Cosmetics vs Cosmeceuticals

I am often asked “What is the difference between cosmetics and cosmeceutical products” by my clients.


Cosmetics are simply lotions that smooth or hydrate your skin.. This category of products is often found in chemists and supermarkets. They are designed to feel good and usually always have a fabulous smell. Cosmetics can not penetrate the epidermis due to the size of its molecule. It can not access the deeper layers of the skin. Cosmetic company’s do not invest in the science of their products but more the marketing and advertising which is why they have great packaging. It true they will claim that testing and case studies have been done, which is true, however the studies are not done on their products because science testing is expensive.

Case Study: Apply a generous amount of cosmetic body lotion (eg: Nivea, Vaseline Intensive care, Sorbolene Cream) to one of your legs. Now wait for 1 hour being very careful not to rub it off. It is best if you stay seated for the whole hour.

Now apply a cosmeceutical lotion to the other leg and wait for 1 hour. You will find that after one hour the cosmetic cream you have applied will still have stayed on top of the skin. Since it doesn’t have the ability to absorb and change the cells. If you are experiencing dry skin it will feel hydrated because the lotion has wet the dry dead skin cell that sit on the stratum corneum.


Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with bioactive ingredients to have medical or drug-like benefits and a marriage between the two. Cosmeceuticals contain high concentrations of bioactive ingredients such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Retinoids and Vitamin C. Dermatological research suggests that the bioactive ingredients used in cosmeceuticals have benefits beyond the traditional moisturisers. We need to wake up these skin cells and speed up the process to regenerate growth. Chirally corrected and encapsulation technology enables deep penetration of these active ingredients.

As a result, cosmeceuticals can produce structural changes within the skin and are ideal for the treatments of skin ane, hyper-pigmentation and ageing. This category of products are only available in paramedical skin clinics which should only be prescribed by a skin professional.

Dianne SamuelsonComment