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Cosmeceuticals vs. Cosmetics: What’s the Difference?

In aesthetic consultations, it is common to hear clients (especially new ones) complain that they are not getting results with the products they use at home. Many of them have even tried different brands, techniques, and formulas, getting only frustration (and wasting their money).

In 90% of the cases, this happens because they are using the wrong products. In other words, they are using a cosmetic and not a cosmeceutical. If this concern is common in your consultations, you must know the difference between one and the other. This way, you will be able to better advise your clients, so that they get the expected results and you can increase their satisfaction levels.

What is a Cosmetic?

These are over-the-counter (OTC) products that you can find in any department store, pharmacy, and even convenience store. Cosmetics can only act superficially, and cannot penetrate the epidermis to achieve any significant results. In other words, they will not have the necessary properties to act on whatever condition the skin is suffering from.

They may smell spectacular or feel great to use (their manufacturers strive to do so) but concerning skincare, they can do little. That is why at most, the person using them will get a short-term result, but no improvement in their skin condition. They have no therapeutic properties because they are not formulated with agents that can help the patient.

What is a Cosmeceutical?

Also called SkinCeuticals, these are products where cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are combined, and usually, the customer will not find them over the counter. A cosmeceutical usually must be prescribed by a skincare professional, as they contain therapeutic ingredients that can penetrate to the lower layers of the skin causing different effects.

They are scientifically formulated to produce structural results in the skin, as they can penetrate to the epidermis, and act on the cells, relieving a variety of skin conditions. They can be used to alleviate different conditions, such as acne, aging, and hyperpigmentation.

What Active Ingredients Does a Cosmeceutical Have?

The composition of the product will depend on the type of condition for which it is indicated. Generally, the ingredients are highly tested and have extraordinary quality. These may include:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamins
  • Coenzymes
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Peptides

Types of Cosmeceuticals

Just as there are a variety of conditions that can affect the skin, there is an extensive range of these types of products. These may include:

  • Anti-Aging
  • Anti-Wrinkle
  • Acne
  • Brown Spots
  • Brightening
  • Cleanse
  • Firming
  • Hydrating

What to Recommend to Your Clients?

It is essential to explain the difference between the use of a cosmeceutical and cosmetic products. The patient can use the specialized product at home, as directed, understanding that it is the one that will give the results. They also may buy a couple of cosmetic products for when they are away from home, mainly to keep the skin clean or moisturized.

Get the Best Products with Us

At Medical Purchasing Resource you will find the most varied line of cosmeceuticals for your distinguished clientele. We work with the best brands in the industry, which will surely help you reinforce the treatments you perform in your practice, maximizing the results. All this at the best prices in the market. Contact us and inquire about our products and services.


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