Cosmeceuticals the new beauty heavyweight?
Not just a cosmetic product, but not quite a heavy-hitting pharmaceutical, ‘cosmeceuticals’ are making major headway in the global beauty market. But are they 100 per cent safe?
Jennifer Lopez swears by them, the Duchess of Cambridge is rumoured to have been a fan for years, and Uma Thurman claims they have improved her (undoubtedly already pretty fantastic) quality of life.
They’re all long-term devotees of cosmeceuticals – the beauty products that are revolutionising how we classify skincare. Not quite your average beauty counter buy, nor possessing the full-blown power of a prescribed pharmaceutical, cosmeceuticals are in a class all of their own, combining science know-how with cosmetic razzle- continue using a cosmeceutical product once introduced, and they are endlessly customisable.
Pumped full of active ingredients and sold with claims of overnight improvement, these skincare wonders claim to plump wrinkles, fade pigmentation and halt the ageing process. If your regular routine isn’t putting a spring in your skin, a dalliance with cosmeceuticals may be just the ticket.
Cosmeceuticals are the snazzier, more ambitious version of your average skincare line. Aiming to knock out specific skin concerns, these amped-up products steal the best bits from the cosmetics industry, like user-friendly packaging and plant-based formulations, and inject them with all the know-how of scientific research and countless laboratory hours. While there currently isn’t an official classification to determine exactly what a cosmeceutical is, it’s widely understood the label applies to any product that falls just short of being classed as a full pharmaceutical, meaning they can be sold more widely without a doctor’s visit and prescription.
Hilda Gous, technical sales and marketing manager of South African
These skincare wonders claim to plump wrinkles, fade pigmentation and halt the ageing process
dazzle to take prime position on trend-savvy vanities globally.
No longer reserved for A-listers, cosmeceuticals have hit beauty counters hard and fast, with researchers predicting they will clock US sales worth $11.9 billion (Dh43.7 billion) by 2016.
Why the hype? For one, they boast an impressive customer-retention rate, with clients more likely to cosmeceutical line Optiphi, describes the company’s products as “carefully formulated and developed to obtain a biological response on a cellular level, with a medicinal undertone to assist in either stimulating or inhibiting certain cellular functions to attain good cellular health, and ensuring the skin barrier functions optimally.”
In other words, rather than simply relying on the trace amount of renewing and restorative ingredients found in your bog-standard, runof-the-mill lotions, cosmeceuticals pinpoint the exact combination and quantity of active ingredients needed to make a noticeable and – most importantly – sustainable difference to the skin’s surface.
The term ‘cosmeceutical’ was coined in the 1980s by dermatologist Albert Kligman as he conducted further research into early ageing prevention, having already identified the link between sun exposure and dermal damage, and co-invented Retin-A as an anti-ageing compound.
Aiming to find a lab-approved topical fix with both aesthetic and therapeutic effects, he combined innovative formulas from the cosmetic and pharmaceutical worlds to create a category of skincare that would be user friendly and scientifically proven.
Despite their introduction to our lexicon decades ago, cosmeceuticals have started to come into their