Cosmeceutical Skin Care – The Perfect Prescription Part 1
What is a cosmeceutical?
In simple terms cosmeceuticals are skin care products that contain ‘active ingredients’. These ingredients are grounded in scientific evidence and have been shown to contribute to measurable improvements in the various signs of ageing – improving skin texture, promoting collagen growth, reducing pigment (the list goes on..)
What do cosmeceuticals offer our skin that other more intensive cosmetic treatments such as cosmetic injectables and laser skin treatments do not?
The answer is nothing. Cosmeceuticals are at their best preserving the results of other more intensive cosmetic treatments. If you are going to invest in laser skin treatments or injectables, it’s worth spending the extra money to preserve and prolong the results. It’s similar to taking out an insurance policy to protect your car or piece of jewellery. Think of cosmeceuticals as your skins insurance policy. Don’t get me wrong, the active ingredients in cosmeceuticals have independent effects to improve the skin, but results are subtle and difficult to measure. An example is Retinol (vitamin A in its various forms), this old chestnut has been around for years as a topical serum or cream, and has been shown time and time again to stimulate collagen production. It works! And it’s great, but the results are better when paired with a collagen stimulating laser facial such as radiofrequency or C02 treatments. I’d go as far as to say you’d be mad not to use cosmeceuticals for your home care routine if you’re going to go to the trouble of investing in laser and injectable treatments. This is not to say you shouldn’t use cosmeceuticals on their own, but don’t expect to see miracles.
On the other hand, cosmeceuticals include chemical peels. Chemical peels consist of some of the same active ingredients but in stronger concentrations than their topical counterparts. Therefore the effects of chemical peel treatments are enhanced and usually only require treatment every 2-4 weeks if you’re having them performed regularly. Examples are, salicylic acid commonly found in ‘off the shelf’ toners in concentrations of 1-2% used to minimise pores. Salicylic peels vary in concentration but they start at 3-5% and go up to a concentration of 30% or higher, great for reducing pores. Lactic acid peels are used to hydrate the skin and keep pigmentation at bay and range in concentration from 10-60%. These peels are particularly great when paired with laser facials such as Photorejuvenation, which is great for treating pigmentation and redness in the skin.