We are surrounded by adverts for skin care products every day on TV, in magazines and endless online promotions. But, how much do we know about HOW these products actually work?
There are different levels of skincare that affect the skin in different ways. In a nutshell, any cosmetic product that you can buy from a high-street store, department store or supermarket will only treat superficial skin. A pharmaceutical product from your doctor will treat medical skin problems, but won’t benefit to your skins overall health or appearance. A cosmeceutical product bridges the gap between cosmetic products and pharmaceutical grade creams. These highly effective products will reach the lower layers of the skin and actually change the way your skin works for better skin health and an improved complexion.
WHAT CAUSES THE CONCERN?
We all have five layers of skin. The skin cells in the bottom layer, the stratum basalis, are plump, hydrated skin cells that the body has recently made. They look like a grape in appearance, are living functional cells, and contain lots of DNA information.
As the body makes new cells, the previous new cells get pushed up towards the surface of the skin. As they migrate up through the layers, they dry out, shrink, and eventually become dead skin cells which sit like crisps, on top of the skin. These shed off naturally, as the skin is replenished. This process of migration from brand new skin cell to dead skin cell, takes 28 days when we are young and our skin is functioning healthily. As we age, this process can slow down to 60 days, causing ageing and skin problems such as spots, pigmentation, and aging.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SKIN?
The beauty products we are most familiar with are over the counter products (OTC products), the ones that are advertised on TV adverts and in magazines. But there are different strengths of products available for us to purchase that offer us varying level of results for skin conditions and anti-aging that aren’t as well known.
The strength and level of activity of a facial cleanser, serum or crème, is directly correlative to how qualified the person recommending them to you is. We can compare this to medicine, there are pain killers you can buy with no consultation from high street stores and supermarkets that will not compare in effectiveness to a prescription pain killer from your doctor.
When we purchase OTC facial products, we often don’t talk to anyone about our skin concerns, get any advice about our skin type or how to use the product we are buying. This means it needs to be low in activity to ensure that, if we buy the wrong thing, we don’t have a negative reaction. The FDA (Food and Drugs Administration that regulates the use and sales of facial creams) state that “An over the counter product can enhance the appearance and texture of the skin without effecting skin structure or function.” To adhere to this regulation, OTC products contain ingredients that can only treat the surface dead skin cells. When you see TV adverts that claim a cream or serum treats the ‘lower layers’ there is a label at the bottom of the screen that says “stratum corneum” the name of the layer of dead skin.
You cannot change or revive a dead skin cell any more than you can change or revive a dead plant. If you want to change the way your skin works to correct skin concerns such as spots, ageing or pigmentation, you have to reach the living cells at the bottom of the skin layers.
HOW DOES A PRODUCT AFFECT IT?
The biggest difference between an OTC product, and a cosmeceutical product is the way the ingredients are delivered into the skin. In an OTC product, the ingredients are loose in the bottle and very big in molecular structure so do don’t penetrate the skin. A cosmeceutical product contains a delivery system called ‘liposome technology’. Liposomes are a very small structure, which contain the precious, small ingredients (like a wrapped present) and carries them down through the skin cell layers. When they reach the bottom layer, the wrapping comes away, releasing the ingredients to living skin cells where they can actually change the way the skin works for the better.
More advanced cosmeceutical products contain revolutionary delivery systems called ‘Vectorise Technology’. Verctorise Technology is new to the cosmetic industry for 2014 and is a sphere like structure, made up of up to 100 layers like a onion. Very small, precious ingredients are encapsulated in between these layers and as the sphere is drawn down into the skin, the layers peel away drip feeding the skin at every layer, offering up to 48 hours of activity, from just one application.
Products that contain this technology are very active in the skin. They are often more expensive than OTC products and rightly so when you consider how effectively they can change your skin. This means you would never find cosmeceutical products on the high-street. You can only purchase them from a qualified skin care specialist who will prescribe specific skin care products after a thorough consultation and skin analysis. She will also give you education about why your skin problems are occurring and lifestyle tips that will help you towards improved skin health.
All skin geeks athesticians are highly qualified skin care experts and able to offer you up to date and relevant information regarding your skin concerns and prescriptive home care. So find your nearest Skin Geeks stockist to begin your personalised home care routine for better skin today.