Are cosmeceuticals the answer to great looking skin?

Are cosmeceuticals the answer to great looking skin?
Are cosmeceuticals the answer to great looking skin?

By Zipporah Sandler

It used to be that I’d walk into my neighborhood drug store and pick up a brand name cleanser and moisturizer that I was familiar with. Whether it was advertising or the pretty packaging, it didn’t matter. I rarely had any idea of what ingredients were in the product, and simply believed that if I used them that I’d look younger, healthier, or whatever claims the product would place in LARGE letters on the front of the packaging. At twenty one years old, it probably mattered very little, as my skin was young and firm, and I was lucky to not have any acne or other scars.

As my skin began aging along with the rest of my body, I began purchasing more expensive brands. The claims that my skin would be tighter and brighter were enticing, and I believed that spending more on a product meant that it MUST be better. With ingredients that read like a prescription bottle, they HAVE to be good. Don’t they?

What are cosmeceuticals anyway?
Cosmetics + Pharmaceutical formulas = Cosmeceuticals

By infusing vitamins, peptides, sunscreen and other ingredients with anti-oxidative benefits into serums and moisturizers there may be an added anti-aging benefit. Don’t expect to slather on that $200 serum and expect an instant miracle. As with all skin care products, it takes long term regular use to reap the benefits of these products.

If you’re wondering if you should spend $400 on the newest miracle cream, then it’s time to go back to your roots….the drugstore. Look for cosmeceutical buzzwords like

· Vitamin C
· Peptides
· AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
· Retinoids
· Sunscreen
· Botanicals

You’ll soon find that products such as Olay Regenerist have the same active ingredients as the higher end mall brands.

Are they the answer to anti-aging?
Regular use has shown that there is some improvement when you use a cosmeceutical formulated product that is correct for your skincare problem. Of course good habits like using sunscreen, eating a healthy diet, and living a stress free lifestyle help.

My opinion?
Taking care of your skin is ALWAYS a good idea. I file this in the “it doesn’t hurt to try” category.

If you’re looking for products that are even more effective, ask your ASAPS plastic surgeon for his or her recommendation. There are many pharmaceutical grade products on the market that are available exclusively through your doctor’s office.