Cosmetics + Pharmaceuticals = Cosmeceuticals

What is a Cosmeceutical

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As more women from all corners of the globe continue to embrace cosmetics, big cosmetic firms are investing a lot of money into research aimed at coming up with new products to benefit women. Cosmeceuticals are one of the genius revolutionary beauty products that were born out of a marriage between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Cosmeceuticals are basically cosmetics that have been infused with active ingredients that have some sort of medicinal properties known to benefit humans in some way. For instance, a lotion is considered a cosmeceutical when it contains a known antioxidant like Vitamin C. If you come across any beauty product with marine and botanical extracts, vitamins, or peptides, it is considered a cosmeceutical.

Why Are They Popular?

Synthetic chemicals, which are a common ingredient in skincare products, are substances that many consumers don’t want any part of. Considering that organic food has been popular for some time now due to pesticides and other preservatives, it makes sense that skin products would also fall into the “all natural” category.

This post discusses more on the difference between cosmetics and cosmeceuticals:

Cosmetics VS Cosmeceuticals

Skincare Products

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Put simply, a cosmetic product will effectively maintain your skin by providing somewhat temporary results. A cosmetic may contain active ingredients, however these actives will be at a low concentration. Cosmetic products are widely accessible, available from supermarkets, department stores and salons. A Cosmeceutical product differs by stepping up with higher concentrations of active ingredients and often a variety of these active ingredients combined. This stronger formulation has the ability to bring about visible changes to the skin making it a results-focused product. Often, Cosmeceutical products are restricted to professional skin care stockist where a consultation can be provided.

See more here:  What is a Cosmeceutical?

Cosmeceuticals have taken the world by storm. However, the FDA still does not recognize cosmeceuticals as drugs. Under the law, cosmeceuticals are still classified under beauty products.

Regulation of Pharmaceuticals vs Cosmeceuticals

For a product to be recognized under law as a drug, clinical trials have to be done to prove that it’s effective and safe to use.  If all the claims from a cosmeceutical manufacturer were proven to be true, the FDA would approve the product as a new drug, not a cosmetic.

Manufacturers of cosmeceuticals have to be careful when stating the benefits of their product by avoiding that they make any claim to have drug-like effects. This video offers more on the fine line between a cosmetic product and a drug:

When shopping for cosmeceuticals, you need to first know that while the claims being made may be true, they are not supported by any published scientific studies or rigorous tests by the FDA. However, in most cases the cosmetics manufacturers run their own tests to support their claims.

Some of the tests include controlled lab tests, preservative efficacy tests and consumer tests. While most of these products will help you achieve your goal, there are many quacks out there that will sell you products that won’t work as promised in the label or in their marketing campaigns.

Are They Worth The Extra Cost?

What it comes down to is the focus of use and your personal preferences. Both cosmetics and cosmeceuticals can be expensive, so identifying the intention is the key. This post discusses the differences between the two:

cost of cosmeceuticals

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Cosmetics are able to be sold over the counter as they contain minimal active ingredients. They try to contain some active ingredients so they can make claims about those active ingredients and the benefits of using the product. Cosmetic’s focus on how the products feels and smells and can range from under $50 a bottle to over $500 a bottle depending on the brand name you are buying into. They are usually full of chemicals and preservatives unless you have chosen a natural or organic brand. The focus is on the marketing of the product and the feel good sensation when the product is used.


A blend of the terms Cosmetic and Pharmaceuticals drives the Cosmeceutical’s philosophy into active, effective and visual results. Cosmeceuticals usually contain minimal nasties and maximum ingredients to create a positive change in the skin. Skin conditions such as rosacea, pigmentation, decline of collagen and elastin (ageing), acne and dry skins can all be improved through the use of Cosmeceutical skin care. The marketing drive for Cosmeceuticals is all about what the product will do for your skin and what it will target to improve. I find that Cosmeceuticals do not clog the pores and cause breakouts (vouching for the brands we sell online!). They allow the skin to breathe.

What is the Difference Between Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals?

There are plenty of alternatives for skincare, so it is always better to do enough research before spending your money or buy your products from well-known, trustworthy manufacturers. You can also consult with a San Jose cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist to get their input before taking any chances.