In the glow - cosmeceuticals kick it up a notch

September 1, 2007

Cosmeceuticals provide a higher level of antioxidants and the ingredients have a greater impact on the skin, according to an expert.

Key Points

What if there was a whole different level of skincare products available that could make your skin glow with good health?

Where would you find them? Would they be safe? What would they be called?

The answer is, they would be called "cosmeceuticals" and they're not a product of the future, but of the today. You can find them in your dermatologist's office, as well as on the drug store shelf.

Cosmeceutical products are interesting hybrids - not quite a pharmaceutical requiring a prescription, but definitely more potent than your average jar of cold cream.

According to Detroit-based dermatologist Steven Grekin, D.O., cosmeceuticals get their name because they are often a combination of cosmetic science and pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), and they usually offer a higher level of active ingredients.

"Cosmeceuticals often provide higher levels of antioxidant ingredients and have a greater impact on the skin," he explains. "They are usually studied longer than the average cosmetic skincare product, and this more extensive level of R&D gives the skin an increased level of active ingredients."

ANTIOXIDANT BENEFITS

Dr. Grekin cites products, such as Prevage MD, for instance, which is an anti-aging treatment that contains idebenone 1 percent and has been scientifically shown to be the most powerful antioxidant available in a skincare product, according to its manufacturer.

Prevage MD helps correct present damage and protect skin from future damage by environmental stressors known to cause skin aging, including UV radiation, ozone, air pollution, cigarette smoke and the aging process itself.

Ingredients such as Co-Q10 and vitamin C are antioxidants found in many cosmeceutical products. These are known for their ability to bind with free radicals and minimize or correct damage from stressors such as the sun and pollution.

Vitamin C, however, is a tricky ingredient, as it is often difficult to keep its potency shelf-stable. A good product to try is Cellex-C.

Other antioxidant products to consider is RevaleSkin by Stiefel with coffee berry extract and CE Ferrulic by SkinCeuticals by L'Oreal with ferrulic acid.

WHAT'S IN THAT?

The cosmeceutical arena is often the place to look for the active ingredients that one can't find in regular skincare products.

Dr. Grekin's office features a product called Natural Oxygenating Serum that contains live yeast cell derivative. This adds oxygen to the skin tissues under the eyes to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and to minimize discoloration that often leaves eyes with what are commonly known as "dark circles."

Another cosmeceutical ingredient that has been in the news is niacin, which can be found in NIA 24 Skin Strengthening Cream. While dermatologists have long recognized niacin for its anti-inflammatory properties, it took years of research to create a molecule that could actually deliver this ingredient into the skin, helping to repair sun damage and hyperpigmentation - often reversing the unsightly brown spots and lines that come from too much sun exposure.

Luzern Organic Cosmeceuticals offers a line of products for those who want the purity of organics without sacrificing luxury and results. Featured products include Force De Vie Pure Oxygen Crème; Force De Vie Eye Contour; Force De Vie Micro-Gel; System 02 Infuse; Serum Wrinkle Erase Absolut; and Serum Rosacea Care Absolut. These items are available from spas, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, medispas and other skincare professionals in the United States and worldwide.

FROM DRUGSTORES AND CATALOGS

Can you find cosmeceuticals in the drug store or in a catalog? You bet. Just look for ingredients such as hexapeptides and retinol often found in skincare products in the Oil of Olay Regenerist line.

Avon also offers a line of skincare products with ingredients to help skin positively glow with good health! Avon's Anew lifts the brow bone and under and upper eye areas. The Anew line includes Deep Crease Concentrate with BoHylurox; ThermFirm Face Lifting Cream; Plump & Smooth Lip System; Advanced Wrinkle Corrector; and Instant Face Lift.