Serious About Skincare

22nd January 2010

Cosmeceuticals are the way to go…


Mary Linehan explains

Cosmeceuticals is a marketing term: the linguistic and literal combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Certainly they’re not your average beauty products; indeed, these are serious skin care ranges.

Products marketed as cosmeceuticals are applied topically – moisturisers, serums, masks and peels – although most ranges will also include the usual array of products such as cleansers and toners as well as body care and sun care ranges.

We live in an age of ever-increasing demand for anti-ageing, protective, regenerative and preventative products that will help us to look younger for longer. Cosmeceutical products incorporate high-grade botanicals, plus superfoods such as pomegranate, black and green tea and berries, and science-based nature-identical ingredients into the formulations, to deliver the nutrients required to help support product claims. These naturally contain the vitamins, minerals, acids and enzymes that are essential for results – antioxidant vitamins C and E, alpha hydroxy acids, skin lighteners, Co Enzyme Q10, growth factors and many more.

To the untrained eye, there might not seem much difference between these claims and those of any other mainstream beauty brand. The selling points of the cosmeceuticals, though, are their advanced formulations and the high potency concentrations of the ingredients that back their claims to prevent wrinkles, repair, improve skin tone and texture, plump and lighten the skin and boost radiance.

With all the investment in research and development, cosmeceuticals are certainly at the prestige end of the market, so expect to pay more. However, usage is critical to the success of these products, and you need apply only small amounts to see results.

Remember, too, that despite the pseudo-scientific terminology, cosmeceuticals are beauty products, not medical products, which would require a prescription. But they are excellent when used properly and since skin science has come a long way, for many they’re worth their weight in anti-ageing gold.

A pick of the best


Best known for its vitamin C products, the excellent Skinceuticals is an advanced range of vitamin based therapy treatments. Its star product Phloretin CF (rrp £128) was five years in developmen,t and harnesses the powerful antioxidant benefits of phloretin present in the skin and flesh of apples. Phloretin works with the pure Vitamin C to stimulate collagen production and with ferulic acid, another powerful antioxidant that also boosts the efficacy of the vitamin C, helping destroy the free radicals that contribute to the signs of ageing.

iS Clinical

Endorsed in the US by leading dermatologists and doctors, and favoured by celebrities and beauty directors on both sides of the Atlantic, this is a sophisticated results-driven range. Active Serum (rrp £102) is a potent multi-purpose skin booster. Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, kojic acid are among the ingredients that make it ‘active’ so that it tingles when applied to the skin. Their best-seller is Youth Complex (rrp £136), a lightweight moisturiser made with extracts of bilberry, orange and willow bark, that not only rehydrates and plumps fine lines but also promotes controlled exfoliation for improved long term results.


Cellex-C bases its formulations on its potent patented vitamin C complex and includes minerals and amino acids that are the building blocks of healthy younger looking skin. Developed initially as a result of clinical studies into wound healing, this is the original commercial Vitamin C formulation. Cellex-C High Potency Serum (£88) is suitable for all but the most sensitive skins, which would be better suited to the Serum for Sensitive Skin (£88). If age and sun spots are a problem, try Cellex-C Fade Away Gel (£48) to lighten and brighten the skin.


Skinceuticals: Medi spas and clinics nationwide,
or call SkinBrands (020 8997 8541), or visit

iS Clinical: Plastic Surgery W1 (020 7079 0050),
MBNS Medi Clinic in Thame (01844 213007) or visit

Cellex-C: Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, or visit

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