how it differs from medicinal, pharmacy or premium cosmetics and how to choose it

The market research agency Fortune Business Insights published a study in March 2020 that predicts the growth of the cosmeceutical market by 8.9% annually. By 2026, its total cost will be $ 73.73 billion. At the moment, this figure is $ 37.41 billion. Already, the owners of the beauty empires Estee Lauder and Shiseido do not miss the chance to get into their portfolio micro- and medium-sized cosmeceutical brands that have incredible potential. So, in 2018 Shiseido announced the purchase of the brand with an excellent reputation, Drunk Elephant. Right now, this acquisition is not generating much profit for the corporation, but in a couple of years there are high hopes for it.

Experts associate the growing popularity of cosmeceuticals with the desire of buyers to use aesthetically pleasing cosmetics in beautiful packages, which at the same time have a real effect and do not cost space money.

This is in theory. And in practice, the consumer does not always understand how cosmeceuticals differ from medical, professional, pharmaceutical or premium cosmetics and how to choose them. To find out, gives the opinions of experts and shares a list of brands that we trust.

What is cosmeceuticals?

Taisiya Petrova, a cosmetologist at the Aging Control aesthetic medicine clinic, explains that the term “cosmeceuticals” appeared in 1962 in the United States, when the Food and Drug Administration decided that cosmetics cannot be both care and medicine: “Cosmeceuticals are professional cosmetics which has an aesthetic and therapeutic effect on the skin. The term itself comes from the merger of two words – cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. ”

Since then, the industry has taken a huge step forward, numerous studies and discoveries have led to the fact that the market has expanded, new categories of funds and new niches have appeared. That is why Anna Dycheva, an international expert in the field of cosmetics and perfumery marketing and General Director of Reed Exhibitions, considers the term “cosmeceuticals” somewhat outdated: “There is no official legal definition for cosmeceuticals in either Russia or the United States. In the 80s and 90s, it included products with a high content of active substances: more than in conventional cosmetics, but less than in medicinal ones. There is no separate certification for such funds, which means there are no clear rules of the game. It is clear that there are pharmacy brands, there are medicinal cosmetics, which are in a separate legal field, there are professional brands (like Biologique Recherche), with which specialists mainly work, and there are cosmeceuticals that stand as if in isolation, but also do not have their own legal force “.

Taisiya agrees with this: “There is no such term in the legislation (as well as“ pharmacy cosmetics ”,“ dermatocosmetics ”,“ medicinal cosmetics ”), therefore, from a legal point of view, cosmeceuticals and mass market are equal. But it’s not a secret for anyone that cosmeceuticals are presented in clinics of aesthetic medicine and can be recommended exclusively by a specialist cosmetologist. “

Brand representatives who call themselves cosmeceuticals also have something to say about this. Maria Chibisova, brand manager of Ultraceuticals in Russia, explains that the key difference between cosmeceuticals and conventional cosmetics is precisely the active ingredients, there are more of them than in conventional care cosmetics, but less than in pharmaceutical preparations: “No matter how well the administrator of a salon or clinic owns knowledge about the brand’s products, products with active ingredients can only be prescribed by a beautician. Moreover, such cosmeceuticals work even with serious aesthetic problems: acne of 1 and 2 degrees, hyperpigmentation and age-related changes. ”

Another important difference between cosmeceuticals and other means is the presence of real scientific research. Ultraceuticals carry out lengthy trials and numerous tests that take at least 3 years. For example, vitamin C serums are patented for a unique form of delivery of the active ingredient to the dermis. SPF protection has been assigned a state register number confirming every word and number on the package.

IsClinical has independent research in 7 different laboratories. For quality brands, you can find links to all the necessary research that was carried out before the product was released to the market, as well as materials on their own developments and technological features.

How does cosmeceuticals differ from pharmaceutical cosmetics and premium products?

“Pharmacy cosmetics has an evidence base in the form of clinical trials, but not scientific research, as in the case of cosmeceuticals,” explains Taisiya Petrova. – This does not mean that pharmacy cosmetics do not work: all products in this segment undergo strict quality control, are certified, solve the problems of dry / oily / hypersensitive skin, tendency to acne. But they are not aimed at tackling serious dermatological problems. ”

On the other hand, cosmeceuticals are compared to premium products – in both cases we see beautiful storytelling, a good reputation, often proven effectiveness, and similar pricing. “In premium brands like this, we pay for the brand first. But this does not mean that luxury products are ineffective – rare components can be found in their compositions (for example, extracts of plants grown on plantations owned by the company), patented vitamin complexes. For example, the Babor brand has a line with MicroAlgae Ap extract, obtained from rare green microalgae that have been around for 15 million years, and during this time have acquired excellent regenerating, anti-aging properties. Another development is the Glycoceane GP3 protein, also obtained from microorganisms that live in the extremely cold waters of the Southern Ocean, ”says Taisia.

A separate category is hair cosmeceuticals. The dermatologist and trichologist of the Premiumaestetics clinic Elena Dobrogorskaya emphasizes that everything here is rather vague from the point of view of the law: “There are no legal norms that allow us to classify specific products as cosmeceuticals. In fact, cosmeceutical treatments for hair (as well as for the skin) are preparations at the junction of medicinal products and cosmetics. Their task is to maximize hair restoration due to the high content of active ingredients in the composition. In addition, they all have a certain evidence base (which often distinguishes them from professional brands). Although the ongoing clinical trials are much smaller than drug studies, in most cases all cosmeceuticals deservedly receive this status and are quite good in composition: active components (silk extract, keratin, proteins, lipids, ceramides) will most often be in the beginning or at least in the middle of the ingredient list. ”

Anna Fomina, a certified trainer of the Alterna Russia brand, says that Alterna, as a cosmeceutical for hair, distinguishes two approaches to work – scientific and systemic. The brand has its own laboratory, where complexes are created that work with hair quality at a deep level and help maintain their condition. The brand was the first to bring science to the hair industry. The four main complexes work simultaneously in different planes. For example, the age-control complex fights hair aging, color hold protects the color of dyed and natural hair, seasilk is a moisturizing complex, and enzymotherapy complex is an enzyme therapy complex (we are talking about enzymes that break complex molecules of substances into simpler ones so that they can be easier and be absorbed more effectively at all levels). And a systematic approach presupposes the presence of correctly structured care programs, which, when systematically applied, give a good result. Everything is like in cosmetology.

How to choose the right cosmeceutical?

The concentration of active ingredients in cosmeceuticals is higher than in conventional cosmetics, so the care regimen should be drawn up by a specialist. The main task is to choose the right products so that they complement each other and give results. The composition of cosmeceuticals does not contain fragrances, dyes are potential allergens. “And I can say with confidence that those patients who have already tried cosmeceuticals are unlikely to return to the mass market. The difference in results is enormous, ”says Taisiya Petrova. – Of the whole variety of brands I can confidently single out HydroPeptide, IsClinical, ZO, Forlle’d, MAD, Meline. ”

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