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What Are Cosmeceuticals?

Cosmeceuticals – it’s a buzzword that you hear all over the place but what does it actually mean? How do these wonder ingredients affect your skin and where do you find them? Cosmeceuticals is a word often used to describe the type of professional skincare product or treatment that is more potent than the drugstore or department store brand but not quite as medicinal as a pharmacy-only product.

The problem with medicinal skincare is that prescription products aren’t luxurious or glamorous. They work – they have undergone years of research and are proven, but they aren’t seen as a premium product. In a lot of cases they aren’t tailored to your skin type either.

Cosmeceuticals products, by comparison, are genuinely good quality products, tailored to your skin that can actually help to make you look younger when used properly.

Common ingredients in well-known cosmeceuticals Hydroxy Acids

If you want to use an effective moisturiser with exfoliating benefits, look for something with hydroxy acids, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). The best known of these are

glycolic and lactic acid, but also look out for moisturizers with citric acid, hydroxycaprylic acid, and hydroxycapric acid. This type of moisturizer helps to smooth the surface of your skin, so other products ‘stick’ and stay on better. The down side is that they can irritate the skin, and make it more sensitive to sunlight so remember to always combine hydroxyl acid based skin products with a sun screen.

Antioxidants and Vitamins

Antioxidants help your skin by cancelling out some of the effects of free radicals, which cause problems like prematurely aging skin and can even lead to skin cancer. A serum that contains vitamin C serum is recommended to help prevent signs of ageing like wrinkles and age spots. For the best results it’s worth asking professional advice on a good serum as some less expensive brands don’t contain enough antioxidants to make much of a difference.


Retinoids have been shown to smooth the skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fading age spots. Retinoid-based products can be an excellent anti-ageing treatment. But the really effective, prescription-only products aren’t available in cosmeceutical formulations.


Copper peptides are one of the latest trends to look out for in cosmeceuticals. They have a reputation for providing powerful anti- aging effects, and they work by encouraging your skin to make more collagen; plumping it out and making it look younger. Although this sounds promising, there’s no real evidence for their effectiveness just yet. Watch this space!

Overall, cosmeceuticals can be a really good investment for your skin, especially those which contain hydroxy acids and vitamin C. Although no moisturizer can restore youth, using good quality professional skincare products is one way to improve the condition of your skin and help it to look and feel just a little bit more youthful!

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