This post was first published on the SA SA MALAYSIA BLOG.
The Pink Peeps’ Guide to Cosmeceuticals
Sa Sa Malaysia | September 20, 2010
Cosme… Cosme… Cosme what…?
Have you guys heard of cosmeceutical skincare? Ever wondered what exactly it is? Let the Sa Sa team unravel the cosmeceutical mystery for you today…
According to YOUR DICTIONARY, cosmeceutical (kŏzˌmə-so͞oˈtĭ-kəl / noun) is defined as a cosmetic that has or is purported to have medicinal properties.
Simply put, cosmeceutical is a combined word with ‘cosmetics’ and ‘pharmaceuticals’, and this is a relatively new wave in the cosmetics industry, with many of such cosmeceutical brands enjoying tremendous commercial success now.
Broadly speaking, these are topical cosmetic-pharmaceutical hybrids that are intended to enhance the condition and beauty of our skin. The usual cosmetic skincare products only serve to cleanse and beautify our skin, which happens to the largest organ in a human body. As opposed to cosmetics, cosmeceuticals purportedly do more, in that cosmeceuticals will alter the structure and function of the skin, so the improvements to the skin is more than just superficial.
Cosmeceutical skincare brands are also usually backed by extensive research and development, skin science and also stringent clinical tests to ensure its efficacy and guaranteed results.
We’ve compiled some FAQs on cosmeceuticals to enhance your understanding of this new wave of skincare, or what many consumers have referred to as ‘doctor’s brands’.
Q: What are cosmeceuticals?
A: Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products that possess medicinal or drug-like benefits. Cosmeceutical products are marketed as cosmetics, but supposedly contain biologically active ingredients. The majority of such products are moisturizers, anti-wrinkle creams, sunscreen and other skin treatment products that claim to do more than just cleanse and beautify our skin.
Q: Since both cosmeceuticals and cosmetics are topically applied, how are the two different?
A: Well, cosmeceuticals represent a marriage between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Although like cosmetics, cosmeceuticals are also topically applied, they contain ingredients that influence the biological function of the skin.
Cosmeceuticals improve the appearance of skin like cosmetics, but they do so by delivering nutrients necessary for healthy and glowing skin.
Q: What are the usual functions or benefits of cosmeceuticals?
A: Cosmeceuticals typically claim to improve skin tone, texture and radiance, whilst reducing the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
Q: What are the current health and safety regulations involving cosmeceuticals?
A: As cosmeceuticals skincare is a fairly new area, there are not many countries that have a comprehensive set of guidelines specifically for this genre of products. Instead, it is mostly subject to the same health and safety requirements for cosmetic products of the relevant governing body.
For instance, in the United States where such products fall under the administration of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the term ‘cosmeceuticals’ is not officially recognized by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and therefore not subject to any special review by FDA. Instead, such products are tested for safety just like the other cosmetic products. Testing to determine whether beneficial ingredients live up to the manufacturer’s claims is not mandatory.
In general, vitamins, herbs, essential oils and other botanical extracts may be used in cosmeceuticals, but the manufacturer may not claim that its products penetrate beyond the skin’s surface layers or that they have drug-like or therapeutic effects.
There is a rather comprehensive write-up HERE about cosmeceuticals for those of you who are interested to read more about this new wave of skincare products.
Generally speaking, consumers are leaning towards this new type of skincare products as they can do more than the usual skincare and cosmetic products. Besides, over the past few years, many cosmeceutical brands have established themselves as strong contenders in the competitive beauty market whereby consumers are always on the lookout for more youthful and beautiful skin.
So now, if you’re keen to give cosmeceutical skincare a try, come on down to our Annyeong Seoul Korean Fair and check out Dr.G, which is the No.1 skin clinic/centre in Korea, and it’s also the world’s second largest medical skincare group. Read more HERE.