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DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care

Treating beyond the surface of the skin

DermaFix Product Guide

Pharmaceuticals

A pharmaceutical drug, commonly referred to as medicine, for the purpose of skin care, is a treatment prescribed by your doctor i.e antibiotic lotions, Retin-A and Rozex.

Cosmetics

Cosmetic products are not designed to effect any long term change deep within the skin because most cosmetic/skincare products don't [usually] use highly active ingredients and/or active ingredients are often in such tiny concentrations they never reach target cells in the dermal layers of the skin to create the change needed to create the difference. Changes to the skin using cosmetic/skincare products are what I'd call passive changes. If you're living an unhealthy lifestyle, not supplementing with vitamins and minerals, and love the sun, your cells have little chance of being actively affected by skincare products. Your skins condition is directly related to the state of your cells before cosmetics can reach them. Remember not all cosmetics are created equal and some will indeed contain natural and active ingredients therefore giving better results.

Cosmeceuticals

Cosmeceuticals fall somewhere between the pharmaceutical range and the cosmetic range. Although you may not need a prescription to obtain them, they are [usually] only sold by highly trained individuals with in-depth knowledge of active ingredients and the skin. They have higher amounts of active ingredients, with scientifically and/or clinically proven [in vitro and in vivo] formulations, and offer delivery systems that reach targeted cells in the deeper dermal layer of the skin. They contain a powerful combination of active ingredients which improve the condition of the skin and its underlying health, as well as have the ability to repair damaged cells, protect DNA and regenerate the skin. Bioactive ingredients used in cosmeceuticals have benefits beyond that of your traditional cleansers, toners and moisturisers. This is why you will rarely find these skin care products in department stores such as Edgars, Woolworths, Stutterfords or Clicks, as they require more intensive training for the people who distribute them. Why? Because cosmeceuticals have the ability to do great harm to skin if put in the wrong hands - plain and simple. Products sold over the counter in department stores are [usually] considered safe for any passing customer to pick up and use safely even if a sales person isn't available to help/guide them.

The term "cosmeceutical"

Currently much controversy surrounds the use of the term cosmeceutical, in the description of preparation used for the care of the skin. The primary issue at hand is the definitions and descriptive words applied to medicines and cosmetics. Cosmetics have been greatly improved with various technological advancements and scientific research in recent years, which has led to advent of terms such as cosmeceutical, skinceutical and dermacosmetic. These terms are mostly used to describe the effective penetrative ability, biological activity and resultant therapeutic improvement to the structure and function of the deeper as well as superficial layers of the skin. The effect of ingredients in such preparations are normally supported by extensive scientific research and validation and set apart from traditional cosmetic skincare. This has lead to the classification of cosmetic products as: preparations which cleanse tone and beautify the skin on the superficial level. The situation currently exists that a number of effective ranges fall neither into the strict definitions of either medicine or cosmetic. They are loosely classified in the health and skincare industry as cosmeceuticals, although, strictly speaking, the term cosmeceutical is not officially recognized as a preparation classification by various medical and cosmetic associations at this point.

Do cosmeceuticals really differ from any other cosmetics?

My answer is both yes and no. Regardless of the name, cosmeceutical or otherwise—a skin-care product is only as good as what it contains and how those ingredients can help your skin function better, or in the vernacular, to act younger. Although many skin-care treatments contain ingredients that affect the biological function of skin, again not all of them are created equal. The biologically active ingredients to look for in products include antioxidants [most of which have anti-inflammatory properties], cell-communicating ingredients, exfoliants, skin-lightening ingredients, and intercellular substances [ingredients that mimic skin structure]. Cosmeceuticals products should contain a mix of these [antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and intercellular substances] as they help skin keep a normal level of hydration, build collagen, reduce skin discolorations, and prevent cellular damage. Cosmeceuticals also generally combine the power of Alpha Hydroxy Acids with other actives such as Retinol and antioxidants to create lasting results beyond the surface of the skin.

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