutrients and vitamins that your skin needs and a skin therapist can assess your situation, and determine the best cosmeceuticals for you.


Are Cosmeceuticals better for me?

Yes, they are a much better option for anyone. If you are shopping for a cosmetic to fix an issue, you are not likely to see a real result or a permanent change, regardless of how often you use it. Cosmeceuticals are created based on research and science. They are formulated to ensure a better customer result and overall improved health of the skin. Cosmeceutical products are not advertised on mainstream media nor are they as cheap as their cosmetic counterparts. This is largely due to the fact that the profit from sales goes back into research and science rather than into brand funding. Yes, you will pay more for your cosmeceuticals, but that extra cost will get you results rather than getting you hooked on refilling beautiful, but useless bottles.


For questions or to schedule your free consultation, give us a call today on 07 5526 9993 or book online now for your complimentary skin health analysis.

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