Most people, including you and I are willing to trade wealth for a youthful glow! Just to look a little younger! And therefore, there has been a surge in demand for high end anti-aging products that move beyond traditional cosmetics that only temporarily adorn and beautify the skin. Cosmetics companies have tapped into the biomedical revolution, adding biologically active ingredients for their products that enhance the function of a healthy skin, thus the evolution of cosmeceuticals.

Cosmeceuticals represent a category of products placed between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals that are intended for the enhancement of both the health and beauty of the skin. But there remains a controversy surrounding the active ingredients found within these formulations. Particularly in regards to their mechanism of action, formulation, optimal concentration, penetration and retention in the skin. Everyone is so tired of spending money on countless skincare products that don’t work, with claims like erase scars, tighten your pores, prevent breakouts and reduce wrinkles. All this spending with little results, starts to make people feel hopeless and skeptical. It makes people feel like nothing will ever help! But let’s dig deeper into Cosmeceuticals.

Many cosmeceutical agents are developed and advertised for prevention and treatment of aging skin; particularly photo-aging skin. Photo-aging refers to damage to the skin caused by prolonged exposure to solar UV radiation. While the most important protective measure against photo-aged skin is the daily application of UVA and UVB sunscreen, potential treatment options for already damaged skin involve the use of topical antioxidants and compounds that help repair DNA and stimulate collagen synthesis and most topical multivitamins provide some of these benefits. These include;


Vitamin E is an epidermal ant-oxidant that absorbs the solar spectrum of UV light. The most active form of vitamin E is Alpha-Tocopherol that protects against sunburn, improving the wrinkling and hyperpigmentation caused by free radicals.


Also known as Nicotinamide or Niacinamide is a key player in anti-oxidizing free radicals. Niacinamide, the most tolerated form has shown to improve skin barrier by increasing lipids and epidermal protein. This leaves the skin more resistant to Irritation and blotchiness most likely by decreasing water loss from the skin. Niacinamide also reduces facial depigmentation, smoothening skin texture and prevents skin yellowing.


Topically, vitamin C has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Higher doses of 5-17% ascorbic acid revealed improved skin texture and appearance of photo-aging.


The role of peptides is based on the hypothesis that peptide fragments of collagen and elastin can act as a positive feedback signal for their own continued synthesis by the body. Peptides have shown to improve wrinkled skin when applied topically.


Among these botanical substances, Ginkgo biloba, silymarin and ginseng. Soy and green tea have exhibited capacity to promote skin health and appearance. Ginkgo is the most commonly used, added to moisturizers for its ant-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

As a patient, always inquire from your pharmacist for guidance on the realistic degree of improvement that can be achieved by using a product and the potential side effects. Cosmeceuticals in development sound so exciting but the pharmacists’ concern should be to help patients choose the best products available.



  • https// By Katherine Martin, MS4 and Dee Anna Glaser MD MSMA.
  • Manela-azulay M, Bagatin E

Say something!

Scroll Down