Cosmeceutical

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Like many other skin specialists I am often asked ‘what’s the difference between cosmeceuticals and cosmetics?’ by both my patients and readers. The next question is, are they worth the extra cost? They may look the same and feel the same but there is a big difference between the two.

What is a Cosmeceutical?

Cosmeceuticals is a hybrid word created from ‘cosmetic’ and ‘pharmaceutical’ to identify a skincare product that is above cosmetics but not a pharmaceutical product. Cosmeceuticals can produce structural changes within the skin and are ideal for the treatment of skin conditions like acne, hyper-pigmentation and aging. Cosmeceuticals are not just skincare but rather skin medicine/prescription. Unlike cosmetics.

The ingredients in cosmeceuticals are stronger than your cosmetic-grade skin care products, but not as strong as pharmaceutical products. Therefore, they do not require a medical prescription to dispense, and can be used regularly on the skin without the major side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Differences between Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic products

The existence and the level of active ingredients

Cosmetics may but normally do not have active ingredients and if they do have active ingredients they are not at the scientific proven levels or in the correct delivery system to benefit the skin. Because consumers tend to “self-diagnose” and choose a skin care product that is easily available from a drug or department store. The cosmetics must be made safe because big cosmetic companies cannot afford to have masses of consumers having adverse reactions to their products. So, cosmetic skin care product will feel good and smell good, but it won’t have a deep effect on the skin or skin health.

To be classed as a Cosmeceuticals, active ingredients must be at the scientifically proven levels of concentrations that have a positive affect on the skin. They must be in a delivery system that ensures that the active ingredients can penetrate the skin correctly. 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

Results from using the products:

Cosmetics: These products are sold over the counter because they are safe. The only thing that can go wrong is if you have incorrectly diagnosed your skin type and purchase the incorrect products. Cosmetics cannot penetrate the epidermis to access the deeper layers of the skin. So, while cosmetics may refresh your complexion for a few hours, they cannot create structural changes or deliver long-term results. Cosmetic will effectively maintain your skin by providing somewhat temporary results.

Cosmeceuticals: when applied to the skin the active ingredients are able to reach the deeper dermal layers of skin to allow them to work on the skin and be able to make noticeable changes in the skin. These changes can include reducing acne severity, re-hydrating the skin, diminishing the appearance of aging and sun damage, and promoting a healthy, radiant complexion.

Cosmeceutical products have been scientifically developed to produce impressive, fast-acting and noticeable results to correct skin concerns to penetrate the skin’s surface to promote change on a cellular level and improve the skin in the long term. You don’t need a specific skin concern to use cosmeceuticals if you’re keen to maintain youthful, healthy skin for as long as possible.

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Redness

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Redness & Blotchy Skin: Definitions & Treatments

Redness can be apparent on skin as flushing or blushing but continuous redness often worsens as we age – the result of years of damaging sun exposure. When aging skin is thinner and especially in fair skin types (Fitzpatrick I and II), you might notice fine red spider lines, or an overall diffuse redness. People with red skin can also have heightened skin sensitivity.

If your skin is red, uncomfortable and puffy, you may have a medical condition called rosacea or atopic dermatitis/eczema. Treatment should be sought from your dermatologist.

Oily Skin

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Oily Skin

Feeling tight, flaky and itchy? Dry skin (xerosis) is incredibly common, affecting people of all skin types and ages and on various parts of the body. For some it might be an occasional episode, while for others it can be a chronic, irritating problem impacting their quality of life. On the bright side, people with dry skin may also tend to have small pores and rarely break out.

The causes of dry skin can vary from external – climate, environment and lifestyle, to internal – medications, hormone fluctuations and coexisting diseases. Whatever the cause, the features are essentially the same – lack of hydrationand a disturbed lipid content in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) allowing moisture to escape and irritants to enter causing scaliness, itching and loss of elasticity. The frequency of dry skin tends to increase with age, making it that much harder to battle.

Characteristics of dry skin:

– Skin feels tight, lacks elasticity

– Skin texture feels rough

– Complexion looks dull

– Scaling, flaking and itching

– Cracking, redness and irritation

– Pores barely visible

Large pores

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How to minimize and get rid of large pores

Large or enlarged pores can be more common as you age or if you have naturally oily skin. Large pores cannot be cured and can be more prominent with age, but their appearance can be minimized with formulas that firm the skin’s appearance in combination with scrupulous use of pore clarifying cleansers. and mattifying primers that minimize their appearance.

Dull texture

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Brighten Dull Skin & Smooth Skin Texture

Dull skin is a cosmetic term that refers to the lack of healthy radiance or glow to the skin. When the skin surface texture is not smooth, it cannot reflect light well, and so appears dull. As we age, coarse, rough texture is often the result of a slowdown in the skin’s natural renewal and exfoliation processes.

To help restore smooth texture and therefore radiance, use skincare products with ingredients that gently renew the skin’s natural exfoliation process and hydrate, such as Alpha Hydroxy and Polyhydroxy acids, for a perfectly smooth canvas and natural youthful glow.

Dry Skin

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Dry Skin: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Feeling tight, flaky and itchy? Dry skin (xerosis) is incredibly common, affecting people of all skin types and ages and on various parts of the body. For some it might be an occasional episode, while for others it can be a chronic, irritating problem impacting their quality of life. On the bright side, people with dry skin may also tend to have small pores and rarely break out.

The causes of dry skin can vary from external – climate, environment and lifestyle, to internal – medications, hormone fluctuations and coexisting diseases. Whatever the cause, the features are essentially the same – lack of hydrationand a disturbed lipid content in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) allowing moisture to escape and irritants to enter causing scaliness, itching and loss of elasticity. The frequency of dry skin tends to increase with age, making it that much harder to battle.

