Topical dermatological agents or cosmeceuticals are applied directly onto the skin to treat skin conditions. They may deliver medicines to prevent or treat skin disorders or have inert creams and ointments for routine skin care to maintain the skin, which may be susceptible to skin disorders.
Cosmeceuticals that are professionally recommended by a licensed skin care professional generally have a higher amount of active ingredients with proven and safe formulations, and offer delivery systems that reach targeted cells in the skin.
Topical dermatological agents include local anaesthetics, cleansing agents, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-infective agents, emollients, astringents, agents to treat acne, anti-virals, anti-fungals, agents for psoriasis such as topical corticosteroids, and so forth.
How does cosmeceuticals differ from cosmetics?
- Cosmeceuticals can actually affect the way skin cells function, such asreducing hyperpigmentation or wrinkles.
- Unlike cosmetics, cosmeceuticals can penetrate skin, since their ingredients have smaller molecular structures and better penetrator enhancers. That’s why they can penetrate deep enough into the skin – for example, to produce more collagen, which helps prevent and reduce wrinkles.
- Cosmetics don’t always contain biologically active ingredients, whereas cosmeceuticals do.