What is the difference between cosmeceuticals & cosmetics?
In very simple terms Cosmetics sit on the skin surface and work superficially, whereas cosmeceuticals can penetrate deeper, therefore, doing the job they are designed to do.
You can’t apply castor oil to your face in the hope you will have hydrated, vibrant skin. It’s not going anywhere apart from sitting on the surface, blocking your pores not to mention creating an oil slick. (blotting paper would be required!)
Cosmeceuticals consist of active ingredients. These are biologically active substances that offer the very best when it comes to bringing beneficial effects. These active ingredients feed, nourish & heal your skin as they work at a much deeper level. They penetrate the ‘epidermis’ (top layer of skin) and can reach right down to the dermis. It is in the dermis that you will find connective tissue such as collagen and elastin.
What does collagen and elastic actually do?
Collagens’ main role is to provide strength, structure & support. Elastin’s main role is to provide stretchiness in your body. Interesting fact for you elastic is approximately 1000 times stretchier than collagen! ( I know you will sleep better knowing that fact!)
As we age collagen and elastin production becomes sluggish therefore making our skin sag and wrinkle. (Sorry it is inevitable)
Now even though we really need our products to reach the dermis let’s not forget the importance of the epidermis!
The primary function of the epidermis is to protect your body by keeping things that might be harmful out and keeping the things your body needs to function properly in.
The cells that make up the epidermis are continually being shed and replaced by new cells. The fat glands and blood vessels from the dermis provide nutrients to the epidermis keeping the skin layers healthy.
Oh and one last thing, just so you know, the epidermis actually consists of its very own 5 layers of skin! (we shall keep that for another day though!)
NOW Cosmetics can only do so much to heal your skin. Biologically, they cannot penetrate the dermal-epidermal junction of the skin which is the space between your epidermis and dermis. What they can do is maintain and clean the surface where they are applied.
So in a nutshell the job of a cosmeceutical is to correct or change the physiology of your skin, even enabling them to cure and prevent certain diseases & protect your cells.