What you need to know about Cosmeceuticals


Navigating the oversaturated landscape of creams and potions that promise the world can be confusing to say the least, but one thing is absolute: you need cosmeceuticals in your anti-ageing artillery. If you’ve ever felt disappointed by lack of results after using supermarket skincare, then read on…

What are cosmeceuticals and how do they work?

In a nutshell, cosmeceutical is where cosmetic meets pharmaceutical. Cosmeceuticals are products that contain bioactive scientifically validated ingredients, which are proven to change the skin. Cosmeceutical formulations have the ability to create cellular activity in the dermal layer of the skin allowing structural changes and cellular reprograming.

What’s the difference between cosmeceuticals and cosmetics?

It basically comes down to two things: the concentration of active ingredients contained in the formulation and the level of penetration into the skin. Cosmeceuticals contain more active ingredients in higher concentrations, which penetrate deeper into the skin—allowing the formulation to deliver tangible, lasting changes to the skin.

What changes can I expect to see and how long does it take?

Active ingredients have the ability to biologically change the skin. These changes can happen instantly or over a longer term. Depending on the product used and what condition you are trying to treat; you can expect to see noticeable improvements in texture, tone, clarity, pore size, firmness, hydration and colour.

What skin conditions do cosmeceutical products treat?

Cosmeceutical products are effective in treating a range of skin conditions including acne, pigmentation, aging, dehydration, dullness, sun damage, photoageing, keratosis pilaris, rosacea, scarring and overproduction of oil—just to name a few.

What are active ingredients and which ones should I be using?

Active ingredients are those, which have a specific effect on the skin. These ingredients are required at certain percentages and require technologically advanced delivery methods to be effective. They are often unstable if not formulated and stored correctly. Some active ingredients contained in our formulations include:



The anti-ageing vitamin. Vitamin A increases cellular renewal and the regeneration of healthy skin. It also refines pores and skin texture, reduces the appearance of age spots, fine lines/wrinkles and sallowness and imparts a youthful glow.



An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugar cane. Because of its small molecular structure, it penetrates easily into the skin to create moisture from within. It also softens wrinkles, fades hyperpigmentation and sun damage, and generally improves the tone and texture of the skin.



A beta hydroxyl acid (BHA) derived from willow bark, sweet birch and wintergreen leaves, it’s excellent for oily and congested skins as it breaks down sticky sebum to help prevent acne.




Chains of amino acids or ‘mini proteins’ that can send signals to cells to trigger a response for example Matrixyl to produce collagen and Juveleven to initiate DNA repair.



Antioxidants protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells. Antioxidants in skin care products can do a lot for the health and appearance of your skin, including reducing the signs of aging.




A bioactive form of Vitamin B3 and a potent cell-communicating ingredient that offers multiple anti-ageing benefits. Increases cell metabolism, prevents pigmentation, stimulates collagen synthesis and improves fine lines, wrinkles, texture, elasticity and sallowness.



Ethyl Ascorbic Acid: A potent antioxidant that lightens and brightens the skin, aids in collagen production inhibits melanin synthesis and defends against free radical damage.




A powerful natural antioxidant extracted from rice bran. Enhances stability of antioxidant vitamins C and E and also helps defend skin against environmental assault.


Can you use cosmeceuticals before and after treatments such as laser, Dermapen and peels?

Cosmeceuticals can be used before a treatment. Tyrosinase inhibitors like Vitamin C must be used at least two weeks before any light based treatment (IPL, laser) to mitigate against post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C or another tyrosinase inhibitor should also be used two weeks prior to any advanced pigmentation treatments. After an advanced treatment like Dermapen, laser and peels it is always best to use bland skincare and SPF for up to 10 days post treatment then resume cosmeceutical actives. Prepping the skin with cosmeceutical home care for a period is essential before any clinical treatment as it will speed up healing time and will enhance the results of your treatment.  

Can anyone use cosmeceutical skincare?

Cosmeceutical active ingredients have a proven biological action in the skin and alter the skin’s structure, so some skins may have to work up to using them— starting less often and building frequency from alternate days to everyday. There are also contraindications between some cosmeceutical ingredients and medications, especially photosensitising medications. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid retinoids and salicylic acid. Most people see extraordinary results from cosmeceutical strength ingredients, however always seek advice and have a consultation if you are unsure which actives will suit you.

Do I need a prescription for cosmeceutical products?

While cosmeceuticals are stronger than cosmetic grade skincare products, they are not as strong as pharmaceuticals therefore you do not need a prescription to purchase them. However to make the most of your products we recommend a consult with one of our therapists for a personalised routine, expert advice and tips.

Our kickass cosmeceutical picks:

For mature, sun-damaged, prematurely aged, dull, rough, collagen poor, dehydrated, acne-scarred enlarged pores:

Beauty Sleep Power Peel
Liquid Gold
Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum
Liquid Gold 24 Hour Moisture Repair Cream
Liquid Laser
Liquid Laser Super Anti-Ageing Balm
Vitamin Profiling
Posted: 12/06/2017 3:58:38 PM by Alpha-H Skincare | with 0 comments
Filed under: cosmeceutical