"Eco", organics and supplements have long been not empty words for those who are used to following the trend of taking care of themselves. This range can be supplemented with the cosmetological term cosmeceuticals. Many people still do not know how exactly cosmeceutical preparations differ from ordinary care or pharmaceutical cosmetics. We asked Ilmira Gilmutdinova, a doctor of anti-age medicine, the developer of her own cosmeceutical line GI BEAUTY, to make a small excursion into the history and explain the features of cosmeceuticals.
The term cosmeceutical, combining the words cosmetic and pharmaceutical, was popularized by Dr. Albert Kligman in 1980. At the same time, it is believed that it was first proposed in 1961 by Raymond Read. Although cosmeceutical products do not require the same efficacy analysis (preclinical and clinical studies) as pharmaceuticals, the evidence for their benefits is steadily increasing. Thus, in vitro and in vivo testing of some products has shown that the ingredients in cosmeceuticals have a protective and regenerating effect on aging skin. Cosmeceuticals can be sold in the form of serums, creams, lotions, ointments, and so on. Today, cosmeceuticals are so rich in formulations that they are considered an alternative to more invasive treatments.
The difference between cosmeceuticals and cosmetics and nutricosmetics
Cosmetics perform one single function - skin care (masking imperfections is a bonus). No matter how many effects cosmetics manufacturers declare on the packaging, there is one truth - the components of cosmetics work exclusively on the surface of the skin and cannot penetrate into the inner layers of the epidermis. The popular hyaluronic acid, which is part of many creams, due to its high molecular weight, can only have a temporary moisturizing effect, creating a hydrophilic film on the skin surface at the time of application.
Cosmeceuticals include components, the size of which allows them to penetrate deep into the skin and have a direct or indirect effect on the structures of the epidermis and dermis. But in addition to influencing the skin from the outside, it is possible to improve the quality of the skin from the inside. And nutricosmetics (biologically active food supplements that improve the condition of the skin, hair and nails) perfectly cope with this task. It differs from drugs in a lower concentration of active substances, and from cosmeceuticals - in the way it is used. But if you use both cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics at the same time, you can enhance the effect of drugs and get a wow effect from their use.
What does cosmeceuticals contain?
The main and most often used components in the production of cosmeceuticals are vitamins, amino acids, peptides, proteins, growth factors and plant components. One cosmeceutical product usually contains at least 10 multidirectional ingredients.
- Vitamins. Many cosmeceuticals are being developed to address the problems of skin photoaging. Possible treatment options include the use of topical antioxidants and compounds that help repair DNA and stimulate collagen synthesis. Some of the most proven working vitamins are A, E, B3 and C.
- Peptides. They are chemical compounds consisting of short chains of amino acids. Over the past 10 years, their use in cosmetics has grown steadily because they help fight the signs of aging. They have the ability to penetrate the top layer of the skin and act as dispatchers, regulate the functioning of fibroblasts and control the production of extracellular matrix components.
- Proteins. The main benefit derived from the use of proteins in cosmeceuticals is increased skin hydration. They increase the amount of water in the stratum corneum, thereby reducing wrinkles caused by dehydration, increasing the thickness and quality of the skin barrier. Proteins are often added to medicated shampoos and conditioners: When the scalp is damaged, tiny holes form in the hair follicle, through which proteins in conditioners and shampoos can penetrate.
- Growth factors. The use of growth factors for skin rejuvenation is a new and promising story. The results of studying the role of growth factors in wound healing have generated great interest in the role of these molecules in skin physiology. There are various cosmeceutical products currently on the market that contain one or more human growth factors. The results of clinical studies show that their topical application effectively counteracts the signs of skin aging.
- Herbal ingredients. Active ingredients include ginkgo biloba, silymarin, ginseng, soy and green tea, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as other beneficial effects.
Nanotechnology in cosmeceuticals
One of the main tasks of cosmeceuticals is the penetration of beneficial ingredients deep into the skin. And here you can't do without guides. New nanocarriers such as liposomes, niosomes, nanoemulsions, microemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carrier and nanospheres have replaced the use of a “conventional” delivery system. These nanocarriers have the advantages of improved skin penetration, controlled and sustained release of the active ingredient, high stability and targeted action.
Summary: the main distinguishing features of cosmeceuticals
- the production of cosmeceuticals is based on big science ─ innovative developments of scientists from different countries;
- cosmeceutical products are sold exclusively in pharmacies or specialty stores, which makes them less affordable and more attractive;
- contains only expensive high-quality components;
- a high concentration of ingredients in cosmeceuticals requires a professional approach to the selection of a product and a scheme for its use;
- cosmeceuticals, like any pharmaceutical preparation, due to the high activity of the components, can cause redness, irritation or any other undesirable reaction of the body, if used incorrectly;
- high-quality cosmeceuticals contain no fragrances and dyes, which may be potential allergens.
Photo: Getty Images
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