Characteristics of dry skin:

– Skin feels tight, lacks elasticity

– Skin texture feels rough

– Complexion looks dull

– Scaling, flaking and itching

– Cracking, redness and irritation

– Pores barely visible

aging eyes

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Reduce Crow’s Feet & Aging Eyes

Signs of aging around the eyes, including droopiness and crow’s feet or crepe-like skin, are often the result of years of UV exposure that causes the breakdown of firming collagen, exacerbated by repeated mechanical muscle expression, like squinting, frowning, etc.

Puffiness may be genetic, or related to diet and salt consumption, lack of sleep and allergies.. Dark circles may be the result of darkening pigment or the pooling of blood which gives a dark look to the skin and is often genetic.

Contact lens wearers can look for ophthalmologist-tested formulas labeled safe for lens wearers. Always wear sunglasses with UV protection and have your eyes checked regularly.

Adult Acne

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Adult Acne

What causes adult acne?

We’re not teenagers anymore, so why do we still have acne? Turns out acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and becoming even more common in adult women. Self-reporting studies show statistics as high as 50% of women over age 20 are affected by adult acne. The impact of acne often goes well beyond blemishes. People who have acne often also suffer significant physical and psychological effects including permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression and anxiety.

Why do we get acne?

Acne appears when a pore in our skin clogs. Normally, dead skin cells rise to the surface of the pore, and the body sheds the cells. When the body produces too much sebum (the oil that keeps our skin hydrated), the dead skin cells can stick together inside the pore. Instead of rising to the surface, the cells become trapped inside.

Bacteria that live on our skin, known as acne, also get inside the clogged pore, which is a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply quickly. The buildup of bacteria in the pore causes it to become inflamed. If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule may appear.

Signs of acne include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules (aka pimples) and cysts. In teenagers, acne is part-genetic, part-hormonal and largely the result of increased oil production. Adult acne tends to be deeper, more painful and more cyclical. It is usually caused by stress or hormonal fluctuations and is centralized around the mouth, jaw and chin. Because cell turnover slows with age, adult skin can take longer to heal and can be complicated by pigmentation issues.

Causes of Adult Acne:

Causes of Adult Acne:

A) Fluctuating Hormone Levels:

Women often experience fluctuating hormones surrounding their periods, during pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause or after discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills. An imbalance can lead to breakouts.

B) Stress:

When we’re stressed, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone) that stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne.

C) Family History:

Studies suggest that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne.

D) Hair & Skin Products:

If you have oily or combination skin and are prone to breakouts, you should be using products labeled “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic”, “non-acnegenic” or “water-based”. Cleansing too frequently or too intensely can also be drying, causing your skin to produce more oil to overcompensate.

How to Treat Acne or Acne Prone Skin

Treatment for adult acne or acne-prone skin focuses on the 4 main contributing factors – overactive sebaceous glands, cell proliferation, bacteria growth and inflammation.

Look for multifunctional products that include ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which exfoliate to help remove surface dead skin cells; benzoyl peroxide, which helps kill bacteria; and soothing botanicals that help soothe skin.

While not every product works for everyone who has acne or acne-prone skin, virtually every case of acne can be addressed. It takes time and perseverance. Acne treatment doesn’t work overnight. At-home treatment generally requires 4-8 weeks to see improvement and once acne clears, you must continue treatment to prevent future breakouts.

Wrinkles & Fine Lines

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How To Get Rid Of Wrinkles & Fine Lines

Early signs of aging include the development of fine lines and wrinkles, especially on the upper half of the face – forehead and around eyes. As the years of daily environmental exposure accumulate, collagen, the skin’s underlying support, begins to weaken. Wrinkles appear on skin’s surface, especially along repeated-expression areas from squinting or frowning (such as crow’s feet or 11 lines).

When collagen weakening becomes more pervasive and skin loses its youthful volume, sometimes fine lines gather in a network that resembles crepe-paper (called crepiness). Wrinkles refer to deeper lines. As aging progresses and skin loses volume, deeper wrinkles appear on the lower half of the face – such as smile lines (sometimes called marionette lines) that occur from mouth to chin and nasolabial folds which form from the corner of the nose to the outside of the mouth. Deep lines across the top of the lips can also be exacerbated by repeated motion (pursing lips, smoking) where underlying collagen has become weakened.

There are several potent, proven effective ingredients that target the skin’s support matrix or collagen to firm and plump so that the appearance of lines and wrinkles at skin’s surface is smoothed. Look for Glycolic Acid, Polyhydroxy and , Retinol, Vitamin c, and certain Peptides.

Uneven Skin Tone

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How to Get Rid of Dark Spots & Uneven Skin Tone

Your skin is hyperpigmented or has uneven skin tone if you have areas of dark spots or discoloration. Also known as sun spots or age spots that are common after the age of 40, these small flat pigmented spots are most often seen on areas of the body that have been exposed to daily UV light over a period of years, such as the face and hands. Skin may also become discolored after pregnancy or from use of oral contraceptives; this condition is called melasma.

Uneven skin tone will improve over time with regular use of a topical skin brightener and exfoliator. Look for ingredients such Vitamin C, Niacinamide or extracts such as Turmeric and Licorice and Retinol All pigmentation problems require sun avoidance and strict sunscreen use to maintain benefits of your skincare regimen. Always have your skin checked annually by a dermatologist for signs of sun damage.